4th Annual Brussels Climate Change Conference
The Centre for European Policy Studies
26th & 27th February, Management Centre Europe, Brussels
After a series of high profile events related to climate change throughout 2007 such as the G8 summit or the major economies meeting, the climate change negotiations during the COP13 in Bali have accepted a roadmap for the negotiations for a post-2012 climate change agreement. After taking stock of the state of negotiations, this joint CEPS/Epsilon conference will explore the key issues for the post-2012 agreement.
For more information and to register, please go to www.climate-policy.eu, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call James Wilmott on +44 (0) 2920 894 757.
Please note: EEL readers save €150 off the fee for attendance. Please select use the discount code EEL2008 to qualify.
Added to Case law, WTO
On 3 December 2007, the Appellate Body issued its ruling, reversing a number of findings of the Panel, notably where it concerned the inconsistencies of the Brazilian import restrictions on retreated tyres with the ‘chapeau’ of Article XX. This will make it hard or impossible for Brazil to upkeep its import restrictions, just like the EU set out when launching this appeal. One interesting aspect of the case is the way in which this WTO Appellate Body, judging the case on the basis of WTO law, looks into the defence strategy of Brazil in a Mercosur case about the same import restrictions where an environmental protection clause was not invoked.
Added to Case Law, ECJ
C-342/07, Commission vs. Greece
ECJ 17-01-2008, nyr
On 17 January 2008 the European Court of Justice condemned Greece for failing to fulfil its obligations under Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings. Several other states are involved currently in similar legal proceedings for non-compliance with the above mentioned directive.
Added to Sectors, General
* Climate action and renewable energy package tabled
On 23 January 2008 the European Commission tabled a significant package of proposals entitled the “Climate action and renewable energy package”, with the aim to realise the political declaration made by the Heads of State of Government on 9 March 2007, notably the share of 20% for renewables in the EU’s overall energy consumption and the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions by at least 20%.
The proposal for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (COM(2008) xxx) is intended to regulate emissions from sources not covered by the EU emission trading scheme. Member States are requested to reduce – starting from 2013 – their GHG emissions by 20% compared to 2005 levels. The proposed decision is based on the principle of solidarity; thus, it sets different emission caps for each Member State. Emission limits to be reached by 2020 compared to 2005 range from -20% target for Denmark, Ireland and Luxembourg to +20% for Bulgaria.
As for the proposal on renewables (COM(2008) yyy), it will fix in law the 20% share target and a 10% binding minimum share of biofuels in the transport sector. An important part of the proposal is to set up a system of “guarantees of origin” to indicate that the energy was produced from renewable sources, a challenging provision in light of WTO obligations of the EU. These documents are issued at the request of the energy producer.
In a speech held in London on 21 January 2008, Commission President José Manuel Barroso noted that the proposed climate package altogether would cost around 0.5% of the GDP of the EU (or 3 euros per week per EU citizen); he added that reports showed that the cost of inaction would have been at least ten times higher.
* Revised state aid rules
On 23 January 2008 the European Commission also published a revision of state aid guidelines for environmental protection, in order to support the changes introduced by the climate and energy package. According to the proposal, the allowed amount of state aid can vary depending on the size on the enterprise: small companies can receive up to 70-80%, medium-sized businesses 60-70%, while large enterprises 60-70% state subsidy for their investments of environmental nature. Actions aiming at the remediation of contaminated sites can receive up to 100% subsidy, while projects that merely facilitate compliance with existing EU rules would not be qualified for state aid.
Added to Sectors, Air
* MEPS vote on airport charges proposal
The European Parliament decided at first reading on the proposal for airport charges (COM(2006)0820). MEPS introduced a more flexible approach to the proposal, when they agreed on giving airlines the discretion to vary charges, for instance on the basis of environmental performance or noise pollution. The EP resolution demands however that any criteria applied should be relevant, objective and transparent.
Added to Sectors, Transport
* EP resolution on CARS 21 Communication
On 15 January 2008 the European Parliament adopted a resolution in connection with the “Communication from the Commission to propose an Automotive Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century” on the basis of the CARS 21 High Level Group final report. In the resolution MEPs considered and average target of 125g/km of CO2 emissions for new passenger cars for 2015 to be achievable, as opposed to the 130g/km by 2012 proposed by the Commission (COM/2007/22).
