Tag Archives: Reduction of gas emissions

Petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of vehicles

Petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of 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

Petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of vehicles

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 on Stage II petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of motor vehicles at service stations.

Summary

This Directive aims at ensuring that harmful petrol vapour displaced from the fuel tank of a motor vehicle during refuelling at a service station is recovered. The petrol pumps of many service stations in the European Union (EU) will have to be equipped to recover this vapour.

Service stations

This Directive applies to new service stations or those having undergone major refurbishment, of which the annual throughput must be in excess of 500 m3 of petrol. It imposes upon operators of these service stations an obligation to install a Stage II Petrol Vapour Recovery system or “Stage II PVR”. Furthermore, service stations with a throughput in excess of 100 m3 per year which are located under living accommodation must also install this equipment.

Larger existing service stations with a throughput in excess of 3 000 m3 per year must also apply Stage II PVR by 2018.

Stage II PVR equipment has already been installed in service stations in almost 50 % of the Member States. This Directive extends this practice to the whole European Union.

Minimum level of petrol vapour recovery

The Stage II PVR equipment installed on petrol pumps in service stations must capture 85 % of petrol vapour. The petrol vapour capture efficiency of such systems must be certified by the manufacturer in accordance with the relevant European technical standards or type approval procedures or, if there are no such standards or procedures, with any relevant national standard.

Stage II PVR equipment draws off petrol vapour. It is then transferred to a storage tank at the service station. The vapour/petrol ratio shall be equal to or greater than 0.95 but less than or equal to 1.05.

Periodic checks

The petrol vapour capture efficiency of Stage II petrol vapour recovery systems must be tested at least once a year. This test may be carried out either by checking the vapour/petrol ratio defined above under simulated petrol flow conditions, or by any other appropriate methodology.

If the service station has automatic monitoring equipment, capture efficiency shall be tested at least once every three years. If the tests detect anomalies, the service station operator must rectify the fault within seven days.

Consumer information

All service stations which have installed Stage II petrol vapour recovery systems must inform consumers thereof. In order to do this, the operator may place a sign, sticker or other notification on, or in the vicinity of, the petrol dispenser.

Context

This Directive comes under the Sixth Environment Action Programme adopted in July 2002 which established the need to reduce air pollution to levels which minimise harmful effects on human health and the environment.

This Directive supplements the technical specifications for the storage of petrol. These technical specifications are harmonised at European level by Directive 94/63/EC which forms Stage I of petrol vapour recovery.

References

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

Directive 2009/126/EC

31.10.2009

1.1.2012

OJ L 285 of 31.10.2009

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.

Promotion of offshore wind energy

Promotion of offshore wind energy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promotion of offshore wind energy

Topics

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

Energy > Renewable energy

Promotion of offshore wind energy

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 13 November 2008 – ‘Offshore Wind Energy: Action needed to deliver on the Energy Policy Objectives for 2020 and beyond’ [COM(2008) 768 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication aims at promoting the development of maritime and offshore wind energy in the European Union.

Maritime wind energy can make a significant contribution to the three key objectives of the new Energy Policy, which are:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • the security of supply;
  • improving the competitiveness of the Union.

Benefits of maritime wind energy

This type of energy has a number of benefits compared to the production of onshore wind energy:

  • production units at sea are larger than on land;
  • winds are stronger and more stable at sea than on land;
  • wind farms at sea cause less concern among neighbouring citizens.

This type of wind farm can be beneficial for the protection of certain marine ecosystems and can also allow other new uses of the sea to be developed, especially offshore aquaculture, which can benefit from the substructures of wind farms.

This energy is also a vast, indigenous, clean and renewable source.

The potential of this type of energy

It appears entirely possible to envisage, by 2020, that its utilisation will be 30 to 40 times greater than the current installed capacity of offshore wind farms.

Other sources of energy production should also be developed on a large scale, such as tidal, wave, thermal or marine current energy.

It is therefore necessary to have a clear legislative and political framework in order to exploit this type of energy fully. It is possible, in this perspective, to develop synergies between the Energy Policy for Europe and the new Integrated Maritime Policy for the Union.

At European level, the existing framework has been supplemented by the third “internal energy market package” of October 2007 and by the “energy and climate” package presented in January 2008. The timely adoption and implementation of these two packages will form the EU’s main contribution to promoting offshore wind energy.

