HL Deb 10 January 1996 vol 568 c28WA
Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the outcome of the Environment Council on 18 December 1995.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Earl Ferrers)

Together with my noble friend the Earl of Lindsay, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment represented the United Kingdom at the Environment Council in Brussels on 18 December.

Common positions were reached on a directive amending Directive 85/337 on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and on a directive amending the emission standards for light vans with effect from October this year. In both cases earlier concerns expressed by the United Kingdom about these proposals were met by revised proposals which were acceptable.

In responding to a Commission report explaining its proposed postponement and amendment of the regulations on Leghold Traps, we expressed serious disappointment at the Commission's proposals to postpone and amend the EC Leghold Traps Regulation, and pressed for much tougher action to demonstrate the Community's commitment to bringing an end to the use of leghold traps worldwide. The Council gave unanimous support to a statement by the United Kingdom calling on the Commission to make more rapid progress with the Community Ecolabelling Scheme.

Council Conclusions were agreed on coastal policy, water policy, acidification, climate change and biodiversity. These will usefully help to shape more detailed discussions in the coming year.

The Council also took note of progress of the proposed directive on biocides. This too will continue to be discussed under the Italian Presidency.