Category Archives: Tackling Climate Change

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind in the coming years. Rising temperatures, melting glaciers and increasingly frequent droughts and flooding are all evidence that climate change is really happening. The risks for the whole planet and for future generations are colossal and we need to take urgent action.
For several years now the European Union has been committed to tackling climate change both internally and internationally and has placed it high on the EU agenda, as reflected in European climate change policy. Indeed, the EU is taking action to curb greenhouse gas emissions in all its areas of activity in a bid to achieve the following objectives: consuming less-polluting energy more efficiently, creating cleaner and more balanced transport options, making companies more environmentally responsible without compromising their competitiveness, ensuring environmentally friendly land-use planning and agriculture and creating conditions conducive to research and innovation.

Tackling climate change

Tackling climate change

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Tackling climate change

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Tackling climate change

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind in the coming years. Rising temperatures, melting glaciers and increasingly frequent droughts and flooding are all evidence that climate change is really happening. The risks for the whole planet and for future generations are colossal and we need to take urgent action.
For several years now the European Union has been committed to tackling climate change both internally and internationally and has placed it high on the EU agenda, as reflected in European climate change policy. Indeed, the EU is taking action to curb greenhouse gas emissions in all its areas of activity in a bid to achieve the following objectives: consuming less-polluting energy more efficiently, creating cleaner and more balanced transport options, making companies more environmentally responsible without compromising their competitiveness, ensuring environmentally friendly land-use planning and agriculture and creating conditions conducive to research and innovation.

EU CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY

A realistic long-term policy framework
Following on from work under the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP), the European Union has come up with a realistic climate change strategy, advocating practical action to prevent temperatures from increasing to more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

  • Strategy on climate change: foundations of the strategy
  • Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond
  • Launching the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP)

Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as priority objective
Reducing greenhouse gases is a key component of European action. The EU has a monitoring mechanism in place to keep regular track of emissions and the absorption of these gases. With a view to gradually reducing emissions the EU has also established a system based on market rules, a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme and specific rules on fluorinated greenhouse gases.

  • Reducing greenhouse gases by 2020
  • Greenhouse gas: reducing emissions by 20 % or more by 2020
  • Mechanism for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions
  • Greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme
  • Reduction in fluorinated greenhouse gases

Monitoring and adapting to the inevitable consequences of climate change
We are already feeling the effects of climate change. The extent of these effects can be measured thanks to the GMES monitoring system, while a number of European measures provide for an emergency response. These include, in particular, the Community Civil Protection Mechanism and specific measures concerning floods and droughts. In 2007, the Commission adopted a Green Paper on adapting to climate change in Europe.

  • European Earth monitoring programme (GMES)
  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • Civil Protection Mechanism
  • Flood management and evaluation
  • Combating deforestation
  • Fight against illegal logging

The Kyoto Protocol and the EU’s commitment in international negotiations
In the international arena, the EU is at the very forefront of the fight against climate change and takes an active part in negotiations on the subject. The EU signed up in 1998 to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which deals with six greenhouse gases. Moreover, to help developing countries meet the challenge of climate change, the EU has adopted a strategy on climate change in the context of development cooperation.

  • Kyoto Protocol on climate change
  • Implementing the Kyoto Protocol
  • Global climate change alliance
  • Climate change in the context of development cooperation

LESS POLLUTING, MORE EFFICIENT ENERGY

Focusing the energy market on security and sustainability of supply
With a package of measures adopted in 2007, the EU laid the foundations for a genuine common energy policy. This series of measures also focuses the energy market more on sustainability, particularly by means of tax measures.

  • An Energy Policy for Europe
  • Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity
  • Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels
  • Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

Controlling and rationalising energy consumption thanks to energy efficiency
The EU has launched a large-scale consultation based on a Green Paper and has adopted an Action Plan for 2007-2010 to make energy efficiency and energy saving a key component of European energy policy. It has also adopted specific measures, in particular on energy efficiency and the labelling of energy-using products.

  • Energy efficiency for the 2020 goal
  • Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (2007-12)
  • Green Paper on energy efficiency
  • Towards a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan

Making renewable energy a genuine and affordable alternative
A total of 20% of European energy consumption to be met from renewable sources by 2020: this is the target the EU set itself in 2007. To achieve this objective the EU has adopted measures aimed at promoting renewable energy sources and developing the markets in the biomass and biofuel sectors, among others.

  • Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources
  • Renewable Energy Road Map
  • Biomass Action Plan
  • EU strategy for biofuels

CLEANER BETTER-BALANCED TRANSPORT

Achieving transport policy objectives
The ambitious revitalisation of EU transport policy, through the White Paper adopted in 2001, will make a significant contribution towards reducing the impact of transport on climate change. Achieving this objective will require, in particular, better management of freight transport and the harnessing of technology.

  • Freight transport logistics in Europe
  • White paper: European transport policy for 2010

Reconciling road and air transport with the environment
The EU has adopted a wide range of measures to reduce the impact of road and air transport, including measures reducing levels of polluting emissions, traffic management measures and tax measures.

  • Taxation of heavy goods vehicles: Eurovignette Directive
  • Passenger car related taxes
  • Aviation and climate change
  • Framework for creation of the Single European Sky (SES)
  • Single European Sky II
  • Clean Sky
  • Internalisation of external transport costs

Promoting transport by rail and waterways and intermodality
To improve the balance between transport modes and to promote less polluting means of transport, the EU supports the development of measures to promote rail, maritime and waterway transport and to join up different modes of transport (intermodality).

  • White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways
  • Promotion of inland waterway transport “NAIADES”
  • Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping
  • Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships
  • The Marco Polo II programme
  • Maritime Policy Green Paper

COMPETITIVE, RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
Companies are obliged to take into consideration – and reduce – the impact of their activities on the environment (according to the “polluter pays” principle). A number of environmental management instruments are available to assist them in this.

  • Environmental liability

AGRICULTURE AND LAND-USE PLANNING TO BENEFIT THE ENVIRONMENT
Man-made greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by proper land and land-use management, including, among other things, carbon storage and the promotion of low-emission activities.

  • Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage
  • Thematic strategy for soil protection
  • Landfill of waste
  • Production and labelling of organic products

ADAPTED FRAMEWORK FOR INNOVATION
The EU has set up a raft of direct and indirect financial assistance packages, particularly to support innovative projects and technological development.

  • SET-Plan for the development of low carbon technologies
  • Seventh Framework Programme (2007 to 2013)
  • Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013)
  • Action plan in favour of environmental technologies
  • Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan)

Framework for creation of the Single European Sky

Framework for creation of the Single European Sky

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Framework for creation of the Single European Sky

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Framework for creation of the Single European Sky (SES)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 549/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 laying down the framework for the creation of the Single European Sky (‘Framework Regulation’) — Statement by the Member States on military issues related to the Single European Sky [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This regulation forms part of a package of legislation on air traffic management designed to create a single European sky by 31 December 2004. The objective of the single European sky is to ensure an optimum use of European airspace to meet the requirements of all airspace users.

The ‘Single European Sky’ package consists of this framework regulation plus three technical regulations on the provision of air navigation services, organisation and use of the airspace and the interoperability of the European air traffic management network. These regulations are designed, in particular, to improve and reinforce safety and to restructure the airspace on the basis of traffic instead of national frontiers.

