Tag Archives: Atmospheric pollution

National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive has been adopted in line with the 1997 communication concerning the strategy to combat acidification, which sought to establish, for the first time, national emission ceilings for certain pollutants.

Scope

This Directive covers emissions in the territory of the Member States and their exclusive economic zones from four pollutants which arise as a result of human activities:

  • emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2),
  • emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx),
  • emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), and
  • emissions of ammonia (NH3).

These pollutants are responsible for the phenomena of acidification, eutrophication and tropospheric ozone formation (also called “bad ozone”, present at low altitude, as opposed to stratospheric ozone), irrespective of the sources of pollution.

National emission ceilings

This Directive provides for the introduction of national emission ceilings by the end of 2010 at the latest. These ceilings are laid down in Annex I to the Directive.

Interim environmental objectives

The purpose of the emission ceilings is broadly to meet the following interim environmental objectives:

  • the areas with critical loads of acid depositions will be reduced by at least 50% compared with 1990;
  • ground-level ozone loads above the critical level for human health will be reduced by two-thirds compared with the 1990 situation. An absolute limit is also set. The guide value set by the World Health Organisation may not be exceeded on more than 20 days a year;
  • ground-level ozone loads above the critical level for crops and semi-natural vegetation will be reduced by one-third compared with 1990. An absolute limit is also set.

National programmes

Member States are required to draw up programmes, by 1 October 2002, for the progressive reduction of their annual national emissions. The programmes must be updated and revised as necessary in 2006. They must be made available to the public and to appropriate organisations and submitted to the Commission.

Emission inventories

Moreover, Member States must prepare and annually update national emission inventories and emission projections for SO2, NOx, VOC and NH3. These inventories and projections must be reported to the Commission and the European Environment Agency each year by 31 December at the latest.

Reports

The Commission must report (in 2004, 2008 and 2012) to the European Parliament and the Council on progress on the implementation of the ceilings and towards attaining the interim environmental objectives and the long-term objectives set by the Directive. These reports must contain an economic assessment of the implementation of the national emission ceilings, including cost-effectiveness, costs and benefits, impact on competitiveness and socio-economic impact in each Member State.

The Commission will report to the Council and the European Parliament on the extent to which emissions from international maritime traffic and aircraft contribute to acidification, eutrophication and the formation of ground-level ozone within the Community. It will also specify the action which could be taken to reduce emissions from these sectors.

Cooperation with third countries

Member States and the Commission shall cooperate with third countries and the international organisations concerned with the aim of exchanging information and making progress in research aiming to reduce emissions of SO2, NOx, VOC and NH3.

References

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

Directive 2001/81/EC

27.11.2001

27.11.2002

Official Journal 309 of 27.11.2001

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

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

Related Acts

Council Decision 2003/507/EC of 13 June 2003 on the accession of the European Community to the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-Level Ozone.

This Protocol seeks to cut emissions of sulphur, NOx, NH3 and VOC caused by human activity and capable of damaging human health and the environment through processes of acidification, eutrophication and tropospheric ozone formation resulting from long-range transboundary transport.

Industrial emissions

Industrial emissions

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Industrial emissions

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Industrial emissions

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control).

Summary

This Directive brings together Directive 2008/1/EC (the ‘IPPC Directive’) and six other directives in a single directive on industrial emissions.

Sectors of activity

This Directive shall cover industrial activities with a major pollution potential, defined in Annex I to the Directive (energy industries, production and processing of metals, mineral industry, chemical industry, waste management, rearing of animals, etc.).

The Directive shall contain special provisions for the following installations:

  • combustion plants (≥ 50 MW);
  • waste incineration or co-incineration plants;
  • certain installations and activities using organic solvents;
  • installations producing titanium dioxide.

This Directive shall not apply to research activities, development activities or the testing of new products and processes.

Environmental requirements

Any industrial installation which carries out the activities listed in Annex I to the Directive must meet certain basic obligations:

  • preventive measures are taken against pollution;
  • the best available techniques (BAT) are applied;
  • no significant pollution is caused;
  • waste is reduced, recycled or disposed of in the manner which creates least pollution;
  • energy efficiency is maximised;
  • accidents are prevented and their impact limited;
  • sites are remediated when the activities come to an end.

Application of best available techniques

Industrial installations must use the best available techniques to achieve a high general level of protection of the environment as a whole, which are developed on a scale which allows implementation in the relevant industrial sector, under economically and technically viable conditions. The European Commission must adopt BAT conclusions containing the emission levels associated with the BAT. These conclusions shall serve as a reference for the drawing up of permit conditions.

