EEL News Service 2007/16, 27 September 2007

The Kyoto Protocol and Beyond – Legal and Policy Challenges of Climate Change, W.Th. Douma, L. Massai and M. Montini (Eds.) Distributed for T.M.C. Asser Press by Cambridge University Press, 2007
This book, authored by experts in European and international law, addresses the climate change regime and lays down conclusions from past experiences and propositions for future policy design. It is a highly recommended reading for policy makers, academics and practitioners and in general everyone concerned with the present alarming climate change.

Added to Case Law:

* Case C-388/05, Commission vs. Italian Republic
ECJ, 20-09-2007, not yet reported
In this judgement, the Court condemned Italy for failing to take appropriate steps to avoid, in the special protection area ‘Valloni e steppe pedegarganiche’, the deterioration of natural habitats and the habitats of species as well as disturbance of the species for which that area was established. As such, Italy has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 4(4) of Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds in respect of the period before 28 December 1998and its obligations under Article 6(2) of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora in respect of the period after that date
Sector: Nature

* Case C-304/05, Commission vs. Italian Republic
ECJ, 20-09-2007, not yet reported
The ECJ found that Italy has failed to comply with its obligations under Article 6(2) to (4) of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, in conjunction with Article 7 of that directive, and under Article 4(1) and (2) of Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds. Among others, the Court applied in this judgement the Waddenzee jurisprudence to the assessment of the environmental impact of works to modify ski runs.
Sector: Nature

* Case C-439/05 P and C-454/05 P, Land Oberösterreich and Republic of Austria vs. Commission
ECJ, 13-09-2007, not yet reported
On 13 September 2007, the European Court of Justice dismissed a joined appeal brought by the Land Oberösterreich and the Republic of Austria challenging the decision of the Court of First Instance. The judgement delivered by the CFI on 5 October 2005 approved the decision of the Commission, according to which the 2002 Upper Austrian law imposing a general ban on GMOs did not address a problem specific to the region; thus it did not fulfil the criteria of Article 95(5) of the EC Treaty, which allows for diverting from harmonised measures.
Sector: Nature

* T-28/07, Fels-Werke and Others vs. Commission
CFI 11-09-2007, not yet reported, not yet available in English
In this judgement, the CFI has declared inadmissible the application of a German undertaking challenging the Commission’s decision on the German NAP, as the decision is addressed to Germany and the applicants are not individually concerned.
Sector: Climate change

Added to Legislation, Water

* New Directive on flood management
The Council accepted all the amendments proposed by the European Parliament at the second reading and adopted a Directive on the assessment and management of flood risks (PE-CONS 3618/07). The document points out that the objectives regarding flood risks should be based on local circumstances and thus should be determined by the Member States themselves. The Directive calls for the assessment of activities that have the effect of increasing food risks and for that aim the establishment of flood hazard maps, flood risk maps as well as flood risk management plans.
Added to Sectors, Chemicals

* REACH Downstream users receive preliminary guidance
The European Chemicals Agency has published a draft guidance document concerning the duties of downstream users under REACH, in order to help the preparation of the group firms most affected by the new rules to comply with the EU’s chemical reform legislation. The document, which sets our practical requirements, important deadlines and the consequences of failure to comply, is part of a draft which will be finalised during the autumn.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change

* Montreal Protocol parties make stronger commitments for combating climate change
On 21 September, the 191 parties to the Montreal Protocol that gathered together on 16 September on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the document reached an agreement on common goals to combat climate change. Hydrofuelcarbons (HCFCs), a family of ozone-depleting and greenhouse gases, according to the final decision would be phased out completely by 2020 for industrialised and by 2030 for developing nations, which is ten years earlier than the previously agreed goal. In experts’ opinions the deal reached will keep HCFCs use from a likely doubling by 2015.

* Presidency calls for intensified cooperation to tackle climate change
In light of the upcoming international climate change discussions, on 19 September the Portuguese Presidency has released a statement about the EU’s position on this matter. The document reiterates the ambitious commitments the EU undertook and reminded that addressing the problems related to climate change would require a drastic cut of greenhouse gas emissions. The statement suggested eight building blocks for a framework of joint action, including an increased cooperation on technology research or addressing emission from aviation and maritime transportation.

Added to Sectors, Energy

* Energy liberalisation for increased efficiency and facilitating ETS
The Commission’s third energy liberalisation package was presented on 19 September 2007, with the aim among others to stimulate energy efficiency and to allow for the proper functioning of the Emissions Trading Scheme. The proposal mainly focuses on the separation of network operators and gas and electricity suppliers and sets out two solutions: one option is a complete ownership unbundling;; the other is the creation of independent system of operators designated by the national governments, which would decide on network-related questions if the owner of the network is also involved in supply. The Commission insists on the first solution, while France and Germany, which are having a great interest in the sectors, together with other Member States, already have threatened to veto it. The need to empower national energy regulators as well as an increased transparency of the market is also pointed out in the package.

