The Governments of the Member States and the European Commission were represented as follows: Belgium: Mr Jacques SANTKIN Minister for Health, the Environment and Social Integration Denmark: Mr Svend AUKEN Minister for the Environment and Energy Mr Leo BJØRNSKOV State Secretary for the Environment Germany: Ms Angela MERKEL Minister for the Environment Greece: Mr Adamadios VASSILAKIS Deputy Permanent Representative Spain: Mr José BORRELL Minister for Public Works, Transport and the Environment Ms Cristina NARBONA State Secretary for the Environment and Housing France: Mr Michel BARNIER Minister for the Environment Ireland: Ms Liz McManus Minister of State, Department of the Environment Italy: Mr Paolo BARATTA Minister for the Environment Luxembourg: Mr Johny LAHURE Minister for the Environment Netherlands: Ms Margaretha DE BOER Minister for Planning and the Environment Austria: Ms Maria RAUCH-KALLAT Federal Minister for the Environment Portugal: Ms Teresa PATRÍCIO GOUVEIA Minister for the Environment Finland: Ms Sirpa PIETIKÄINEN Minister for the Environment Sweden: Ms Anna LINDH Minister for the Environment Mr Mats ENGSTROEM State Secretary for the Environment United Kingdom: Mr Robert ATKINS Minister of State, Department of the Environment - + - For the Commission: Ms Ritt BJERREGAARD Member INTEGRATED POLLUTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL The Council examined the Commission proposal, the purpose of which is to apply an integrated approach to pollution prevention and control, unlike previous Directives in the environmental field, which drew a distinction between environmental sectors (air, water and land). The proposal is for a framework Directive with the main objective of preventing or resolving pollution problems caused by emissions from major industrial installations. The Council centred its discussions on the main problems arising from the proposal and, on the basis of a Presidency draft, made some progress, which should facilitate an overall solution. The Council instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to continue examining the problems outstanding and to report to it for its next meeting, in June. AMBIENT AIR QUALITY Pending the Opinion of the European Parliament, the Council held a policy debate on the proposal for a Directive on ambient air quality assessment and management. The proposal is for a framework Directive with the purpose of laying down a number of horizontal, general provisions (definitions, information, etc.) so that they need not be included in the specific directives. It is also directed towards a working timetable for such individual directives on pollutants. The debate centred on two main questions in the Directive, namely: - that of target values, which most delegations felt should not be included explicitly in the Directive; - that of the standstill with regard to air quality in areas where pollution levels are below the limit values. Most delegations could endorse the Presidency's approach in this matter. The Council instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to continue examining this dossier in the light of the discussion and taking into account the Opinion of the European Parliament, with a view to reaching a common position in the near future. FIGHT AGAINST ACIDIFICATION Following the Swedish delegation's submission of a memorandum on the problem of acidification (acid deposits due to long-range transport of sulphur and nitrogen oxides), the Council noted the information provided by the Commission and the Commission's intention to submit to it in the second half of 1995 a Community plan to combat the phenomenon. The Council intends to examine this dossier again once it has received the plan in question. CONSERVATION OF WILD BIRDS The Council was informed of progress on the proposal amending Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds. The purpose of the proposal is to define the discretion Member States have to determine the dates during which migratory species can be hunted, with full regard for the principle of wise use. The Permanent Representatives Committee will continue examining this dossier, in the light of the Opinion awaited from the European Parliament, with a view to a rapid conclusion. ECOLOGICAL QUALITY OF WATER The proposal for a Directive on the ecological quality of water was the subject of a policy debate by the Council, pending receipt of the Opinion of the European Parliament. The purpose of the proposal is to introduce the necessary provisions to maintain and improve the ecological quality of surface waters throughout the Community. To achieve this it is directed towards introducing a simple and consistent general management framework through a new approach based on the protection of ecosystems with a view to the ultimate aim of good water quality. The debate enabled guidelines to be agreed on the following aspects: - inclusion in the concept of ecological quality of qualitative criteria for the assessment of water quality; - elaboration by the Member States of overall water-management and water-protection programmes enabling the Directive to be implemented; - information of the public and closer involvement of interested groups in the preparation of the integrated programmes. The Permanent Representatives Committee will continue the proceedings in the light of the Opinion awaited from the European Parliament and of the debate, with a view to the Council's meeting in June. "SEVESO II" DIRECTIVE The Council held a policy debate on the proposal for a Directive on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances ("SEVESO II"). The purpose of the proposal is a thorough overhaul of the