The objective of this regulation is to enhance current safety standards and overall efficiency for general air traffic in Europe, to optimise capacity meeting the requirements of all airspace users and to minimise delays.

National supervisory authorities

EU countries must, jointly or individually, nominate or establish one or more bodies as their national supervisory authorities to perform the tasks assigned to such authorities. These authorities must be independent of air navigation service providers.

Single Sky Committee

A Single Sky Committee is established on the entry into force of this regulation to assist the Commission with management of the Single European Sky and make sure that due account is taken of the interests of all categories of users. It consists of two representatives of each EU country and is chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Military issues

The EU countries adopted a general statement on military issues related to the Single European Sky. According to this, they will enhance civil/military cooperation to the extent deemed necessary by all EU countries concerned.

Industry consultation body

The industry consultation body advises the Commission on the implementation of the Single European Sky.

It is made up of representatives of air navigation service providers, associations of airspace users, airport operators, the aviation manufacturing industry and professional staff representative bodies.

Implementing rules

Eurocontrol is involved in the development of implementing rules which fall within its remit, on the basis of mandates agreed by the Single Sky Committee.

Performance review

The establishment of a performance scheme aims to improve the performance of air navigation services and network functions in the single European sky. It will consist of:

  • European-wide performance targets in the key areas of safety, environment, capacity and cost-efficiency;
  • national plans including performance targets to ensure consistency with the European-wide performance targets;
  • periodic review and monitoring of the performance of air navigation services and network functions.

Safeguards

Finally, this regulation does not prevent EU countries from applying measures needed to safeguard essential security or defence policy interests.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 549/2004

20.4.2004

OJ L 96 of 31.3.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1070/2009

4.12.2009

OJ L 300 of 14.11.2009

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 255/2010 of 25 March 2010 laying down common rules on air traffic flow management [Official Journal L 80 of 26.3.2010].

Commission Regulation (EU) No 73/2010 of 26 January 2010 laying down requirements on the quality of aeronautical data and aeronautical information for the single European sky [Official Journal L 23 of 27.1.2010].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 262/2009 of 30 March 2009 laying down requirements for the coordinated allocation and use of Mode S interrogator codes for the single European sky [Official Journal L 84 of 31.3.2009].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 29/2009 of 16 January 2009 laying down requirements on data link services for the single European sky [Official Journal L 13 of 17.1.2009].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 482/2008 of 30 May 2008 establishing a software safety assurance system to be implemented by air navigation service providers and amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) N° 2096/2005 [Official Journal L 141 of 31.5.2008].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1315/2007 of 8 November 2007 on safety oversight in air traffic management and amending Regulation (EC) N° 2096/2005 [Official Journal L 291 of 9.11.2007].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1265/2007 of 26 October 2007 laying down requirements on air-ground voice channel spacing for the single European sky [Official Journal L 283 of 27.10.2007].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 633/2007 of 7 June 2007 laying down requirements for the application of a flight message transfer protocol used for the purpose of notification, coordination and transfer of flights between air traffic control units

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1794/2006 of 6 December 2006 laying down a common charging scheme for air navigation services [Official Journal L 341 of 7.12.2006].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1032/2006 of 6 July 2006 laying down requirements for automatic systems for the exchange of flight data for the purpose of notification, coordination and transfer of flights between air traffic control units [Official Journal L 186 of 7.7.2006].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1033/2006 of 4 July 2006 laying down the requirements on procedures for flight plans in the pre-flight phase for the single European sky [Official Journal L 186 of 7.7.2006].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 730/2006 of 11 May 2006 on airspace classification and access of flights operated under visual flight rules above flight level 195

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2150/2005 of 23 December 2005 laying down common rules for the flexible use of airspace [Official Journal L 342 of 24.12.2005].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2096/2005 of 20 December 2005 laying down common requirements for the provision of air navigation services [Official Journal L 335 of 21.12.2005].

Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping

Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission: Programme for the Promotion of Short Sea Shipping [COM(2003) 155 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The White Paper on European transport policy for 2010 highlights the role that short sea shipping can play in curbing the growth of heavy goods vehicle traffic, rebalancing the modal split and bypassing land bottlenecks. The development of short sea shipping can also help to reduce the growth of road transport, restore the balance between modes of transport, bypass bottlenecks and contribute to sustainable development and safety.

The Commission’s programme contains a set of 14 actions subdivided into measures, and mentions the actors responsible and the timetable (2003-2010) for each measure. The programme describes legislative, technical and operational initiatives which are aimed at developing short sea shipping at EU, national, regional and industry levels.

The legislative actions consist of:

  • implementation of the Directive on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of EU countries – this directive simplifies the administrative procedures applied to maritime transport by requiring EU countries to recognise the standard International Maritime Organisation (IMO) FAL forms which make it possible to obtain all the necessary information regarding a ship’s arrival and departure in document form. This directive on reporting formalities has now been replaced by Directive 2010/65/EU which establishes a standard electronic transmission of data;
  • implementation of the Marco Polo programme – the Marco Polo and Marco Polo II programme, with an average annual budget of €18.75 million, is aimed at shifting 12 billion tonne-kilometres a year of road freight to short sea shipping, rail and inland waterways;
  • standardisation and harmonisation of intermodal loading units – the multitude of different configurations of intermodal loading units (containers and swap-bodies) creates delays when moving from one mode of transport to another;
  • development of ‘motorways of the sea’ – motorways of the sea should make it possible to bypass land bottlenecks in Europe as part of comprehensive door-to-door logistics chains, by offering efficient, regular and frequent services that can compete with road, particularly in terms of transit time and price;
  • improvement of the environmental performance of short sea shipping – maritime transport is, in general, less harmful to the environment per tonne or passenger carried. A modal shift to short sea shipping could, for example, contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol;

The technical actions consist of:

  • a guide to customs procedures for short sea shipping – the Commission has published a guide to customs procedures for short sea shipping which has a dual purpose: firstly, to explain the customs rules, indicating opportunities for using simplified procedures (the basis for the second objective) and, secondly, to identify specific needs for further simplification;
  • identification and elimination of obstacles to making short sea shipping more successful – since 1999 the Commission has been making a list of the factors hampering the development of short sea shipping. These obstacles can be classified into five categories: its old-fashioned image, its complex administrative procedures, the lack of efficiency at ports, inconsistency in the application of rules and procedures among EU countries and the fact that it is not integrated into the intermodal logistics chain;
  • alignment of the national application and computerisation of EU customs procedures – the ‘eCustoms’ initiative is aimed at speeding up and simplifying the procedures involved in declaring cargo. One of the first tasks in this initiative is to implement the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS), which will replace the paperwork required by the Single Administrative Document (SAD) procedure, in some 3 000 customs offices in 22 countries;
  • research and technological development – the objectives of this research are to improve the quality, safety, security and environmental performance of maritime transport. A thematic network for short sea shipping has been established within the framework of the Sixth Framework Programme, to carry out research directly related to short sea shipping.

