Tag Archives: Greenhouse gas

Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships

Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, of 20 November 2002, “A European Union strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships” [COM (2002) 595 final, Volume I – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The strategy includes the above communication and a Directive on the sulphur content of marine fuels (see Related acts below).

Impact on environment and health

Emissions from seagoing ships include air pollutants, greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances entailing risks for human health and the environment. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from ships are responsible for acid deposition, which can be harmful to the environment, as well as particulate matter harmful to health. NOx and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone harmful to health and to the environment. NOx emissions contribute to environmentally damaging eutrophication. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions contribute to climate change. Halon emissions damage the ozone layer.

The communication contains a table showing emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from ships in Community waters in 2000 as well as projected emissions for 2010 and their environmental impact. Other figures show ships’ SO2 emissions in EU sea areas, the contributions of ships’ SO2 and NOx emissions to critical loads of acidity being exceeded, the role of NOx and COV emissions in the concentration of ground-level ozone in Europe and the role of ships’ emissions of NOx in exceeding the critical loads of nutrient nitrogen.

Preventive measures deployed

At the international level, Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention (adopted by the International Maritime Organisation in 1997, but not yet in force) sets regulations for the prevention of air pollution by ships. The Kyoto Protocol also calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

To date, the bulk of Community legislation on atmospheric emissions does not apply to ships. As a result, in the European Union, ship emissions are higher than other land-based transport emissions. For example, by 2010, SO2 emission from ships in European waters are likely to account for 75% of all emissions from EU land-based sources. There are, however, a number of Community measures requiring the Commission to take action on ship emissions:

  • Directive 2001/81/EC on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants commits the Commission to report on the extent to which emissions from maritime traffic contribute to acidification, eutrophication and the formation of ground-level ozone;
  • Directive 1999/32 relating to a reduction in the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels sets sulphur limits for marine distillate oil used in EU territorial waters;
  • Directive 94/63/EC on the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions resulting from the storage of petrol and its distribution from terminals to service stations [Official Journal L 365 of 31.12.1994] provides that the Commission must consider extending the scope of the Directive to include the loading and unloading of ships;
  • Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000 on substances that deplete the ozone layer bans the marketing and use of ozone-depleting substances in the EU;
  • The Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Programme tackles all sources of atmospheric emissions;
  • The sixth Environment Action Programme: one of the objectives of 6EAP is to achieve levels of air quality that do not have unacceptable effects on human health and the environment, and to stabilise greenhouse gases emissions in order to prevent unnatural variations of the earth’s climate.

In recent years, economic instruments have been introduced in some countries and ports around the world to encourage ships to reduce their atmospheric emissions. These include differential taxes on marine fuels, differentiated port and fairway dues, and differentiated tonnage taxes.

Strategy objectives and actions

The objectives of the strategy are:

  • to reduce ships’ emissions of SO2 where they contribute to critical loads for acidification being exceeded, and where they affect local air quality;
  • to reduce ships’ emissions of NOx where they contribute to critical loads for acidification and eutrophication being exceeded, and build-ups of ground-level ozone which affect health and the environment;
  • to reduce ships’ emissions of primary particles where these affect local air quality;
  • to reduce ships’ emissions of VOCs where these contribute to build-ups of ground-level ozone which affect health and the environment;
  • to reduce ships’ emissions of CO2;
  • to eliminate emissions of ozone-depleting substances from all ships operating in EU waters.

The communication outlines a number of actions to achieve these objectives, including:

  • coordinating the positions of EU Member States within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to press for tougher measures to reduce ship emissions. The entry into force of MARPOL Annex VI setting regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships is a fundamental aspect of the strategy;
  • adopting the proposal for a Directive amending Directive 1999/32/EC to limit the sulphur content of marine fuels (see Related acts below);
  • amending Directive 97/68/EC on NOx and PM emissions standards from non-road engines;
  • if the IMO has not proposed tighter international standards by 2007, to bring forward a proposal to reduce NOx emissions from seagoing vessels;
  • to remove, by 2010, the exemption which permits the use of halon on board existing cargo ships operating in EU waters;
  • although measures are not needed at the moment, to re-examine the possibility of proposing legislation in future to reduce VOC emissions from ship-loading;
  • to examine the use of a set of economic instruments providing incentives to reduce ships’ atmospheric emissions beyond regulatory requirements;
  • to launch a charging regime on the basis of ships’ environmental performance to benefit the least damaging;
  • to fund research into low-emission ship technologies;
  • to organise conferences on best practice in the field of ship emission reduction technologies.

Related Acts

Commission Recommendation 2006/339/EC of 8 May 2006 on the promotion of shore-side electricity for use by ships at berth in Community ports [Official Journal L 125 of 12.5.2006]

The Commission stresses that, if the present trend continues, maritime transport could be responsible for more pollution than land-based sources by 2020. It recommends Member States to install shore-side electricity for use by ships at berth in ports and to offer economic incentives to operators to use such electricity. According to experts, the supply of electricity to berths would significantly reduce emissions of particulate matter, VOCs, NOx and SO2. The Commission calls on Member States to work within the IMO to promote the development of harmonised international standards for shore-side electrical connections.