present legislation in order to improve arrangements for implementing it, enhance management of the human factors involved in major accidents and introduce land-use planning controls. It should repeal and replace Directive 82/501/EEC (the "Seveso" Directive), which was adopted in response to accidents such as those at Flixborough (1974), Beek (1975), Seveso (1976) and Manfredonia (1976). The debate revealed the delegations' support for revising the Directive currently in force. Guidelines were established for further work on the following aspects: - scope (the vast majority of delegations supported the new approach, which introduced the idea of establishment into the scope); - major-accident prevention policy (all delegations supported the proposal that basic rules be laid down, applicable to all types of establishment, relating to the major-accident prevention policy); - control of town planning (the introduction of provisions concerning town planning in the vicinity of sites at risk is recognized as necessary if confined to broad guidelines); - notification of accidents (a large majority of delegations felt that common criteria should be laid down to eliminate the disparity and delays recorded hitherto as regards the notification of accidents). The Permanent Representatives Committee will continue examining this dossier in the light of the debate with a view to enabling the Council to act at the earliest opportunity. CLIMATE CHANGE Following a discussion on preparation for the first Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Berlin, March-April 1995), the Council adopted the following conclusions: "1. The Council confirms the conclusions which it adopted at the meeting on 15 and 16 December 1994. It reiterates its view that commitments to reduce greenhouse gases to their 1990 level by the year 2000 are insufficient to achieve the ultimate objective laid down in Article 2 of the Convention. It therefore considers Article 4(2)(a) and (b) of the Convention to be inadequate. 2. The Council reaffirms the European Union's determination to meet its existing commitments and to take such additional measures as may be necessary to achieve this, and urges all other Annex I Parties to do the same. The Council, confirming its conclusions of 29 October 1990 inter alia to stabilize CO2 emissions in the Community as a whole at 1990 levels by the year 2000, calls upon the other Annex I Parties also to commit themselves to stabilizing their CO2 emissions individually or jointly at 1990 level by the year 2000, i.e. at least not to exceed this level after 2000. 3. INC 11 acknowledged the commitments in Article 4(2)(a) and (b) to be only a first step on the way to the Convention's ultimate objective and the need of their review at the first Conference of the Parties. The Council would emphasize that the second stage begins as of the year 2000, since the present commitments make no provision for the period after that date. 4. The Council notes that for the commitments regarding the period after 2000, in view of likely ratification times, a protocol on policies and measures as well as targets and timetables in order to limit and progressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions would need to have been adopted in 1997 in order to enter into force by 2000. If it is to be adopted in 1997, such a protocol would have to be drawn up in the course of a set of negotiations likely to extend over two years. 5. The Council therefore reaffirms that the first Conference of the Parties needs at least to map out the mandate for negotiations on a protocol and set a time limit for its conclusion. 6. The Council considers it desirable, drawing upon its conclusions of 15 and 16 December 1994, and in the light of the discussions at INC 11, that the mandate to be decided upon by the first Conference of the Parties contain, in particular, the following key elements: (a) Provision of a second step towards achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention. (b) Establishment of a special ad hoc working group, under the auspices of the Conference of the Parties, to elaborate a protocol, to which as many Parties as possible could adhere, building upon the principles in Article 3 of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the findings of the IPPC including its Second Assessment Report. The AOSIS protocol proposal and the German delegation's suggestions will as well as others form part of the negotiations. (c) Report of the ad hoc group to the second Conference of the Parties on the state of negotiations on the protocol; completion of the negotiations six months before the third Conference of the Parties in order to allow adoption during that Conference. (d) Inclusion in the ad hoc group's working programme, in cooperation with the other subsidiary bodies, of an analysis or assessment to identify potential and possible policies and measures for achieving limitations and progressive reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. (e) Consideration of the following key elements for inclusion in the protocol: (i) comprehensiveness of the protocol, covering all greenhouse gases, their sources and sinks and all relevant sectors; (ii) common but differentiated responsibilities of Parties in line with their respective capabilities and possibilities: - lead responsibility of Annex I Parties through specific commitments, individually or jointly, strengthening and enlarging those undertaken in Article 4(2)(a) and (b) of the Convention, - participation, over time, of non-Annex I Parties as recognized in Article 4(2)(f) and (g); establishment of a framework leading to sustainable patterns of economic development that