EEL Newsservice 2007/15, 13 September 2007

With this first issue after the summer break, the EEL News Service starts again and will appear every two weeks.

The Kyoto Protocol and Beyond – Legal and Policy Challenges of Climate Change, W.Th. Douma, L. Massai and M. Montini (Eds.) Distributed for T.M.C. Asser Press by Cambridge University Press, 2007
This book, authored by experts in European and international law, addresses the climate change regime and lays down conclusions from past experiences and propositions for future policy design. It is a highly recommended reading for policy makers, academics and practitioners and in general everyone concerned with the present alarming climate change.

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Added to Case Law
C-173/05, Commission v. Italian Republic
ECJ 21-06-2007, nyr
On 21 June 2007, the ECJ ruled that Italy had failed to fulfil its obligations when it introduced an environmental tax on methane gas. The measure formed a charge having equivalent effect to a customs duty contrary to articles 23, 25 and 133 EC Treaty besides violating the relevant Cooperation agreement with Algeria. According to the Court, this measure was prohibited irrespective of its purpose. Italy’s defence, based on the precautionary principle without apparent reasons, was dismissed.
Sector(s): General

Added to Legal texts, Climate Change
* Commission issues guidelines for the second phase of the EU ETS (2008-2012)
In a decision adopted on 18 July 2007, the Commission issued new guidelines for the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions under the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme. The Commission set clearer and stricter requirements for companies for the new phase of the EU ETS starting from January 2008. The new rules are also expected to reduce the costs of compliance with the EU ETS by the national installations.

Added to Legal texts, Dangerous substances
* New high-level groups for nuclear safety and for competitiveness of the chemicals’ industry
On 17 July 2007, the Commission issued a decision on establishing a High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management. The group will consist of one expert from each member state and will assist the Commission to develop a common understanding between nuclear and anti-nuclear European states and to draw up new rules on the field.
On 10 September 2007, a High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the European Chemicals Industry had its first meeting, after being formally set up on 14 June 2007. The group will be entrusted with making policy recommendations by spring 2009, after analyzing the rapidly changing market structures in the light of ensuring the sustainable development of the industrial sector.

Added to Legal texts, Nature
* Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 sets new rules on organic products
On 28 June 2007, the Council adopted a new regulation on organic production and the labelling of organic products. The regulation, applicable from 1 January 2009, sets out general objectives and principles for organic productions as well as establishes specific rules for farming and processing organic food.

Added to Sectors, General
* Implementation of environmental legislation to be scrutinised
On 5 September 2007, the Commission put forward a proposal to improve the application of European Law in general (COM(2007)502), in which the preparation of a communication specifically focusing on the implementation of environmental law was envisaged. The Commission expressed its intention of having discussions on subject areas instead of on isolated directives, bearing in mind the inter-related nature of environmental legislation.
* MEPs call for stricter punishment for green offences
On 4 September 2007, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in connection with the natural disasters which occurred in the forestry sector throughout Europe during the last summer. Prompted by the series of devastating forest fires in Greece, allegedly caused by arson, the resolution called on EU member states to strengthen penal sanctions for environmental crimes. MEPs believe that applying stricter measures would effectively decrease the number of negligent activities.

Added to Sectors, Climate change
* Industrialised countries discuss international response to climate change
From 27 to 31 August 2007, a new round of climate change talks under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was held in Vienna. The government delegates participating at the “Vienna Climate Change Talks 2007” agreed on the need for significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The talks were intended to prepare common stances for the 13thConference of the Parties of the UNFCCC to be held in Bali in December.

Added to Sectors, Dangerous substances
* The implementation of Seveso II Directive has improved
On 15 August 2007, the European Commission presented its progress report regarding directive 96/82/EC on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances. The report, covering the period between 2003 and 2005, concluded that the implementation and the enforcement of the Seveso II Directive have further improved in most Member States, in particular in the fields of inspection and safety. Nevertheless, according to the report, much can still be done with regards to external emergency plans, access to information and reporting arrangements.

Added to Sectors, Energy
* Anti-Dumping duties on energy-saving light bulbs to be removed in a year
On 29 August 2007, the European Commission proposed an end to anti-dumping duties on energy-saving light bulbs from China in one year. The import tariffs were due to expire in October and according to the Commission, it is in the interest of the EU to lift duties from these products; the market will have time to adjust to the changes during the next year. The Member States have one month to consider the proposal.
* Study for OECD conference warns against renewable target
On the OECD ministerial conference on 11-12 September 2007 a study was presented concerning the goal of 10% share of biofuels in the transport fuel mix by 2020, which the EU agreed upon on 9 March 2007. The paper warns that the costs of achieving this target are actually bigger than the results it would deliver: even in the best case scenario, petroleum fuel consumption would not be reduced below current levels in the face of the growth of demand.