Obstacles to the development of maritime wind energy

The first obstacle to the development of maritime wind energy is the competition that it faces from the onshore wind energy sector and the oil and gas industry for financing, equipment and expertise. Businesses in the maritime wind energy sector encounter difficulties in financing the projects or technologies necessary for the development of this type of energy.

The second obstacle lies in the absence of electrical transmission systems at sea, and in Member States’ lack of experience with integrated spatial planning in the marine environment which may lead to the abandonment of certain projects. Moreover, the potential synergies between offshore projects and cross-border inter-connectors of regional electricity markets are currently not being exploited.

Third, not all of the protected areas in the marine environment have been designated yet.Consequently, it is difficult to define the boundaries of maritime wind farms. It is therefore crucial that Member States should designate the protected areas and exchange information on the environmental impact of wind farms.

Finally, offshore projects are bigger than onshore projects. The energy produced at sea, i.e. in an uninhabited area,will be difficult to distribute on land. It is therefore necessary to extend the interconnection capacity.

Offshore wind farms: the energy of the future

The development of maritime wind energy is a relevant alternative because it contributes to the implementation of clean energies.

Measures must be taken to enable the provision of the technologies and infrastructures necessary for the development of offshore wind farms. The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET plan), adopted in 2008, constitutes the basic framework which will make it possible to meet the main technological challenges facing this sector by 2020. That plan identifies doubling the production of offshore wind farms as one of the key challenges for meeting the 2020 targets. This will make it possible to maintain the Union’s dominant position in the area of wind farm technology.

The Commission highlights maritime wind energy in its 2009 energy work programme and intends to support research in this field. It also encourages Member States to define the role of offshore wind farms clearly in their national plans envisaged in the context of the implementation of the new Directive concerning the promotion of renewable energy proposed by the Commission in January 2008.

The Commission undertakes to encourage transmission system operators and energy regulators to strengthen their cooperation in order to quickly put in place more favourable regulatory conditions encouraging investment in transnational offshore grids, cross-border trade and the development of efficient balancing power markets.

Another challenge lies in integrated spatial planning of the marine environment in order to reconcile the sectoral interests of environmental and species protection with the production of clean energy, and in this context the Commission will also seek to facilitate regional cooperation in the planning of the electricity grid and the planning of offshore wind farm sites.

Context

Electricity from wind represents around 4% of the total production of electricity from clean energies in the EU. Nevertheless, its importance is tending to increase insofar as wind energy, together with natural gas, represents the fastest-growing generation technology and has reached rates of around 20% in some Member States.

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.

A sustainable future for European transport

A sustainable future for European transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A sustainable future for European transport

Topics

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

Transport > Intermodality and trans-european networks

A sustainable future for European transport

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 17 June 2009 – “A sustainable future for transport: Towards an integrated, technology-led and user friendly system” [COM(2009) 279 final– Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Objectives for European Union (EU) transport policy were set both in the mid-term review of the White Paper 2001 and in the Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) of 2006. The European transport policy has largely achieved the objectives defined in those strategy documents, by facilitating market opening and integration, by establishing high quality standards for safety, security and passenger rights and by improving working conditions.

However, the environment remains a policy area where further improvements are necessary. Within the EU, transport is the sector with the highest growth rate of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in comparison to levels in 1990: the transport sector has significantly increased its activity without making sufficient progress in reducing its energy use and GHG intensity.

There are several societal trends which will challenge the transport sector in the future:

  • ageing of society, requiring an increased emphasis on the provision of secure and reliable transport services, while increasing social spending and leaving less public funds for transport;
  • increasing oil scarcity, putting pressure on prices;
  • environmental challenges, as transport emissions continue to grow and local pollution is still too high;
  • migration, internal mobility and globalisation of the economy, entailing more movement of people and goods and putting strain on ports, airports and their access;
  • growing urbanisation, causing more congestion in urban areas.

