Added to Case Law, ECJ
The ECJ declared that Italy has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 7(1) of Directive 2006/17/ECimplementing Directive 2004/23/EC as regards certain technical requirements for the donation, procurement and testing of human tissues and cells, by not adopting all the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with that Directive. The period for transposition of Directive 2006/17/EC expired on 1 November 2006.
Belgium has been condemned by the ECJ for its failure fulfil its obligations under Article 11(1) of Directive 2006/86/EC implementing Directive 2004/23/EC as regards traceability requirements, notification of serious adverse reactions and events and certain technical requirements for the coding, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissues and cells, by not adopting all the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with that Directive. The deadline for transposition of Directive 2006/86/EC, with the exception of Article 10, expired on 1 September 2007.
The ECJ declared that by failing to make applications for Review of Mineral Planning lodged in Wales prior to 15 November 2000 subject to the requirements of Articles 2(1) and 4(2) of Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has failed to fulfil its obligations under that Directive.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
On 12 November 2009, the European Environment Agency (EEA) released a report showing that the European Union is on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol commitments for reducing and limiting emissions of greenhouse gases. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the 15 countries which were EU Member States when the Protocol was agreed (the EU-15) are committed to reducing their collective greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-2012 to 8% below levels in a chosen base year (1990 in most cases). This collective commitment has been translated into differentiated national emission targets for each EU-15 Member State which are binding under EU law. The EEA estimates that in 2008 emissions from the EU-15 Member States fell to 6.2% below their levels in the base year. EU-27 emissions are now estimatedto be 13.6% lower than the base year level. Five EU-15 Member States (France, Germany, Greece, Sweden and the United Kingdom) have already reduced domestic emissions below their targets. Only Austria expects to fall short of its commitment under current conditions. All other Member States and EEA member countries with emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol anticipate that they will meet their commitments. The EEA said that reductions between 2008 and 2012 will be achieved through a combination of existing and additional policies; the purchase by governments of credits from emission-reducing projects outside the EU; the trading of emission allowances by participants in the EU emission trading scheme (EU ETS); and forestry activities that absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
During thelatest round of the UN climate talks in Barcelona (2-6 November 2009)little progress was made on the two key issues of mid-term emission reduction targets of developed countries and finance that would allow developing countries to limit their emissions growth and adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change. Some senior officials have confirmed that Copenhagen might only produce a political agreement, rather than a legally binding replacement for the Kyoto Protocol.On 14 November 2009, world leaders meeting in Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, including US President Obama and Lokke Rasmussen, the prime minister of Denmark and the chairman of the climate conference, have agreed to postpone reaching a legally binding climate change agreement for a year or more, possibly to a second summit meeting in Mexico City later on.
Added to Sectors, Air
The European Commission and the European Environment Agency have set up a new European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR)that provides easily accessible key environmental data from industrial facilities in European Union Member States and in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The new register replaces and improves upon the previous European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER). The E-PRTR includes data for 91 substances reported annually by some 24,000 industrial facilities covering 65 economic activities across Europe. For each facility, information is provided concerning the amounts of pollutant releases to air, water and land as well as off-site transfers of waste and of pollutants in waste water from a list of 91 key pollutantsincluding heavy metals, pesticides, greenhouse gases and dioxins for the year 2007. Some information on releases from diffuse sources is also available and will be gradually enhanced. The register contributes to transparency and public participation in environmental decision-making. It implements for the European Community the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission) Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) Protocol to the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.
Added to Sectors, Chemicals
On 12 November 2009, the European Commission decided to reduce the permitted maximum residue levels (MRLs) of eleven pesticide active substances after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) highlighted safety concerns. New information on toxicology, consumer exposure and the expected pesticide residues indicated that the existing MRLs for these substances might no longer be safe for all EU consumer groups. For several of them, EFSA concluded that there is a risk that acceptable intake levels may be exceeded for one or more consumer groups, such as children. Based on EFSA’s findings, the Commission decided to lower the MRLs for all pesticide crop combinations for which a potential risk was established, including dimethoate on cherries (lowered from 1 to 0.2 mg/kg) and fenamiphos on carrots (lowered from 0.5 to 0.05 mg/kg). The adopted MRL regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The EFSA opinions are published on the EFSA website.
Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture
On 13 November 2009, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas presented the findings of a key report by the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) project, which highlights the economic value of biodiversity and the consequences of its loss. The TEEB study shows that the many valuable resources and services provided by nature have direct economic significance for people’s well-being and for enterprises and the public sector alike. It is therefore necessary to put a value on the economic benefit of ecosystem services to society. The findings further underline the need to reach an agreement in Copenhagen on financing action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation and degradation in tropical countries (through a scheme known as REDD). Deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for around 20% of global CO2emissions – more than all forms of transport combined. TEEB calls for national and international policy measures to support biodiversity, including reformed agricultural subsidies and payments for ecosystem services. The TEEB study will help shape European Commission proposals due next January for a new post-2010 biodiversity target for the EU, Mr. Dimas said.
Added to Book Reviews
*The Aarhus Convention at Ten; Interactions and Tensions between the Conventional International Law and EU Environmental Law
Editor Prof. Marc Pallemaerts
Europa Law Publishing, November 2009
The contributions assembled in this volume focus on various aspects of the relationship between the provisions of the Aarhus Convention and the development of EU environmental law. They discuss the new legislative acts and amendments to existing legislation adopted by the EU institutions in order to implement the Aarhus Convention. Other contributions address tensions that have arisen between normative developments within the framework of the Aarhus Convention and the internal legislation and policies of the EU. These concern contentious issues such as access to justice in environmental matters, where a Commission proposal for a Directive that would guarantee a minimum level of access to review procedures for environmental groups in the Member States remains stalled in the Council of the EU since 2004. Another area of tension discussed in this volume concerns public participation in regulatory decisions with respect to genetically modified organisms. A final group of contributions examine critical issues of implementation of the Aarhus Convention and related EU legislation in selected Member States.
Added to Upcoming Events
The objective of the conference is to share the experiences with regard to ongoing measure for promoting or introducing environmentally friendly vehicles and also exchange the experiences in developing problem analysis of the legal and economic frameworks for the introduction of such vehicles and technology.
Location: New Delhi, India
Date: 23-24 November 2009
The forum will provide a platform for debate in all issues associated with successful investment in the environmental markets and energy efficiency projects.
Location: London, UK
Date: 30 November 2009
The meeting includes different issues: from the impact of climate changes on health to neurodegenerative diseases and the environment. The target is to define emerging health and environmental problems and provide hints for preventive action.
Location: Rome, Italy
Date: 9-11 December 2009
Added to Vacancies
Client Earth is looking for an experienced lawyer to establish the Toxics part of the Health & Environment programme. The main focus of this work will be monitoring the implementation of, and enforcing, the European Regulation known as REACH and bring legal actions concerning non-compliance where necessary against the manufacturers and importers of substances/articles subject to the Regulation.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 20 November 2009
The Policy Adviser will analyse and campaign for EU policies that will make agriculture sustainable and protect people and animals from agrochemicals and genetically engineered plants.
Deadline: 29 November 2009
Reporting to the Director of Resources, the Head of Unit – Corporate Services will be responsible for managing the human, financial and technical resources of the new Corporate Services Unit and defining and achieving its objectives within the framework of the overall strategic planning of the Agency.
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Deadline: 30 November 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)