Swedish presidency plans ambitious agenda for environmental legislation

This week Sweden has taken over the presidency of the European Union for the first time, promising special attention to the environment, employment, and EU enlargement, and setting out an ambition of reaching agreement on a possible eight new environmental laws.

The laws being targeted by Sweden includes proposals for directives concerning:

  • waste from electric and electronic equipment, and on limiting the use of certain dangerous substances in such equipment;
  • two and three wheeled vehicles;
  • gas and noise emissions from recreational craft; and
  • measures to be taken against air pollution by cold start emissions from light duty vehicles.

Environment Minister, Kjell Larsson, will also have to reignite transatlantic talks on the future of the Kyoto protocol, with an aim of securing a formal global accord in early summer. Some fear that the focus on the environment, combined with an attempt to reopen the Kyoto talks, could fuel a clash between the EU and the US, particularly in view of the future president’s attitude towards global warming.

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