Permit conditions

The permit must provide for the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the operator’s basic obligations and environmental quality standards. These measures shall comprise at least:

  • emission limit values for polluting substances;
  • rules guaranteeing protection of soil, water and air;
  • waste monitoring and management measures;
  • requirements concerning emission measurement methodology, frequency and evaluation procedure;
  • an obligation to inform the competent authority of the results of monitoring, at least annually;
  • requirements concerning the maintenance and surveillance of soil and groundwater;
  • measures relating to exceptional circumstances (leaks, malfunctions, momentary or definitive stoppages, etc.);
  • provisions on the minimisation of long-distance or transboundary pollution;
  • conditions for assessing compliance with the emission limit values.

Special provisions

Special provisions shall apply to combustion plants, waste incineration and co-incineration plants, installations using organic solvents and installations producing titanium dioxide.

The emission limit values for large combustion plants laid down in Annex V to the Directive are generally more stringent than those in Directive 2001/80/EC. A degree of flexibility (Transitional National Plan, limited life time derogation) shall be introduced for existing installations.

For other activities subject to special provisions, the provisions of the current directives have been largely maintained.

Environmental inspections

Member States shall set up a system of environmental inspections of the installations concerned. All installations shall be covered by an environmental inspection plan. The plan shall be regularly reviewed and updated.

Based on the inspection plans, the competent authority shall regularly draw up programmes for routine environmental inspections, including the frequency of site visits for different types of installations. The period between two site visits shall be based on a systematic appraisal of the environmental risks of the installations concerned. It shall not exceed one year for installations posing the highest risks and three years for installations posing the lowest risks.

Repeal

Directive 2010/75/EU replaces definitively,

  • with effect from 7 January 2014:
    1. Directive 78/176/EEC on titanium dioxide industrial waste;
    2. Directive 82/883/EEC on the surveillance and monitoring of titanium dioxide waste;
    3. Directive 92/112/EEC on the reduction of titanium dioxide industrial waste;
    4. Directive 1999/13/EC on reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs);
    5. Directive 2000/76/EC on waste incineration;
    6. Directive 2008/1/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control;
  • with effect from 1er January 2016:
    1. Directive 2001/80/EC on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants from large combustion plants.

References

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

Directive 2010/75/EU

6.1.2011

7.1.2013

OJ L 334 of 17.12.2010

Pollutant gases of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors

Pollutant gases of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Pollutant gases of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors

Topics

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

Agriculture > Environment

Pollutant gases of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2000/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2000 on action to be taken against the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants by engines intended to power agricultural or forestry tractors and amending Council Directive 74/150/EEC [See amending acts].

Summary

This Directive details the action to be taken against air pollution by agricultural or forestry tractors. It therefore aims to reduce the level of pollutants emitted * while ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market.

Vehicles involved

This Directive deals with the requirements concerning emissions by agricultural and forestry tractors *. They concern, in particular, the definition of the component type-approval procedures applying to engines intended to be fitted to tractors and thus also the definition of the type-approval procedures for such vehicles in terms of their pollutant emissions.

Obligations to be complied with

The manufacturer of the vehicle shall submit an application for type-approval concerning the pollutants emitted. They must provide certain information relating to the vehicle, such as the type of motor.

The manufacturer shall also comply with certain specifications concerning tests, engine marking and the conformity of production.

Replacement motors shall comply with the limit values which were applicable to the motor to be replaced at the time when the later was placed on the market.

Flexibility mechanism

A limited number of tractors may be placed in service on the condition that they are equipped with a motor approved in accordance with the requirements relating to the emissions limits of the phase immediately prior to that which is applicable.

The number of these tractors placed on the market under the framework of the flexibility mechanism shall not exceed 40 % of the annual number of tractors placed on the market by the manufacturer.

Limit values

The Directive has the same test requirements as have been adopted for off-road mobile machinery and the corresponding limit values for levels of emissions.

At the same time, the Directive comes within the field of the type-approval procedure for agricultural or forestry tractors put in place by Directive 2003/37/EC.

As it draws a distinction between four chemical pollutants – carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulates (PT) – the Directive supplements Directive 77/537/EEC on action to be taken against pollutants emitted by diesel engines intended to power tractors.

