Added to Sectors, General
* Slovenian EU presidency begins work
On 8 January 2007, after the first official meeting between the Council Presidency and the European Commission, the Prime Minister of Slovenia issued a statement concerning the priorities of the Presidency for the upcoming half a year. He noted that the energy and climate package “, will probably be the most demanding task of the Slovenian Presidency”. In the first half of 2008, two Environmental Councils will be held; on 3 March in Brussels and on 26 June in Luxembourg. During Slovenia’s Presidency special attention will also be given to issues regarding the preservation of biodiversity.
Added to Sectors, Air
* Commission proposes directive on industrial emissions
On 21 December 2007 the European Commission tabled a proposal (COM(2007) 844) to improve the existing regulatory framework governing industrial emissions. The directive would bring significant environmental and health benefits, as it would set stricter emission levels and restrict divergence from the use of the best available techniques. It would also simplify the existing legislation by merging seven directives (including Council Directive 96/61/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control) into one piece; thus it would ease the administrative burden on the Member States.
Added to Sectors, Transport
* Regulation proposed for heavy-duty vehicle emissions
On 21 December 2007 a regulation was proposed by the European Commission (COM(2007) 851) to govern emissions from trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles, with the aim to ensure a cleaner air in the EU while preserving competitiveness of the industry. The “Euro VI” standards would reduce emissions from trucks and busses of nitrogen oxides by 80% and particulate matter by 66% from 2013, compared to the currently prevailing Euro V stage. Euro V and IV standards were regulated by directives, whereas Euro VI will take the form of a regulation in order to reduce implementation delays in the Member States.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
* Common position reached on aviation in EU ETS
On the 2842nd Environment Council meeting held in Brussels, on 20 December 2007, EU ministers agreed on a common position regarding the inclusion of the aviation sector in the EU emission trading scheme. In line with the Commission proposal (COM(2006) 818), the decision obliges airlines to pay for 10% of the permits, it establishes the same deadline for EU and for international flights and calls on Member States to maintain the 2004-2006 emission levels instead of reducing them. At the same time, the Environment Council failed to reach an agreement on the proposed Soil Framework Directive; many participants thought the proposal was clashing with the principle of subsidiarity.
* Proposal concepts emerge on the Post-2012 greenhouse gas reduction commitments, EU ETS review and Renewable Energy
The European Commission is due to present a major climate and energy package on 23 January 2008, which will include directive proposals concerning the Member States greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, the amendment of directive 2003/87/EC establishing the EU ETS and renewable energy targets for 2020.
The latest draft of the proposal for a decision on national greenhouse gas reduction targets recalls the agreement of the EU leaders on 8 March 2007 to cut the EU GHG emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels but it still does not include the details of the distribution of the global target among Member States. Furthermore, the draft proposal refers to the principle of solidarity between Member States and stresses the importance of achieving a ‘sustainable economic growth’. Also, the draft proposals indicates 2005 as the base year for the calculation of the national targets and mentions that the Member States’ GDP will be considered in the distribution of the targets.
The draft proposal on the review of the EU ETS introduces a European cap on installations covered of 21 per cent by 2020 compared to the 2005 levels, as well as further modifications which will be applied in the period 2013-2020. Among these, the gradual decrease of the percentage of free allocations to installations and the increase of auctioning. The draft proposal confirms the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS as of 2013 and postpones the decision on the inclusion of maritime and road transport probably to 2011. GHG emissions from forestry and agriculture sectors are also not included.
The draft proposal concerning the renewable energy targets does not yet include the details of the division among the Member States of the EU wide target of 20% share or renewable energy sources by 2020 but it is more clear on the trading of “guarantees of origin – GOs” as one of the tool Member States are allowed to use in order meet their targets. GOs generated within the EU can be freely exchanged among EU energy suppliers, while certificated from non-EU countries may be subject to terms or limits to be decided at the national level.
Notably the following recent information was introduced:
Added to National pages, Czech Republic
* Czech government introduces new green taxation regime
As of the beginning of 2008, a new environmental excise tax has been introduced in the Czech Republic. As part of the endeavour to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the legislator discourages the use of brown coal for heating by demanding a higher tax rate from consumers favouring this method to less polluting fuels.
Added to National Pages, Germany
The Legislation section of the national page has been updated with important acts covering the major sectors of environmental law. In addition, useful internet sources to German environmental legislation have been included.
News and events
Added to Events
* World Biofuels Markets Congress
With 1300 participants from 58 countries attending in 2007, the conference is Europe’s largest gathering of biofuels professionals. Since its inception in 2006, the congress has grown exponentially to become the must-attend conference for industry experts looking to share best practices and attract new clients.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 12-14 March 2007
* Scottish Energy and Environment Conference 2008
SEEC is a networking, exhibiting and conferencing event for suppliers and buyers of the latest energy and environmental technologies. It focuses on renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental management, safety, health and environment and general technical innovation.
Location: Glasgow, UK
Date: 5 February 2008
Added to Job Postings
* University of Groningen – PhD Position at the Department of Administrative Law and Public Administration
The PhD candidate will be involved in the Project ”stricter national environmental standards after minimum harmonisation”. Minimum harmonisation is becoming more and more popular in European legislation. However, a preliminary exploration of the research field seems to suggest that Member States make very little use of their powers to lay down or maintain more stringent environmental standards. The aim of this study is to show whether this hypothesis is correct and what legal causes may be found for it.
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
* WWF International – Marine Manager
The Marine Manager will be one of WWF’s top fisheries advisors and will be expected to represent WWF in major conservation and policy forums.
Location: Gland, Switzerland
Deadline: 11 January 2008
* WWF – Leader, “New Global Climate Deal” Initiative
The successful candidate will lead the WWF network in the “New Global Climate Deal” initiative, spearheading international advocacy and partnerships and orchestrating intensive national efforts in key countries to achieve the “New Global Climate Deal” objectives.
Location: WWF office in major European city depending on candidate
Deadline: 21 January 2008
* Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) – Temporary Agents
The Community Fisheries Control Agency is organising selection procedures with a view to drawing up reserve lists for the following positions: legal officer, human resources officer, budget and finance officer, desk manager of operations (four positions) and assistant for coordination of operations.
Location: Vigo, Spain
Deadline: 31 January 2008
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)
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)