Added to Sectors, Water
* Water challenges in Europe revealed in a Commission communication
On 18 July 2007, the European Commission warned of problems of water scarcity and droughts, which the EU increasingly faces. The communication COM(2007)414 presented policy options to reduce water consumption. The Commission mentioned Cyprus as an example for good practice, where water use decreased by 40% per capita.

Added to Dossiers/papers, European Climate Policy
The European Climate Policy Dossier has been updated. Updates include: second phase NAPs under the EU ETS, the Green paper  ‘Adapting to climate change in Europe – options for EU action’, the Annual European Community greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2005 and the Presidency Conclusions of the 2007 Spring European Council.

Added to Who’s Who
Our new national editor for the Hungarian page: Marianna Kondas

National Pages
The following national pages have been updated: Italy, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, UK.
Notably the following recent information was introduced:

Added to National Pages, Lithuania
* Lithuania is the next to sue Commission over ETS
On 16 August 2007, Lithuania announced to submit a complaint to the European Court of Justice against the European Commission decision on the NAP-II. The Commission decided to cut the allocation of EUAs to the national installations to almost half of the proposed amount. The complaint is the seventh in the legal actions induced by the new EU Member States over the Emissions Trading directive. Most recently, on 1 August 2007, Latvia also pledged to sue the Commission.

Added to National Pages, France
* Commission suspends complaint on nitrate pollution against France
The Commission has decided not to file a second complaint against France at the European Court of Justice, after the country adopted new measures to reduce nitrate pollution of drinking water in Brittany. The Commission brought France before the ECJ first in 2001 and now is glad to observe that steps have been taken by the French authorities to comply with that judgment (Case C-266/99).

Added to National Pages, UK
* According to briefing on UK renewable use forecast targets will not be met
On 13 August, a leaked note prepared for a ministerial briefing revealed an assessment that the UK was unable to meet the commitment on renewable it made earlier this year. On 9 March 2007, the Heads of State and Government agreed to achieve a 20% share of renewable energies in the overall energy use by 2020. The leaked document states that a percentage of 9% would be challenging but still achievable, but according to the calculations based on burden sharing, the UK can be expected to take on even 16%. The paper, produced earlier this year, states that the 20% goal lacks credibility and offers measures for a more flexible approach.
News and events

Added to Events
* Local Implementation of Environmental Law in China (in Dutch)
Introduction to the local implementation of environmental law in China by Benjamin van Rooij, Senior Lecturer at the Van Vollenhoven Institute.
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands
Date: 20 September 2007
* Constitutional Rights to an Ecologically Balanced Environment
This conference discusses the arguments pro and contra for introducing the right to an ecologically balanced environment in the constitution of states.
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Date: 28 September 2007
* Climate Change and the Role of the Environmental Law  (in Dutch)
The event will focus on climate change and will concern the relevant legal provisions and legal implications of the subject.
Location: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Date: 18 October 2007
* ENDS Corporate Carbon Conference: Demonstrating The Business Case For Measuring & Reducing
Featuring speakers from Unilever, Nike, GlaxoSmithKline and Nokia, this conference brings together business and environmental leaders do discuss effective corporate carbon reduction strategies.
Location: Korbee & Hovelynck, De Bilt, the Netherlands
Date: 2 June 2007

Added to Job Postings
* European Environment Agency (EEA) – Head of Administrative Services
The EEA is looking for a head of administrative services to work for the authority of the Executive Director of the EEA.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Deadline: 7 September 2007
* WWF – Senior Climate Change Advisor
WWF is looking for an experienced climate change scientist to lead the implementation of the International Arctic Programme in close collaboration with the broader WWF climate and arctic communities.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Deadline: 16 September 2007
* UN Environment Programme (UNEP) – Deputy Executive Director
At the level of Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, the Deputy Executive Director will provide advice and assistance to the Executive Director on substantive matters, strategic planning, management reform and the day-to-day running of the Programme.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 23 September 2007
* Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) – Director, Senior Scientist
CIFOR is advertising two positions (director and senior scientist) in its Forests and Governance Programme.
Location: Bogor, Indonesia
* GreenPrices – Editor on the field of sustainable energy
GreenPrices Publishing is looking for a journalist with a good understanding of economics as well as energy and climate policies to contribute to the work of the central News Desk in Utrecht.
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Deadline: 4 October 2007

We would like to thank Sara Woods and Ruben Vermeeren for the excellent work in the past months and at the same time welcome Marianna Kondas who recently joined the EEL team.

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)