EEL Newsservice 2007/20, 22 November 2007

Added to Case Law, CFI

Case T‑374/04, Commission v. Germany
CFI 7-11-2007, nyr
On 7 November 2007, the Court of First Instance (CFI) annulled part of the Commission Decision under Directive 2003/87/EC on the German National Allocation Plan (NAP) for the period 2008-2012, which prohibited ex-post adjustments in the distribution of EU Allowances (EUAs). According to the NAP in question, Germany maintained the right to reduce, in certain specific cases, the amount of allowances distributed to the single installations and to transfer EUA from closed to new installations. Commission Decision 7 July 2004 refused the ex-post adjustments to a NAP on the basis of the infringement of criteria 5 and 10 laid down in Annex III to the directive. The CFI declared the admissibility of downward ex-post adjustments in the German NAP. According to the Court, it would be contrary to the nature of directives to limit the room for manoeuvre for Member States to comply with the aim to be achieved, as Directive 2003/87/EC itself did not contain an explicit prohibition for downward ex-post adjustments.
Sector: Air

Added to Sectors, General

* 2828th Economic and Financial Council Meeting – Brussels, 13 November 2007
A Communication on VAT reduced rates (COM(2007)380), adopted by the Commission on 5 July 2007 suggesting the introduction of a reduced value added tax (VAT) for environmentally friendly products, was discussed in the ECOFIN meeting on 13 November 2007. The finally adopted VAT package will be re-examined on the next meeting of the EU economic and finance ministers scheduled for 4 December 2007.
The economic and finance ministers also discussed the future of passenger car taxation from an environmental point of view. The Presidency, jointly with the Commission, will endeavour to harmonise the different views expressed in the ECOFIN Council meeting. German lobby for instance, according to a study published by the sustainable transport campaign group “Transport and Environment”, is strongly aiming at achieving a weight-based CO2 reduction legislation for passenger cars, which would result to be more favourable for large vehicles.

* UN Panel for sustainable resource management
The International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management was set up by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on 9 November 2007 and it is aimed at the achievement of significant progress in decoupling the excessive use of natural resources. The body, composed of prominent scientists, will identify the major environmental impacts of resource use and will invite governments and organisations to reduce these practices.
Added to Sectors, Air

* MEPs vote on curbing aviation emissions
On 13 November 2007 the European Parliament voted in favour of Commission proposal COM(2006)818 amending Directive 2003/87/EC to include greenhouse gas emissions from aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme. MEPs also requested that allowances allocated to the aviation sector should be reduced by 10% below the proposed levels. The resolution of the Parliament strengthened the Commission’s proposal by extending the deadline for inclusion in the EU ETS to 2011 for flights between the EU and third countries.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
* IPCC finalises the 4th assessment report on scientific assessment climate change
On 17 November 2007, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published the Synthesis report of its Fourth Assessment Report entitled “Climate Change 2007”. The synthesis report provides a summary of the conclusions of the three working groups within the Fourth Assessment Report. The report concludes that whereas climate change is an increasingly alarming issue almost certainly caused by human activities, drastic emission reductions are both technologically and economically feasible. According to the EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, the document is an indispensable read for policy-makers before the 13th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC and 3rdCOP/MOP of the Kyoto Protocol to be held in Bali from 3 to 14 December 2007.

Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture
* MEPs decide on stronger control for GMOs and biocides
On 14 November 2007 the European Parliament approved at first reading two Commission proposals implementation powers conferred to the Commission.COM(2006)923 concerns “the placing of biocidal products on the market” and COM(2006)920 intends to regulate the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms to the environment.
Both adopted texts strengthen the powers of the Parliament in their regards: the revision of Directive 2001/18/EC on genetically modified organisms will give the Parliament enhanced scrutiny rights on technical decisions concerning labelling, risk assessments and national “safeguard” bans. Amendment to Directive 98/8/EC on biocides will extend MEPs enhanced scrutiny rights to cover technical changes and research decisions.

Added to Sectors, General, Dossiers

The dossier European Environmental Law: an introductionhas been added a Hungarian translation.