Key terms of the Act
  • Pollutants emitted: gaseous pollutants (carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides) and polluting particulates.
  • Agricultural or forestry tractor: any motorised, wheeled or tracked agricultural or forestry tractor having at least two axles and a maximum design speed of not less than 6 km/h, the main function of which lies in its tractive power and which has been especially designed to pull, push, carry and actuate certain interchangeable equipment designed to perform agricultural or forestry work, or to tow agricultural or forestry trailers.

References

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

Directive 2000/25/EC

12.7.2000

31.12.2000

OJ L 173 of 12.7.2000

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

Directive 2005/13/EC

21.3.2005

31.12.2005

OJ L 55 of 1.3.2005

Directive 2006/96/EC

1.1.2007

OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006

Directive 2011/72/EU

13.10.2011

24.9.2011

OJ L 246 of 23.9.2011

Directive 2011/87/EU

8.12.2011

9.12.2012

OJ L 301 of 18.11.2011

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2011/87/EU have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purpose only.

Quality of petrol and diesel fuels: sulphur and lead

Quality of petrol and diesel fuels: sulphur and lead

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Quality of petrol and diesel fuels: sulphur and lead

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Quality of petrol and diesel fuels: sulphur and lead

Document or Iniciative

Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC [See amending acts].

Summary

This Directive meets the commitment given in Directive 94/12/EC that target values would be adopted involving a substantial reduction in pollutant emissions from motor vehicles.

Types of vehicle covered by the Directive

The Directive sets the environmental specifications to be applied to fuels for road vehicles and non-road mobile machinery (including inland waterway vessels when not at sea), agricultural and forestry tractors, and recreational craft when not at sea.

Petrol standards

The standards relating to petrol are detailed in Annex I to this Directive.

Since the year 2000, the marketing of leaded petrol has been banned.

Until 2013, suppliers must place on the market petrol with a maximum oxygen content of 2.7 % and a maximum ethanol content of 5 %.

Derogations may be applied for the outermost regions for the introduction of petrol with a maximum sulphur content of 10 mg/kg. Member States also have the option to place on the market petrol with a maximum vapour pressure of 70 kPa during the summer period. However, the Commission must assess the desirability and duration of the derogation.

Diesel fuel standards

The standards relating to diesel fuel are detailed in Annex II to this Directive.

The sulphur content of gas oils intended for use by non-road mobile machinery must not exceed 1 000 mg/kg. From 1 January 2011, the sulphur content must not exceed 10mg/kg.

However, certain derogations are possible for the outermost regions and for Member States with severe winter weather. In the case of the latter, the maximum distillation point of 65 % at 250 °C for diesel fuels and gas oils may be replaced by a maximum distillation point of 10 % at 180 °C.

Greenhouse gas emissions reductions

Certain suppliers are designated by Member States to be responsible for monitoring and reporting life cycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy from fuel and energy supplied.

With effect from 1 January 2011, suppliers shall report annually, to the authority designated by the Member State, on the greenhouse gas intensity of fuel and energy supplied within each Member State

Suppliers are required to gradually reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 10 % by 31 December 2020 at the latest. The Directive provides intermediary objectives for the course of this time period.

Biofuels: sustainability criteria

The biofuels taken into account shall not be made from the following raw materials:

  • primary forests and other wooded land;
  • designated areas;
  • highly biodiverse grassland;
  • raw materials with high carbon stock.

The greenhouse gas emission saving from the use of biofuels must reach 35 %. With effect from 1 January 2017, the saving must reach 50 % and 60 % from 2018 onwards.

Member States must comply with the sustainability criteria for biofuels. To this end, they shall subject economic operators to a number of requirements.

References

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

Directive 98/70/EC

28.12.1998

1.7.1999

OJ L 350 of 28.12.1998

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

Directive 2000/71/EC

4.12.2000

1.1.2001

OJ L 287 of 14.11.2000

Directive 2003/17/EC

22.3.2003

30.6.2003

OJ L 76 of 22.3.2003

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003

20.11.2003

OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Directive 2009/30/EC

25.6.2009

31.12.2010

OJ L 140 of 5.6.1010

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 98/70/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Reports

Report from the Commission of 1 December 2008: Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Fifth annual report (Reporting year 2006) [COM(2008) 799 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The specifications defined for petrol and diesel fuels by Directive 98/70/EC were in general met in 2006. Very few exceedances were identified. The Commission emphasises that the share of <10 ppm and <50 ppm sulphur fuels increased significantly from 2001 to 2006, and that most Member States are now selling sulphur-free fuels. However, the Commission notes problems related to the absence of labelling of fuels complying with this criterion. It explains that this aspect is an obstacle to the spread of vehicles using this type of fuel, which would have a beneficial effect on the environment in terms of lower pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the Commission regrets that most Member States did not provide precise information as to the geographical availability of sulphur-free fuels.

