An internal Task Force of the European Commission is looking at the organisation of the future Commission to be appointed next year. Within this context, the possibility of separating DG Transport & Energy is envisaged. More significantly for CEMBUREAU, is the potential expansion of DG Energy to cover climate change. The Commission has long wanted to separate energy from transport, but the inclusion of certain elements of climate policy – especially EU ETSi - in the new Directorate General is more controversial. The EU ETS is currently under the control of DG Environment.
Commission proposals for an eco-management and audit scheme (EMASi) do not go far enough, says Rapporteur Linda McAvan (Party of European Socialists, UK). The MEP has put forward several amendments in order to attract more organisations to the scheme without compromising its “environmental integrity”. Her amendments include ensuring that the definitions of EMAS and the international ISO 14001 eco-management standard are aligned. Ms McAvan argues that ISO 14001 is far more popular than the EU scheme, and that it should therefore be made easier for companies to move from ISO to EMAS.
The Proposal for a Directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide has been adopted by Council in first reading. From 2010, the Commission will report regularly on latest developments in the deployment of CCS technologies within its activities related to running the network of CCS demonstration projects. This reporting will include information on the progress on the CCS demo plants deployment, progress of CCS technologies development, cost estimates and the development of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure.
The Directive can be found here:
CEMBUREAU is pleased to announce three events which it will be hosting, on 9 February, within the context of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week. In addition, CEMBUREAU will be launching its brochure on the co-processing of alternative fuels and raw materials in the European cement industry. The first event is a conference on co-processing of alternative fuels and raw materials in the cement industry.
The European Council adopted the climate-energy legislative package, designed to help meet the EU’s target of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gases and a 20% share of renewable energy in the EU’s total energy consumption by 2020, earlier this month. The most significant Directive in the package is, of course, the revision of the Emissions Trading System (ETSi) for greenhouse gases. From 2013 onwards, industry will contribute significantly to the EU’s overall target of cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one-fifth compared to 1990 levels by 2020.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) heard the European Commission present its case for the annulment of Regulation (EC) No 1013 on shipments of waste (OJ 2006 L 190, p. 1) this month. The Commission considers that by basing the Regulation solely on Article 175(1) EC and deleting Article 133 EC as its second legal basis, the European Parliament and the Council have acted in infringement of the Treaty.
Net greenhouse gas emissions from municipal waste management are expected to drop considerably by 2020 because of increased recycling and incineration with energy recovery, says the European Environment Bureau. It warns, however, that there are limits to the extent that Europe can rely on improved waste management practices to tackle unsustainable consumption and production patterns and waste-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Art 126 of REACHi requires Member States to notify the European Commission by 1 December 2008 of the provisions for the penalties applicable for REACH infringements. Only the following 14 MS complied with this obligation by the deadline: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia and the UK. Italy notified a preliminary resolution, Cyprus entered a progress report (legislation to be adopted by end of 2008) and Belgium also reported on its progress.
A list of almost 145,000 substances pre-registered by EU firms between June and December 2008 has now been published by ECHAi, the European Chemicals Agency. The number of substances on the list is expected to decrease as a result of an ongoing screening process. ECHA received a total of 2.75 million pre-registrations, far more than initially anticipated. It will remove from the list any entries that are irrelevant as well as those submitted by non-European firms. An updated list will be published at a later stage.
Regulation 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, has been published in the EU’s Official Journal (OJ). The Regulation entered into force on 20 January 2009.
Annex I of the Dangerous Substances Directive (DSD - Council Directive 67/548/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances) has been amended for the 31st time (2009/2/EC). Annex I of the DSD contains the harmonised classification and labelling of chemicals which are legally binding within the EU. Over the years, this list was regularly updated through the so-called Adaptations to Technical Progress (ATP) procedure, the most recent 31th ATP.
The new International Standard ISO 23045:2008 is designed to help the building sector achieve energy savings by providing it with specific design guidelines. The standard will assist designers and construction workers by specifying what data is required at different stages of the design process, and by specifying how building design objectives can be fulfilled. ISO 23045:2008 applies to new buildings and is also applicable to systems for heating, cooling, lighting, domestic hot water, service water heating, ventilation and related controls.
This proposal was discussed in ITRE Committee earlier this month. Rapporteur Silvia Ticau (Party of European Socialists, Romania) called for greater fiscal incentives, including national programmes of public works needed in addition to credits, loans, tax breaks and VAT cuts. She urged the Council to give this Directive greater priority. Ján Hudacký (European People’s Party – European Democrats, Slovenia) spoke about the need to reduce gas dependency, and offered support for the Rapporteur’s aim of achieving a first reading agreement by April.
MEPs met in January to discuss amendments on Articles 4 and 7 of Catherine Neris’ (Party of the European Socialists, France) Report on the proposed replacement of the Construction Products Directive 89/106/EEC by a Regulation ahead of the vote in the Internal Market Committee on 22/1/09. CEMBUREAU generally welcomes the proposal. It is key, however, that all products covered by a harmonised technical specification (harmonised standard or ETA) should bear the CE mark. The vote during the European Parliament’s plenary session is expected for March/April 2009.
The European Commission has named Karl-Friedrich Falkenberg as the new Director General of DG Environment. Mr. Falkenberg, formerly the Deputy Director General of DG Trade, assumed his new responsibilities on 1 January. His appointment is part of Commission policy to shift senior officials around after a maximum seven years to prevent individuals building up too much power.
Directive 2008/99/EC of 19 November 2008 on Protection of the Environment through Criminal Law has been published in the EU’s Official Journal (OJ). The law gives the EU’s 27 Member States two years to come up with “effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties” against people Directive 2008/99/EC of 19 November 2008 on Protection of the Environment through Criminal Law has been published in the EU’s Official Journal (OJ).
Following the adoption in Parliament’s Environment Committee of 63 compromise amendments on the proposal for a Directive on Industrial Emissions (recast) earlier this month, the Czech Presidency has published suggestions for modifications to the Commission’s proposal.
CEMBUREAU will continue to insist that the provisions in the current Incineration of Waste Directive on CO, NOx and waste oils be maintained.
The Czech Presidency of the EU is envisaging a debate during the Environment Council on 2 March.
Helping industry prosper in difficult economic times was discussed in the Competitiveness Council earlier this month, in preparation for the Spring European Council. The Competitiveness Council discussed the proposed private-public partnership on European Energy-efficient Buildings, and urged the Commission to move forward with this initiative before mid-2009.
The global economic downturn could cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 50%, the Congress on Climate Change has heard. Terry Barker, Director of the Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research at Cambridge University, said the recession could cause a reduction in carbon emissions by 2012.
The 7th Conference of Concrete Marketeers and Promotion Officers organised by the European Concrete Platform in Brussels on 17 and 18 March 2009 under the title “Promoting Sustainable Concrete Systems and Solutions” has been ahuge success. Over 100 participants from 23 countries representing all member associations of the ECP took part in three sessions covering communicating to politicians and decision-makers (B2D), raising awareness amongst the general public (B2Ci) and delivering concrete messages to professionals (B2Bi).