Directive 2005/33/EC

of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2005 amending Directive 1999/32/EC relating to a reduction in the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels [Official Journal L 191 of 22.07.2005]
This Directive extends the scope of Directive 1999/32/EC to all petroleum-derived liquid fuels used by ships operating within Member States’ waters. It provides for measures such as abolishing existing derogations for marine gas oils, enforcing the 1.5% limit on sulphur content in Emission Control Areas as defined by the International Maritime Organisation, applying the same limit to all passenger ships operating on schedules services to or from any Community port, requiring all ships at berth in Community ports to use a fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.1%, and allowing the use of approved emission abatement technologies as an alternative to using low-sulphur marine fuels.

Aviation and climate change

Aviation and climate change

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

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Aviation and climate change

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 27 September 2005: “Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Aviation” [COM(2005) 459 – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) is responsible for about half of the CO2 emissions generated by international air transport in developed countries. Air transport emissions are likely to increase rapidly in the future if there is no policy response in this area. This situation could compromise European objectives for combating climate change.

In this Communication, the Commission looks at new and existing means and instruments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the air transport sector.

Tapping the potential of existing policies

The Commission proposes continuing and extending research in aeronautics, particularly under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research. Research will focus on analysing the impact the air transport sector has on climate change and reducing the adverse effects of air transport, in particular CO2 and NOx emissions.

The Commission also suggests improving air traffic management, particularly by implementing the ” Single European Sky ” and SESAME initiatives. More efficient air traffic management should, among other things, enable aviation fuel consumption to be reduced.

Furthermore, in the area of fuel taxation, the Commission takes the view that Member States should eventually remove the exemption traditionally applied to the aviation sector. It is common practice for aviation fuel to be exempted from taxes. Directive 2003/96/EC allows for a fuel tax to be levied on domestic flights within Member States, but it is often impossible to tax fuel for international flights (including between Member States), because of the legally binding commitments made in air service agreements concluded between Member States and third countries. A large number of air service agreements will have to be renegotiated before fuel can be taxed irrespective of the air carrier’s country of origin. The process is under way, but will take time to complete. This option can therefore only be seen as a long-term solution.

The Commission also suggests improving the competitiveness of other transport sectors and raising public awareness of the impact air travel has on climate change.

Developing cost-effective economic instruments: emissions trading

In the Commission’s opinion, of the various economic instruments looked at, the most effective option is to include the air transport sector in the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme which the EU set up in 2003 (see “Related Acts” below).

The system is based on the following principle: the regulatory authority sets a quantity limit on polluting emissions and divides this quantity among the economic operators producing these emissions, in this case the airlines. The limited pollution rights available give the operators an incentive to reduce their emissions or buy emission rights from other participants if they exceed their allotted limit.

The desired result is a significant reduction in polluting emissions. The large number of participants would also minimise the costs for the economic operators. Furthermore, the system is compatible with the international legal framework for aviation, and could therefore feasibly be extended to operate at international level, if adapted appropriately.

Certain aspects of this instrument remain to be clarified:

  • its scope: in order for the system to be effective in environmental terms, the best option would be for all flights departing from Community airports to be included;
  • how to adapt the existing Community system, which is linked to the accounting system set up by the Kyoto Protocol (covering CO2 emissions produced by domestic flights but not those produced by international flights);
  • how to take other environmental factors (particularly NOx emissions) into account if the system applies only to CO2 emissions.

As part of the European Climate Change Programme, the Commission intends to set up a special working group of experts from Member States and key stakeholder organisations (industry, consumer and environmental organisations). Its purpose will be to look at ways of integrating air transport effectively and efficiently into the European greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme.

The Commission also considered other economic options (a tax on airline tickets and other charges linked to emissions), but these were rejected for a number of reasons, as stated in the impact assessment attached to the Communication.

The European Union and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

In spring 2005, on the basis of the Communication entitled Winning the Battle Against Global Climate Change, the European Parliament and the European Council reaffirmed the EU’s objective of ensuring that global surface temperatures do not rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and therefore of cutting greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.

As part of the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme, the EU undertook to take specific action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation if no such action was agreed within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the organisation responsible, by 2002. The ICAO has not adopted any such measures, but has endorsed the concept of emissions trading.

The air transport sector currently accounts for 3% of all greenhouse gas emissions. However, the rapid growth of this sector means that aviation could eventually become the main source of greenhouse gas emissions, despite improvements in aircraft energy efficiency. Between 1990 and 2003, greenhouse gas emissions from international air transport increased by 73% in the EU. If the sector continues to grow at the current rate, by 2012 emissions will have increased by 150% since 1990.