Commission report of 17 October 2007: Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Fourth annual report (reporting year 2005) [COM(2007) 617 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
All Member States except France submitted national reports for 2005. This year, once again, no limits have been reported as having been exceeded. Nevertheless, the sulphur content of diesel fuel proved particularly problematic in 2005, principally in those countries which joined the EU in 2004, due to the entry into force of the new mandatory <50 ppm level on 1 January 2005. The report also shows that the proportion of fuel with a sulphur content of less than 10 ppm and 50 ppm increased between 2001 and 2005 in EU Member States prior to the 2004 enlargement. The Commission stressed, once again, the problem of disparity between national systems for monitoring fuel quality.

Report from the Commission of 28 April 2006: Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union – Third annual Report (Reporting year 2004) [COM(2006) 186 final – Official Journal C 151 of 29.6.2006].
As in the previous year, very few incidences of non-compliance can be noted and the Commission has not received any information to indicate negative repercussions for vehicle emissions or engine functioning. There has been little progress made concerning the proportion of fuel with a sulphur content of <10 ppm and <50 ppm between 2003 and 2004 and EU enlargement has triggered a slight reduction in the proportion of such fuels in the total fuel supply. Nevertheless, the absence of the qualities defined for sulphur-free or low-sulphur fuels limits consumers’ opportunities to choose these fuels, with negative repercussions for the launching of vehicles using these fuels. There continues to be a problem of disparity between national monitoring systems for the quality of fuels.

Report from the Commission of 2 March 2005 – Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union – Second annual Report (Reporting year 2003) [COM(2005) 69 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Fuel quality monitoring in 2003 shows that the specifications for petrol and diesel laid down in Directive 98/70/EC have generally been met. Very few incidences of non-compliance have been reported and the Commission has no indication of any negative repercussions for vehicle emissions or engine functioning due to these violations. The share of fuels with a sulphur content of <10 and <50 ppm increased significantly from 2001 to 2003. Given the considerable disparity between national fuel quality monitoring systems, harmonisation is necessary to obtain transparent and comparable results.

Report from the Commission of 27 April 2004 – Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union – First annual report (Reporting years 2001-2002) [COM(2004) 310 final – Official Journal C 122 of 30.4.2004].
This first report shows that during the period 2001-02, non-compliance with the provisions relating to petrol and diesel were infrequent in Member States. Measures aimed at ensuring compliance with these provisions should be adopted by those countries which have yet to do so. The proportion of fuels with a sulphur content of < 50 ppm increased considerably during this period, while that of fuels with a sulphur content of < 10 ppm remained almost unchanged. Furthermore, a number of Member States have not yet introduced low-sulphur (< 50 ppm) or sulphur-free (<10 ppm) fuels, marketed separately. The report underlines the fact that there is considerable difference between national fuel quality monitoring systems and that transparent and comparable results would depend on greater harmonisation.

Recommendation

Commission Recommendation of 12 January 2005 on what, for the purposes of Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning petrol and diesel fuels, constitutes availability of unleaded petrol and diesel fuel with a maximum sulphur content on an appropriately balanced geographical basis [Official Journal L 15 of 19.1.2005].

The Commission provides guidelines to help Member States ensure that non-sulphur fuels are available within their territories, with parameters including the proportion of refuelling stations supplying sulphur-free fuel per region and the average distance between refuelling stations supplying sulphur-free fuel.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Greenhouse gas: reducing emissions by 20 % or more by 2020

Greenhouse gas: reducing emissions by 20 % or more by 2020

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Greenhouse gas: reducing emissions by 20 % or more by 2020

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

Greenhouse gas: reducing emissions by 20 % or more by 2020

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 26 May 2010 – Analysis of options to move beyond 20 % greenhouse gas emission reductions and assessing the risk of carbon leakage [COM(2010) 265 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication presents the results of the analysis on the possible consequences of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % and by 30 %, and of carbon leakage.

