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European Commissioner for the Environment: Wikis

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The Commissioner for the Environment is the member of the European Commission responsible for protection of the European Union's environment. The current Commissioner is Stavros Dimas (EPP-ED).

The European Union has made a number of environmental moves, partially in regards to climate change. Most notably it signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, set up its Emission Trading Scheme in 2005 and is currently agreeing to unilaterally cut its emissions by 20% by 2020. (See: Energy policy of the European Union)

Other policies include; the Natura 2000 a widespread and successful network of nature conservation sites, the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) directive requiring safety testing on widely used chemicals and the Water Framework Directive ensuring water quality reaches higher standards.

Contents

Current commissioner

An example of a European Union energy label.

During his hearing with the European Parliament, Stavros Dimas announced four main priorities for his term in office: climate change, biodiversity, public health and sustainability; Highlighting the importance of the Kyoto Protocol, the Natura 2000 project, the REACH directive, and the need to better enforce existing EU environmental legislation. On Dimas' website he lists the following key policy areas; Air, Biotechnology, Chemicals, Civil Protection and Environmental Accidents, Climate Change, Environmental Technologies, Health, International Issues and Enlargement, Nature and Biodiversity, Noise, Soil, Sustainable Development, Urban Environment, Waste and Water.

At the UN's Buenos Aires talks on climate change in December 2004 he attempted to negotiate mandatory emissions reductions to follow the expiration of Kyoto in 2012. This met with opposition from the USA, whose representatives refused to discuss it.

Dimas oversaw the introduction of the EU's emissions trading scheme that took effect on 1 January 2005, despite emissions reduction plans from Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Greece not having been approved on time. He also sought to include companies operating aircraft under the emissions trading regime.

In February 2007 the Commissioner put forward his plans to increase fuel efficiency standards of cars so that emissions are no more than 130g of CO2 per km, down from 162g/km in 2005. This caused anger from the European car industry[1] which was stoked by the Commissioner requesting a Japanese car, a Toyota Prius, instead of a European make due to the Toyota's better environmental standards. [2]

In response to the refusal of countries to sign Kyoto, such as the United States and Australia (the latter of which exchanged viewpoints with the EU on the matter [3]), the EU has been looking to tax products imported from those countries not taking low-carbon policies on board (Border Tax Adjustments). [4]

List of commissioners

See also

External links

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