During the informal meeting, Ministers will discuss progress on achieving a resource efficient Europe and the recently published European Commission Communication on Building the Single Market for Green Products.

The talks will also focus on air quality and the urban environment in line with the designation of 2013 as the EU’s Year of Air and the upcoming review of the EU’s Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution later this year.

Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan said: “The development of a functioning single market for green products is an essential part of ensuring a Europe wide transition to a resource efficient, climate resilient and low carbon future.

“The Informal Council provides an excellent opportunity for a political discussion on progress in advancing the green economy and resource agenda in the EU”.

Ahead of the meeting, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) urged the Ministers not to “follow the weakness” of the European Parliaments vote on EU ETS, which blocked backloading proposals (link) and warned them not to succumb to fossil fuel lobbyists.

WWF European Policy Office head of climate and energy Jason Anderson said: “Energy and Environment Ministers must leave behind Europe’s dirty past and prepare for a clean future by advancing a package of 2030 targets for energy savings, renewable energy and emissions reductions.

“By doing so, they will help to secure Europe’s long-term economic competitiveness, the security of our energy supplies, and the quality of our environment.”

Conor McGlone

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