The 20 % target

This Communication analyses three types of actual and possible consequences of the 20 % reduction target:

  • Actual consequences of the financial crisis: the financial crisis which began in 2008 brought a 14 % reduction in emissions compared to 1990 levels. However, as production recovers, these figures cannot be completely relied upon as they represent an exceptional situation. The European Commission recently carried out an analysis of the estimated cost of achieving the 20 % targets, taking the recession into account. It emerged that the cost of implementing these objectives decreased by 30 % in comparison to the 2008 estimates. Nevertheless, the crisis had negative consequences for undertakings’ competitiveness, which means that investment is still required in order to achieve the 20 % reduction target.
  • Actual consequences of the ‘green revolution’: as a result of the crisis, certain investors decided to turn to less energy-greedy infrastructures. For example, in 2009 renewable energies accounted for 61 % of new electricity generating capacity in the European Union (EU). However, competition is fierce in this field and the EU must maintain its competitiveness in relation to countries such as China and the United States.
  • Possible consequences of staying under a 2°C global temperature increase: to achieve the goal of staying under a 2°C global temperature increase, the EU must reduce emissions on its territory by 70 % compared to 1990 levels. The International Energy Agency has estimated that at the global level, every year of delayed investment on more low-carbon energy sources adds EUR 300-400 billion to the price tag.

The 30 % target

This Communication analyses the different options for achieving the 30 % reduction target:

  • Emissions Trading System: first, it is necessary to recalibrate the Emissions Trading System by ‘setting aside’ a share of the allowances planned for auction. For example, a reduction of auctioning rights by 15 % for the period 2013-2020 could have positive consequences on environmental achievement. Second, those who invest in more efficient technologies should be rewarded, in particular by being granted extra free allowances.
  • Technological options: the EU should have the option to adopt product standards, for example under the ‘Ecodesign’ Directive 2005/32/EC, the Regulation on CO2 emissions and the Digital Agenda for Europe.
  • Carbon taxes: one of the options envisaged is the introduction of taxes that target CO2 emissions in sectors not covered by the Emissions Trading System. Furthermore, the EU could also calibrate the tax system for fuels or products to reflect the CO2 component.
  • EU policies: the Cohesion Fund could be used to invest in low-carbon technologies at the level of Member States, regions and cities. Furthermore, better use of land and forestry resources (excluded from the Climate and Energy package in 2008) could also contribute to the emissions reduction target.

A reduction of 30 % in emissions (including the costs related to the 20 % target) will cost EUR 81 billion, representing 0.54 % of GDP.

Target for limiting carbon leakage

In the absence of sufficient effort at a global level, the setting of targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU could lead to the relocation of certain energy-intensive industries to outside the EU and could cause an increase in emissions levels elsewhere in the world.

There are three options for limiting carbon leakage:

  • supporting energy-intensive industries with the help of free allowances;
  • adding to the costs of imports to compensate for the advantage held by countries without binding targets for reducing CO2 emissions;
  • encouraging third countries to take similar measures.

The most obvious way to provide further help to level the playing field by action inside the EU is to maintain the free allocation of allowances.

Greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme

Greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme

Topics

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

Energy > Internal energy market

Greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive aims to introduce significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions with a view to reducing the influence of such emissions on the climate.

Greenhouse gas emission permits

Since 1 January 2005, all installations carrying out any of the activities listed in Annex I to this Directive (activities in the energy sector, iron and steel production and processing, the mineral industry and the wood pulp, paper and board industry) and emitting the specific greenhouse gases associated with that activity must be in possession of an appropriate permit issued by the competent authorities.

Applications for greenhouse gas emission permits must describe:

  • the installation, its activities and the technology used;
  • the materials used which could emit the greenhouse gases listed in Annex II;
  • the sources of gas emissions;
  • the measures planned to monitor and report emissions.

The authorities will issue a permit provided that they are satisfied that the operator of the installation is capable of monitoring and reporting the emissions. A permit may cover one or more installations on the same site operated by the same operator. The permit will contain details of:

  • the name and address of the operator;
  • the installation’s activities and emissions;
  • a monitoring programme;
  • the reporting requirements in respect of emissions;
  • the obligation to surrender, during the first four months of each year, a quantity of allowances commensurate with the total emissions over the previous year.

The competent authority will reexamine the greenhouses gas emissions permit at least every five years and make the necessary modifications.

Management of allowances

The Community-wide quantity of allowances issued each year shall decrease in a linear manner as from 2013. For 2013, the absolute Community-wide quantity of allowances shall be calculated on the basis of the national plans accepted by the Commission and introduced between 2008 and 2012.

Member States shall auction all allowances which are not allocated free of charge. The distribution of allowances by auction shall take place according to the following procedures:

  • 88 % shall be distributed amongst Member States on the basis of their emissions;
  • 10 % shall be distributed for the purpose of solidarity and growth;
  • 2 % shall be distributed amongst Member States the greenhouse gas emissions of which were, in 2005, at least 20 % below their emissions in the base year applicable to them under the Kyoto Protocol.