will secure steadily increasing economic growth while restraining the growth of greenhouse gas emissions; (iii) combined approach including both policies and measures as well as targets and timetables such as 2005 and 2010, taking into account the differences in starting points and approaches, economic structures and resource bases as set out in Article 4(2)(a); (iv) coordinated policies and measures covering CO2 and other greenhouse gases, in particular in those areas where international coordination is called for in view of competitiveness concerns, priority being given to: - measures subject to competitiveness concerns; - measures concerning globally oriented industrial sectors; - measures in sectors where decisions may have long term adverse effects on climate change; - measures relating to tradeable products, in particular when these measures represent: * potential or actual globally significant greenhouse gas emissions or sinks; * potential significant benefits in addressing other problems; * potential further steps towards better energy efficiency; taking into account, inter alia, in an appropriate way the indicative list of possible policies and measures shown in the Annex to the present conclusions. (v) regular review of the commitments relating to the limitation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; (vi) provisions to coordinate and exchange experience on national policies and measures in areas of interest, particularly those identified in the review and synthesis reports as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions; (vii) provisions regarding public access to information on energy consumption and on national policies, regional institutes in charge of promoting a rational use of energy and energy labelling. 7. They key elements for the mandate outlined above should form the basis for consultations and negotiations. ANNEX INDICATIVE LIST OF POSSIBLE POLICIES AND MEASURES Measures regarding energy use and CO2 - use of economic instruments, including fiscal measures such as CO2/energy taxation and elimination of disincentives to the efficient use of energy; - CO2 emissions from large combustion plants; - energy consumption by household appliances; - thermal insulation of buildings; - CO2 emissions from energy-intensive industrial sectors; - CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, and more generally from the terrestrial transport sector; - CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from international transport, especially from airplanes and boats; - promotion of the use of new and renewable sources of energy; - storage of carbon in forests. Measures regarding CH4 - limitation of CH4 emissions from extraction and transfer of coal and gas; - limitation of CH4 emissions from waste disposal. Measures regarding N2O - N2O emissions from some industrial processes (adipic acid, nitric acid, ...); - N2O emissions related to fertilizer use. Measures regarding HFCs and PFCs - limitation of HFCs and PFCs emissions through an optimization of their use in all activities, i.e. in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. COMMISSION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The Council continued its preparation of the Community position for the 3rd meeting of the Commission for Sustainable Development (New York, 11 to 28 April 1995). At this stage it elaborated the Union's position on a number of points (reports procedure, indicators of sustainable development, forests and trade) (see annexed text) and called for coordination of the Union's position to continue on the problems still outstanding following the Council's discussions and on other problems raised by the Member States' contributions and recommendations. EURO-MEDITERRANEAN COOPERATION ON THE ENVIRONMENT In the context of this year's IXth Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, to be held in June in Barcelona, and of the Euro- Mediterranean Conference in November, the Council adopted the following conclusions: "1. The objective of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership on the environment should be to establish the conditions for sustainable development. 2. The environmental interdependence between the two coasts of the Mediterranean, which is a common heritage, calls for a strengthening of Euro-Mediterranean solidarity and the environment is, par excellence, an area where Euro-Mediterranean cooperation exists and can develop. In this context, the Community should encourage regional cooperation and dialogue both with its Mediterranean partners and among them. 3. Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in this area should seek to: . protect the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal regions; . conserve natural resources, in particular the habitats of species of flora and fauna, and biodiversity; . combat pollution, erosion, desertification and drought; . promote the integration of the environment into other policies, particularly in the agriculture, fisheries, energy, industry, land and urban planning, transport and tourism sectors, in order to promote the sustainable development of the Mediterranean region. 4. Its priority objectives are: . integrated management of water resources, maximizing them by thrifty use of the resource, purification and re-use of sewage; . combating erosion and soil degradation and forest fires; . combating pollution, especially marine pollution; . reducing waste production and managing waste in an ecologically rational way; . protection and sustainable management of the coastline; . conservation of the natural heritage, of landscapes and beauty spots. 