The operational actions consist of:

  • One-Stop Administrative Shops in ports – aimed at simplifying the formalities relating to the arrival, departure and clearance of ships. A ‘one-stop shop’ limits the number of administrative authorities boarding and checking every ship, as well as offering port users a single contact point or help-desk for administrative formalities;
  • ensuring the vital role of Short Sea Shipping Focal Points – it is necessary to ensure continuous cooperation between the focal points and the Commission by organising regular meetings and also to ensure a continuous flow of information via the internet-based tool ‘CIRCA’ (Communication and Information Resource Centre Administrator). The accession countries also need to be involved in this work in order to raise their awareness of the importance of short sea shipping;
  • maintaining the efficient operation and guidance of Short Sea Promotion Centres – these centres are driven by business interests and offer a practical tool to promote short sea shipping at a national level. The national centres are presently being integrated into the European Short Sea Network (ESN) which provides a common tool for the promotion of short sea shipping in Europe. The aim of this network is to exchange information and best practices and also to provide practical advice covering the various stages of a short-sea journey;
  • promoting the image of short sea shipping as a successful transport alternative – short sea shipping needs to acquire a more modern, dynamic image by highlighting its current potential, i.e. its speed, reliability, flexibility, regularity and high degree of cargo safety;
  • collection of statistical information – EU statistics on short sea shipping trade are not sufficiently detailed. The objective is to collect information on short sea shipping from the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) until the directive on maritime statistics provides sufficient information to enable comparisons to be made.

Promotion of inland waterway transport NAIADES

Promotion of inland waterway transport NAIADES

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promotion of inland waterway transport NAIADES

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Promotion of inland waterway transport “NAIADES”

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 17 January 2006 on the promotion of inland waterway transport “NAIADES”: “an Integrated European Action Programme for Inland Waterway Transport” [COM(2006) 6 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In the view of the European Union, economic competitiveness depends in part on transport systems. Its goal is to achieve transition to less energy-intensive, cleaner and safer transport modes. Inland waterway transport is an ideal choice in this respect.

This communication sets out an integrated action programme, and the European Institutions, the Member States and the inland waterway sector are invited to contribute actively to its implementation.

Inland waterway transport is booming

The Commission’s European Transport White Paper sets out to achieve economic competitiveness and sustainable mobility in the medium term. The Commission considers that inland waterway transport can contribute to the sustainability of the transport system.

Inland navigation has undergone significant expansion in the last twenty years. It would also appear that inland navigation is the most environmentally-friendly mode of land transport.

The Commission believes that growth in inland navigation may lead to a reduction in transport costs, which would favour the setting up of businesses. However, employment within the navigation sector could also be developed more. In the view of the Commission, inland navigation infrastructure is not being used at full capacity.

The difficulty in this sector arises from the fragmented market structure, which is chiefly made up of SMEs and where fierce competition restricts reinvestment ability. There is also a shortage of labour and a lack of staff within businesses.

The Commission deplores the fact that transport and logistics firms and public authorities are unaware of the advantages of inland waterway transport.

The institutional framework for inland navigation in Europe is fragmented and ineffective in terms of the use of administrative resources and attention at the political level, creating a complex environment for businesses.

Aims of the Action Programme

This programme is entitled “NAIADES” (Navigation and Inland Waterway Action and Development in Europe), for a global Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) policy. This action programme focuses chiefly on five inter-dependent areas.

  • Markets. Although IWT was developed in Western Europe, the aim is to extend these inland navigation services to new growth markets such as the transport of dangerous goods, vehicles, indivisible loads, or even refuse and recycling. The Commission hopes to encourage new multimodal services, which would require close cooperation with freight forwarders, affected businesses and the ports. However, in this sector so deserving of encouragement, problems related to access to capital are restricting financing capacity. Access to capital can be improved by tax incentives, particularly for the most affected operators, namely SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). To promote the prosperity of the IWT sector, efforts must also be made to enhance and simplify the administrative and regulatory frameworks.
  • Fleet. The advantages of IWT for transport and environment policy should result in investments being channelled into the vital modernisation and development of the sector. Maintaining good performances from an environmental point of view requires the use of new technologies, and in particular research into commercially viable alternative fuels. Safety, already exemplary in IWT, could be improved further. The legal framework should be enhanced so that new technologies can be implemented more quickly.
  • Jobs and skills. There is a severe shortage of labour in the sector. The Commission hopes to attract labour by offering to improve working and social conditions through a constructive social dialogue at European level. As regards the validity of professional qualifications, the paper proposes the mutual recognition of such qualifications throughout the European Union. It is also necessary to guarantee the existence of educational establishments in the sector by adapting training to current needs.
  • Image. It would be useful from the Commission’s point of view if general awareness and knowledge of the real potential of the sector in terms of quality and reliability were improved. Promoting the sector would ideally result in the coordination of promotion activities by all the actors concerned. The European IWT promotion and development network is already in existence in some Member States. This network provides businesses with up-to-date information. The opening of promotion centres and other national focal points should make it possible to develop the network. The dissemination of such information is essential for businesses, economic and political decision-makers and the authorities in anticipating market trends. National administrations should try to make such statistics available in a more effective manner. The Commission, professional organisations and the Central Commission for navigation on the Rhine are currently drawing up a European system for the observation of the market.
  • Infrastructure. Bottlenecks affect the 36 000 km of inland waterways, restricting their use and reducing their competitiveness. Eliminating these bottlenecks is a priority in the establishment of effective and environmentally-friendly IWT. In the view of the Commission, funding opportunities could emerge in the long term on the basis of a framework for infrastructure charging for all transport modes. The programme places the emphasis on information exchanges relating to traffic management and the monitoring of dangerous goods by the regulatory authorities. River Information Services will enhance the competitiveness and safety of IWT.

The programme makes provision for a range of activities that cannot have an effect if they are not implemented in a coherent manner. Unfortunately, the organisational structure of the IWT sector is characterised a fragmentation of resources and legal provisions. The viability of the objectives established by the Commission in this action programme depends on the discussion of different options:

  • the strengthening of cooperation between the international river commissions and the European Commission as established in the area of technical requirements for vessels. However, this perpetuates the fragmentation of rules, as different legal provisions apply in a number of different geographical regions of the EU;
  • the accession of the European Commission to the Rhine and the Danube Commissions would strengthen the Community’s participation beyond its current observer status. No political agreement has been reached on this approach;
  • the creation of an intergovernmental Pan-European Inland Navigation Organisation, on the basis of a new international convention. This option would raise the political profile of IWT but would also generate an administrative burden with the addition of a new institutional layer and the harmonisation of the entire existing legal framework;
  • the development of IWT within the Community. The Community is in a position to develop this strategic and comprehensive policy for the single market. At the same time, IWT in Europe has connections with third countries (Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia), whose interest must be taken into account.