At least 50 % of the revenues generated from the auctioning of allowances should be used for the following purposes:

  • to reduce greenhouse gases;
  • to develop renewable energies, and other technologies contributing to the transition to a low-carbon economy;
  • measures to avoid deforestation and increase afforestation and reforestation;
  • forestry sequestration;
  • capture and geological storage;
  • a shift to low-emission and public forms of transport;
  • research in energy efficiency and clean technologies;
  • improvements in energy efficiency and insulation;
  • to cover administrative expenses of the management of the European scheme.

By 31 December 2010, the European Commission shall adopt Europe-wide harmonised measures for the allocation of allowances.

By 30 June 2010, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council an analytical report assessing the situation with regard to energy-intensive sectors or subsectors that have been determined to be to a significant risks of carbon leakage.

Monitoring and reporting of emissions

By 31 December 2011, the Commission shall adopt a regulation for the monitoring and reporting of emissions. That regulation shall take into account the most accurate and up-to-date scientific evidence available.

Member States and the Commission shall ensure that all decisions and reports relating to the quantity and allocation of allowances and to the monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions are immediately disclosed in an orderly manner ensuring non-discriminatory access.

Verification and accreditation

By 31 December 2011, the Commission shall propose a regulation for the verification of emission reports and for the accreditation and supervision of verifiers. It shall specify conditions for the accreditation and withdrawal of accreditation, for mutual recognition and peer evaluation of accreditation bodies, as appropriate.

Kyoto Protocol project mechanisms

Directive 2004/101/EC reinforces the link between the EU’s emission allowance trading scheme and the Kyoto Protocol by making the latter’s ‘project-based’ mechanisms (Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism) compatible with the scheme. This will enable operators to use these two mechanisms in the allowance trading scheme to fulfil their obligations. The result will be lower compliance costs for installations in the scheme. It is estimated that annual compliance costs in the period 2008-12 for all installations covered in the enlarged EU will be reduced by more than 20 %.

This Directive thus recognises joint implementation (JI) and clean development mechanism (CDM) credits as equivalent to EU emission allowances, except for those generated by nuclear installations and those from land use, land use change and forestry activities. Credits from JI projects are called ‘emission reduction units’ (ERU), while credits from CDM projects are called ‘certified emission reductions’ (CER). The Directive also takes steps to prevent ERUs and CERs being counted twice where they result from activities which also lead to a reduction in, or limitation of, emissions from installations covered by Directive 2003/87/EC.

Registries, reports and agreements

The Commission has adopted Regulation (EU) No 920/2010 for the establishment of a system of standardised registries in the form of electronic databases for monitoring the issue, holding, transfer and cancellation of allowances. These registries will also guarantee public access to information, confidentiality and conformity with the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Commission will nominate a Central Administrator to maintain an independent transaction log recording the issue, transfer and cancellation of allowances at Community level. The Central Administrator will conduct an automated check on each transaction relating to allowances. If irregularities are identified, the transactions in question will be suspended until the irregularities have been corrected.

Each year, the Member States will submit to the Commission a report on the application of this Directive.

Agreements may be made to provide for the recognition of allowances between the European scheme and compatible mandatory greenhouse gas emissions trading systems with absolute emissions caps established in any other country or in sub-federal or regional entities. Non-binding arrangements may be made with third countries or with sub-federal or regional entities to provide for administrative and technical coordination in relation to allowances in the European scheme or other mandatory greenhouse gas emissions trading systems with absolute emissions caps.

Adjustments applicable upon the approval by the Community of an international agreement on climate change

The signing of such an agreement requires Member States to reduce greenhouse gases by over 20 % compared to 1990 levels, as reflected in the 30 % reduction commitment as endorsed by the European Council of March 2007. In that regard, the Commission undertakes to submit a report assessing the following elements:

  • the measures taken at international level;
  • the action to be taken to reach a target of a 30 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;
  • the risk of carbon leakage in the context of business competitiveness;
  • the implications of the agreement on other economic sectors;
  • the impact on the agriculture sector;
  • afforestation, reforestation, avoided deforestation and forest degradation.

Operators are permitted to use the credits provided for in this Directive, CERs (certified emission reductions), ERUs (emission reduction units) or other approved credits from third countries which have ratified the international agreement.