Related Acts

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to include aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community [COM(2006) 818 final – not published in the Official Journal].
This proposal is designed to include aviation activities in the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme, and is to apply to all flights arriving at or departing from Community airports from 1 January 2012 (2011 for flights between EU airports). Aircraft operators will be responsible for complying with the obligations imposed by the scheme. It is also suggested that the process for allocating allowances should be harmonised across the EU, and that each aircraft operator, including operators from third countries, should be administered by one Member State only.


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 [Official Journal L 275 of 25 October 2003].


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 [Official Journal L 130 of 15 May 2002].

Impact assessment

Commission Staff Working Document of 27 September 2005 – Annex to the Communication from the Commission “Reducing the Climate Change Impact of Aviation” – Impact Assessment [SEC(2005) 1184].

Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

Topics

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

Environment > Soil protection

Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

2). This new legislative framework aims at preventing or, and where that is not possible, minimising the harmful effects of CO2 emissions and all environmental and health risks.

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the geological storage of carbon dioxide and amending Council Directive 85/337/EEC, European Parliament and Council Directives 2000/60/EC, 2001/80/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2006/12/EC, 2008/1/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006.

Summary

The objective of this Directive is to establish a legal framework for environmentally safe geological storage of carbon dioxide in order to contribute to tackling climate change.

The Directive applies to the geological storage of CO2 within the territory of the Member States, in their exclusive economic zones and on their continental shelves.

This Directive does not apply to the geological storage of CO2 with a capacity of less than 100 kilo tonnes.

The storage of CO2 in a water column or in a storage site with a storage complex extending beyond the territory, in the exclusive economic zones or in the continental shelves of Member States is not permitted.

Selection and exploration of storage sites

A geological formation is selected as a storage site only if, under the proposed conditions of use, there is no significant risk of leakage and no significant environmental or health risks exist.

The suitability of a geological formation for use as a storage site is determined through a characterisation and assessment of the potential storage complex and surrounding area pursuant to the criteria specified in Annex I to this Directive. The characterisation of a site is carried out in three stages:

  • Step 1: data collection on the site (geology, hydrogeology, seismicity, etc.) and its surroundings (population, proximity to resources or protected sites, etc.);
  • Step 2: building computer models from the data collected in order to characterise the different aspects of the sites (geological structure, geomechanical and geochemical properties, available volume, etc.);
  • Step 3: characterisation of the storage dynamic behaviour, sensitivity characterisation and risk assessment.

The exploration required in order to obtain the information needed for selecting a storage site cannot be carried out without a permit. The permit is issued by the competent authority in each Member State for the period necessary to carry out the exploration of the site. However, an extension may be granted to complete the exploration concerned. The holder of an exploration permit has the sole right to explore the potential CO2 storage complex. Member States ensure that no conflicting uses of the complex are permitted during the period of validity of the permit.

Storage permits

No storage site may be used without a permit. Applications for storage permits must be sent to the competent authority of each Member State and must contain certain information on the operator, the characterisation of the storage site and storage complex and an assessment of the expected security of the storage, the total quantity of CO2 to be injected and the composition of CO2 streams, the preventative measures, a proposed monitoring plan, the corrective measures, a proposed provisional post-closure plan, proof of financial security, etc.

The competent authority must check that the requirements applicable to this Directive and other legislative provisions of EU law are met and that the management of the site is in the hands of a person who is technically competent and reliable. Member States must inform the Commission of all draft storage permits within one month after receipt. Within four months of receipt, the Commission may then issue a non-binding opinion on the draft permits within a period of six months. When taking its decision, the competent authority must consider this opinion and, if it deviates from it, must give reasons for its final decision to the Commission.

No substantial change may be made without a new or updated storage permit being issued pursuant to this Directive.

The competent authority reviews the situation and updates, or as a last resort, withdraws the storage permit:

  • in the case of leakages or significant irregularities;
  • in the case of non-compliance with permit conditions or risks of leakages or significant irregularities;
  • any failure by the operator to meet the permit conditions;
  • on the basis of the latest scientific findings and technological progress;
  • in any case, five years after issuing the permit and every 10 years thereafter.

Operation, closure and post-closure obligations

No waste or any other matter may be added to the CO2 stream with a view to disposing of it. Concentrations of incidental substances present in the stream must be below levels that could adversely affect the storage site and infrastructure or pose a risk to the environment. The operator must prove that the CO2 stream meets these criteria and keep a register of the CO2 streams delivered.

The operator must monitor the injection facilities, the storage complex and, where appropriate, the surrounding environment, in accordance with the monitoring plan approved by the competent authority. The monitoring serves to compare the actual and the modelled behaviour of CO2 and to detect significant irregularities, CO2 migration and CO2 leakages and the effects on the environment and the population. The monitoring plan is updated at least every 5 years.

At least once a year, the operator must communicate certain information to the competent authority, including the results of the monitoring of the storage site, the quantities and characteristics of the CO2 stream and proof of the maintenance of the financial security.