Notably the following recent information was introduced:
Added to National pages, France
* Ruling on Erika accident
The Paris Criminal Court on 16 January 2008 condemned French oil company Total for the oil spill caused by the tanker Erika in 1999. This is the first criminal case in France where a company was found guilty for causing environmental damage. French environmental minister Jean-Louis Borloo declared this ruling a significant milestone in the history of national environmental litigation. Total can submit an appeal until 26 January 2008.
Added to National pages, Italy
* Naples waste crisis condemned by Commissioner
The Italian authorities received strong criticism from Stavros Dimas for being unable to avert or stop the culmination of waste in Campania region of Italy since 21 December 2007. On 15 January 2008 the environment Commissioner expressed his condemnation in the European Parliament, saying that the present situation was the result of fourteen years of inadequate implementation of EU waste legislation, many times pointed out by rulings of the European Court of Justice. The commissioner noted that removing the waste would not be enough; long-term strategic measures were needed to address the problem.
Added to National Pages, Norway
* Deca-BDE almost completely banned in Norway
As of 1 April 2008, the use of brominated flame retardant deca-BDE will significantly be narrowed, according to the announcement of the Norwegian Ministry for Environment. The amendments to the regulation on the use of chemicals dangerous to health and environment were already accepted on 9 December 2007, but they were only made public on 17 January 2008. The modified law restricts the use of the substance to certain types of vehicles.
Added to National Pages, Slovakia
* Slovakia withdraws legal claim concerning its NAP
On 15 January 2008 Slovakia publicly announced the withdrawal of its claim before the European Court of Justice, in which the country contested the decision of the European Commission on its National Allocation Plan. Slovakia according to this decision would have been required to cut its industrial emission allocations significantly. The country then decided to pursue legal actions against the Commission; many new Member States followed this example. On 7 December 2007, the Commission raised Slovakia’s National Allocation plan by 1.7 million tonnes; according to the country this was satisfactory enough to achieve the withdrawal of the claim.
* European Union Sustainable Energy Week
In this second edition EUSEW has grown a lot: this year more than 100 institutions are organising more than 70 events in eight countries under a common banner: “Take a Week to change Tomorrow”. The European Commission created EUSEW as the central event of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign. The aim is to offer stakeholders a forum to foster debate and joint action on sustainable energy.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 28 January – 1 February 2008
* European Conference on Local Energy Action: The 7th Annual Event for Energy Management Agents
As part of “EUSEW 2008: The Second EU Sustainable Energy Week”, the seventh ManagEnergy annual conference will focus on local energy actions for a sustainable Europe.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 29 January – 1 February 2008
* ACR+ International conference on waste and climate change
Explore the vital role that waste management has to play in climate change in this topical two-day international conference. High profile expert speakers from Europe and Canada will lead debate on energy recovery, waste prevention, recycling and organic waste.
Location: London, UK
Date: 29 January – 1 February 2008
* The External Energy Policy of the European Union
The 2008 annual event addresses the external factors of the EU energy policy though a conference programme that includes speeches from Andris Pielbags, EU Commissioner for Energy and Javier Solana, High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 31 January – 1 February 2008
* Modernised Waste Management Concept in the EU
The seminar addresses the new strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste presented by the Commission in 2005. It will be of interest to all the stakeholder groups and aims to bring them together in order to discuss proposals and new approaches in a constructive manner.
Location: Paris, France
Date: 14-15 February 2008
Added to Vacancies
* 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, The Netherlands
* WWF International Arctic Programme, multiple positions
WWF International is looking for suitable candidates for its Arctic Programme, including an Arctic Governance Officer, who will be responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing activities to achieve WWF’s objectives of improving governance in the Arctic region, an Arctic Campaigner who will be entrusted with designing, planning and coordinating campaigns to achieve WWF’s objectives in the Arctic region and a Head of Conservation to develop and oversee all conservation work in the Arctic Network Initiative.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Deadline: 27 January 2008
* WWF Cambodia Country Programme – Landscape Biodiversity Monitoring Advisor
The advisor will be working with a team of WWF national staff and government rangers to plan and implement research and monitoring systems for priority species’ populations.
Location: Sen Monorum, Cambodia
Deadline: 15 February 2008
* United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Associate Administrative Officer, P-2
The associate administrative officer will be responsible for managing human resources, budget and finance matters as well as will carry out tasks related to general administration.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 22 March 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)