Background

The adoption of the Kyoto Protocol by the Community and its Member States in 2002 commits them to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 8 % in relation to 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. This Directive, by establishing a market in greenhouse gas emission allowances, will help the EU and its Member States to effectively meet the commitments made in the framework of the Kyoto Protocol while safeguarding economic development and employment.

In March 2007, the European Council approved the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 % by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, as a contribution with a view to an agreement after 2012, on condition that other developed countries undertake to set comparable reduction targets, depending on their respective responsibilities and capacities. The EU is strongly committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 % by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. In October 2009, the European Council supported the objective of reducing emissions by 80 to 95 % by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, within the context of the IPPC Directive. The Copenhagen Conference from 7 to 18 December 2009 is also in line with those objectives.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2003/87/EC

25.10.2003

31.12.2003

OJ L 275 of 25.10.2003

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

Directive 2004/101/EC

13.11.2004

13.11.2005

OJ L 338 of 13.11.2004

Directive 2008/101/EC

2.2.2009

2.2.2010

OJ L 8 of 13.1.2009

Directive 2009/29/EC

25.6.2009

31.12.2012

OJ L 140 of 5.6.2009

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2003/87/EC have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1031/2010 of 12 November 2010 on the timing, administration and other aspects of auctioning of greenhouse gas emission allowances pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowances trading within the Community [Official Journal L 302 of 18.11.2010].

Commission Decision 2007/589/EC of 18 July 2007 establishing guidelines for the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 229 of 31.8.2007].
The 12 Annexes to this Decision contain guidelines for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions. Annex I sets out general guidelines. Additional guidelines for specific activities are set out in Annexes II to XI. Annex XII gives guidelines on continuous greenhouse gas emission measurement systems. These guidelines are designed to ensure regular and precise monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions in the Community. Their application is facilitated in the case of installations with average verified reported emissions of less than 25 000 tonnes of fossil CO2 per year during the previous trading period.

Commission Decision 2006/780/EC of 16 November 2006 on avoiding double counting of greenhouse gas emission reductions under the Community emissions trading scheme for project activities under the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 316 of 16 November 2006].

Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Topics

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

Energy > European energy policy

Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Second Strategic Energy Review: an EU energy security and solidarity action plan [COM (2008) 781 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Commission proposes an Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan. It is set out around five main points.

Infrastructure needs and the diversification of energy supplies

With a view to achieving the ‘20-20-20’ objectives, the European Union intends to introduce significant changes to the energy infrastructure. It proposes six priority actions:

  • connecting the remaining isolated energy markets in Europe;
  • developing a southern gas corridor for the supply of gas from Caspian region and Middle Eastern sources;
  • making use of liquefied natural gas to ensure the liquidity and diversity of the European Union markets;
  • linking Europe with the Southern Mediterranean through electricity and gas interconnections;
  • developing gas and electricity interconnections crossing Central and South-East Europe along a north-south axis;
  • developing interconnections between the electric networks of the North-West of Europe so as to optimise wind energy in the North Sea.

External energy relations

The interdependence between States is tending to increase. This is why energy supply must be considered as a priority in international relations.

The Energy Community is building an integrated energy market in Southern Europe. This market is subject to the rules of the European Union. It should be extended to countries such as the Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Turkey, which will contribute to the application of the Community acquis with regard to energy matters and energy security in these countries.

Russia represents a major strategic partner in the energy field. It is important to consolidate this partnership so to make it more stable. The new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement currently being negotiated should include legally binding provisions in the energy field.

It also appears important to step up energy relationships with North Africa, in view of its energy potential. In this context a Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline is anticipated.

Oil and gas stocks and crisis response mechanisms

The Commission proposes to revise European legislation concerning emergency strategic oil stocks, as well as the directive on the security of supply of natural gas.

Energy efficiency

The European Union undertakes to achieve a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency by 2020 as part of the ‘20-20-20 objectives’. It proposes the following initiatives in order to achieve these objectives:

  • a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive;
  • a revision of the Energy Labelling Directive;
  • an intensification of the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive;
  • promotion of cogeneration;
  • promotion of good practices;
  • an increase in Cohesion Policy Funds;
  • the creation of a ‘Green Tax’.

Making the best use of the European Union’s indigenous energy resources

The EU produces 46% of its total energy consumption. 9% of the energy consumed within the EU comes from renewable sources. The EU intends to increase the share of these energy sources to 20% by 2020.

To better promote these energies, the Commission will table a Communication on overcoming barriers to their use. The Commission is working with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other financial institutions to set up the EU Sustainable Energy Financing Initiative.

