Your consultant

In topic Environment:

Dr. Götz Reichert, LL.M.

Head of Division

+49 761 38693-235

reichert(at)cep.eu

Dr. Moritz Bonn

Policy Analyst

+49 761 38693-249

bonn(at)cep.eu

Dr. Martin Menner

Policy Analyst

+49 761 38693-242

menner(at)cep.eu

Prof. Dr. Jan S. Voßwinkel

Scientific Advisor

+49 761 38693-233

vosswinkel(at)cep.eu

Environment

Environmental pollution does not recognise national borders, thus the bulk of national environmental law is today based on EU legislation. In this regard, EU environment policy focuses on the protection of the environment and human health as well as the sustainable use of natural resources. cep analyses EU proposals on the handling of waste and chemicals, protecting rivers and seas, noise prevention, clean air, environmental impact assessments and environmental management by companies.

Low-Emission Mobility (Communication )

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With a strategy for low-emission mobility, the EU Commission intends to help reduce CO2 emissions and air pollutants caused by transport. In cep's view, the Commission's proposed measures are largely unsuitable for reducing these emissions caused by transport in a manner which is effective and ensures "technology neutrality".

Emissions from Land Use and Forestry (LULUCF) (Regulation)

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On the basis of an EU Commission Regulation, the emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the land use and forestry sector will be fully included into EU climate policy. As a result, the quantity of GHG emissions in this area will no longer be permitted to be greater than the removals of GHGs by way of absorption into the ground or by plants or wood products.

Limiting CO2 emissions from international aviation (Decision)

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A coordinated EU "position" for the forthcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly increases the likelihood that the concerns of European airlines will receive greater consideration at the Assembly. This is the conclusion reached by cep in its analysis of the EU Commission's proposal for a Decision to limit CO2 emissions in international aviation.

Emissions Trading System from 2021 (Directive)

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In 2014, the European Council laid down stricter targets for reducing carbon emissions for the period 2021-2030. The 2030 reduction target in the sectors covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) amounts to at least 43% as compared with 2005 levels. In order to achieve this, the EU-wide permitted volume of emissions ("Cap") will be reduced annually from 2021 by 2.2% instead of the current 1.74%. In addition, the "benchmarks", which aim to create incentives for reducing carbon emissions and are based on the average emission volume of the 10% most efficient installations in a sector in 2007 and 2008, will be subject to a blanket reduction.

Implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Communication)

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The EU has set out in a Communication how the European Union will implement the global climate change agreement concluded in Paris. In cep's view, the Paris Agreement is a necessary step towards effective climate protection. The Commission's assertion that the provisions on carbon leakage are "balanced" is, however, incorrect.

Carbon Leakage

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The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is an ecologically sound and economically effective instrument for climate protection. In cep's view, the ETS can only contribute to global climate protection if carbon emissions that are reduced in the EU are not simply moved to third countries (carbon leakage).

National 2021–2030 climate targets for non-ETS sectors (Regulation)

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The EU Commission will allocate Member States with national targets for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) in sectors not subject to EU emissions trading (ETS) (e.g. transport and agriculture). It also proposes flexibility options which Member States can use to achieve their national targets.

Action Plan for the Circular Economy (Communication)

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With new ecodesign rules, the European Commission wants to avoid the creation of waste or else enable it to be re-used in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way. In addition, EU quality standards for secondary raw materials will be developed.

Waste Management (Directive)

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The European Commission wants to bring about stricter compliance with the waste hierarchy by way of measurable objectives for recycling and a limit on landfill for municipal waste. A new "early warning system" will detect if Member States are likely to miss the targets.

Reform of the EU ETS

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In its revision of the Directive on the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the EU should even after 2020 issue free allowances to companies at risk of emigrating in order to prevent the relocation of carbon emissions to non-EU countries.

Waste Management (Directive)

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The European Commission wants to bring about stricter compliance with the waste hierarchy by introducing quantitative targets for recycling and the avoidance of food waste. A new "early-warning system" will indicate at an early stage if Member States are at risk of failing to meet the targets.

Emissions from Mobile Machinery (Regulation)

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"Non-road mobile machinery" (NRMM) is currently subject to emission limits which have not been changed since 2004. In the European Commission's view, they no longer correspond to the state of the art. Stricter emission limits will now therefore be adopted in order to protect, in particular, human health and the environment and in order to bring EU requirements into line with those of the USA.

Reduction of National Air Pollutants (Directive)

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The European Commission is proposing national ceilings on the emission of certain air pollutants for the period from 2020 and from 2030 and is extending these to other pollutants. The Member States must set up national "air pollution control programmes". These have to contain details of the proposed measures to reduce air pollutants. Intermediate emission levels to be achieved by 2025 will also be introduced.

Market Surveillance (Regulation)

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The European Commission has proposed a "Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package" containing, in particular, a proposal for a Regulation on consumer product safety and a proposal for a Regulation on the regulatory market surveillance of products. With its proposal for a Regulation on market surveillance, the Commission wants to prevent, by way of effective and EU-wide market surveillance, the distribution of products which represent a risk to any aspect of public interest protection, such as health, safety, consumer protection and the environment.

Product Safety (Regulation)

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The European Commission has proposed a "Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package" containing, in particular, a proposal for a Regulation on consumer product safety and a proposal for a Regulation on the regulatory market surveillance of products. The proposal for a Regulation on product safety aims to simplify the different rules on consumer product safety as well as ensuring that consumer products are safe.