National Pages

The following national pages have been updated: France, Poland and United Kingdom

Notably the following recent information was introduced:

Added to National Pages, France

* France examines ongoing energy efficiency plan
According to the announcement of the French Ministry of Environment on 15 November 2007, energy suppliers in France have reduced their energy consumption by 10% of the target set to be achieved between 2006 and 2009. The plan for the period aims at a saving in energy consumption of 54m megawatt-hours, with the introduction of specific policies and measures, among which, the white certificates scheme.

Added to National Pages, Poland

* ECJ refuses Poland’s request to suspend Commission decisions on NAP-II
On 9 November 2007, the Court of First Instance has refused Poland’s request to suspend Commission decision on the Polish NAP for the period 2008-2012. Case T-183/07, initiated by Poland on 28 May 2007, challenged the Commission decision to lower the CO2 emission limit values by 27%. In the Court order, which deemed the interim measures unnecessary, remarks were also made to the possible outcome of case T-183/07: according to the ECJ, Poland might loose the case if it fails to provide more convincing arguments.

Added to National Pages, United Kingdom

* British PM delivers speech on climate change
Prime Minister Gordon Brown held his first environment related speech on 19 November 2007, when he expressed the importance of international action against climate change. The PM confirmed the UK commitment to contribute to the realisation of the EU 20% renewable energy target. He reiterated the UK plans for a 60% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2050 and mentioned the possibility to raise the target to 80%.

News and events
Added to Events

* Creating a Sustainable Energy Future with Fuel Cells in the Regions of Europe
The aim of the workshop, organised by the Assembly of European Regions and FuelCellEurope, is to explore how regional decision makers and FuelCellEurope members could work together to accelerate the wide-scale deployment of fuel cells in Europe and reduce costs to the point of competitive viability.
Location: Montpellier, France
Date: 6 December 2007
* Greening the Economy: new Energy for Business
During the sixth of the European Business Summit annual series, business and political leaders, NGOs, media and academics from numerous countries will share visions and solutions in the area of climate change, energy and (eco-) innovation.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 21 – 22 February 2007

* European Wind Energy Conference & Exhibition
Chaired by Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, the conference reflects the increasing political support for wind energy. The programme for EWEC will be focusing on how to build a secure, sustainable and competitive energy supply for the future.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 31 March – 3 April 2008
Added to Job Postings

* T.M.C. Asser Institute – PhD candidate / Consultant public procurement relative to EU law
The PhD candidate will carry out research that will result in a successful PhD on public procurement, possibly in relation to environmental protection issues, within four years. He/she will carry out contract research in the field of public procurement, and, at times, in other areas of EU law. Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Deadline: 1 December 2007

* International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) – Programme Officer on Trade-supported Strategies for Development
The time of the Programme Officer will be divided between activities on research, dialogues and contribute to existing ICTSD publications. The objective of the position is to assist to the full implementation of ICTSD’s Programme on Trade-supported Strategies for Sustainable Development (TSDS).
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Deadline: 23 November 2007

* European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – Director, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Team
The Director will have overall responsibility for the Bank’s operational energy efficiency and climate change mitigation activities, with significant interaction in the following key sectors: power, general industry, financial institutions, municipal and environmental infrastructures, and natural resources.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Deadline: 23 November 2007

* BirdLife International – Funding Development Manager
The successful candidate will be responsible for increasing the income of the BirdLife Partnership in order to reach its conservation targets in Europe.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 7 December 2007

* European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – several vacancies
The European Food Safety Authority has five vacancies in the Unit for the Pesticide Risk Assessment Peer Review, for three senior scientific officers on the fields of ecotoxicology (AD8), residues in food (AD9) and coordination (AD9), a scientific officer in connection to residues in food or microbiology (AD7) and a junior scientific officer  in relation to ecotoxicology, environmental fate and behaviour or co-ordination.
Location: Parma, Italy
Deadline: 20 December 2007

* United Nations Environment Programme  (UNEP) – Senior Advisor, Resource Planning & Results Based Management (P-5)
The successful candidate will lead UNEP’s change process in relation to resource planning, financial analysis and results based management.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 28 December 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)