Application No 67021/01, Tatar v. Romania
On 27 January 2009 the European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of the right to respect for private and family life on account of the Romanian authorities’ failure to protect the applicants who lived in the vicinity of the Baia Mare Aurul gold mine. The case concerned an environmental accident occurring at the site in January 2000. A United Nations study reported that a dam had breached, releasing about 100,000 m3 of cyanide-contaminated tailings water into the environment. The report stated that the company operating the gold mine had not halted its operations. The applicants complained under article 2 of the Convention (right to life) that the activities carried out by the company put their lives in danger, and that the authorities had failed to take any action. The Court observed that where pollution or noise interfered with a person’s well-being, a claim could be brought under article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and that the existence of a serious and material risk for the applicants’ health and well-being entailed a duty on the part of the State to assess the risks, both at the time it ed the operating permit and subsequent to the accident, and to take the appropriate measures.
Added to Legislation, Climate Change
*Climate and energy package officially publicised
On 5 June 2009 the new EU climate and energy legislation has been published in the Official Journal. Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 ting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehiclesentered into force on 8 June 2009 and is immediately binding in all Member States. The Regulation is ting binding emissions targets to ensure that emissions from the new car fleet are reduced to an average of 120g CO2/km. Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources will enter into force on 25 June 2009 and Member States shall transpose it into national law by 5 December 2010. The Directive s legally binding targets for each Member State, in order to reach the EU target of a 20% share of renewable energy in 2020. Directive 2009/29/EC amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community will enter into force on 25 June 2009. The revised directive ting the rules for the third phase of the EU ETS must be implemented by 31 December 2012. Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxideprovides a legal framework to manage possible environmental risks and liability issues. The Directive will enter into force on 25 June 2009 and Member States shall bring into force national laws necessary to comply with this Directive by 31 December 2010 at the latest. Directive 2009/30/EC amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will enter intro force on 25 June 2009 and Member States shall implement it into national law by 31 December 2010. A sixth law ting national emission reduction targets for sectors not covered by EU ETS is due to be published in the coming days.
Added to Sectors, General
*EIB accepts European Ombudsman’s recommendation concerning Spanish high-speed train project
Following a complaint from a resident of Barcelona alleging that a planned high-speed railway line going through Barcelona, which is co-financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), would cause serious environmental damage, the European Ombudsman called on the EIB to review and fully document the environmental impact assessment (EIA) before giving any financial assistance to this part of the project. The EIB accepted the Ombudsman’s recommendation and agreed to adjust its rules and to improve the way it documents its review of future EIAs.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
*EU greenhouse gas emissions fall in 2007 for third consecutive year
European emissions of greenhouse gases declined for the third consecutive year in 2007, according to the EU’s GHG inventory report compiled by the European Environment Agency. The EU-27’s overall domestic emissions were 9.3 % below 1990 levels, which equalled a drop of 1.2 % or 59 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent compared to 2006. The EU-15 now stands 5 % below its Kyoto Protocol base year levels. The main reasons for the emissions fall in 2007 were declines in emissions from households, due to warmer weather, and from manufacturing industries and iron and steel production. By contrast, emissions related to refrigeration and air conditioning rose.
*Commission launches public consultation on future EU ETS auctioning rules
The European Commission has opened a public consultation on rules to govern the future auctioning of emission allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Under the revised Emissions Trading Directive, auctioning of allowances will progressively replace free distribution as the default method of allocating allowances to businesses from 2013. Interested stakeholders are invited to participate by filling in the online questionnaire, until 3 August 2009. A discussion on the consultation document will be held during the Commission’s Green Week conference on 24 June in Brussels. The response will inform the Commission’s preparation of a Regulation on auctioning of allowances with respect to the third and later trading periods.
*Commission proposes amendments to OSPAR Convention to allow undersea storage of CO2
On 29 May 2009 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council decision concerning the approval on behalf of the Community of amendments to the Convention Convention for the protection of the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic (OSPAR Convention) in order to allow undersea geological storage of carbon dioxide (CCS). Under its strict dumping provisions the Convention currently prevents storage of CO2 captured and transported to underground sites in the region. EU Member states are now required to ratify the decision which indicates that no waste is added during carbon disposal and specifies that the CO2 is intended to be kept in undersea geological formations permanently, and will not lead to adverse consequences for the marine environment or human health.
Added to Sectors, Waste
*European Court of Auditors’ report on EU funds for waste water treatment
The European Court of Auditors analysed 73 co-financed treatment plants in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland, which together received over half of EU cohesion and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) spending on waste water plants in 1994-9 and 2000-6. The overall conclusion of the Court is that EU spending has contributed to an improvement in waste water treatment in the four Member States audited: the co-financed treatment plants performed to an adequate level and the vast majority of the plants complied with the requirements of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive as regards the quality of water being discharged. Problems noted included the failure of some industrial users to pre-treat their waste water as required and in some cases a lack of appropriate expertise or equipment. The Court also recommended that the Commission be more consistent and rigorous in its review of applications and improve its monitoring of project outcomes.
The following national pages have been updated: United Kingdom
Notably, the following information was introduced:
Added to National Pages, UK
*UK obtains derogation for heavy nitrate use
On 29 May 2009 the Commission ed to the UK a derogation for the purpose of allowing cattle farmers to apply livestock manure to land at rates above an annual EU limit of 170kg of nitrogen per hectare until 2012, pursuant to the third subparagraph of paragraph 2 of Annex III to Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources. According to the decision UK farmers will be allowed to apply up to 250kg of nitrogen per hectare annually on farms consisting of at least 80% grassland provided they produce annual fertilisation plans. The UK follows several other EU countries, including Denmark and Ireland in obtaining a derogation for heavy nitrate use.
Added to Upcoming Events
*First Annual Congress on Low Carbon Electricity Systems
A new annual congress has been established with the intention of exchanging knowledge on low carbon electricity systems. The congress invites the participation of professionals interested in developing their vision of low carbon electricity, including policy makers, utility planning managers, consultants, energy industry representatives, research journalists and academics.
Location: Arnhem, The Netherlands
Date: 16 June 2009
*Conference on EU and world-wide rules for classification, labelling & packaging of chemicals
The conference aims to inform authorities, industry and other stakeholders about the new provisions for classification, labelling and packaging in the EU, placing them in the global context of GHS. It will explain the main features of the new legislation, focusing on practical aspects. It will provide up-to-date information on the CLP guidance documents and tools.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 17 June 2009
Added to Vacancies
*European Environment Agency, Project Manager – Environmental economics and policies
The European Environment Agency (EEA) is organising an open competition with a view to recruiting a contract agent to work as project manager within the area of environmental economics and policies and further with a view to establishing a reserve list. The Project Manager shall be responsible for supporting major assessments with economic analysis relevant to the environmental policy priorities of the European . Duties will include the assessment of the environmental, health, ecological and social impacts of economic activities e.g. of the industrial, energy, transport, household and food/agricultural sectors and of the same range of impacts from environmental policy measures.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Deadline: 6 July 2009
*European Photovoltaic Industry Association, Senior Economist
The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) is recruiting a Senior Economist in order to reinforce its strategic initiative. His/her duties will include: market and economic analysis of the photovoltaic market updating and creating statistics related to market development in key geographies elaborating market scenarios economic modeling and competitiveness analysis, among others.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 31 July 2009
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)
Efstathia Koutsopoulou (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)