Background

Over 35 000 km of waterways link hundred of towns and areas of industrial concentration. Since 1 January 1993, inland waterway transport has also benefited from the liberalisation of cabotage, the main effect of which has been the end of the rota system which prevented companies employing these services from having a free choice of carrier. The Commission underlines the need to implement a common transport policy that is safe, effective, competitive, conscious of social concerns and environmentally-friendly. With this aim in mind, it is adopting this communication on the promotion of inland waterway transport. Inland waterways play an important part in the transport of goods in Europe. The various measures and actions indicated in this programme will be further elaborated following deliberation in the Council and Parliament. The Commission will present, if appropriate, legislative proposals and implement the policy measures. The time frame for the implementation of the plan is the period 2006 – 2013.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 5 December 2007: “First progress report on the implementation of the NAIADES Action Programme for the promotion of inland waterway transport” [COM(2007) 770 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Since the NAIADES Action Programme was set up, the general perception of inland waterway transport has been strengthened.The Commission identifies the European legislation adopted since the Communication was adopted and undertakes to maintain the momentum created by the initiative. It intends to take action in various areas, such as:

  • financing, by setting up an innovation fund for inland waterway transport;
  • human resource issues, by adopting, for example, specific provisions on working time and professional qualification requirements;
  • the regulatory and administrative framework, in order to foster a favourable commercial environment;
  • infrastructures, by preparing an indicative development plan to improve and maintain inland waterways and internal ports, taking into account the European Port Policy and environmental requirements;
  • organisational assistance, by creating a platform of all interested stakeholders (Member States, river commissions, industry, etc.) in the shape of an IWT “think-tank”.

Council Regulation (EC) No 718/1999 of 29 March 1999 on a Community-fleet capacity policy to promote inland waterway transport [Official Journal L 90 of 2.4.1999].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 1 December 1998 – The common transport policy: “Sustainable mobility: Perspectives for the future” Commission Opinion [COM(1998) 716 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Landfill of waste

Landfill of waste

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Landfill of waste

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Landfill of waste

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste [See amending acts].

Summary

The Directive is intended to prevent or reduce the adverse effects of the landfill of waste on the environment.

It defines the different categories of waste (municipal waste, hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste and inert waste) and applies to all landfills, defined as waste disposal sites for the deposit of waste onto or into land. Landfills are divided into three classes:

  • landfills for hazardous waste;
  • landfills for non-hazardous waste;
  • landfills for inert waste.

On the other hand, the Directive does not apply to:

  • the spreading on the soil of sludges (including sewage sludges and sludges resulting from dredging operations);
  • the use in landfills of inert waste for redevelopment or restoration work;
  • the deposit of unpolluted soil or of non-hazardous inert waste resulting from prospecting and extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources as well as from the operation of quarries;
  • the deposit of non-hazardous dredging sludges alongside small waterways from which they have been dredged and of non-hazardous sludges in surface water, including the bed and its subsoil.

A standard waste acceptance procedure is laid down so as to avoid any risks:

  • waste must be treated before being landfilled;
  • hazardous waste within the meaning of the Directive must be assigned to a hazardous waste landfill;
  • landfills for non-hazardous waste must be used for municipal waste and for non-hazardous waste;
  • landfill sites for inert waste must be used only for inert waste.

The following wastes may not be accepted in a landfill:

  • liquid waste;
  • flammable waste;
  • explosive or oxidising waste;
  • hospital and other clinical waste which is infectious;
  • used tyres, with certain exceptions;
  • any other type of waste which does not meet the acceptance criteria laid down in Annex II.

The Directive sets up a system of operating permits for landfill sites. Applications for permits must contain the following information:

  • the identity of the applicant and, in some cases, of the operator;
  • a description of the types and total quantity of waste to be deposited;
  • the capacity of the disposal site;
  • a description of the site;
  • the proposed methods for pollution prevention and abatement;
  • the proposed operation, monitoring and control plan;
  • the plan for closure and aftercare procedures;
  • the applicant’s financial security;
  • an impact assessment study, where required under Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

Member States must ensure that existing landfill sites may not continue to operate unless they comply with the provisions of the Directive as soon as possible.

Member States must report to the Commission every three years on the implementation of the Directive.

On the basis of these reports, the Commission must publish a Community report on the implementation of the Directive;

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 1999/31/EC

16.07.1999

16.07.2001

OJ L 182 of 16.07.1999

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003

20.11.2003

OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

OJ L 311 of 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 1999/31/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version  is of documentary value only.

Related Acts


Information on islands and isolated settlements excluded by Member States under Article 3(4) of the Landfill Directive [Official Journal C 316 of 13 December 2005].

Council Decision 2003/33/EC of 19 December 2002 establishing criteria and procedures for the acceptance of waste at landfills pursuant to Article 16 of and Annex II to Directive 1999/31/EC [Official Journal L 11 of 16.01.2003].

Commission Decision 2000/738/EC of 17 November 2000 concerning a questionnaire for Member States’ reports on the implementation of Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste [Official Journal L 298 of 25.11.2000].

Reports

Report from the Commission of 20 November 2009 on implementation of the community waste legislation Directive 2006/12/EC on waste, Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, Directive 75/439/EEC on waste oils, Directive 86/278/EEC on sewage sludge, Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste and Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment for the period 2004-2006 [COM(2009) 633 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The implementation of the Directive on the landfill of waste remains highly unsatisfactory and considerable efforts need to be undertaken to improve it. Ten years after the adoption of the Directive, not all Member States report having transposed and implemented all its provisions. There are still a large number of illegal landfills, which do not have the authorisations required by EU legislation on waste. A vast majority of Member States did not meet the deadline of 16 July 2009 to ensure that all sub-standard landfills (unless specifically derogated) that existed before the introduction of the Directive complied with its requirements. Only nine Member States report having met the 2006 targets for the diversion of biodegradable municipal waste from landfills and capture of landfill gas appears insufficient.
In 2009, thirteen non-conformity cases and eleven bad application cases were pending against Member States. In response to these systemic failures of Member States to properly implement the EU waste legislation, the Commission has taken a strategic approach.

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on implementation of the Community waste legislation: Directive 75/442/EEC, Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste, Directive 75/439/EEC on waste oils, Directive 86/278/EEC on sewage sludge, Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste and Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste for the period 2001-2003 [COM(2006) 406 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Some Member States have made use of the possibility of excluding certain wastes or landfills from some provisions of the Directive (for example remote sites and underground storage). In a certain number of countries, a very high number of landfills for non-hazardous waste and for inert waste will have to be re-equipped or closed by 2009 to conform to the Directive. Most Member States have defined some criteria for wastes acceptable in landfills and prepared national strategies for reducing biodegradable waste going to landfills. The Commission has initiated infringement cases because of the numerous unauthorised landfills for failing to ensure that all operators of existing landfills had presented their conditioning plans by 16 July 2002.

Report from the Commission of 30 March 2005 on the national strategies for the reduction of biodegradable waste going to landfills pursuant to Article 5(1) of Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste [COM(2005) 105 – not published in the Official Journal].
By January 2004 the Commission had received the national strategies from twelve Member States (Ireland and Spain did not submit their strategies and Finland submitted its strategy too late to be included in the report). Belgium and the United Kingdom presented their strategies on a regional basis. The ten new Member States were also to submit their strategies after accession.
The report points out that all the strategies promote composting, recycling of paper and energy recovery. Most strategies stress the importance of using source segregated organic waste to obtain good quality compost. The level of detail of the strategies and the measures to achieve the targets vary considerably. Some Member States have chosen legally binding measures, while others have chosen voluntary measures and incentives. It is not possible to tell with any certainty from studying the strategies whether the reduction objectives will be met in those Member States which have not yet done so; however it seems that further effort must be made for the objectives to be achieved.

