A joint project between the Architects Council of Europe (ACEi) and the Europe Concrete Platform (ECP), to create a common language for sustainable construction, has entered its consultation phase. To ensure that the glossary of terms is as up-to-date as possible, the developers have launched a consultation so that experts can contribute to the project.
CEMBUREAU gave a presentation on the co-processing of alternative fuels in the cement industry at a dinner debate organised by the European Energy Forum this month. The focus of the dinner debate, which took place in the European Parliament, was the key environmental benefits linked to the co-processing of alternative fuels and raw materials in the cement industry. CEMBUREAU pointed out that co-processing in the cement industry offers an environmentally sound solution by substituting non-renewable resources with societal waste under strictly controlled conditions.
CEMBUREAU gave a presentation at the 6th International VDZ Congress on Process Technology of Cement Manufacturing in Düsseldorf, Germany earlier this month. The presentation discussed Best Available Techniques (BATi) in the European cement industry and the outcome of the BREFi revision. CEMBUREAU concluded that it is rather satisfied with the BAT conclusions, which are to be seen as ambitious. CEMBUREAU also pointed out that the cement and lime BREF was the pioneer for the review of the first series of BREFs (see September Eurobrief).
New draft guidance from ECHAi on Annex V of REACHi (exemptions from registration) has been made available, together with an assessment of comments raised on the previous version released in June 2009. Of significance to the cement industry is the fact that the new draft guidance states that the exemption granted to “minerals which occurs in nature, if not chemically modified” will only apply to minerals that fulfil both conditions: (i) occurring in nature and (ii) not chemically modified. No changes have been made to the text with regards to cement clinker.
A two-day conference entitled ‘The New Waste Framework Directive: Towards Transposition’ brought together over 100 participants from the European Institutions, national ministries, industry representations and private companies to discuss the challenges posed by the Waste Framework Directive. The Directive is mid-way through its transposition process. The deadline for transposition is December 2010.
A list of the 156 chemicals registered so far under the EU’s REACHi chemicals regulation has been published by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHAi). The Helsinki-based agency says that it is still finalising its EUCLID-5 and REACH-IT systems, however, and that the full database will not be ready until the end of 2009. ECHA has recently been urged to provide better support to help companies register chemical substances under the EU’s REACH regulation (see September 2009 Eurobrief).
The ECHA list of registered substances is available here:
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHAi) has updated the Questions and Answers for the registrants of previously notified substances. It has also updated Data Submission Manual 5: How to complete a technical dossier for registrations and PPORD notifications.
The new sections provide additional information on when to update a registration that is based on a previous notification, how to claim a registration number for a substance previously notified under Directive 67/548/EEC, how to update confidentiality claims and on minimum data required in IUCLID 5.
An exchange of views with the Commission on the implementation of REACHi was held in Parliament’s Environment Committee earlier this month. Richard Seeber (Group of the European People’s Party, Austria) wanted the Commission to explain why the number of animal tests is much higher than foreseen, and what the Commission is planning to do to tackle this. Jo Leinen (Socialists and Democrats, Germany) inquired into what preparations ECHAi will make for the first registration phase, due to end on 1 December 2010.
The Council Working Party on Energy met earlier this month to examine the proposal to amend Directive 2002/91/EC on energy performance of buildings. A major issue remains the establishment of a deadline by which all new buildings would have to produce more renewable energy on-site than they consume (“zero-energy buildings”). It is likely that any deadline will be set at some time after 2019.
A coalition of environmental NGOs has launched a new manifesto by the name of ‘Cool Products, Warm Homes’ in the European Parliament. The manifesto demands an end to energy waste in buildings and urges MEPs to see through a much stricter Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBDi) that would require all new buildings to be net zero energy. The manifesto also calls on European institutions to enhance the role of the Energy Performance Certificate in order to improve and speed up the renovation of buildings. The group is supported by across party group of MEPs.
The G77 group of developing nations has claimed that the developed world is trying to avoid new binding commitments to cut emissions, accusing them of trying to undermine the Kyoto protocol. This claim stems from EU and US efforts to argue for equal and shared responsibility for climate change, which the G77 claims undermines Kyoto’s clear distinctions between binding emissions reductions expected from developed nations and non-binding measures expected from developing nations.
According to the European Environment Agency, 13 EU Member States are set to exceed national limits set by the NEC Directive on at least one of four major pollutants in 2010. While this is an improvement on last year, when it was predicted that 16 states would fail to meet their air pollution standards, the number of Member States that will exceed their ceilings represents just under half of all the European Union’s members.
Delegates attending the informal meeting of finance ministers in Gothenburg, Sweden, discussed a review of Directive 2003/96/EC, which would restructure the Community framework for the taxation of energy products. László Kovács, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, declared at the meeting that the Commission intends to propose a CO2 tax to reduce emissions from sectors outside the EU Emission Trading Scheme.
Global CO2 emissions from the energy sector could decline by up to 3% this year because of economic contraction, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). The new IEA report says that such a decrease would be the sharpest in 40 years. As a consequence, the IEA has revised its baseline emission projections for 2020 at 5% lower than it predicted last year.
The IEA’s World Energy Outlook will officially be launched on 10 November, and will contain a substantial climate analysis.
A press release from the International Energy Agency can be found here:
A debate on the Draft Report on the convention for the protection of the marine environment: relating to the storage of carbon dioxide streams in geological formations took place in Parliament’s Environment Committee earlier this month. The Committee’s Rapporteur Anna Rosbach (Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, Denmark) said that questions still remain over the damage a leak could cause to the marine environment, and the measures that still need to be taken in case of accidents.
The eight countries that sued the European Commission over its decision to tighten their emission caps have not experienced a dramatic fluctuation in the number of carbon allowances, according to industry analyst Point Carbon. The Court of First Instance last month ruled that the Commission had exceeded its powers when formulating National Allocation Plans (NAPs) with Estonia and Poland (see September 2009 Eurobrief). The Court subsequently annulled Commission decisions limiting the number of EU allowances the two countries receive between 2008 and 2012.
Commission proposals to allocate €1.05 billion to seven carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in Europe were presented recently to Member States. The projects in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the UK, Italy and France would each receive up to €180 million in EU funds. (See June Eurobrief).
The Draft Regulation establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting financial assistance to projects in the field of energy is available here:
The European Commission has announced plans to overhaul the EU’s VAT system in a bid to prevent fraudulent practices connected with the EU ETSi. There have been alleged cases where carbon traders kept the VAT instead of notifying it to tax authorities. The prevalence of these so-called VAT “carousel ”fraudsters could make it difficult for the EU to promote cap and trade systems at the forthcoming climate change talks in Copenhagen.
The European Commission recently presented the results of a stakeholder consultation on a proposed new carbon allowance auctioning regulation. The consultation period ran from 3 June and 3 August 2009. CEMBUREAU’s contribution was in line with the general outcome of the consultation. While weekly auctions are the unanimous minimum frequency desired, the vast majority of businesses stated that they will need early auctions in order to help them estimate their costs in advance.
An exchange of views on a draft European Commission measure on sectors deemed to be exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage took place in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee earlier this month. This was the Committee’s first debate on the Commission’s proposed list of sectors at risk. The cement industry qualifies as a sector vulnerable to carbon leakage, with an increased cost of induced directly by the Emission Trading Scheme (ETSi) of 55.06% (see May 2009 Eurobrief).