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Policy Outlook August 2012 What to look out for this autumn.

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Presentation on theme: "Policy Outlook August 2012 What to look out for this autumn."— Presentation transcript:

1 Policy Outlook August 2012 What to look out for this autumn

2 CLIMATE (1) The EU executive will publish a review of more permanent options to reform the emissions trading scheme (ETS) and support the carbon price, following its proposal to temporarily set aside between 400 million and 1.2 billion carbon allowances (EUAs). Possible options for a deeper ETS reform include setting a tighter emission cap for 2030, cancelling some EUAs and extending the scheme to other sectors The final annual amounts of free allowances to be allocated to ETS installations during the period 2013-20 will also be announced, based on an analysis of National Implementation Measures (NIMs) submitted by member states. The commission has received all NIMs except for the Italian plan, which is nearly ready A legislative proposal on how to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from shipping is due this autumn. The results of a consultation launched in January will be released before the proposal, which is likely to come out in early December. Industry associations say making payments into an EU fund to help develop more energy-efficient maritime technology would be the best regional option

3 CLIMATE (2) A policy paper to boost the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be published towards the end of the year. It will explore pathways and policy measures for phasing out power generation from unabated fossil fuel-fired plants Also expected this autumn is a legislation proposal to further reduce fluorinated gas emissions in the EU. The commission has consulted stakeholders on a range of options including limits on the quantity of f- gases placed on the European market, bans on certain products and voluntary agreements In the Council of Ministers, the Cyprus presidency of the EU hopes to broker an agreement between member states on LULUCF accounting rules. The proposal will be discussed in the European Parliament's environment committee on 19 September

4 CLIMATE (3) At international level, a high level UN panel will announce its recommendations in mid-September to reform the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) The next major meeting of international climate negotiators will start on 26 November in Doha and run until 7 December The EU's position on the composition and functioning of the ad-hoc working group on the Durban platform will be outlined in a green paper expected in September. The working group was set up to prepare a global binding agreement by 2015

5 ENERGY (1) In September, the European Commission is likely to put forward long awaited proposals to address the indirect land-use change (ILUC) effects of biofuels, based on an impact assessment that is being finalised. Several options have been discussed internally, including the introduction of crop-specific ILUC factors A proposal for binding sustainability criteria for solid and gaseous biomass is still on the cards, according to an updated version of the commission's work programme for 2012, although green group WWF believes the EU executive is now planning to delay it for another five years. At a conference in February, an official said it wanted to extend the sustainability criteria for biofuels to solid biomass

6 ENERGY (2) In the Council of Ministers, the Cyprus EU presidency hopes to broker a deal on the revised energy taxation directive between finance ministers in November. In June, they broadly supported new minimum tax rates for fuels based on their CO2 level and energy content. But diesel looks likely to retain its tax advantage over petrol Energy ministers will meet on 3 December in Brussels where they are likely to adopt a common position on the new renewable energy strategy presented by the commission in June. The ministers will also continue discussions on a proposal to improve the safety of offshore oil and gas platforms in Europe. But at the moment Cyprus does not foresee a council agreement on this under its presidency. A vote on the proposal in the European Parliament's industry, research and energy committee is scheduled on 9 October

7 WASTE AND RESOURCES (1) One of the main highlights this autumn will be the release of the commission's blueprint for water protection following the results of a Fitness Check of water policy which have yet to be made public During Green Week in June, the commission said the forthcoming plan would put more emphasis on tackling scarcity and on the full implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which it says will significantly improve the water efficiency of the farming sector. Binding measures on metering and water-using products to improve the water efficiency of buildings may also be proposed The commission will publish a green paper on plastic waste initially planned in July. ENDS understands the delay is due to the sensitivity in some member states towards certain of the policy options being considered by Brussels regarding plastic bags, which include introducing taxes or charges or, less likely, bans

8 WASTE AND RESOURCES (2) Plans to revise the 1986 directive on sewage sludge will come out by October. The commission's environment department and Joint Research Centre held a meeting in Brussels on 6 June to gather information from stakeholders on the impact of pollutants in sewage sludge, including those that have been less studied such as brominated flame retardants and pharmaceuticals A green paper on the sustainability of phosphorous supplies will be issued to address concerns over dwindling reserves and explore the recovery potential in Europe Also expect by October are legislative proposals to clarify the EU regulation on waste shipments and strengthen its requirements on inspections, following "deep concerns" expressed by member states in 2010 about illegal shipments

9 WASTE AND RESOURCES (3) In the Council of Ministers, environment ministers meeting in Luxembourg in October will hold a first debate on plans to tighten rules on the recycling of EU-registered ships as part of the implementation the Hong Kong convention. The Danish presidency has proposed delaying the entry into force of the new rules but the publication of an EU list of ship recycling facilities would be brought forward

10 CHEMICALS A review of the REACH chemicals regime, initially due in July, will now be completed after the summer break. The commission says it is taking more time than anticipated to analyse the large volume of data collected as part of the review In October, EU environment ministers are likely to reach an informal agreement on a commission proposal to ban cadmium in batteries for cordless power tools from 2016 In the European Parliament's environment committee, a vote on a proposed recast of rules on the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of dangerous preparations will be held on 10 October. Swedish MEP Åsa Westlund will submit a draft resolution on the health risks of endocrine disrupters in the autumn. A vote in the committee is scheduled on 18 December

11 OTHER POLICY AREAS A proposal to revise the environmental impact assessment (EIA) directive will be put forward by the European Commission in the autumn. The EU executive has stressed it will not propose a radical overhaul of EIA rules, preferring instead technical changes or amendments addressing existing shortcomings Proposals for a seventh EU environmental action plan (7EAP), which covers the period 2013-20, will be published towards the end of the year. Better implementation of existing legislation and deeper integration of green issues into the EU's broader policy framework are among the measures being considered An EU regulatory committee will vote on ecodesign standards for three more product categories: networked standby modes, vacuum cleaners and water heaters Draft ecodesign and energy labelling rules for stand-alone room heaters will be debated by stakeholders on 20 September. Stakeholder discussions on transformers, televisions, central heating and cooling products, and professional washing machines, driers and dishwashers will also take place during this period

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