At the European Council of Ministers on the Environment ( Luxembourg, 25-26 June), which discussed the revision of the Fifth European Environmental Action Programme, the Spanish Delegation emphasized the need to take into account regional European diversity in the formulation of common policies. The Delegation also stressed the need to place greater emphasis on nature conservation within the framework of sustainable development policy.
The European Council of Ministers approved the commitment of the EU to reduce and progressively eliminate carbon dioxide emissions. Spain accepted this commitment, relying on the principle of differentiated responsibilities.
On 23 August, the Spanish Government approved a draft bill on packaging and waste packaging that was sent to the Spanish Parliament for its approval by urgent procedure. The enactment of this bill will enable Spain to comply with European Directive 94/62/EEC, aiming at harmonizing the management of packaging and waste packaging in all the European member states to reduce the environmental impact of package materials.
José Juste Ruiz
[Editor's Note: Since there have been no country reports for Switzerland in the last volumes of the Yearbook, this report also covers developments preceding 1996]
Switzerland ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 1993 and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in late 1994. It participated actively in the ongoing negotiations on the further development of these conventions and pertinent protocols, and is one of the few countries likely to achieve the goal of stabilizing its greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. The Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, adopted in Copenhagen in 1992, was ratified in September 1996, and the Bonn Convention on the Protection of Migratory Species of Wildlife entered into force for Switzerland in 1995.