Biomass Action Plan

Biomass Action Plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Biomass Action Plan

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Biomass Action Plan

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 7 December 2005 – Biomass Action Plan [COM(2005) 628 final – Official Journal C 49 of 28.02.2005].

Summary

To cope with the increasing dependence on imported energy, the European Union (EU) must bring into play a new energy policy, the three main objectives of which are competitiveness, sustainable development and security of supply.

It is in this wider context of an integrated and coherent energy policy and, in particular, of promoting renewable energy sources that the Commission is presenting this Biomass Action Plan.

Biomass

Biomass, i.e. all organic plant and animal products used to produce energy (or in agriculture), currently accounts for around half (44 to 65%) of all renewable energy used in the EU.

Biomass currently meets 4% of the EU’s energy needs (69 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe)). The aim is to increase biomass use to around 150 million toe by 2010.

An increase of this magnitude could bring such benefits as:

  • diversifying Europe’s energy supply;
  • significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions * (209 million tonnes);
  • direct employment for 250 to 300 000 people;
  • potentially lowering the price of oil as a result of lower demand.

It is important to note that these benefits can probably be obtained without additional pollution or other forms of environmental damage.

The predicted cost of expenditure linked to renewable energy is estimated at EUR 9 billion per year.

The Commission identifies three sectors in which biomass use should be prioritised, namely heat production, electricity production and transport.

Biomass for heating

Heating is without a doubt the sector which uses the most biomass, and does so simply and cheaply in terms of technology. However, paradoxically, biomass is growing slowest in this sector.

The Commission plans to use various measures to improve this situation, including:

  • adopting new specific legislation on renewable energy in heating;
  • amending the Directive on the energy performance of buildings;
  • carrying out a study of how to improve the performance of household biomass boilers and reduce pollution.

However, it appears that renewable fuels are more suited for use in district heating * than individual heating. Their use should therefore be promoted by making them more competitive, cost-effective and convenient to use.

Electricity from biomass

The Commission points out that there are many ways of generating electricity from renewable energy sources. Attention should focus on the Directive on electricity from renewable energy sources in this area.

Using biofuels in transport

As with electricity production, the transport sector is also governed by Community legislation in the form of the Directive on biofuels for transport.

In accordance with this Directive, the Commission plans to present a report in 2006 on the implementation of the Directive, with a view to a possible revision. It will address the issues of:

  • national targets for the market share of biofuels;
  • the obligation to use biofuels;
  • implementing a system to certify conformity with biofuels standards.

The Commission is set to put forward a legislative proposal for the vehicle market aimed at encouraging public procurement of clean vehicles. The future strategy on the car industry, which should be published in 2006, provides for various measures concerning:

  • the use of biofuels;
  • establishing tax incentives;
  • providing consumer information;
  • reducing congestion.

In terms of balancing domestic production and imports of biofuels, the Commission’s approach is to:

  • propose the amendment of standard EN14214 to facilitate the use of a wider range of vegetable oils for biodiesel *, to the extent feasible without significant ill-effects on fuel performance;
  • address the issue of amending the biofuels directive so that only biofuels whose cultivation complies with minimum sustainability standards count towards its targets;
  • maintain market access conditions for imported bioethanol * that are no less favourable than those provided by the trade agreements currently in force;
  • pursue a balanced approach in ongoing free trade agreement negotiations with ethanol-producing countries/regions;
  • support developing countries that wish to produce biofuels and develop their domestic markets;

In terms of standards, the Commission is currently re-examining two areas of the fuel quality directive;

  • impact on health and the environment;
  • impact on the achievement of the objectives in the biofuels directive and the cost of achieving them.

The Commission also plans to remove unjustified or discriminatory technical barriers to using biofuels.

Lastly, as Europe is better at producing bioethanol than biodiesel, the Commission will encourage the use of ethanol (in place of methanol *) to reduce demand for diesel.

Stimulating biomass supply

In terms of agriculture, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) introduced a special “aid for energy crops”. In 2006 the Commission will evaluate the implementation of this and, if necessary, will put forward proposals reflecting the Union’s objectives in terms of biofuels. In addition to this the Commission will fund an information campaign on the priorities for energy crops and the prospects for exploiting them.

Statistics for forestry * show that around 35% of the annual growth in EU forests remains unused. To address this, the Commission is currently preparing an action plan, which should be adopted in 2006. The plan will, in particular, examine the matter of generating electricity from wood. The Commission will also review the impact of the energy use of wood and wood residues on forest-based industries.

Waste is also an underused energy resource. For this reason the Commission is currently developing a thematic strategy on preventing and recycling waste, and is preparing a proposal on the revision of the waste framework legislation.

Animal by-products not destined for human consumption are increasingly being recovered for energy. Consequently, the Commission plans to review the regulatory framework governing such production processes, so that new sources of energy may be opened up while maintaining current levels of protection for public and animal health.

The Commission is also paying particular attention to the adoption of European standards for solid biomass fuels in order to facilitate trade, develop markets and increase consumer confidence. The European Committee for Standardisation is working to define these standards.

Regarding supply, a European trading floor for pellets and chips has been initiated with support from the EU Intelligent Energy for Europe programme (2003-2006). The Commission will also look at how the results can be improved, with a view to possibly establishing a Community-wide trading system.

Lastly, action plans making it easier to evaluate biomass at various levels (physical and economic availability, priorities for use, measures to be taken, etc.) are encouraged by the Commission both at national and regional level.

Financing biomass

Supporting the development of renewable and alternative energy sources is a key objective for the structural and cohesion funds. The EU and the Member States must therefore promote the development of renewable energy sources through regional policy.

The Commission also points out that support for biomass production and use must comply with Community state aid policy.

Biomass and research

The Commission’s proposal for the Seventh Framework Programme gives a high priority to biomass research.

The Commission plans in particular to look at how best to take forward research into the optimisation of agricultural and woody crops for energy purposes, and into conversion processes.

Lastly, through the Intelligent energy for Europe programme (2007-2013), the Commission will support the dissemination of techniques that reflect European objectives for renewable energy.

Background

This Biomass Action Plan is part of the new EU energy policy set out in the Green Paper on energy published in March 2006. Most of the recommendations it contains were supported by EU Heads of State or Government at the spring European Council of 23 and 24 March 2006. Developing safe, competitive and sustainable energy is therefore one of the EU’s priorities in relaunching the Lisbon Strategy.