The competent authority must organise routine inspections (at least every year) or non-routine inspections (for example, in the case of leakages, in the case of significant irregularities, in the case of non-compliance with the permit conditions, or in the case of serious environmental or health complaints) of the storage sites. The report resulting from each inspection is forwarded to the operator and made publicly available.

In the case of leakages or significant irregularities, the operator must notify the competent authority immediately and take the necessary corrective measures, as described in the corrective measures plan approved by the competent authority. The competent authority may impose additional measures and, if the operator takes no action, take corrective measures itself, at the operator’s expense.

The site is closed if the conditions stated in the permit have been met, at the request of the operator or if the competent authority so decides after the withdrawal of the permit. After closure, the operator remains responsible for the site, including sealing the site and removing the injection facilities. The operator is also subject to the same obligations as during operation, in accordance with a provisional post-closure plan approved by the competent authority. Responsibility is then transferred to the competent authority when all available evidence indicates that the stored CO2 will be completely and permanently contained, a minimum period has elapsed, the financial obligations have been fulfilled, the site has been sealed and the injection facilities have been removed. After the transfer of responsibility, routine inspections cease and monitoring is reduced to a level which allows for detection of leakages or significant irregularities. If the permit has been withdrawn, the competent authority assumes the obligations mentioned above and recovers all the costs incurred from the former operator until the conditions for a definitive transfer of responsibility to the competent authority have been met (when all available evidence indicates that the stored CO2 will be completely and permanently contained).

Other provisions

Financial security or any other equivalent must be provided by the operator before submitting an application for a storage permit to ensure that the obligations relating to the operation, closure and post-closure of the storage site are met.

Member States must ensure that potential users are able to obtain fair, open access to CO2 transport networks and to CO2 storage sites. They must also put in place dispute settlement arrangements, cooperate with one another in cross-border situations, maintain a register of closed storage sites and forward it to the Commission and submit a report on the application of the Directive to the Commission, for the first time by 30 June 2011 and then every 3 years.

Background

This Directive is part of the “energy and climate change” package launched by the Commission at the beginning of 2008.

References

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

Directive 2009/31/EC

25.6.2009

25.6.2011

OJ L 140 of 5.6.2009

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 23 January 2008 entitled “20 20 by 2020 – Europe’s climate change opportunity” [COM(2008) 30 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In January 2008, the Commission adopted a series of coherent, comprehensive measures to achieve the objectives set by the EU in spring 2007 for 2020 in respect of climate change and renewable energies.

Substances affecting the ozone layer

Substances affecting the ozone layer

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Substances affecting the ozone layer

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Substances affecting the ozone layer

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer.

Summary

This Regulation replaces Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000. It brings the Community rules into line with technical developments and changes made to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It therefore enables the European Union (EU) to continue its worldwide action to protect the ozone layer and guarantee its recovery.

Scope

This Regulation covers:

  • controlled substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl bromide, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), etc. (see Annex I);
  • new substances (see Annex II);
  • products and equipment containing or relying on such substances.

Prohibitions

The production, placing on the market and use of controlled substances or products and equipment containing these substances shall be prohibited, with the exception of certain uses as feedstock * or process agents *, or laboratory and analytical uses.

The placing on the market and use of fire protection systems and fire extinguishers containing controlled substances, particularly halons, shall be prohibited.

Derogations

Controlled substances may be produced, placed on the market and used as feedstock or as process agents. These substances may also be used for laboratory or analytical uses. The quantity annually authorised shall be restricted by a system of quotas. Producers and importers must have a licence which is granted for a limited period by the competent authority of the Member State concerned.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) shall be phased out. No HCFCs may be produced after 31 December 2019.

The use of methyl bromide has been prohibited since 18 March 2010, except in an emergency, to prevent the spread of pests or disease. However, this derogation applies only for a period not exceeding 120 days and a quantity not exceeding 20 tonnes.

Halons may be placed on the market and used for critical uses (see Annex VI).

Any producer or importer authorised to use or place controlled substances on the market may transfer those rights to other producers or importers of such substances within the Community. Any transfer shall be notified in advance to the Commission.

A producer may also be authorised to exceed established levels of production, on condition that the maximum level of national production is not exceeded.

Trade

Imports and exports of controlled substances and of products and equipment containing such substances shall be prohibited.

Nevertheless, derogations exist for certain uses of controlled substances or for their destruction according to appropriate methods.

Imports and exports shall be subject to the issue of a licence. Such licences shall be issued by the Commission using an electronic licensing system.

Control of substances

Undertakings must put in place systems for the recovery of controlled substances contained in:

  • refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment;
  • equipment containing solvents;
  • fire protection systems and fire extinguishers.

Once recovered, these substances must be recycled, reclaimed or destroyed in an environmentally acceptable manner in order to prevent their release into the atmosphere.

Undertakings must also take measures to avoid any risk of leakage or release of controlled substances. Any undertaking which operates equipment containing such substances must carry out regular checks for leakage. If leakage is detected, the undertaking must repair it as soon as possible and in any case within 14 days after detection.