Policy objectives for sustainable transport

The European transport policy aims to establish a sustainable transport system that meets the economic, social and environmental needs of society, and contributes to a fully integrated and competitive Europe. This goal can be divided into the following policy objectives:

  • quality transport that is safe and secure;
  • a well maintained and fully integrated network;
  • more environmentally sustainable transport;
  • keeping the EU at the forefront of transport services and technologies;
  • protecting transport workers and their rights as well as simultaneously developing the human capital to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the EU economy;
  • better price signals to improve economic efficiency by providing economic incentives to, for example, use the road in off-peak hours or use more environmentally friendly means of transport;
  • improving accessibility.

POLICIES FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT

The Commission suggests how the following policy instruments could be best used to respond to the sustainability challenge:

Infrastructure

Integration and interoperability of the individual parts of the transport network are necessary to achieve the optimal functioning of the European transport system as a whole. The creation of new infrastructure is expensive, whereas a lot can be achieved by simply upgrading the existing network within the EU. Intelligent transport systems and European global navigation satellite systems can be used to complement and enhance the ‘traditional’ transport networks.

Funding

The transition towards a low carbon economy will require significant and well coordinated funding. The transport sector needs to become increasingly self-financing in relation to infrastructure. The Commission suggests that charges representative of the costs of congestion, air pollution, CO2 emissions, noise and accidents can provide funding for transport, while promoting more sustainable behaviour and giving better signals for investments.

Technology

There is a significant need for a technological shift towards low-emission vehicles and for the development of alternative solutions for sustainable transport. The Commission proposes fostering R&D expenditures towards sustainable mobility, for example through the European Green Cars Initiative and Joint Technology Initiatives.

The legislative framework

An increasing number of companies are active across national markets, which benefits overall economic performance and employment within the EU. The internal market needs to be completed with the removal of the remaining barriers between countries and transport modes and the reduction of administrative burdens on transport companies. The legislative framework in the transport sector needs to be developed towards harmonised environmental obligations, effective supervision, uniform protection of workers conditions and users’ rights.

Educate, inform and involve

Education, information and awareness raising campaigns have a strong influence on consumer behaviour and could facilitate sustainable mobility choices. Citizens should be better informed on the reasoning behind EU transport policy decisions and on available alternatives. Workers in the transport sector should be involved through information and consultation on the development, application and monitoring of transport policy.

Governance: effective and coordinated action

The EU transport system involves political, economic, social and technical interaction. Effective coordination will be required to ensure the interoperability of new technologies and regulatory practices and to avoid the multiplication of different systems at national level. EU level cooperation can also help urban authorities in making their transport systems more sustainable while respecting the principle of subsidiarity.

The external dimension

The EU holds a prominent position in the transport sector at a global level, setting standards which are increasingly also being adopted outside of the EU, such as EURO emission standards for road vehicles. International cooperation in the transport sector, aimed to establish interconnection of the major transport axes with neighbouring regions, should be promoted.

Emissions from heavy duty vehicles : certification rules

Emissions from heavy duty vehicles : certification rules

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Emissions from heavy duty vehicles : certification rules

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 heavy duty vehicles (Euro VI): certification rules

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 595/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on type-approval of motor vehicles and engines with respect to emissions from heavy duty vehicles (Euro VI) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information and amending Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 and Directive 2007/46/EC and repealing Directives 80/1269/EEC, 2005/55/EC and 2005/78/EC (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Regulation defines the legal framework for type-approval of motor vehicles, engines and replacement parts with respect to their emissions. It also establishes rules on:

  • in-service conformity of vehicles and engines;
  • durability of pollution control devices;
  • on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems and accessibility of information;
  • measurement of fuel consumption;
  • CO2 emissions.

This Regulation applies to motor vehicles of categories M1, M2, N1 and N2 (see Annex II of Directive 2007/46/EC).

Obligations of the manufacturers

Manufacturers must be able to demonstrate that all new vehicles, engines or spare parts sold, registered or put into service within the Community have been EC type-approved.

Manufacturers must also implement technical measures to guarantee effective limitation of tailpipe emissions.

This Regulation also establishes conditions for pollution control devices according to a mileage and life cycle specific to each vehicle category.

Requirements and tests

Manufacturers must equip their vehicles or engines with components that ensure compliance with the emission limits laid down in Annex I of this Regulation.

The European Commission lays down provisions to ensure compliance with emission limits – mainly measures concerning tailpipe emissions *, pollution control devices, reference fuels and the measurement of engine power.

