VILNIUS- The leaders of the EU member states agreed during the EU Summit inBrussels on Dec. 12 that Lithuaniamay be granted additional pollution permits after the shutdown of IgnalinaNuclear Power Plant in 2009 and the resulting increase of pollution levels.
"It is important that the European Union has understood and assessedour problems, which will emerge after the final shutdown of reactors of theIgnalina nuclear facility. Separately, the EU Summit has granted additionalcarbon dioxide emission quotas to Lithuania,thus essentially alleviating the situation of Lithuania's population and business after 2009," PresidentValdas Adamkus said.
Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius added that, "Indeed, the climate changepackage includes the problem of Ignalina, which has been resolved with thequota of additional emissions. It proves the EU solidarity, we may expectanswers how short-term problems are to be solved."
Pollution quotas will be granted to Lithuaniaconsidering the needs of its industry and population.
Kubilius said earlier that Lithuaniawould need about 4-6 million tons of additional pollution permits. The currentannual quota exceeds 8 million tons.
Other issues important for Lithuania,such as the status of an "energy island", lower GDP level, advance infighting climate change, were also considered when distributing the pollutionquotas, according to a presidential press release.
"The European Union has recognized our exceptional situation, hence, webecome responsible for faster implementation of this strategic task,"wrote President Adamkus.
On Dec. 12 the EU Summit agreed on the energy and climate change package andthe economic recovery plan, which forsees the allocation of billions of eurosof unspent money under the EU budget to trans-European energy inter-connectionsand broadband infrastructure projects.