Key terms used in the act
  • The main greenhouse gases are water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide and ozone (O3).
  • District heating: collective heat distribution equipment for heat generated in the form of vapour or hot water by several production units.
  • Biodiesel: fuel obtained from vegetable or animal oil which has been transformed through a chemical process called transesterification.
  • Bioethanol: biofuel for use in petrol engines. Plants which contain saccharose (beetroots, sugar cane, etc.) or starch (wheat, maize, etc.) can be transformed to produce bioethanol. This is obtained by fermenting the sugar extract of sugary plants or by distilling starch from wheat or maize.
  • Methanol: methanol is also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol and its chemical formula is CH3OH. It is the simplest form of alcohol and is highly toxic. It is a light, volatile, transparent and inflammable liquid which is used as anti-freeze, a solvent, as fuel (in the North American Champcar world series since 1964), and to denature ethyl alcohol.
  • Forestry: this covers all practices by which goods are produced from forests in a reasonable and sustainable way.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – The Renewable Energy Progress Report: Commission Report in accordance with Article 3 of Directive 2001/77/EC, Article 4(2) of Directive 2003/30/EC, and on the implementation of the EU Biomass Action Plan, COM(2005) 628 [

COM(2009) 192

final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Report describes the progress made in the field of renewable energy. In the electricity sector, in particular, the renewable energy share has increased in some Member States. In addition, the transport sector has seen its renewable energy share increase by 1.6 points since 2004. In spite of this positive trend, the European Union is likely to fail to meet its 2010 renewable energy targets. It is therefore essential that the European Commission should continue to encourage Member States to apply the existing legislation and if necessary to initiate infringement proceedings in order to make further progress towards achieving these objectives.

Communication from the Commission of 19 October 2006 – Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential [COM(2006) 545 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 26 May 2005 to the Council and the European Parliament, “The share of renewable energy in the EU” [COM(2004) 366 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Renewable Energy Road Map

Renewable Energy Road Map

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Renewable Energy Road Map

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Renewable Energy Road Map

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 10 January 2007: “Renewable Energy Road Map. Renewable energies in the 21st century: building a more sustainable future” [COM(2006) 848 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Road Map sets out the Commission’s long-term strategy for renewable energy in the European Union (EU). The aim of this strategy is to enable the EU to meet the twin objectives of increasing security of energy supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

An assessment of the share of renewable energy in the energy mix and the progress made in the last 10 years shows that more and better use could be made of renewables.

In the Road Map, the Commission proposes setting a mandatory target of 20% for renewable energy’s share of energy consumption in the EU by 2020 and a mandatory minimum target of 10% for biofuels. It also proposes creating a new legislative framework to enhance the promotion and use of renewable energy.

Current contribution of renewable energy

In 2005, the breakdown of renewable energy produced in the EU by source was as follows: 66.1% from biomass, 22.2% from hydropower, 5.5% from wind power, 5.5% from geothermal energy and 0.7% from solar power (thermal and photovoltaic).

In 1997, the EU set itself the target of generating 12% of gross domestic energy consumption from renewable sources by 2010. Despite the considerable progress that has been made, the Commission is of the opinion that this target will not be met.

The difficulties encountered in meeting this target can partly be explained by:

  • the high cost of renewable energy owing to the investment required and the fact that externalities (the “external” cost of the different energy sources, particularly their long-term impact on health or the environment) have not been taken into account, which gives fossil fuels an artificial advantage;
  • administrative problems resulting from installation procedures and the decentralised nature of most renewable energy applications;
  • the opaque and/or discriminatory rules governing grid access;
  • inadequate information for suppliers, customers and installers;
  • the fact that the 12% target is expressed as a percentage of primary energy, which puts wind power at a disadvantage (a sector that has experienced considerable growth during the period in question).

Furthermore, the progress made by the Member States has been patchy and highly uneven. The absence of a legally binding target and the gaps in the Community’s legal framework for renewable energy have meant that real progress has only been possible in the few Member States whose determination has outweighed their changing political priorities.

In accordance with Directive 2001/77/EC, all Member States have adopted national targets for the proportion of electricity consumption from renewable energy sources. If all Member States meet their national targets, 21% of total electricity consumption in the EU will be produced from renewable energy sources by 2010. Although some Member States are on track to meet their target, it seems that the majority of counties are behind schedule, and the EU will only manage to produce 19% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010. Additional efforts are therefore required.

In 2005, the breakdown of renewable energy sources for electricity production in the EU was as follows: 66.1% from hydropower, 16.3% from wind power, 15.8% from biomass, 1.2% from geothermal energy and 0.3% from solar power (thermal and photovoltaic).

The 5.75% target for the contribution of biofuels to total fuel consumption by 2010, set on the basis of Directive 2003/30/EC, will probably not be met either unless current policies are strengthened. Only two Member States met the intermediate target of 2% for the contribution of biofuels by 2005. In 2005, biodiesel accounted for 81.5% of total biofuel production in the EU, while bioethanol accounted for 18.5%.

The Commission is of the opinion that the heating and cooling sector, which accounts for approximately 50% of final energy consumption, is not doing enough to exploit the potential of renewable energy sources, which contributed less than 10% of the energy used for heating or cooling in 2005. The EU has not so far adopted any legislation with the direct aim of promoting heating or cooling from renewable sources.

The percentage of renewable energy used in this sector has risen only slowly. Biomass is the principal renewable energy source used for heating. The extent to which other energy sources have been developed varies considerably depending on the type of source and the country in question (for example: geothermal heat in Sweden and Hungary and solar thermal energy in Germany and Greece, among others).

Objectives for the future

The Road Map sets an overall mandatory target of 20% for the proportion of renewable energy figuring in gross domestic consumption by 2020. Setting targets at European level will make it possible to ensure that national policies on this issue remain relatively stable.

The Commission wishes to set a minimum target of 10% for biofuels for 2020. This target will be accompanied by an amendment to Directive 98/70/EC on fuel quality, in order to include the contribution made by biofuels.

The Road Map provides for each Member State to adopt mandatory targets and action plans in line with its potential. These action plans must include specific measures and objectives for the three following sectors: electricity, biofuels and heating and cooling. This flexible approach will leave Member States enough room for manoeuvre. Suitable legislation will be proposed in 2007.

Policies and measures

The Commission will propose measures to improve the Internal Market and remove the barriers to developing renewable energy in the electricity sector and the heating and cooling sector by, for example, reducing the administrative burden, improving transparency and provision of information, and adjusting and increasing the number of installations and interconnection systems.

The Commission will also propose measures to support, encourage and promote renewable energy sources, including an incentive/support system for biofuels and the use of public procurement, particularly in the transport sector.

The Commission will continue to cooperate closely with those involved in the renewable energy sector (grid authorities, European electricity regulators and the renewable energy industry) to enable better integration of renewable energy sources into the power grid.

The Commission will encourage optimal use of the existing financial instruments, such as the Structural and Cohesion Funds, as well as instruments that focus on supporting research and disseminating technology, such as the next Strategic Energy Technology Plan, the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development or the ” Intelligent Energy for Europe ” Programme.

The Commission will also ensure the continued exchange of best practices and the inclusion of the external costs of fossil fuels in their price (in particular through energy taxes).

Member States and local and regional authorities are encouraged to make maximum use of the instruments available to them and promote the development of renewable energy sources, e.g. through administrative simplification and improved planning.

Cost-benefit analysis

Renewable energy sources produce negligible or zero greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing renewable energy’s share of the total produced by all available fuels will therefore significantly reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission estimates that the 20% target will make it possible to cut CO2 emissions by 600-900 million tonnes per year, generating savings of between 150 billion and 200 billion, if the price of CO2 rises to 25/tonne.

Moreover, developing alternative energy sources to fossil fuels will help guarantee security of energy supply in the EU and reduce the energy bill resulting from increases in the price of fossil fuels. Consequently, if the EU meets its 20% target in 2020, it is estimated that savings will be made of over 250 million TOE (tonnes of oil equivalent) per year by 2020, of which 200 million TOE would otherwise be imported.