Context

The ozone layer protects organisms living on Earth from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the 1980s, scientists observed a thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer due to emissions of man-made chemical substances. This depletion of the ozone layer is causing an increase in UV radiation which is dangerous for man, in whom it causes skin cancers in particular, and for ecosystems. The international community took rapid action by first of all adopting the Vienna Convention in 1985 and then the Montreal Protocol in 1987.

The Montreal Protocol requires signatories to phase out ozone-depleting substances according to a pre-established schedule. Twenty years after its adoption, the Montreal Protocol represents a model multilateral environmental agreement.

Key terms of the Act
  • Feedstock: any controlled substance or new substance that undergoes chemical transformation in a process in which it is entirely converted from its original composition and whose emissions are insignificant.
  • Process agents: controlled substances used as chemical process agents in the applications listed in Annex III.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009

1.1.2010

30.6.2011

OJ L 286 of 31.10.2009

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version  has a purely documentary value”.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2010/209/EU of 26 March 2010 on the allocation of import quotas for controlled substances for the period 1 January to 31 December 2010 under Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 89 of 9.4.2010].

Combating deforestation

Combating deforestation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Combating deforestation

Topics

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

Agriculture > Environment

Combating deforestation

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 17 October 2008 “Addressing the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss” [COM(2008) 645 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Forests cover roughly 30% of the world’s land area and offer major environmental benefits: they are amongst the most important habitats for biodiversity and provide crucial services by contributing to erosion prevention, water purification and the storage of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). The livelihoods of 1.6 billion people in the world depend on forest resources.

Forests are under threat from deforestation. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 13 million hectares of forests are lost every year. The main direct causes of forest destruction are changes in land use and badly controlled infrastructure development.

Proposed EU objectives

Protecting forests is an effective means of combating global warming. The action proposed by the European Union (EU) aims to halt global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and to reduce tropical deforestation by at least 50 % by 2020 compared to current levels. This Communication sets out the main lines of the action proposed by the European Commission, invites contributions from all stakeholders and sets in motion a series of initial actions that will provide the foundations for a global response to deforestation.

The Commission considers that the battle against deforestation must be fought on several levels:

  • by strengthening forest governance and institutions at local and national level;
  • by rewarding the value of the services provided by forests and making them more economically attractive than the benefits which can be derived from deforestation;
  • by taking account of demand and the responsibility of consumers;
  • by taking into account the work of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (EN) and international climate negotiations;
  • by improving means for forest monitoring and assessment in order to obtain high-quality information to support decision-making.

Contribution of Community policies

Many European policies have indirect impacts on deforestation and the EU can help promote sustainable forest management, in particular through:

  • Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT);
  • work carried out under the framework of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA);
  • green public procurement policies;
  • promoting eco-labelling and forest certification.

Furthermore, the Commission highlights the existing link between demand for agricultural commodities and land use. It stresses the need to increase agricultural production without further deforestation, which requires substantial investment, particularly in agricultural research to increase productivity in this sector in developing countries. Vigilance is also needed to ensure that an increase in demand for biofuels does not jeopardise efforts to protect forests. In the future, the Commission will assess the impact on deforestation of European and international initiatives and the consumption of imported food and non-food commodities into the Community, and will continue with the review on policy coherence for development.

Mechanisms and funding

Combating deforestation in developing countries requires additional funding (between 15 and 25 billion Euros per year will be needed to halve deforestation by 2020). A major portion of funding could come from proceeds from the auctioning of allowances within the Community’s emissions allowance trading scheme (ETS). Indeed, the proposed amendment of the scheme, presented in January 2008, provides for at least 20% of the auction proceeds to be devoted to climate objectives, deforestation in particular.

Furthermore, the Commission proposes creating a Global Forest Carbon Mechanism (GFCM). As part of this framework, a pilot phase could be envisaged to test the inclusion of “deforestation credits” (avoided deforestation credits) in carbon markets. Governments could use these credits to achieve the targets allocated to them for the period post-2012 concerning the reduction of emissions. The possibility of authorising companies to use “deforestation credits” to offset a portion of their emissions could be considered after 2020.

Context

These proposals constitute the European Commission’s contribution towards tackling climate change, the protection of nature, and biodiversity. They should help to define the EU’s position in international climate negotiations. Furthermore, the Commission has been provoking discussion on development cooperation and the forestry sector and forestry management within the Union’s borders for several years. This Communication is accompanied by a proposal for a Regulation which aims to minimise the risk of illegally harvested timber and timber products entering the Community market (see related acts).

Related Acts

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 October 2008laying down obligations for operators who place timber and timber products on the market[COM(2008) 644 Final – Not published in the Official Journal].
As part of combating illegal logging and related trade, the Commission sets out obligations for operators who introduce timber and timber products on the Community market so as to minimize the risk of illegally harvested timber and timber products being placed on the Community market and in order to stop forest degradation and deforestation.

