The Oireachtas Environment committee will meet with officials from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to discuss the European Environmental Action plan as part of our scrutiny of EU COM(2012)710 this Tuesday, 30th April 2013.

Environment Action Programmes have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early 1970s. The most recent programme, the 6th, expired in July 2012 and the European Commission is proposing a successor programme.

According to the Commission, there are four reasons for a successor programme. First, despite progress in some areas, major environmental challenges remain, as well as opportunities to make the environment more resilient to systemic risks and change. Second, the EU has adopted the Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, which guides policy development for the period up to 2020. Third, while many Member States are struggling to cope with the economic crisis, the need for structural reforms offers new opportunities for the EU to move towards an inclusive green economy. Finally, Rio+20 highlighted the importance of the global dimension.

The latest programme aims to step up the contribution of environment policy to the transition towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy. It provides a framework for environment policy to 2020, identifying nine priority objectives for the EU and its Member States to attain.

This is an opportunity for Committee Members to examine the programme and how it addresses the environmental challenges the EU is facing and how the programme can be integrated with other policies to achieve sustainable development.”

This meeting will start in Committee Room 4, Leinster House at 2.15pm tomorrow, Tuesday 30th April 2013.

Committee proceedings can be followed live at: