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CBI response to Industrial Emissions Directive Vote

The CBI, the UK’s leading business group, commented on the outcome of this week's vote on the Industrial Emissions Directive in the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in Brussels.

Following the outcome of the vote, it is proposed that energy generators be given until the 30th of June 2019 to upgrade power plants to comply with air pollution targets, or face closure. The CBI argues that energy generators need until 2021 to comply with the Directive to give them enough time to build other low-carbon energy sources to replace lost capacity.

The CBI also rejects the proposal to replace the current flexible risk-based approach to monitoring industrial emissions with a one-size-fits-all European Safety Net. It argues this will undermine the flexibility of member states to decide how best to meet air pollution targets.

Sean McGuire, Director of CBI Brussels, said:

“The Committee’s proposal to extend the timescale for power plants to comply with the Industrial Emissions Directive from 2016 to 2019 is helpful, but it still does not go far enough.

“There is a risk that the UK will not be able to build other low-carbon energy sources in time to replace lost capacity. A phased introduction for this directive would allow the UK to make a smoother transition to a more balanced energy mix. This also has the backing of the majority of EU member states.

“We also believe that the current flexible risk-based approach should remain the basis for meeting air pollution targets, rather than the one-size-fits-all Europe-wide approach under consideration.”

Following today’s vote, negotiations will take place between the Council and European Parliament, before the Directive is due to be voted on in a plenary session in Strasbourg in July.

Notes to Editors:

The CBI is the UK's leading business organisation, speaking for some 240,000 businesses that together employ around a third of the private sector workforce. With offices across the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.

The draft Industrial Emissions Directive will update the existing Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive, passed in 1996, which regulates how much pollution industrial installations can emit each year.

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