Emissions from air conditioning systems in motor vehicles

Emissions from air conditioning systems in motor vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Emissions from air conditioning systems in motor vehicles

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Emissions from air conditioning systems in motor vehicles

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2006/40/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 relating to emissions from air conditioning systems in motor vehicles and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC.

Summary

In accordance with the objective of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce the CO2 gas emissions that are causing climate change, the Directive aims to cut back the emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases used in air conditioning systems * in motor vehicles. It thus averts any obstacles which may arise, within the internal market, from the adoption by the Member States of different technical requirements on this aspect.

The Directive therefore provides for the gradual prohibition of air conditioning systems designed to contain fluorinated gases with a global warming potential higher than 150 *.

Technical provisions

The Directive makes provision, first of all, for controlling leakages from air conditioning systems designed to contain greenhouse gases with a global warming potential higher than 150. Such air conditioning systems are therefore banned by a transitional measure, unless the rate of leakage from that system does not exceed the maximum permissible limits. This measure shall apply to all new vehicle types as from 21 June 2008 and to new vehicles from 21 June 2009.

As a second stage, the Directive provides for a total ban on air conditioning systems designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gases with a global warming potential higher than 150. The ban covers all new vehicle types from 1 January 2011 and applies to all new vehicles from 1 January 2017.

The Directive also lays down provisions on the retrofitting and refilling of air conditioning systems.

Scope

The vehicles covered by the Directive are passenger cars (category M1 vehicles) and light commercial vehicles (category N1, class 1 vehicles).

Directive 2006/40/EC is the first stage of a legislative package on air conditioning systems. New legislation will supply the administrative provisions concerning the EC type-approval procedure and a harmonised leakage detection test in order to measure the leakage rate of fluorinated gases with a global warming potential higher than 150.

Background

Following the approval of the Kyoto Protocol by the European Union (EU) (Decision 2002/358/EC) and, therefore, the commitment made to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, several Member States planned to regulate emissions from air-conditioning systems in motor vehicles. In order to avoid a situation where differing regulations impede the free movement of motor vehicles within the internal market, it is necessary to harmonise the technical specifications concerning air conditioning systems. This Directive forms part of the EC type-approval procedure.

Key terms
  • Air-conditioning system: any system whose main purpose is to decrease the air temperature and humidity of the passenger compartment of a vehicle.
  • Global warming potential (GWP): the climatic warming potential of a fluorinated greenhouse gas relative to that of carbon dioxide. It is calculated in terms of the 100 year warming potential of one kilogram of a gas relative to one kilogram of CO2. The relevant GWP figures are those published in the third assessment report adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2001 IPCC GWP values).

References

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

Directive 2006/40/EC

4.7.2006

4.1.2008

OJ L 161, 14.6.2006

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 706/2007 of 21 June 2007 laying down, pursuant to Directive 2006/40/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, administrative provisions for the EC type-approval of vehicles, and a harmonised test for measuring leakages from certain air conditioning systems [Official Journal L 161, 22.06.2007].

Commission Directive 2007/37/EC of 21 June 2007 amending Annexes I and III to Council Directive 70/156/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type approval of motor vehicles and their trailers [Official Journal L 161, 22.06.2007].


Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases [Official Journal L 161, 14.6.2006].
The EU lays down rules for the containment, use, recovery and destruction of certain fluorinated greenhouse gases, the labelling of products and equipment containing them, the reporting of information on them, the prohibition of the placing on the market of products and equipment containing them, and the training and certification of personnel in relation to them.

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].

Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond

Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond

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

Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission, of 10 January 2007, entitled: “Limiting Global Climate Change to 2 degrees Celsius – The way ahead for 2020 and beyond” [COM(2007) 2 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Strong scientific evidence shows that urgent action to tackle climate change is imperative. New research has confirmed that the climate really is changing and there are signs that these changes have accelerated. Impact analyses are beginning to quantify precisely what the cost of inaction or of simply pursuing current policies will be.

In 2005, the Commission laid the foundations for an EU strategy to combat climate change. This document now sets out more concrete steps to limit the effects of climate change and to reduce the risk of massive and irreversible disruptions to the planet. These short-term and medium-term measures target both developed countries (the EU and other industrialised countries) and developing countries.

The EU and its Member States have confirmed their target to limit the global average temperature increase to 2° Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels, the point beyond which the impact of climatic change is believed to increase dramatically. Research shows that stabilising the level of greenhouse gases at 450 ppmv (parts per million volume of CO2 equivalent) would lead to a 1 in 2 chance of reaching the target of a 2°C rise (compared with a 1 in 6 chance if levels reach 550 ppmv, and a 1 in 16 chance if levels hit 650 ppmv).

Costs and benefits of future policy choices

Recent research, such as the PESETA study carried out for the Joint Research Centre and the Stern Review, points out the hefty economic and social costs of failing to take sufficient action to combat climate change. The Stern Review estimates this cost at between 5 and 20 % of global DGP.