Added to Sectors, Water

* The Commission ordered an early close-down of Bluefin tuna fisheries
On 19 September 2007, the Commission decided to close the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean fisheries for bluefin tuna for 2007, as the EU quota of 16.779,5 tonnes allocated by ICCAT (The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) has been exhausted. The quotas were introduced as part of the ICCAT Recovery Plan, which aims at preventing the species from collapse, an actual danger as a result of many years of over fishing according to scientists.

Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture

* Set-aside rate proposed to be set to zero for the following months
On 13 September 2007, the Commission proposed to divert from the ECEC rule that requires a certain part of the land to be left fallow. In light of the extreme weather conditions of this summer and the poor cereal production resulting in sharply rising prices, a 0% set-aside rate was suggested for autumn 2007 and spring 2008, instead of the fixed 10%. The rule in general is about to be revised in November; Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, pledged to retain the environmental benefits brought by the system.

National Pages

The following national pages have been updated: Hungary, Italy, Israel, Russia, and Sweden

Notably the following recent information was introduced:

Added to National pages, Israel

* Tyre Disposal and Recycling Plan Begins to Roll Out
The Tyre Disposal and Recycling Law became effective on July 1st, 2007. In line with the principle of extended producer responsibility, the law prescribes that tyre producers and importers must collect an initial but gradually rising 50% of the tyres that they have put on the market at the end of the tyre life and deal with the tyres’ disposal or recycle.
Added to National pages, Italy

* New decrees on eco-compatibility and on changes in the field of Environmental Impact Assessment and waste disposal
On 10 September 2007, the Italian government approved the decree on eco-compatibility establishing an integrated system for the evaluation of the costs of the environmental impact in the transport sector, economic development and social policy. A new decree amending decree n. 152/2006 Codice dell’Ambiente was also adopted on 13 September 2007 by the Council of Ministers, bringing together changes in the field of Environmental Impact Assessment and waste disposal.
Added to National Pages, Sweden

* Swedish Government to spend a billion on combating climate change
Between 2008 and 2010, the Swedish Government will allocate a billion euros in total for measures to combat climate change. According to the announcement of 12 September 2007 of the Ministries of industry, environment and agriculture, the “climate billion” will be included in the 2008 autumn budget and will be spent among other objectives on energy efficiency measures, on climate research and on projects involving second-generation bio fuels, wind farming and sustainable cities programmes.

News and events
Added to Upcoming Events

* The Challenge of Change: The Athens Summit – Global Climate and Energy Security
The Greek Minister of Development, Mr. Dimitris Sioufas, has invited the Ministers of Energy from 45 countries of Europe, East Europe, Middle East and the Mediterranean to exchange views during the Athens Summit on 16 October. The discussions will lead to the signature of a letter of intent (the Athens Declaration) to jointly achieve at least 20% savings on energy and generate 20% of energy from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. The letter will be signed during the Athens Summit, on 16 October 2007.
Location: Athens, Greece
Date: 14-16 October 2007

* CDM 2.0: What post-2012 mechanism do we need?

The conference, organised jointly by the Climate Action Network Europe, Hivos and The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment will aim to put ongoing discussions on the state of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) into the context of the international negotiations on a post-2012 climate treaty.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 15 October 2007

* The Eighth Global Conference on Environmental Taxation
This year’s conference in the prestigious conference series will focus on the positive effects of environmental fiscal reform – not only for the environment, but for the economy as a whole.
Location: Munich, Germany
Date: 18-20 October

* The 3rd Annual European Energy Policy Conference 2007
This conference will take stock of existing EU approaches and policies, assess the potential of a number of technology options and ask whether the EU is on track to achieving its triple energy policy objectives.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 21 November 2007
Added to Job Postings

* European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – several positions
The European Chemicals Agency is launching a call for expressions of interest with a view to establishing reserve lists for Junior Assistant Scientific Officers and Assistant Scientific Officers for its REACH operations.
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Deadline: 22 October 2007

* EUREC Agency (European Renewable Energy Centres Agency) – Secretary General
EUREC Agency, the European interest group of 47 European renewable energy research centres, is looking to fill the position of Secretary General for its representation office.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 31 October 2007

* IUCN (The World Conservation Union) – Legal Officer
The IUCN Environmental Law Centre is seeking a legal officer to contribute to its Environmental Law Programme in support of the development and implementation of international and national environmental law and policy.
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline: 28 September 2007

* EUROCITIES- Project Officer on the field of environment
The successful candidate for this position will represent EUROCITIES, the Network of major European Cities, in several European-wide projects related to sustainable urban development, environment and energy policy.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 28 September 2007

The EEL website has undergone some minor changes with regards to its content. From now on, you will find “Dossiers and papers” under the relevant sector in heading “Sectors” and “Job postings” and “Book reviews” under the “News and Events”heading. Under “News and events” you can also find “News”, which contain links to articles in major newspapers relating to the environment.

Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Jens Hamer (Academy of European Law, Trier)

Leonardo Massai (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Marianna Kondas (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)

Technical realisation:
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)