EEL News Service 2007/6, 22 March 2007 (http://www.eel.nl)
* Tackling Climate Change – An Appraisal of the Kyoto Protocol and options for the future
Date: 30 and 31 March 2007
Location: T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands
Click here for more detailed information.
Added to Policy Areas, Air
*EEA-Report 5/2007: ‘Air pollution by ozone in Europe in summer 2006’
In the report of 15 March 2007, the European Environmental Agency confirmed that ozone pollution in 2006 was at its second worst level in ten years (it was even worse in 2003). The EU’s 2010 target value of 120 micrograms per cubic meter of one hour ozone concentration (see Directive 2002/3/EC) was exceeded in many occasions and very widespread. During the hot summer, especially the Mediterranean capitals were affected. Northern Italy reported the highest level of 370 micrograms per cubic meter.
Added to Policy Areas, Climate Change
* Norway will join the EU carbon-trading scheme
On 8 March 2007, Norway agreed to join the EU emissions trading scheme, despite the fact that it is not an EU member. The Norwegian trading scheme will overlap with the EU ETS second phase (2008-2012). However, Norway claims that the Norwegian scheme will be more stringent than the EU ETS in terms of national limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
* EU agrees on climate change measures
On 9 March 2007, European heads of state and government agreed to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, compared to the 1990 level. If other developed countries join in, the EU will take it even further and increase the percentage to 30 percent. The compromise was heavily debated in the last weeks with shifting alliances between those Member States that wanted a binding target and other that desired more flexibility. National targets will be agreed in country-by-country cooperation. The European Council also adopted the action plan Energy Policy for Europe (2007-2009) with a strong focus on the promotion of renewable energy.
* Temporary committee on climate change
On 15 March 2007, the European Parliament decided to set up a temporary committee on climate change. The decision still has to be formally confirmed, after the committee’s mandate has been defined. It will not have any legislative powers and the term of office will be one year, with the possibility for Parliament to extend the office period.
* Market survey shows EU ETS success
A market study performed by Point Carbon among participants in the EU Emission Trading Scheme has shown that two-thirds of the EU companies have initiated internal abatement programmes. This figure was only 15% a year ago. The firms also indicated they are not considering re-location for reasons of emission costs, which was one of the Member States major fears at the start of the EU ETS.
Added to Policy Areas, Dangerous Substances
* EFSA report on MRLs
On 15 March 2007, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a reasoned opinion on the potential chronic and acute risk to consumers’ health arising from proposed temporary EU Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). EFSA warns that 144 MRLs for pesticides could pose a risk to consumers, whilst 92 MRLs seem rather safe.
Added to Policy Areas, Energy
* EU to combat ‘fuel tank tourism’
The Commission has issued a proposal for action against ‘tank tourism’. This is caused by existing tax differentials on diesel used by trucks (“commercial gas oil”) which creates distortions of competition within the liberalized Internal Market of the haulage sector. Countries with higher duties are losing billions of euros of tax revenues. The proposal envisages a raise in the minimum diesel duty up to €359 per 1,000 litres, just as the current petrol minimum, in 2012.
Added to Policy Areas, Nature & Agriculture
* Commissioner Dimas on safeguarding biodiversity
Speech by Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for environment, on “Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010: the EU action plan and DG Environment’s initiative on supporting business for biodiversity”, Brussels, 22 February 2007
Added to Policy Areas, Water
* Rivers worldwide endangered by human activity
According to a World Wildlife Fund report, rivers on all continents are seriously threatened because of different types of human activity, such as the building of dams, excessive irrigation, over-fishing, pollution and climate change. In Europe the Danube has lost 80% of its swamps because of too much construction facilitating the accessibility of the river and removing so-called bottlenecks in the river. The report suggests that more than 85% of the Danube area could fail to comply with the EU’s Water Framework Directive.
* Commission’s approach on safe drinking water meets opposition
The World Development Movement has issued a report in which it criticizes the EU’s promotion of privatisation as a means of tackling global water problems under the 2002 EU Water Initiative. In the run-up to World Water Day on 22 March 2007 the NGO, supported by 45 civil society and labour organizations, claimed that public sector involvement is often much more transparent and accountable.
Added to National Pages, Poland
* Commission gives final warning on construction of bypasses in highway
On 28 February 2007, the European Commission gave a final warning concerning the damage to wildlife habitats in Poland caused by the construction of two new bypasses. The Commission supports the improvement of roads in Poland, but urges that this is done in a less environmentally harmful manner.
Added to National Pages, United Kingdom
* Draft climate change bill puts UK in the lead
On 13 March 2007, the UK government presented a draft climate change bill. The bill main points are: binding targets to reduce emissions by 60 percent in 2050, binding five-year climate change budgets, establishment of a Committee on Climate Change and regular and transparent reporting. The draft bill is currently open for public consultation, with a closing date of 12 June 2007, and will also have to be ratified by the parliament.
Added to National Pages, Belgium
* Belgium approves inefficient household appliances ban
From 1 July 2007 on, all freezers, fridges and washing machines rated lower than A according to the EU Energy Efficiency Rating Scheme will be banned from the Belgian market. This is indicated in a new act approved by the Belgian government on 19 March 2007. The banning of these goods in Belgium raises questions as to internal market rules, which is why the EU Commission is required to give its opinion of the justifiability of the measure. The measure is said to be unique in the world and forms part of a broader package of new and stricter Belgian environmental legislation.
Added to National Pages
* National pages have been updated with news, case law, legislation and recent developments in EEL. See, inter alia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Croatia, Italy and Bulgaria
Added to Events
* Russia and the Kyoto Protocol
This conference brings together the Russian authorities, project owners and developers, emission reduction buyers, potential project hosts, technology providers, carbon investors and analysts.
Date: 24-25 May 2007
Location: Grand Conference Hall, St. Petersburg National Mining Institute
* Women’s Health & the Environment
At this conference you can learn about recent and important discoveries in environmental health and walk away with strategies for designing a safer and healthier world. The conference features an illustrious panel of highly respected scientists, environmentalists and activists.
Date: 20 April 2007
Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Added to Job Postings
* The World Conservation Union
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is looking for a European Programme Coordinator to start as soon as possible.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 30 March 2007
* DG for energy and transport
The Commission is creating a reserve list of approximately 50 candidates in order to fill some 25 administrator posts in the fields of Transport, Energy and Nuclear Energy in Directorate-General for Energy and Transport. These posts are for nationals of the 12 countries of the two recent EU enlargements.
Deadline: 13 April 2007 12 am
* Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles
The Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles (MEDASSET) is an international non-governmental organization. It is looking for a new full time executive director, who should be a native Greek-speaker, with good English skills.
Location: Athens, Greece
Deadline: 8 April 2007
* Alcoa Foundation’s Fellowship Program
The Alcoa international fellowship program is created to advance the knowledge and support for exemplary work in the field of conservation and sustainability through fellowships to outstanding academics and practitioners from non-governmental organizations (NGO). Visit www.alcoafoundationfellows.org
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)