12 Oct 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 12 OCTOBERBrussels Daily
Commissioner Arias Cañete in Kigali for talks on global phase-down of climate-warming gases
From 13-14 October, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will be in Kigali, Rwanda, for crucial negotiations on the global phase-down of climate-warming gases. Ozone-depleting substances such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are mainly used in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. The International Community has agreed that the best way to address these potent greenhouse gases is to bring them within the scope of the Montreal Protocol, which has been successful in eliminating ozone-depleting substances. Commissioner Arias Cañete said: “We have a golden opportunity to take the first concrete action to deliver on the promises we made in Paris and prevent up to half a degree of warming by the end of the century. We must make the most of this unique chance to make a real difference and agree an ambitious HFC phasedown this week.” Reaching an agreement would be a significant step forward in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change which following the EU’s ratification, will legally enter into force in November this year. The EU is already leading the world in taking action on HFCs, which are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. The EU is pushing for the most ambitious agreement possible and Commissioner Arias Cañete will reach out to all Parties to find a feasible outcome that is satisfactory to all. In the margins of the meeting, the Commissioner will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as high-level representatives from the host Rwanda, Brazil, China, the Gulf States, India, Iran and Pakistan. He will also meet with fellow ministers from the High Ambition Coalition – the alliance of developed and developing countries that helped shape the successful outcome in Paris − to see how together an ambitious outcome can be facilitated. More information about the EU’s policy on the fight against greenhouse gases online.
Commission hosts joint meeting to prepare for the end of Sugar quotas
The Commission has today hosted a Joint Meeting of the Civil Dialogue Group and the Sugar Expert Group, bringing together stakeholders and Member State officials to discuss the opportunities and challenges from the abolition of the EU sugar quota regime at the end of September 2017.
It followed the 2006 sugar reform which facilitated important restructuring of the sector across the EU (reducing production quotas by almost 6 million tonnes), making the sector more competitive and putting it in an economic position to move to a post-quota environment. The decision to abolish the sugar quota system – the only CAP quota regime still in place – was postponed by two years by Ministers and MEPs in the 2013 CAP Reform.
Today’s meeting heard a report from the International Sugar Organisation that EU prices are currently below world market levels and that there are definitely a range of opportunities on the world market for the European sector to increase exports in the coming years.
Following today’s exchanges, which included a presentation from the European Parliament’s Albert Dess, and the points raised by stakeholders and Member States, the Commission hopes that everyone is fully informed about the technical and administrative rules to apply in the post-quota era and their consequences in the run up to the end of quotas and be able to take the required decisions.
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