EEL Newsservice 2007/17, 11 October 2007

Added to Case Law, WTO

Brazil – Measures affecting imports of retreated tyres
In a landmark case concerning trade issues and the environment, on 12 June 2007 the WTO Panel agreed that a Brazilian import ban on retreated tyres could be justified for the protection of human, animal or plant life or health. As Brazil applied this ban inconsistently, it could not invoke the exception of Article XX(b) GATT. The country announced its plan to lift these inconsistencies and upkeep the import restrictions. The EU, opposing the import ban, asked for an appeal, which met strong disapproval from European NGOs.
Sector: waste
Added to Case Law, ECJ

* Case C-179/06, Commission vs. Italian Republic
On 4 October 2007 the European Court of Justice refused the request of the European commission to declare that Italy had failed to comply with the requirements of Articles 6(3) and 7 of Directive 92/43/EEC. The Commission claimed that Italy omitted to carry out an impact assessment in connection with a series of constructions, which are likely to have a significant effect on a Special Protection Area. However, as the Commission could not prove the necessity of such an assessment, the Court found the legal challenge unfounded.
Sector: nature

* Case C-523/06, Commission vs. Finland
In a judgment of the ECJ delivered on 4 October 2007, Finland was condemned for failing to fulfil its obligations under Directive 2000/59/EC. The rules, which according to the Court Finland did not implement fully, concerned the disposal of ship waste at port facilities.
Sector: waste

Added to Sectors, General
* Programme to help SMEs to comply with environmental rules
A Commission Communication published on 8 October devises a plan to reduce the negative environmental impacts of small and middle sized businesses. The Environmental Compliance Assistance Programme facilitates the implementation of European environmental law as well as promotes trainings and information networks. According to the Commission, while accounting for 99% of EU enterprises, SMEs tend to underestimate their impact on the environment; thus, awareness raising is an important element of the Communication.
Added to Sectors, Air

* EU disappointed by the results of ICAO 36th Assembly
After two weeks of discussions, the meeting of the International civil aviation organisation (ICAO), held in Montreal, Canada, was concluded on 28 September 2007. The UN body created in 1944 to promote the safe development of international civil aviation, has established a Group on International Aviation and Climate Change, which would be entrusted with drafting a “Programme of Action on International Aviation and Climate Change”. The EU strongly criticized the ICAO for not being ambitious enough to fulfil its responsibility for reducing aviation-related emissions under the Kyoto protocol: the Assembly not only failed to agree on concrete measures to fight aviation emissions but disapproved the plans of EU to extend ETS unilaterally on foreign airlines.
Added to Sectors, Chemicals
* ECHA issues REACH data sharing guidance
The European Chemicals Agency presented the newest document in a series of guidance that help compliance with the obligations under the REACH regulation. The guidance describes data sharing mechanisms for phase-in and non phase-in substances, discusses the advantages and the process of pre-registration and provides detailed information on the Substance Information Exchange Forum (SIEF), which is to be created in line with the REACH rules to facilitate data sharing between manufacturers and importers.

Added to Sectors, Climate Change

* EU Commissioner reiterates the leading role of UN as US conference fails to bring results
Between 18 and 28 September, the United States gathered the 17 largest CO2 emitters in Washington to discuss the issue of energy security and climate change. The meeting itself reflected a new approach of the US, one that acknowledges the challenges and the need for an international action. Nonetheless, the event failed to bring any remarkable results such as an agreement on binding targets.
EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas in a speech delivered on 1 October reaffirmed the leading role of the UN in conducting international negotiations on the matter and questioned the need for a parallel mechanism without an added value. The Commissioner vested great hopes in the conference to be held in Bali in December 2007. The speech elaborated on the priorities of the EU with regards to a future international agreement, such as the importance of cooperation of the field of technological research and technology transfer or the need to address emissions from aviation and maritime transport.

* EIB creates its fourth carbon fund
In support of the EU’s commitments under the Kyoto protocol, on 28 September 2007, during the 2007 EIB Forum in Ljubjana, the European Investment Bank announced the launch of a post-2012 carbon fund. The fund will invest in carbon credits in order to support the development of environmentally beneficial projects on the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency or forestry.
Added to Sectors, Transport

* Green paper for a more environmental cautious urban transport
On 25 September 2007 the European Commission presented a green paper on urban mobility. The document elaborated on current environmental challenges of urban transport as well as on recommendations to overcome them, such as providing economic incentives for alternative fuels and clear technologies or harmonising rules for urban green zones on the EU level.
The Commission also expressed its intention to review its proposal for a directive on the promotion of clean road transport vehicles (COM(2005) 634), in order to promote their use via public procurement.

Added to Sectors, Air, Dossiers

* The Air Quality Dossier has been updated. Updates include: an overview of the Thematic Strategy on air pollution and the proposed Ambient Air Directive and two national court cases from the Netherlands and Germany.

National Pages

The following national pages have been updated: Hungary, Germany, Israel, Portugal and Montenegro
Added to National Pages, Germany

* Germany submits efficiency action plan
In line with the State’s commitments under Directive 2006/32/EC, the German Ministry of Economy submitted its first national Energy Efficiency Action Plan (EEAP) to the Commission on 5 October 2007. The document, which is to be followed by two others in the next three years, sets out measures to achieve the 9 per cent energy saving target set out by the Directive. The plan focused in particular on introducing energy efficient technologies in buildings.

Added to National Pages, Hungary

* Zero tolerance policy for green crimes
On 1 October 2007, the Minister for the Environment and the Chief of Police have concluded a cooperation agreement to ensure a more efficient joint action against environmental crimes. The agreement provides for a rapid exchange of information as well as for mutual training of officials from the two institutions and is expected to bring significant results on revealing illegal dumping activities in particular.

News and events
Added to Events

* Implementing REACH: Preparing For Registration

The essential conference for professionals across the whole supply chain working to implement REACH. Speakers include representatives of ECHA, the European Commission and of companies like Dupont, Kimberly-Clark and Hewlett-Packard.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 20 November 2007

* NATO Advanced Research Workshop: Energy and Environmental Challenges to Security
The workshop is aimed at engaging political actors and key policymakers, academics and stakeholders, including governmental authorities, journalists and members of civil society, to focus the international debate on questions related to energy, the environment and their link to global security.
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Date: 21-23 November 2007
Added to Job Postings

* Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – Forestry Officer
FAO is seeking a Forestry Officer for a three-year fixed term. The successful candidate will advise on and carry out divisional activities on forest conservation and environmental issues, in arid and semi-arid zones.
Location: Rome, Italy
Dealine: 15 October 2007

* United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Programme Officer (P-4)
The Accreditation Unit of the Sustainable Development Mechanisms (SDM) programme of UNFCCC has a vacancy announcement for a programme officer, who would lead the Joint Implementation Accreditation team, develop and manage accreditation policies, systems, standards and services.
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline: 21 October 2007

* United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Programme Officer (P-4)
UNFCCC is currently recruiting a programme officer to its RDA (Reporting, Data and Analysis) programme, Review and Analysis subprogramme. The programme officer will be entrusted with leading reviews in accordance with guidance provided for this purpose by the Conference of the Parties.
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline: 31 October 2007

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)

Technical realisation:
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)