Furthermore, the Commission intends to table new proposals:

  • a Communication on Financing Low Carbon Technologies;
  • a Communication on Refining Capacity and EU Oil Demand;
  • a revised proposal for a Directive setting up a Community framework for nuclear safety.

Context

The Union currently imports 54% of its energy. It intends therefore to conduct a new policy on energy and the environment. This policy was approved by the European Council in March 2007 During September of the same year. the third package of legislative measures on the internal energy market was presented. In the long term it will allow the objectives of sustainable development, competitiveness and security of supply to be attained.

Kyoto Protocol on climate change

Kyoto Protocol on climate change

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Kyoto Protocol on climate change

Topics

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

Environment > Environment: cooperation with third countries

Kyoto Protocol on climate change

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2002/358/EC of 25 April 2002 concerning the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the joint fulfilment of commitments thereunder.

Summary

On 4 February 1991 the Council authorised the Commission to participate on behalf of the European Community in the negotiation of a United Nations framework convention on climate change, which was adopted in New York on 9 May 1992. The European Community ratified the Framework Convention by Decision 94/69/EC of 15 December 1993. The Framework Convention entered into force on 21 March 1994.

The Framework Convention made a large contribution towards the establishment of key principles of the international fight against climate change. In particular, it defines the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility”. It also helped to make people the world over more aware of the problems linked to climate change. However, the Convention does not contain commitments in figures, detailed on a country by country basis, in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

At the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Berlin in March 1995, the Parties to the Convention decided to negotiate a Protocol containing measures to reduce emissions for the period beyond 2000 in the industrialised countries. After much work, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto.

The European Community signed the Protocol on 29 April 1998. In December 2001 the Laeken European Council confirmed that the Union wanted to see the Kyoto Protocol enter into force ahead of the Johannesburg world summit on sustainable development (26 August – 4 September 2002). To that end, this Decision approved the Protocol on behalf of the Community. The Member States were to coordinate their action to deposit their instruments of ratification at the same time as the Community, and as far as possible by 1 June 2002.

Annex II to the Decision sets out the commitments to limit and reduce emissions agreed by the Community and its Member States for the initial commitment period (2008 to 2012).

The contents of the Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol tackles emissions of six greenhouse gases:

  • carbon dioxide (CO2);
  • methane (CH4);
  • nitrous oxide (N2O);
  • hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs);
  • perfluorocarbons (PFCs);
  • sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

It represents an important step forward in the effort to tackle global warming as it includes binding, quantified objectives for limiting and reducing greenhouse gases.

Overall, the Parties to Annex I to the Framework Convention (i.e. the industrialised countries) undertake collectively to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce the total emissions of the developed countries by at least 5 % below 1990 levels, during the period 2008 to 2012. Annex B to the Protocol contains the quantified commitments given by the Parties.

The States which were members of the EU before 2004 must collectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 8 % between 2008 and 2012. Member States which joined the EU after that date undertake to reduce their emissions by 8 %, with the exception of Poland and Hungary (6 %), and Malta and Cyprus, which are not listed in Annex I to the Framework Convention.

For the period up to 2008, the Parties undertake to make demonstrable progress in achieving their commitments by no later than 2005.

Parties who so wish, may make 1995 a reference year for emissions of HFCs, PFCs and SF6.

The Protocol suggests various means of attaining these objectives:

  • stepping up or introducing national policies to reduce emissions (greater energy efficiency, promotion of sustainable forms of agriculture, development of renewable energy sources, etc.);
  • cooperation with the other Contracting Parties (exchanges of experience or information, coordination of national policies through emission permits, joint implementation and a clean development mechanism).

No later than one year prior to the start of the first commitment period, each Party must have set up a national system of the estimation of emissions of human origin and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases (not controlled by the Montreal Protocol).

Commitments will be reviewed by 2005 at the latest, for the second commitment period.

On 31 May 2002, the European Union ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Following its ratification by Russia, the Protocol entered into force on 16 February 2005. Several industrialised countries have refused to ratify the Protocol, including the United States and Australia.

References

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

Decision 2002/358/EC

2.5.2002

OJ L 130 of 15.5.2002

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2006/944/EC of 14 December 2006 determining the respective emission levels allocated to the Community and each of its Member States under the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to Council Decision 2002/358/EC [Official Journal L 358 of 16.12.2010].
Amended by:
Commission Decision 2010/778/EU of 15 December 2010 [Official Journal L 332 of 16.12.2010].