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Environment Council approves amended action programme

The Environment Council has adopted a common position on a new Environmental Action Programme, since the Commission's proposal, the Council has tightened up in cooperation with the European Parliament,. Modifications to the proposal centred around objectives, timetables, deve...

The Environment Council has adopted a common position on a new Environmental Action Programme, since the Commission's proposal, the Council has tightened up in cooperation with the European Parliament,. Modifications to the proposal centred around objectives, timetables, development strategies, environmental integration, the relationship with the candidate countries and the EU's global responsibility for sustainable development. 'The programme is sharp, unequivocal and monitorable. It will signify a radical change for the citizens of Europe,' said Swedish Minister for the Environment and current chair of the Environment Council, Kjell Larsson. The programme stipulates that established environmental objectives are to be achieved within ten years. Seven strategies covering air quality, the marine environment, resource use, pesticides, waste recovery, land use issues and the urban environment are to be developed by the Commission in order to establish further quantifiable and time bound targets Many of the programme specifications have important implications for research. Programme stipulations include: - A long term climate objective to stabilise amounts of greenhouse gases to 550 ppm - The objective of increasing the contribution of renewable energy sources to 12 per cent of energy used - Stemming the loss of biodiversity by 2010 - Making the fisheries and agricultural policy more environmentally compatible - Reducing considerably the use of pesticides and related risks - A reduction in the amount of waste produced and prioritisation of recycling. The Council reiterated that the EU is still united in its efforts to defend the Kyoto Protocol.

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