Added to Case Law, ECJ
C-442/06 Commission vs. Italy
ECJ 10-04-2008 not yet reported
On 10 April 2008 the European Court of Justice condemned Italy for infringement of Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Council Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste. Italy did not transpose Directive 1999/31/EC into national law by the agreed deadline (16 July 2001) and continued to apply the old, less stringent rules to newly opened landfills. The ECJ ruled that Italy “could have and should have” subjected these landfills to the new EU requirements, thus the country “intentionally” infringed Community law.
C-522/06 Commission vs. Belgium
ECJ 03-04-2008 not yet reported
On 3 April 2008 the European Court of Justice ruled that Belgium failed to comply with Regulation (EC) No. 2037/2000 on substances that deplete the ozone layer. According to the Court, Belgium breached the Regulation twice: first, it did not define minimum qualification levels for certain employees handling these substances. Second, the country also failed to take all preventive measures to reduce ozone-depleting substances leakage in the Walloon Region.
Added to Sectors, General
* Commission announces legal actions against Member States
On 3 April 2008 the European Commission announced to bring Italy before the European Court of Justice for failing to draw up emergency plans for a significant number of its industrial installations, as requested by Directive 96/82/EC on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances (Seveso Directive). On the same day, Italy was given reasoned opinion for failing to adequately transpose and implement Council Directive 95/21/EC on port state control of shipping. The Commission also sent a reasoned opinion to Poland for omitting to communicate the transposition of Directive 2005/32/EC establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products (Ecodesign Directive). A reasoned opinion was addressed also to Hungary; the country was given this final warning for not implementing properly Directive 79/409/EC on the conservation of wild birds. In the meantime, the Commission decided not to take any further actions against Finland regarding Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. In addition, Greece and Latvia were also sent reasoned opinions for failing to submit their National Energy Efficiency Action Plans as required by Directive 2006/32/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services.
Added to Sectors, Air
* Ambient Air Quality Directive approved
Following intense negotiations between the Parliament and the Council, on 14 April 2008 the revised directive on air quality was finally adopted. The main new element of the Directive is the establishment of a 25 ug/m3 maximum emission level for PM2.5 (fine particles with a diameter less than 2.5 millionths of a metre). In urban areas, PM2.5 level caps are set to 20 ug/m3; in addition, a 20% reduction is required in these regions under the new law until 2020 compared to 2010 levels. The new directive also ensures that Member States will have greater flexibility with regards transposition. Implementation can be postponed as far as large particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide and benzene are concerned, respectively until 2011 and 2015. The directive must be transposed into national law by May 2010. The limits set by the directive will be reviewed by the European Commission 2013.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
* 2008 work plan agreed on UN climate meeting
The first UN meeting on climate change since the setting of the roadmap for a post-2012 agreement in Bali was concluded on 4 April 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand. Delegates from 162 countries discussed details of the Bali roadmap and agreed on a work programme for 2008, which would ensure that negotiations are concluded at the end of 2009 in Copenhagen. Parties agreed on the continuation of the use of the flexible mechanisms (Emissions Trading, Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation). Forest and land-use activities would also be used to intensify emission reductions. International negotiations on the post-2012 regime will continue in Bonn in May 2008 and in Poznan where COP14 and COP/MOP4 are scheduled from 1 to 12 December 2008.
* IPPC releases Technical Report on climate change affects on water
On 9 April 2008 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) launched the “IPPC Technical Paper on Climate Change and Water”. The Technical Paper elaborates on the water-related aspects of the IPPC Fourth Assessment Report and warns about the potentially strong impact of climate change to the world’s freshwater sources. The report projects the rise of extremities: an increasing risk of floods and of drought, as well as a subsequent growth of pollution in waters. The IPPC questions the ability of current water management practices to cope with the impacts. Adaptation can ensure water supply but requires intensified co-operation and mitigation measures can help reducing the impacts, but only at the cost of substantial water requirements, states the Technical Report.
Added to Sectors, Water
* Pollution ”hot spots” identified in the Mediterranean
On 10 April 2008 the European Commission, jointly with the European Investment Bank, presented a study that identified 181 key pollution areas and 44 priority projects aimed at tackling environmental pollution in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The majority of the projects involve sewage treatment, while waste management and industrial emission reductions are also suggested. The study is the basis for the proposed Mediterranean Hot Spot Investment Programme (MeHSIP) and it was undertaken as part of the Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, an initiative established to address environmental problems in the Mediterranean.
* IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee tightens rules on SO2 emissions
On 3 April 2008 the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) approved significant amendments to the MARPOL Annex VI regulations to reduce harmful emissions from ships. MEPC decided to decrease the maximum permissible sulphur content of marine fuels to 0.5% from 2020, compared to the present cap of 4.5%. The 57th session of the MEPC, held from 31 March to 4 April also made progress regarding the proposed ship recycling convention, the Ballast Water Management Convention and designated the Papahãnaumokuãkea Marine National Monument as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area.