5. The adoption of preventive measures should be promoted, in particular by using instruments such as environmental impact assessment to promote environmentally-friendly infrastructures. 6. In the context of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, financial cooperation should seek, within the framework of the instruments employed for the purpose, to achieve sustainable development; environmental protection should be among its priorities. It should support efforts to strengthen and coordinate the environmental policies of the Mediterranean countries by means of improved institutional and legal structures and of suitable economic actions. It should back the development of technological training and cooperation and the financing of environmental infrastructures which are in keeping with the objectives agreed by the partner countries. It should ensure that the various financial contributions made in this connection are mutually consistent. It should pay particular attention to regional cooperation and encourage the involvement of key players in the field of the environment and decentralized cooperation. 7. The Mediterranean Action Plan and the Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea and the protocols thereto are major instruments for multilateral regional Mediterranean cooperation in the environmental sphere. 8. The European Community will increase its support for MAP activities with a view to giving fresh impetus to the Plan and to its restructuring, topics that will be discussed at the Barcelona Conference in June 1995. It will support the setting up of mechanisms for constantly monitoring and following up the situation and for taking action to improve protection of the sustainable environment and development in the region." BASEL CONVENTION ON THE CONTROL OF TRANSBOUNDARY MOVEMENTS OF HAZARDOUS WASTES AND THEIR DISPOSAL Alongside the items on its agenda the Council noted that there was unanimous agreement that the Community should submit a proposal for the amendment of the Basel Convention, with a view to its adoption at the third Conference of the Parties. The purpose of the amendment is that the Parties should prohibit any transboundary movement of hazardous wastes for final disposal from OECD member countries to countries which are not OECD members. Under Article 22 of the Convention, such a Community amendment would replace any unilateral amendment submitted by a Community Member State. ANNEX PRESENT STATE OF PREPARATIONS FOR THE THIRD MEETING OF THE COMMISSION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 1. The Council takes note of the contributions prepared by the pilot countries and the Commission for the third meeting of the CSD on the topics of patterns of consumption, trade, finance, technology, major groups, economic indicators, town and country planning, forests, desertification, biodiversity, the mountains and sustainable agriculture, and the transfer of technologies compatible with the environment, sustainable development and the management of coastal regions. These contributions together with the recommendations they contain will underpin the position of the European Union in New York and are likely to be supplemented in the light of the discussions still to be held at both Union and international level in the run-up to the 3rd meeting of the CSD, including discussions in the FAO. 2. The Council considers that, given the importance of exchanges of information on experience acquired in implementing Agenda 21, and the value of national reports to measure the progress made and the problems encountered: - further improvement in the presentation of such reports is required to make them more readable, to enable the CSD Secretariat to summarize them and to turn them into a useful basis for dialogue with the public; - to this end, standardized simplified presentation of reports must be reconsidered through closed questions designed to produce internationally comparable data and open questions insisting on the practices implemented and the problems encountered. 3. Indicators of Sustainable Development The Council welcomes and fully endorses the role of the UN Secretariat as a Task Manager to coordinate the development of Indicators of Sustainable Development, i.e. to contribute significantly to the global process of consensus-building in order to arrive at a common approach and a harmonized framework of ISDs and to bring together the efforts of the large number of organizations that are already working on indicators. The Council welcomes and fully supports the initiative of the UN Secretariat to develop a work programme on ISDs making available to governments the methodology for a core set of indicators in the form of a set of methodology sheets. Such a core set would constitute a menu from which countries could select the indicators that they may use in their national policies, according to their own problems, priorities and targets. 