Single market for green products (Communication)

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The European Commission intends to promote the dissemination of green products and green commercial practices by ways of transparency and consistency with the labelling of environmental performances of products and practices. Within a three-year test phase, the Commission recommends to apply its developed methods of the “Product Environmental Footprint“ and that of the “Organisation Environmental Footprint“.

7th Environment Action Programme to 2020 (Decision)

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The European Commission's proposal for a 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) allows an overall view of current and future environment policy initiatives to 2020. It contains a broad palette of proposals relating to objectives and measures but leaves open the actual form that measures are to take. As well as the deficiencies in implementation of existing EU environment legislation, the Commission also brings up the increased use of market-based instruments.

Plastic Waste in the Environment (Green Paper)

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The European Commission wants to reduce the amount of plastic waste and the resulting burden on the environment. It is considering promoting the recycling of plastic waste in preference to energy recovery and use of landfill. In addition, it is considering a general ban on using landfill for plastic waste. By way of requirements placed on product design, manufacturers are to be obliged to increase the reparability and re-usability of plastic products.

Environmental Impact Assessment (Directive)

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Public and private projects “likely to have significant effects on the environment” must undergo an environmental impact assessment (EIA) prior to receiving consent. For the first time in over 25 years the Commission wants to revise Directive 2011/92/EU fundamentally in order to eliminate deficiencies and to adapt it to the modified political, legal and technical framework.

Safeguarding European Water Resources (Communication)

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In its Communication, the European Commission evaluates EU policy for safeguarding water resources, identifies deficiencies and proposes possibilities for improvement. In particular, it calls for the metering of water consumption and water pricing based on the polluter pays principle. It also proposes that national authorities be obliged to use the best available techniques for industrial emissions permits as well as EU-wide uniform standards of consumption for water-related products.

Bioeconomy (Communication)

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In view of the challenges of an increasing global population, the depletion of resources, increasing environmental pressures and climate change, the Commission is calling for a “bioeconomy strategy” to “radically” change the use of biological resources. The strategy comprises proposals for measures in the EU and/or Member States for investments in research, innovation and qualification, closer political cooperation at a national, EU and global level and strengthening the markets and competitiveness of the bioeconomy sector.

The Eco-innovation Action Plan (Communication)

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According to the Commission, there is not enough eco-innovation in the EU. Therefore, it wishes to speed up eco-innovation and to improve its marketing. To this end, the environmental legislation is to be revised and small and, in particular, medium-sized undertakings be subsidised.

Bio-Waste (Communication)

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Pursuant to the Waste Framework Directive, the Commission is obliged to evaluate the management of bio-waste and, where necessary, to make proposals for action. According to the Commission, the existing EU waste legislation is adequate, but poorly implemented in several Member States. To this end, such Member States are to receive EU subsidies. Moreover, the Commission assesses whether or not minimum requirements for the management of bio-waste and quality standards for compost and digestate from bio-waste should be set.

Strategy "Green Vehicles" (Communication)

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The Commission presents a strategy for encouraging the development and uptake of green road vehicles. In particular, it wishes to promote “clean and energy efficient” vehicles based on conventional combustion engines and “ultra-low-carbon vehicles“ through the deployment of new technologies such as alternative fuels, electric motors and fuel cells.

Low Carbon Technologies (SET-Plan) (Communication)

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In order to attain independence from fossil fuels, the EU is planning to accelerate the development and introduction of various low carbon technologies with the help of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (“SET-Plan”). The Commission substantiates the strategic and technological targets, the planned measures and an estimation of how much private and public investment will be required for the research and development of low carbon technologies until 2020.

International Climate Finance (Communication)

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Without financial support for developing countries, it is likely that no global climate agreement will be reached. The Commission presents criteria for how these payments should be distributed among developed countries. Further the Commission discusses whether the share of the EU should be financed through the EU budget, a common EU climate fund or using the budgets of Member States.

Adapting to Climate Change (White Paper)

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According to the Commission climate change requires adaptation measures in key policy sectors such as health and social affairs, agriculture and infrastructure. In order to supplement the expenses of Member States and to share burdens, adaptation measures could be financed through EU spending programmes.

Climate Change Agreement (Communication)

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The Commission proposes highly ambitious climate protection targets for both developing and industrial countries. To this end, emissions trading is to be extended. In addition, financial support to developing countries is to be partially financed through EU bonds.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Directive)

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The Proposal for a Directive is to recast the "WEEE Directive" 2002/96/EC, which regulates the waste management of electrical and electronic equipment. The adverse impact of this waste on the environment and human health is to be prevented and used more efficiently as a source of raw materials. Producers must meet an annual minimum rate in each Member State for overall recovery, as well as for the preparation for the re-use and recycling of WEEE. Registration and reporting obligations should now be harmonised and the national registers should be made inter-operable.

ECO-Management and Audit Scheme (Regulation)

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Organisations can improve their environmental performance - without being statutorily forced - by participating in the voluntary European certifications system EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme): The submitted Proposal for a Regulation enables also organisations seated outside the EU to participate in EMAS. For organisations with sites located in one or more Member States registration procedures are being simplified as they may apply for one single corporate registration of all sites ("collective registration"). Rules for small organisations are being simplified, too, by applying exceptions. In addition, they will report on their environmental performance on the basis of so-called "core indicators" which are newly introduced.

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