Furthermore, developing the technologies used in the renewable energy sector will create new business opportunities, particularly for exporting these technologies. It is also expected to have a positive impact on employment and GDP growth.

The cost of renewable energy has been falling steadily for the last 20 years, but remains higher than that of conventional energy sources. This is above all because the external costs of fossil fuels have not been internalised. The average additional cost of meeting the 20% target is estimated at between 10 billion and 18 billion per year, depending on energy prices and the research efforts made.

Background

This Road Map is an integral part of the review of European energy policy which took place in early 2007 (“Energy Package”). It responds to the request made by the European Council in March 2006 for further promotion of renewable energy sources in the long term.

Related Acts

Commission Communication of 26 May 2004 on the share of renewable energy in the EU. Commission Report in accordance with Article 3 of Directive 2001/77/EC – evaluation of the effect of legislative instruments and other Community policies on the development of the contribution of renewable energy sources in the EU and proposals for concrete actions [COM(2004) 366

final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Communication of 26 November 1997 on energy for the future: renewable sources of energy – White Paper for a Community strategy and action plan [COM(97) 599 final

– Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Green Paper of 20 November 1996 on renewable sources of energy [COM(96) 576

final – Not published in the Official Journal].

 

White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community's railways

White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways

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Environment > Tackling climate change

White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways

Document or Iniciative

Commission White Paper of 30 July 1996: “A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways” [COM(96) 421 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The railway sector is in decline and its market share is falling. Rail is felt not to respond to market changes or customers’ needs. However, rail has characteristics which could make it an increasingly attractive form of transport in Europe. Many possibilities already exist for improving and developing services, and new areas of opportunity may open up. To meet these challenges, the Community needs a new kind of railway.

Finances: For the railways to flourish, clear financial objectives and a proper division of responsibilities between the State and railway companies are essential. The railways must have a financial structure that allows effective, independent management. Railway finances should be organised as follows:

  • Member States should relieve railways of the burdens of the past;
  • the railways should be run on a commercial basis.

Introducing market forces into rail: Strengthening the market will give management and workers incentives to reduce costs, improve service quality and develop new products and markets.

  • The Commission has drawn up a number of proposals to achieve this:
  • it proposes extending access rights to railway infrastructure for all freight services and international passenger services;
  • as regards domestic passenger transport, the Commission will examine several options for improving the institutional framework for developing the railways of the future;
  • the Commission will propose modification of Community legislation to require the separation of infrastructure management and transport operations into distinct business units, with separate management and balance sheets;
  • it also proposes promoting the creation of a number of trans-European rail freeways for freight.

Public services: The aim is to offer citizens satisfactory mobility thanks to continuity and quality of transport services, and to contribute to sustainable development, social cohesion and regional balance in the European Union.

The Commission’s proposals are as follows:

  • to improve the quality/price ratio in the transport sector;
  • to generalise the use of public service contracts agreed by the State and the transport operator;
  • to study the practical problems associated with introducing market forces.

Integration of national systems: Railways developed on national lines, which resulted in difficulties in operating across frontiers, inadequate planning of infrastructure and fragmentation of the supply industry and research. Integration is far from complete.

The Commission is proposing the following measures:

  • to examine the scope for improving interoperability on major international routes in cost-effective ways;
  • to study how to eliminate delays at frontiers for freight traffic;
  • to assess what improvements need to be made to infrastructure to develop freight transport;
  • to assess policy instruments to reduce railway noise;
  • to emphasise socio-economic study proposals to support the transition from several national railway systems to one European system.

Railway workers are concerned that restructuring may cause job losses, both in the railways and in the supply industries.

Several measures are being considered:

  • to plan large-scale training schemes to facilitate the redeployment of redundant workers;
  • to examine the possibilities the European Social Fund can offer in the future for helping the workforce to adapt to the restructuring of the railways.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: “Trans-European rail freight freeways – [COM(1997) 242 final – not published in the Official Journal].

In its communication the Commission advocates the introduction of rail corridors to operate on the following principles:

  • access to freeways must be fair, equal and non-discriminatory for all train operators licensed in the Community;
  • the granting of licences, allocation of infrastructure capacity and charging of infrastructure fees within the framework of these freeways should be in compliance with Directives 95/18/EC and 95/19/EC;
  • freeways should be open to cabotage;
  • freight terminals should be open for fair, equal and non-discriminatory access to all train, road haulage and waterway operators.

To improve Europe’s rail freight options, the Commission proposes the creation of a one-stop-shop to market freeways. It underlines the need to improve the distribution of train paths, establish a tariff structure which reflects relevant costs, reduce delays at borders and introduce quality criteria. The Commission lists the actions to be taken with a view to setting up freeways.

In July 1998, the Commission presented three new proposals aimed solely at making existing legislation more effective. On 26 February 2001, the Council adopted the three Directives known as the “rail infrastructure package”:

Directive 2001/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

Directive 2001/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 amending Council Directive 95/18/CE on the licensing of railway undertakings [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

Directive 2001/14/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

On 23 January 2002, the European Commission proposed a new set of measures (known as the “second railway package”) aimed at revitalising the railways through the rapid construction of an integrated European railway area. The actions presented are based on the guidelines of the transport White Paper and are aimed at improved safety, interoperability and opening up of the rail freight market. The Commission had also proposed establishing a European Railway Agency responsible for providing technical support for the safety and interoperability work.

White Paper presented by the Commission on 12 September 2001: “European transport policy for 2010: time to decide” [COM(2001) 370 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/CE on the licensing of railway undertakings and Directive 2001/14/CE on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Directive 2004/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Directive 2004/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 establishing a European Railway Agency [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Finally, on 3 March 2004 the Commission adopted its “third rail package” containing measures to revitalise the railways in Europe:

Communication from the Commission “Further integration of the European rail system:” [COM(2004) 140 final – not published in the Official Journal].

The European Commission puts forward new proposals to open up the international passenger transport market by 2010 and to regulate passenger rights and the certification of train crews. This third package should complete the European regulatory framework for the rail sector.

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [COM(2004) 139 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the certification of train crews operating locomotives and trains on the Community’s rail network [COM(2004) 142 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on international rail passengers’ rights and obligations [COM(2004) 143 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on compensation in cases of non-compliance with contractual quality requirements for rail freight services [COM(2004) 144 final – not published in the Official Journal].

of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [2004/51/EC – Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004].

of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system [2004/50/EC – Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004].

Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Directive establishes a common framework for the production and promotion of energy from renewable sources.

National targets and measures

Each Member State has a target calculated according to the share of energy from renewable sources in its gross final consumption for 2020. This target is in line with the overall ’20-20-20′ goal for the Community.

Moreover, the share of energy from renewable sources in the transport sector must amount to at least 10 % of final energy consumption in the sector by 2020.

National renewable energy action plans

The Member States are to establish national action plans which set the share of energy from renewable sources consumed in transport, as well as in the production of electricity and heating, for 2020. These action plans must take into account the effects of other energy efficiency measures on final energy consumption (the higher the reduction in energy consumption, the less energy from renewable sources will be required to meet the target). These plans will also establish procedures for the reform of planning and pricing schemes and access to electricity networks, promoting energy from renewable sources.