4. Forests (a) Sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests is an ecological, economic and social necessity in view of the importance of forests as a heritage for present and future generations. (b) The efforts made by the Member States to implement the forestry principles decided on at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development make a significant contribution towards ensuring the sustainable development of the European Union's forests. The States of the European Union will continue to strive to introduce appropriate measures through a global approach guaranteeing the sustainable development of forests, while respecting ecological, economic and social balances. (c) The adoption, under the process initiated in Helsinki, of a list of national criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management is a considerable contribution to a desirable process, the objective of which is to harmonize sustainable management criteria for the planet's forests. (d) The international certification of timber obtained from sustainably managed resources must be regarded as an important instrument for promoting the sustainable management of forests. The European Union expresses its resolve to contribute to the international coordination of discussions on the introduction of international certification of timber. (e) Closer cooperation is desirable with developing countries which share the wish to combat the growing destruction of tropical forests, account being taken of the fact that deforestation is caused by a combination of social, economic and institutional problems in the context of forest management but also, and above all, in other areas affecting forests. (f) In this context, the UNCED Forest Principles are of great importance since they represent the first global consensus on forests. However, the Council considers that developments since UNCED have demonstrated the need for a more comprehensive global framework for the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forest. Such a framework would provide a solid basis for improving international technical and financial cooperation and for the elimination of unjustified obstacles to trade in forest products. (g) The management, conservation and sustainable development of forests concerns many aspects, especially socio-economic aspects which go beyond issues of biological diversity and climate change. Therefore the Council considers that, in addition to the Conventions agreed at Rio, a specific legally binding instrument on forests is needed to manage all aspects of this holistic approach. (h) The European Union wholeheartedly supports the proposal to set up on open-ended intergovernmental panel on forests under the aegis of the UN Commission for Sustainable Development. It proposes that the Secretariat be provided jointly by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme. While fulfilling its tasks, the Group should also involve UNDP, the World Bank, ITTO and the executive bodies of the existing global Conventions (biodervisity, climate, desertification), in cooperation with the Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development Department. In the context of the Intersessional Group's proposals, the panel should be mainly responsible for: - preparing the basis for a world-wide consensus on the criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management based on convergence of the initiatives already taken in this sector; - preparing the basis for a framework of international understanding for the certification of timber from sustainably managed resources, in the interests of all those involved; - examining the need for and feasibility of a legally binding instrument covering all types of forests and identifying the elements to be included in such an instrument. Any duplication of work on forests should be avoided. 5. Trade and Environment (a) The European Union reiterates its commitment, in the framework of the implementation of Chapter 2 of Agenda 21, to promoting the mutual supportiveness of trade and environment with the overall aim of sustainable development. While preserving the open, equitable and non-discriminatory character of the multilateral trading system and in the pursuit of the abovementioned aim, the EU relies upon the principle of multilateral cooperation and dialogue among trading partners, transparency in the implementation of environmental policies and preserved market access for exporting countries especially LDCs. (b) The EU considers that the present division of labour in the international discussion on trade and environment is in general satisfactory. The WTO/CTE has assumed an important role in the discussion. Thanks to its mandate, the CTE can assume a "normative" role and accommodate environmental concerns in the multilateral trading system. For the time being, the need for complementary fora has been satisfactorily fulfilled by the establishment of the UNEP/UNCTAD. Joint Initiative and of the UNCTAD Ad Hoc Working Group. Furthermore, the CTE should start examining the interconnections between GATS, TRIPs and the environment, as envisaged by its mandate. In its coordinating role, the CSD should also consider how best to carry forward the UNEP-UNCTAD joint initiative, preferably at a technical level, with a focused agenda. (c) In this context, the EU advocates a stronger role for UNEP as the environmental counterpart of the trade side represented by the WTO. UNEP and UNCTAD should continue to provide input to the work of the CTE and also address important issues not covered by the CTE programme of work, the following items in particular: - environmental impact of trade policies; - internalisation of environmental costs; - implementation of the polluter-pays principle. In particular, as already stated, UNEP's role as facilitator of cooperation between secretariats of different environmental agreements and as creator of a model for MEAs is important. (d) The OECD should continue its analytical work on issues related to the Report prepared for the OECD ministerial meeting on 23 and 24 May 1995. The programme of work of the OECD joint session, however, could be reviewed in the light of the discussion carried out in other international fora. (e) Discussion on trade and environment should be carried out in a transparent manner. This should include not only information to the public but also appropriate arrangements for consultation and cooperation with NGOs."