EU Environment Ministers narrowly reached a political agreement on the recast of the Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, now renamed Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), earlier this month, during the last Environment Council of the Czech Presidency. Issues of relevance for the cement industry are contained in Annex VI, Part 4, entitled Technical provisions relating to waste incineration plants and waste co-incineration plants. The Council has agreed on the provisions that CEMBUREAU has been advocating for, i.e. the exemption from the NOxi limit value for Lepol and that the limit for CO may be set by the competent authorities. However, under pressure from the Netherlands, the recital opening the door to SO2 and NOx trading has been introduced. Recital 37 states that, in order to prevent, reduce and, as far as possible, eliminate pollution arising from industrial activities in the most cost-effective way while ensuring a high level of protection of the environment as a whole, in particular through the implementation of BATi, the possibilities for market-based instruments such as trading in NOx and SO2 emissions could be explored. CEMBUREAU, together with all other industries and many stakeholders, shall maintain its opposition against such trading scheme for reasons that have already been developed in the February, March and April Eurobriefs.
The political agreement reached by Environment Ministers rejects most of the amendments adopted by the European Parliament in its first reading. A number of Member States, including Germany and Denmark, expressed disappointment with the political agreement, arguing that the proposal has been significantly weakened. This opposition could make formalisation of the political agreement into a common position difficult.
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