Cooperation between Member States

Member States can “exchange” an amount of energy from renewable sources using a statistical transfer, and set up joint projects concerning the production of electricity and heating from renewable sources.

It is also possible to establish cooperation with third countries. The following conditions must be met:

  • the electricity must be consumed in the Community;
  • the electricity must be produced by a newly constructed installation (after June 2009);
  • the quantity of electricity produced and exported must not benefit from any other support.

Guarantee of origin

Each Member State must be able to guarantee the origin of electricity, heating and cooling produced from renewable energy sources. The information contained in these guarantees of origin is normalised and should be recognised in all Member States. It may also be used to provide consumers with information on the composition of the different electricity sources.

Access to and operation of the grids

Member States should build the necessary infrastructures for energy from renewable sources in the transport sector. To this end, they should:

  • ensure that operators guarantee the transport and distribution of electricity from renewable sources;
  • provide for priority access for this type of energy.

Biofuels and bioliquids

The Directive takes into account energy from biofuels and bioliquids. The latter should contribute to a reduction of at least 35 % of greenhouse gas emissions in order to be taken into account. From 1 January 2017, their share in emissions savings should be increased to 50 %.

Biofuels and bioliquids are produced using raw materials coming from outside or within the Community. Biofuels and bioliquids should not be produced using raw materials from land with high biodiversity value or with high carbon stock. To benefit from financial support, they must be qualified as “sustainable” in accordance with the criteria of this Directive.

Context

The Directive is part of a package of energy and climate change legislation which provides a legislative framework for Community targets for greenhouse gas emission savings. It encourages energy efficiency, energy consumption from renewable sources, the improvement of energy supply and the economic stimulation of a dynamic sector in which Europe is setting an example.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2009/28/EC

25.6.2009 5.12.2010 OJ l140 of 5.6.2009

Related Act

Report from the Commission of 25 February 2010 to the Council and the European Parliament on sustainability requirements for the use of solid and gaseous biomass sources in electricity, heating and cooling [COM(2010) 11 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

This Report is accompanied by an impact assessment (SEC(2010)65 ) and a summary of the impact assessment (SEC(2010)66 ).
This Report sets out the results of the assessment carried out by the Commission on the requirements for a sustainability scheme for energy uses of biomass other than biofuels and
bioliquids (i.e. solid and gaseous fuels in electricity, heating and cooling).
In its analysis of requirements for extending the EU sustainability scheme of solid and gaseous biomass in electricity, heating and cooling, the Commission has considered three principles which a European-wide policy on biomass sustainability has to meet:

  • effectiveness in dealing with problems of sustainable biomass use;
  • cost-efficiency in meeting the objectives;
  • consistency with existing policies.

Based on this analysis, the Report concludes that at this stage it is not necessary to establish a binding and harmonised European scheme in this area. The existing measures are sufficient for ensuring that solid and gaseous biomass consumed at EU level in the electricity heating and cooling sectors is sustainable.
However, the Commission makes recommendations related to sustainability and strongly encourages Member States to take them into account in order to ensure consistency between existing or future national sustainability schemes. The recommendations are mainly based on the sustainability scheme included in Directive 2009/28/EC on biofuels and bioliquids.
The Commission specifies that between now and 31 December 2011, it will report on whether national schemes have sufficiently addressed the sustainability issues related to the use of biomass from inside and outside the EU and whether these schemes have led to barriers to trade and barriers to the development of the bio-energy sector. It will consider if additional measures such as common sustainability criteria at EU level would be appropriate.

The Marco Polo II programme

The Marco Polo II programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Marco Polo II programme

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

The Marco Polo II programme

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1692/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing the second Marco Polo programme for the granting of Community financial assistance to improve the environmental performance of the freight transport system (Marco Polo II) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1382/2003 [See amending act].

Summary

The Marco Polo II programme pursues the same objectives as the first Marco Polo programme. It is designed to reduce congestion and improve the environmental performance of the intermodal transport system, thereby contributing to an efficient and sustainable transport system which provides European Union (EU) added value without having a negative impact on economic, social or territorial cohesion. However, Marco Polo II includes some new features.

The Marco Polo II programme provides for wider geographical coverage. It covers actions involving the territory of at least two EU countries or the territory of at least one EU country and the territory of a close non-EU country.

The following actions are eligible:

  • catalyst actions: actions aimed at overcoming significant structural barriers in the EU freight transport market which impede the efficient functioning of the markets, the competitiveness of short sea shipping, rail or inland waterway transport, and/or the efficiency of transport chains which make use of these modes. They are aimed at improving synergies in the rail, inland waterway and short sea shipping sectors, including motorways of the sea, by making better use of existing infrastructure;
  • modal shift actions: actions aimed at shifting freight from road to short sea shipping, rail, inland waterways or a combination of modes of transport. The objective is to keep road journeys as short as possible;
  • common learning actions: actions aimed at improving cooperation for structurally optimising working methods and procedures in the freight transport chain, taking the requirements of logistics into account;
  • motorways of the sea: an idea introduced by the 2001 White Paper on European transport policy. Motorways of the sea are aimed at directly shifting a proportion of freight from road to short sea shipping or a combination of short sea shipping and other modes of transport in which road journeys are as short as possible. For example, motorways of the sea could be established between France and Spain to eliminate the road traffic bottleneck in the Pyrenees;
  • traffic avoidance actions: any innovative action aimed at integrating transport into the production logistics of businesses to avoid a large percentage of freight transport by road without adversely affecting production output or workforce capability.

The Commission is also examining the possibility of supporting the creation or modification of ancillary infrastructure which is required and appropriate for the successful completion of projects.

Actions must be submitted by undertakings or consortia established in EU countries or participating countries, which includes candidate countries for EU accession and EFTA, EEA and close non-EU countries subject to certain conditions. Undertakings established outside of the participating countries above may be associated with a project, but may not receive EU funding under the programme. Aid for the launch of actions must be transparent, objective and clearly delimited. EU financial assistance is based on the number of tonne-kilometres transferred from the road to other means of sea or land transport or the number of vehicle-kilometres of road freight avoided. The objective is to reward high-quality projects. Distortions of competition must be avoided in the selection procedure.

The programme pays special attention to sensitive and metropolitan areas. The Commission evaluates the actions submitted, taking account of their contribution to reducing road congestion, but also their relative environmental merits and their overall sustainability.

The EU financial assistance for the various actions is limited to a maximum of 35 % of the total expenditure necessary to achieve the objectives of the action and incurred as a result of it. In the case of common learning actions, the ceiling is 50 %. The Marco Polo II programme has a wider scope than its predecessor and a larger budget of EUR 400 million.

The Commission must present an evaluation report on the results of the Marco Polo I programme for the period 2003 to 2006 by 30 June 2007.

Background

The Marco Polo II programme, which covers the period 2007 to 2013, is an extended version of the initial programme set up in 2003, which was oversubscribed and inadequately funded: in the four selection procedures for the first Marco Polo programme the Commission received proposals covering a level of assistance of EUR 468 million but only had a budget of EUR 100 million.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1692/2006

14.12.2006

OJ L 328, 24.11.2006

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 923/2009

10.10.2009

OJ L 266, 9.10.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1692/2006 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.