9 March 2012

Reference to green public procurement in Commission’s 7EAP toned down

The European Commission should propose an environmental inspection law, increase its waste ambitions and drive sustainable land use through targets and impact assessments, according to the European Parliament's environment committee. MEPs were voting on a draft, non-legislative resolution on the seventh Environmental Action Programme (7EAP), which will set the EU's environmental agenda to 2020 and beyond. The commission’s proposals are due in autumn.

While Environment committee MEPs backed Rapporteur Jo Leinen, a German Socialist MEP’s call for a more ambitious waste policy, calls for a binding energy efficiency target and a reference to green public procurement were softened. The most contentious issue for MEPs was sustainable land use. Socialists, Liberals and Greens narrowly passed an amendment asking the commission to start a debate on targets in this area.

The full parliament will vote on the resolution in April. EU environment ministers are due to hold their first debate on 7EAP in the same month. They also want the EU executive to ensure that Europe’s environmental impact assessment law contributes to sustainable land use. The scope of assessments should be tightened and extended beyond big projects, and should take a life-cycle approach, MEPs agreed. The commission has proposed a "light” EIA review this summer.

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