Baltic and European news
Sweden outlines key EU presidency priorities
Climate change, biodiversity, the Baltic Sea and resource efficiency will be Sweden's main green priorities when it takes over the EU presidency from the Czechs in July, a political adviser to environment minister Andreas Carlgren told ENDS on Tuesday.
Mr Carlgren met with EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas in Stockholm on Monday to discuss Sweden's presidency goals and to talk through Europe's negotiating strategy in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate talks in December.
Climate change will be Sweden's top priority, the adviser said. There is a series of high-level meetings planned in the run-up to a crucial G8 summit and meeting of major emitters in early July. Europe's Copenhagen mandate is expected to be finalised at a EU heads of state and government meeting in late October.
Sweden will also begin a review of the EU's 2006 biodiversity action plan and push for the creation of an authoritative scientific panel on biodiversity similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A first full analysis of the economics of biodiversity loss will be presented under the Swedish presidency (EE 30/05/08 http://www.endseurope.com/15146).
The forthcoming presidency will also push for a swift response by the council of ministers to a planned environmental strategy for the Baltic Sea. The European commission proposal is expected to adopt the strategy in June (EE 06/02/09 http://www.endseurope.com/20587).
Resource efficiency will be the focus of an informal meeting of environment ministers in July. Sweden sees improving efficiency as key to tackling the energy, climate and financial crises. It will also increase Europe's competitiveness with China and the US, the adviser said. The EU's sustainable development strategy will also be reviewed in this context.
Follow-up: Swedish EU presidency http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/11312 plus Mr Dimas's speech at a seminar on climate change in Stockholm http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/09/176&format=HTML.
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