Access to information

Vehicle manufacturers must guarantee independent operators * access to information on on-board diagnostic (OBD) * systems, and on diagnostic equipment, tools or software.

Manufacturers are also responsible for providing information on vehicle repairs and maintenance *. The final manufacturer shall be responsible for communicating information about the whole vehicle.

The information should be made available on the websites of manufacturers, or, if this is not feasible, in another appropriate format.

Timetable

National authorities shall no longer grant Community or national type-approval for vehicles that do not comply with this Regulation as from 31 December 2012. They are also to prohibit the registration of new vehicles that do not comply with this Regulation as from 31 December 2013.

Financial incentives

Member States may grant financial incentives for the purchase of motor vehicles produced in series which comply with this Regulation until 31 December 2013. Retrofitting measures may also be considered either to adapt in-use motor vehicles or for scrapping.

The amount of the financial incentives shall be equal to the additional cost of the technical measures introduced to ensure compliance of the vehicle with emission limits.

This Regulation repeals Directives 80/1269/EEC, 2005/55/EC and 2005/78/EC with effect from 31 December 2013.

Context

The Sixth Community Environment Action Programme highlights the need to reduce air pollution. This Regulation contributes to the Union’s objectives in terms of air quality by establishing a system which constrains the automobile industry to limit the vehicle emissions that it produces.

Key terms of the Act
  • Tailpipe emissions: emissions of gaseous and particulate pollutants;
  • On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system: a system on board a vehicle or connected to an engine which has the capability of detecting malfunctions, and, if applicable, of indicating their occurrence by means of an alert system, of identifying the likely area of malfunction by means of information stored in computer memory, and of communicating that information off-board;
  • Vehicle repair and maintenance information: all information required for diagnosis, servicing, inspection, periodic monitoring, repair, re-programming or re-initialising or the remote diagnostic support of the vehicle and which the manufacturers provide for their authorised dealers and repairers, including all subsequent amendments and supplements to such information. This information includes all information required for fitting parts or equipment onto vehicles;
  • Independent operator: undertakings other than authorised dealers and repairers which are directly or indirectly involved in the repair and maintenance of motor vehicles, in particular repairers, manufacturers or distributors of repair equipment, tools or spare parts, publishers of technical information, automobile clubs, roadside assistance operators, operators offering inspection and testing services, operators offering training for installers, manufacturers and repairers of equipment for alternative fuel vehicles.

Reference

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

Regulation (EC) No 595/2009

7.8.2009

OJ L 188 of 18.7.2009

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

Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars

Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community’s integrated approach to reduce CO? emissions from light-duty vehicles (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Regulation sets standards to frame the CO? emissions of new passenger cars. The limit set by the Regulation is 130 g of CO?/km. From 2020, this level is to be reduced to 95 g of CO?.

Types of vehicles concerned by the Regulation

The Regulation shall apply to vehicles of category M1 as defined in Annex II to the Directive on the type-approval of motor vehicles which are registered in the European Union (EU) for the first time and which have not previously been registered in a third country.

Specific emissions targets

Manufacturers of vehicles have average CO? emission targets, the formulae for which are set out in Annex I to this Regulation.

For each manufacturer, the following percentages of passenger cars are taken into account in order to determine average specific emissions of CO?:

  • 65 % in 2012;
  • 75 % in 2013;
  • 80 % in 2014;
  • 100 % from 2015 onwards.

This Regulation includes specific provisions for vehicles running on a mixture of fuel with 85 % ethanol (E85). In order to determine whether a manufacturer meets their CO? emission targets, the percentage of specific emissions for this type of vehicle is to be reduced by 5 % by 31 December 2015. This reduction target is only applicable if at least 30 % of the service stations in the Member State where the vehicle is registered are able to offer this type of biofuel.

In order to create incentives for the car industry to invest in new technologies, super-credits encourage the development of cars generating less emissions than traditional cars. In calculating the average specific emissions of CO?, each new passenger car with specific emissions of CO? of less than 50 g/km shall be counted as:

  • 3.5 cars in 2012,
  • 3.5 cars in 2013,
  • 2.5 cars in 2014,
  • 1.5 cars in 2015,
  • 1 car from 2016.