Added to National Pages, Bulgaria
* Bulgaria is allowed to clear up its former mines under competition rules
On 2 April 2008 the European Commission ensured Bulgaria that clearing up former mining sites with government help was allowed under EU competition rules. The Commission decided that the 19 million Euros financing the operations and granted to the former coal mining companies and the cleaning companies under a four year period do not constitute state aid under Community law. Nor did it provide selective economic advantage to the buyers of these lands.
Added to National Pages, Spain
* Spain introduces programme for voluntary emission reductions
On 7 April 2008 a programme was launched by the Spanish government to encourage voluntary carbon cuts. The programme targets private companies that are outside the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and is expected to result in a one million tonnes yearly reduction. The Independent Spanish
Sustainability Observatory (OSE) will acknowledge efforts made under the programme by giving its logo to participating firms and boosting their corporate image before the public.
News and events
Added to Events
* The Amsterdam Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency 2008
This event will offer participants the chance to engage with expert practitioners and contribute to debates around sustainability and reporting. Participants will benefit from a combination of learning from leading opinion formers, opportunities for dialogue, possibilities to expand their network and discover new trends in the world of sustainability reporting.
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Date: 7-9 May 2008
* The 7th Responsible Business Summit
The Responsible Business Summit is a seventh-time event, offering excellent networking opportunities, insightful and challenging topics and sessions and unrivalled speakers, from CEOs of multi-national corporations to thought leaders in the field of CR. Current keynote speakers include the European Presidents of DuPont and Starbucks, the European Chairman of Microsoft, the Executive Editor of the Economist, and CEOs from Wilhelmsen and Kraft (UK).
Location: London, UK
Date: 13-14 May 2008
* Regulating Food Safety and Environmental Protection: Legal Issues
The purpose of this two-day PhD-seminar is to analyze and compare legal issues in the regulation of food safety and environmental protection, especially related to food production. The seminar will have sessions focused on several themes, including pre-market approval schemes, traceability and labelling, and trade law, as well as public-private regulation.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: 19-20 May 2008
* Corporate Climate Response 2008
This event will bring together companies, regulators and other experts to discuss the best solutions for companies looking to mitigate their carbon footprints. This event will include sessions on carbon footprint and life-cycle analysis, energy efficiency, choosing green power sources, offsetting and emissions trading, climate adaptation, and engaging the public on global warming issues. Attendees will also learn about the latest update in climate change policy and how it will impact businesses.
Location: London, UK
Date: 19-21 May 2008
Added to Vacancies
* United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Associate Legal Officer, P-2
The Associate Legal Officer will support the implementation of the programme of work of the Division, will assist to the organisation of meetings between the UNEP and the MEA secretariats and will contribute to the preparation and finalisation of various materials including briefing notes and outreach materials.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 19 April 2008
* DG Competition Directorate “Markets and Cases I: Energy and Environment” – Director, AD14
In the context of the enlargement of the European Union, the European Commission is recruiting a number of senior officials from the twelve new Member States (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia). The Director will have to provide overall strategic orientation and management. He will have specific responsibilities in the field of the Directorate for the application of articles 81, 82 and 86 of the EC Treaty and derived legislation (notably the EU Antitrust and Merger Regulations) and for EU policies in the field of State Aid control, within the framework set by the Directorate-General’s mission statement and annual work programme.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 24 April 2008
* University of Amsterdam – PhD student
Candidates may choose between two topics: “Management plans as an instrument of European nature protection law” or “International liability for climate change and its impacts.” The PhD candidate will be executing scientific research, under supervision, resulting in a dissertation. He/she will also attend research training and teach in the field of European environmental law.
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Deadline: 28 April 2008
* University of Amsterdam – PhD student in project ‘Differentiated obligations in European Environmental Law’
The PhD research will focus on the possibilities of differentiation within European standards in environmental law. The questions to be looked into are: to what extent is there room for deviation from these standards by a Member State, and can there be a variety of standards between Member States? What are the relevant developments in European legislation and what causes these developments? And in this respect, what are the differences between different fields of environmental policy?
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Deadline: 28 April 2008
* WWF – Leader, Coral Triangle Network Initiative
WWF is seeking to recruit a Leader for the Coral Triangle Network Initiative, who will provide dynamic leadership to the WWF network in the development and implementation of this ambitious and high profile conservation initiative.
Location: one of the Coral Triangle countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands or Fiji)
Deadline: 30 April 2008
* The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – multiple positions
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is organising a selection procedure in order to establish a reserve list for temporary agents for the following positions: Head of Unit – Human Resources and Facility Management (AD 12), Head of Unit – Finance (AD 12), Director of Resources Directorate (AD 13), Director of Assessment (AD 14), Director of Cooperation (AD 13).
Location : Helsinki, Finland
Deadline: 13 May 2008
Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Jens Hamer (Court of First Instance of the European Community, Luxemburg)*
* All views expressed are entirely personal and can in no way be attributed to the CFI or ECJ
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)