* Tackling Climate Change – An Appraisal of the Kyoto Protocol and options for the future
Date: 30 and 31 March 2006
Location: T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague, Netherlands
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Added to Policy Areas, Air
* Commission proposal for amending Directive 98/70/EC, COM(2007)18
On 31 January 2007, the Commission published a proposal for a new Directive suggesting to amend both Directive 98/70/EC on the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and the introduction of a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of road transport fuels and Directive 1999/32/EC, as regards the specification of fuel used by inland waterway vessels. The amendments would require fuel suppliers to reduce life-cycle carbon emissions of 10% by 2020.
Added to Policy Areas, Climate Change
* IPCC: human activity cause of global warming now ‘very probable’
The executive summary of the IPCC Working Group I fourth report, adopted by 113 states on Friday 2 February 2007 in Paris, provides policymakers with the highest warning yet to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. The report concludes that climate change will continue for the next centuries regardless of whether the pollution will go on. A raise of 1.8 up till 4.1 degrees in temperature by 2099 is highly probable, as well as the increase of the sea level rise of 18 up to 55 cm by 2099. Finally, more scientific certainty was provided on the question whether the increase in tropical storms such as hurricanes since 1970 is caused by human activity.
* NAPs in the EU ETS: Germany struggles, whilst Slovenia does well
In the first week of February 2007, Germany seems to have trouble sticking to its commitment to take the leading role in Europe in the fight against climate change. Following the negative decision of the Commission over the German NAP, Germany is trying to justify the need for more allowances under the emission trading system. If the Commission does not approve the German request, Germany will have to adopt additional and adequate national measures. In the meantime, Slovenia is doing rather well. Being the thirteenth country to have submitted its NAP, it is the second proposal that has been approved by the Commission. Together with the United Kingdom, Slovenia does not have to reduce the proposed amount of EU allowances.
* Commission strategy on CO2 emission cap for cars, COM(2007)19
After a long debate among the European institutions, the Commission presented on 7 February 2007 a plan for a cleaner automobile industry. The communication sets binding CO2 emission limit targets of 130 grams per kilometer by 2012. At present, the average CO2 emissions per kilometer are 160 grams. The outcome is a compromise between environment commissioner Stavros Dimas who proposed tougher limits and the automobile industry that feared to have to lay off workers as a consequence of the new EU policy. The communication is not expected to be followed by a legislative proposal before the end of this year.
Added to Policy Areas, Energy
* New Report very positive on renewables potential
According to a report of Greenpeace/EREC released on 25 January 2007, renewable energy can deliver as much as 50% of the world’s energy needs by 2050. At the present time only 13.1% of the primary energy demand is accounted for by renewables. In the EU this percentage is around 8.
* Gabriel supports Commission Renewables Roadmap
German environment minister and current president of the EU environment council Sigmar Gabriel has declared to be in favour of replacing sector-specific targets with a broader overall objective for the use of renewables. He therewith supports the Commission’s ‘roadmap’ for renewables.
Added to Policy Areas, General
Reference guide on the manufacture of solids and other industry agreed on
The drafting of EU Best Available Technology (BAT) reference documents (BREFs) for a host of industrial and agricultural sectors is progressing, as the list of BREFs and their status show. At the end of 2006 the IPPC bureau approved six BREFs. At the beginning of February 2007, the BREF for the manufacture of large volume inorganic chemicals – solids and other industry, approved in October 2006 was released. This is the last of 32 BREFs, which have been developed in the past decade. These documents will play an important role in guiding EU governments and industry through the implementation of the IPPC Directive.
Added to Policy Areas, Waste
* Commission report on targets on end-of-life vehicles
On 16 January 2007, the Commission published a report on the targets contained in Article 7(2)(b) of Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles. Directive 2000/53/EC provides that by 1 January 2015 95% of all end-of cycle vehicles must be reused and recovered and 85% must be reused and recycled by an average weight per vehicle and year. In relation to this target the Directive sets out that the Commission shall write a report on relevant environmental aspects related to vehicles so the Parliament and Council can re-evaluate the aims set for 2015. A very important aspect of this report is the assessment of possible impacts of the set targets and alternative options.
Added to National Pages, Finland
* Big expansion in the incineration of biowaste in Finland
The Finnish Environment Ministry has proposed a new national waste plan in order to achieve the EU targets for diverting biowaste from landfill. 31% of total municipal waste will be burned by 2016, representing an increase of 22%.
Added to National Pages, Netherlands
* New Dutch government to put emphasis on environment
A draft of the new Dutch government policy accord which was trickled out on 5 February 2007 shows a budgetary increase on environment policy of €850 million. A duty on airplane tickets, the differentiation of acquisition taxes on cars and an increase of energy efficiency are among the most important points of the plans.
* Rise of sea-level up to 85cm in The Netherlands
The findings of the WG1 of the fourth IPCC report of 2 February 2007 showed that the level of the sea may rise 85 centimetres in the coming century in The Netherlands, one of the Low Countries. Even though the raise is ten centimetres higher than in other countries, this is not fatal. The Dutch Meteorological Institute KNMI that worked on the UN-Report, claims that sufficient measures can be taken and that the costs are bearable.
Added to National Pages, Portugal
* Portuguese Presidency to focus on climate change
The Prime Minister of Portugal Jose Socrates has declared that his country will take a leading role in the EU’s policy on climate change when Portugal will be president of the EU during the second half of 2007. He also announced more strict measures to be introduced and targets to be set on biofuels, power sector CO2-emissions and vehicle taxes.
Added to National Pages, Spain
* Spanish government approves improving air quality law
On 19 January new Spanish air quality legislation replaced a previous law of 1972. The air quality law will ensure a more strict control of air pollution, by defining contaminants more widely and adding carbon dioxide to the list.
Added to Who‘s who, National editors
* The EEL Team is delighted to welcome in the EEL Network the following national editors:
- Julija Brsakoska (Republic of Macedonia)
- Dimitra Betsi (Greece)
*CEFIC – The European Chemical Industry
*United Nations Office at Vienna
Director, Office for Outer Space Affairs, D-2
Deadline: 19 February
* ICTSD – International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
Assistant Editor, ICTSD Publications
Deadline: 12 February
Added to Events
The market for renewable energy and energy efficient construction and renovation is growing worldwide. The “erneuerbare energien” and “Passiv-Haus,” with 8.000 visitors and 1,200 congress participants, is Germany’s renowned exhibition on international contacts within this market.
Date: 2-4 March 2007
Place: Boeblingen, Germany
*Fuelling the Future
Making the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation Work
Date: 29 March 2007
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)
Ruben Vermeeren (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Sara Woods (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)