Pools of manufacturers

In order to meet targets for specific emissions, manufacturers may form pools. To do this, they shall send the European Commission an information file including the list of participating manufacturers, the name of the manufacturer nominated as pool manager and proof that the latter has the capacity to fulfil their duties.

The members of the pool shall exchange data relating to:

  • the average specific emissions of CO?;
  • the specific emissions target;
  • the total number of vehicles registered.

Monitoring and reporting of average emissions

Member States shall be responsible for collecting data for each new passenger car registered in their territory. They shall send the Commission the following information concerning these vehicles:

  • their number;
  • their average specific emissions;
  • their average mass;
  • their distribution;
  • their footprint.

The Commission shall keep a publicly available central register of this data and for each manufacturer shall provisionally calculate:

  • the average specific emissions of CO? in the preceding calendar year;
  • the specific emissions target in the preceding calendar year;
  • the difference between its average specific emissions of CO? in the preceding calendar year and its specific emissions target for that year.

Excess emissions premium

From 2012, manufacturers must pay an additional premium if they exceed their specific emissions target. From 2019, this premium will be calculated in a different way.

Derogations for certain manufacturers

Manufacturers may apply to the Commission for a derogation in the following cases:

  • they produce fewer than 10,000 new passenger cars registered in the EU;
  • they do not belong to a pool of manufacturers;
  • they belong to a pool of manufacturers which represents fewer than 10,000 new passenger cars registered in the EU;
  • they are part of a pool of manufacturers but operate their own production facilities and design centre.

The Commission may grant a derogation for a period of five years.

Eco-innovation

Suppliers and manufacturers may introduce innovative technologies to reduce CO? emissions. The total contribution of these technologies may reach a maximum of 7 g of CO?/km.

The Commission will re-examine specific emission targets by 1 January 2013 at the latest.

This Regulation repeals Decision No 1753/2000/EC.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 443/2009

8.6.2009

OJ L 140 of 5.6.2009

Related Act(S)

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1014/2010 on monitoring and reporting of data on the registration of new passenger cars pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Text with EEA relevance).

This Regulation lays down guidelines relating to the collection and reporting of data about each new passenger car. These data are to be used in determining the specific CO? emissions target and in assessing whether manufacturers comply with that target.
These data are based on the information contained in the certificate of conformity of the passenger car concerned. They also concern vehicles which:

  • generate low CO? emissions;
  • run on ethanol;
  • are equipped with innovative technologies.

Clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles

Clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Clean and energy-efficient road transport 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

Clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Directive aims at promoting and stimulating the development of a market for clean and energy-efficient vehicles. With regard to procurement for public transport, the Directive requires public authorities and some other operators to take into account the impact of these vehicles during their operational lifetime in terms of energy consumption, CO2 emissions and other pollutant emissions.

Scope

The Directive applies to contracts for the purchase of road transport vehicles entered into by:

  • contracting authorities and contracting entities;
  • operators for the discharge of public service obligations under a public service contract.

Purchase of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles

Member States shall ensure that contracting authorities, contracting entities and operators under a public service contract take into account the operational lifetime energy and environmental impacts when purchasing road transport vehicles.

Energy and environmental impacts include:

  • energy consumption;
  • emissions of CO2;
  • emissions of NOx, NMHC and particulate matter.

In order to fulfil this requirement to take into account the environmental impact of vehicles, contracting authorities, contracting entities and operators of public transport services can choose to set technical specifications for energy and environmental performance in the documentation established when the vehicle is purchased or to include energy and environmental impacts in the purchasing decision.

Methodology for the calculation of operational lifetime costs

The Directive provides for a methodology for calculation which monetises the cost of energy consumption, C02 emissions and pollutant emissions during a vehicle’s operational lifetime.

The operational lifetime cost of the energy consumption of a vehicle is calculated using the following method:

  • fuel consumption per kilometre is calculated in units of energy consumption per kilometre;
  • the calculation uses a single monetary value per unit of energy;
  • the operational lifetime cost of the energy consumption of a vehicle is calculated by multiplying the mileage already performed by energy consumption, and then by the cost per unit of energy.

The cost of CO2 emissions is calculated by multiplying the mileage already performed by CO2 emissions in kilograms per kilometre, and then by the cost per kilogram.

The cost of pollutant emissions is obtained by adding the costs related to emissions of NOx, HCNM and particulate matter.

