On 1 June 2012, CEMBUREAU responded to the Public Consultation on the EU environment policy priorities for 2020. In its response, the Association indicates that the new Environmental Action Plan (EAP) should provide the long term certainty and a conductive framework for the private sector to invest in resource efficiency, low-carbon technology and eco-innovation.
On 11 June 2012, the Council adopted Conclusions on the Seventh EU Environment Action Programme (7th EAP). In this respect, the document includes a vision for 2050 and objectives for 2020; better implementation, enforcement, monitoring and strengthening of environment policy and legislation; and finally the transition to a green economy.
On 6 June 2012 an ECOFYS study entitled “Saving energy: bringing down Europe’s energy prices” (commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and Climate Action Network Europe) was published. According to the study, the main effects of meeting the EU’s target of reducing its energy consumption by 20% by 2020 are as follows:
On 6 June 2012, the European Commission published a communication entitled “Renewable energy: a major player in the European energy market”. This document outlines a series of policy options for the period beyond 2020, namely:
On 22 June 2012, finance Ministers discussed the proposal for a review of the Taxation of Energy Products Directive (TEP). In this respect, there was agreement amongst Member States (MS) that minimum tax levels should be laid down in the Directive, taking, as a reference point, the energy content and CO2 emission levels of energy products. Nevertheless, MS should retain maximum flexibility to determine the structure of their national energy taxes.
On 15 June 2012, the Energy Council was set to adopt its conclusions in relation to the 2050 Energy Roadmap. However, on the day, these were not acceptable to Poland as they did not include references to the international context. In addition, Poland was not in favour of the reference to the “adequate and robust” carbon price. Nevertheless, the document was issued as “Presidency Conclusions”. This does not prevent the European Commission from implementing the 2050 Energy Roadmap.
On 13 June 2012, the European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). Several of the elements contained within the compromise are of relevance to the cement sector. The text agreed includes “deep renovation” as an energy efficiency measure. In this respect, CEMBUREAU regrets that the important role which can also be played by rebuilding is not included. In relation to energy audits, the compromise indicates that these may be carried out by in-house experts.
On 5 June 2012, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSDi) Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSIi) published its revised cement sector guidelines for emissions monitoring and reporting. This revised version of the Guidelines takes into account the experience gained during implementation and evaluation of the first edition, as well as developments in relation to the regulatory framework.
On 5 June 2012, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSDi) Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSIi) published its ‘Sectoral Market Mechanisms’ brochure which provides an overview of some of the key elements and conditions for sectoral market mechanisms to work successfully. Sectoral market mechanisms consist of emissions reductions goals jointly set by governments and companies for industry sectors.
On 4 June 2012, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR, UK) published a report entitled “Europe's next economy: The benefits of and barriers to the low-carbon transition”. Whilst examining the views of the transition to a low carbon economy of businesses in the EU, the report provides a number of recommendations. These include expanding the EU-ETSi to imported energy intensive goods, setting aside allowances to increase the carbon price and providing greater regulatory certainty to industry by introducing more stability within the EU’s regulatory setting.