Climate change will cause widespread damage to populations, ecosystems and resources, as well as to infrastructure and living conditions, ranging from an increase in mortality and disease linked to changes in temperature, damage caused by more frequent flooding and a rise in sea level, increasing desertification in Southern countries and scarcer fresh water resources. The PESETA study focuses in particular on the impacts in Europe on agriculture, public health, tourism, river basins and coastal systems.

According to the impact assessment carried out by the Commission, the investment needed to maintain the level of greenhouse gases at 450 ppmv would cost about 0.5 % of global GDP over the period 2013-2030. Global GDP growth would only fall by 0.19 % per year up to 2030, a fraction of the expected annual GDP growth rate (2.8 %). The Commission also stresses that the global cost needed is overstated, since it does not account for the benefits of combating climate change.

Effectively tackling climate change would in fact produce significant benefits, including fewer damages by avoiding problems. In the same way, reducing our consumption of fossil fuels (especially oil and gas) will help cut costs in importing these resources and substantially improve the security of energy supply. Similarly, reducing CO2 emissions will help improve air quality, which will produce huge health benefits. What’s more, most studies show that mitigation policies would have positive effects on employment, for example in the field of renewable energy and cutting-edge technology.

The benefits of combating climate change will not stop at EU borders. Similar benefits can be expected in other countries if they adopt similar measures to Europe, especially regarding the security of energy supply and air quality.

Action in the EU

The EU has already proved, through internal policies, that is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without undermining economic growth. The Commission stresses that there is the potential to further reduce emissions considerably and echoes its commitment to pursue and extend current measures and to adopt new measures.

The Commission suggests that the EU should adopt targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It calls for the EU to set the target in international negotiations of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries by 30 % (compared to 1990 levels) by 2020. Until an international agreement is made, and without prejudice to the position it will take in these negotiations, the EU should immediately make the resolute and independent commitment to reduce its own emissions by at least 20 % by 2020. At the March 2007 European Council, Member States also strongly backed these targets.

In line with the strategic analysis of the EU’s energy policy, the Commission recommends taking the following measures on energy:

  • improving the EU’s energy efficiency by 20 % by 2020;
  • increasing the share of renewable energy to 20 % by 2020;
  • developing an environmentally safe carbon geological storage policy.

The Commission believes that the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) needs to be strengthened by taking measures such as the following:

  • increasing the duration of quota allocations to over five years, as it is now;
  • extending the scheme to other gases and sectors;
  • aligning allocation procedures across Member States and
  • linking the EU ETS to compatible mandatory schemes in other States (such as California and Australia).

In order to limit emissions in the transport sector, the Commission asks the Council and Parliament to adopt, where necessary, proposals to include aviation in the EU ETS and to link taxes on tourism vehicles to their CO2 emissions. There are also plans to reduce CO2 emissions from cars to reach the target of 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g CO2/km). The Commission also stresses the need for consumers to do more, to cut the emissions produced by freight transport by road and maritime transport and to address biofuels.

The document suggests cutting CO2 emissions in other sectors, such as by improving the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings. It also recommends reducing other gases, notably by adopting and strengthening measures on agriculture and forestry, setting limits for methane emissions from industry and gas engines and including these sources of emissions in the EU ETS, stricter measures on fluorinated greenhouse gases and tackling nitrous oxide from combustion and large installations.

It is also important to rapidly mobilise funds for research on the environment, energy and transport under the Seventh Framework Programme and to increase the research budget after 2013 to promote the development of clean technology and increase our knowledge of climate change. The action plans on energy technology and environmental technology must be fully implemented.

The document also notes that the strategic guidelines on cohesion should be applied, which promote sustainable transport and energy and environmental technologies.

International Action

The battle against climate change can only be won through global action. International negotiations must move beyond rhetoric towards negotiations on concrete commitments.

The Commission believes that developed countries must commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 % compared to 1990 levels by 2020, as part of a post-2012 international agreement. Developed countries also have the technological and financial capacity to reduce their emissions, which is why they should make most of the effort over the next decade. Emissions trading schemes will be a key tool to ensure that developed countries can reach their targets cost-effectively.

The growth in developing countries‘ economies and emissions makes it essential for them to start reducing the rise in their emissions as soon as possible and to cut their emissions in absolute terms after 2020, since by 2020, these countries will be responsible for over half the greenhouse gas emissions.

Many developing countries are already making efforts that result in significant reductions in the growth of their greenhouse gas emissions, through policies addressing economic, security or local environmental concerns. Developing countries have many strategic options where the benefits outweigh the costs, such as improving energy efficiency, promoting renewable energy, adopting measures on air quality and recovery of methane from sources such as waste.

The following elements should be part of the process to step up action in these countries:

  • streamlining and expanding the clean development mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol to cover entire national sectors;
  • improving access to finance via a combination of the various mechanisms available so that developing countries can build the facilities to generate the cleanest energy possible;
  • introducing emissions trading schemes for certain industrial sectors where the capacity exists to properly monitor emissions;
  • countries that reach a level of development similar to that of developed countries should make a quantified, appropriate commitment;
  • no commitments for least developed countries.