Best practice exchange

The Commission must encourage exchange of knowledge and best practice between Member States with regard to promoting the purchase of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles.

Context

Greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution due to transport are among the main obstacles to sustainable development, as identified by the Gothenburg European Council of 15 and 16 June 2001. Efforts must be made in this sector in order to implement the 2020 targets for energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The promotion and development of markets for cleaner, smarter, safer and energy-efficient vehicles represents one of the ways to meet these objectives.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2009/33/EC

4.6.2009

4.12.2010

OJ L 120 of 15.5.2009

Environment Policy Review – 2008

Environment Policy Review – 2008

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Environment Policy Review – 2008

Topics

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

Environment > General provisions

Environment Policy Review – 2008

The 2008 Environment Policy Review reports on the progress made in European Union (EU) policy during 2008 and analyses future challenges.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 June 2009: 2008 Environment Policy Review [COM(2009) 304 final Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The environment is at the top of the policy agenda. This transversal policy can help the European Union (EU) to emerge from the global economic and financial crisis which affected the European continent in 2008, by paving the way for low-carbon growth and enhancing energy efficiency.

In this Communication, the Commission reviews the events which marked EU environment policy during 2008. It describes in particular the progress made in the four priority areas established by the Sixth Environment Action Programme: climate change, biodiversity, the environment and health, and the sustainable management of resources and wastes.

The fight against climate change was emphasised in December 2008 by a series of legislative proposals forming the climate-energy package and demonstrating the EU’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 % of 1990 levels by 2020 if other developed countries agreed comparable reductions or by at least 20% if they did not. This package aims at improving the Community greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme (EU ETS) and extending it to other greenhouse gases and other sectors. It also includes a proposal aimed at promoting renewable energies and another aimed at the reliable deployment of capture technologies and carbon storage.

Aside from the climate-energy package, the EU adopted other measures relating to climate change to reduceemissions on new vehicles and improve fuel quality.

The negotiation programme established at the Poznan conference in December 2008 should lead to a global agreement on climate change at the December 2009 United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen. This agreement will replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012.

With regard to the loss of biodiversity, the EU has continued its efforts in accordance with the Community Action Plan aimed at halting the reduction of biological diversity by 2010. The main measures that have been implemented consist of developing the Natura 2000 network by creating new sites in Bulgaria and Romania, and combating the spread of invasive species by proposing a number of strategic options including the creation of a Europe-wide early warning system to report new or emerging species.

In 2008, two initiatives were introduced to protect global forests which contribute to tackling climate change and the reduction in biodiversity. The first is a Regulation framing the timber and timber products market in Europe, and the second is a Communication presenting proposals from the Commission in order to combat tropical deforestation.

In the future, work will be directed at increasing biodiversity protection in the high seas under the Convention on Biological Diversity and related to the work of the International Whaling Commission, and at the prohibition of products from seals sacrificed with disregard for animal welfare rules.

In the area of environment and health, 2008 was marked by the entry into force of the REACH Regulation, aimed at reinforcing safety standards for chemicals produced in or imported into the EU. Other measures have been adopted concerning dangerous substances and mercury. The Directive on ambient air quality and pure air for Europe came into force in June. The Commission presented initiatives for sustainable transport and to reduce industrial emissions.

For 2009, work in the area of the environment and health will be concentrated on the amendment of the Directive on biocidal products and the establishment of new standards for vehicle emissions in order to adapt it to the REACH Regulation.

Concerning the management of naturalresources and waste, EU action relates to the protection of the water cycle (surface water and the marine environment), the development of sustainable production and consumption (ecodesign and the Ecolabel Scheme) and the improvement of waste recycling (ship dismantling, electrical and electronic equipment and bio-waste).

In 2009, the EU plans to introduce an environmental technology verification scheme to boost the confidence of buyers in the performance of new environmental technologies.

In 2008, progress was accomplished towards simplifying environment legislation through the development of programmes intended to improve the implementation of Community environmental laws. The Commission plans to use a broad set of tools to prevent breaches of the law, such as targeted use of Community funds and enhanced pre-accession support for enlargement countries.

Context

This annual activity report is a contribution to the Lisbon Process and the European Sustainable Development Strategy, of which the environment is an essential element.