Lastly, a future international agreement should address issues such as further cooperation in research and technology development, halting deforestation and restoring forested areas, adapting to the inescapable impacts of climate change and concluding an international agreement on energy efficiency standards.

Background

This communication follows up on the 2005 communication laying the basis for a future climate change strategy. The measures proposed in this strategy are closely linked to the “Energy package” published by the Commission in January 2007, which defines a new European energy policy and sets out clear, quantified targets.

According to scientific research, the currents levels of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere are the highest they have been for 650 000 years, which causes a significant acceleration of the greenhouse effect. To stabilise global warming at an average of 2° Celsius, global emissions must fall by almost 50 % compared to 1990 levels by 2050, which implies a 60 to 80 % reduction by most developed countries by 2050 and a gradual but significant effort made by developing countries.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 9 March 2010 – International climate policy post-Copenhagen: Acting now to reinvigorate global action on climate change [COM(2010) 86 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, dated 10 January 2007, on an Energy Policy for Europe [COM(2007) 1 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This communication is the centrepiece of the package of measures that the Commission submitted in January 2007 (the energy package). After assessing the energy challenges that Europe faces, especially climate change and the security of supply, the Commission sets out a number of steps to take in areas such as the internal energy market, security of supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, energy technology and international energy policy.

Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

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

Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

2.

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 23 January 2008 entitled: “Supporting early demonstration of sustainable power generation from fossil fuels” [COM(2008) 13 final – Official Journal C 118 of 15.5.2008].

Summary

The use of technologies for capture and storage of CO2 (CCS) is an essential instrument to achieve significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, and especially those from power plants fired by fossil fuels, such as coal or gas.

The development and commercial use of these technologies nevertheless represent a very high cost, in the order of several billion euros in total and several hundred million euros per power plant. However, according to the estimates of the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ETP-ZEP), the cost of CCS can be brought down by 50% between now and 2020 if efforts are focused on research & development and demonstration. Furthermore, the planned increase in the cost of acquiring CO2 emission rights for conventional power plants puts the extra cost of the investments in CCS and the operation of such power plants into perspective.

The Commission has proposed a regulatory framework for the deployment of CO2 storage activities consisting of a proposal for a specific Directive on geological storage of CO2 and taking CCS activities into account in the greenhouse gas emission trading scheme. The European Union is also pressing for the inclusion of CCS activities in the appropriate international agreements. For reasons of legal certainty and confidence, it is essential for the Commission proposals to be quickly adopted and transposed and for the changes in international regimes to be ratified by the Member States concerned.

Under the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan), the Commission proposes launching a European Industrial Initiative on CO2 capture, transport and storage, starting in 2008. The objective of this initiative would be to serve as a basis for the coordination of demonstration projects and ensure their transparency and visibility.

This initiative would initially consist of a project network, allowing CCS early-movers to exchange information and experience, maximise impact on further research & development and policy-making, optimise costs through shared collective actions (e.g. in relation to the public or third countries) and obtain recognition as parties to a crucial Community initiative (through a European logo). This European Industrial Initiative could subsequently be extended beyond the original project network.

Significant efforts are required on the part of industry, the Member States and the European Community to cover the substantial financial requirements of early CCS demonstration.

European industries using fossil fuels, not only in the energy sector but also in energy-intensive industries, should enter into clear, decisive commitments in favour of demonstration projects. Early investment decisions could generate a real commercial benefit for the enterprises concerned. They will also determine the level of public finance expected.

In fact, in view of the importance of fossil fuels in the energy mix of many Member States, national funding measures should be envisaged, at least temporarily, until the CCS technology becomes competitive. Such support could take the form of State aid, which in this case would be considered as compatible with the Community State aid rules. The Commission will examine such measures on a case-by-case basis.

Furthermore, the Commission will examine which Community resources could be allocated to the development of CCS technologies, for example under the 7th Framework Research and Development Programme. European financial institutions, such as the European Investment Bank, and other specific mechanisms, such as the Structural Funds, for example, could also provide financial support for these projects.

Background

This Communication is part of the “energy and climate change” package launched by the Commission at the beginning of 2008.

Related Acts

Commission staff working document – Accompanying document to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – Supporting early demonstration of sustainable power generation from fossil fuels – Impact assessment [SEC(2008) 47 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 23 January 2008 entitled: “20 20 by 2020 – Europe’s climate change opportunity”[COM(2008) 30 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In January 2008, the Commission adopted a series of coherent, comprehensive measures to achieve the objectives set by the EU in spring 2007 for 2020 in respect of climate change and renewable energies.

Communication from the Commission of 10 January 2007 entitled “Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels: Aiming for near-zero emissions from coal after 2020” [COM(2006) 843 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In this Communication, the Commission evaluates how and at what cost electricity generation from fossil fuels is feasible in the future so as to cut the resultant greenhouse gas emissions.