Issue 33

April 2014

Belgium and Finland have both failed to fully implement the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which had to be transposed into national law by 9 July 2012. The directive requires Member States to apply legal provisions to increase energy efficiency in buildings, such as ensuring the certification of the energy performance of buildings and applying minimum energy performance requirements.

Green Week is the biggest annual conference on European environment policy. The 2014 edition of Green Week will take place from 3 to 5 June 2014 at The Egg Conference Centre in Brussels. This year's theme is ‘Circular Economy, Resource Efficiency & Waste’. ENEP will be among the around 40 exhibitors displaying, among others, green business solutions, NGO activities and local and regional authorities. Our stand will provide delegates with information about ENEP and the opportunities to work with other professionals throughout Europe on waste and resource efficiency issues.

On Thursday 10 April, ENEP members travelled to Bucharest for their General Assembly and side event meeting on “European Recycling Society - Natural Resources and Waste Management” that was hosted by the Romanian Environment Association (REA) as part of their second annual conference programme.  Speaking in the closing session, Mr Attila Korodi, Minister for Environment and Climate Change spoke of the importance of professionalism and expertise in the field of environmental policy if Romania is to avoid significant financial sanctions from Brussels.

The Council of Ministers has backed changes to a series of environmental laws including the environmental impact assessment (EIA), fluorinated gases, the emissions trading system (ETS) and environmental accounts. The MEPs and the Member State representatives have reached agreement on the revision of the 1985 environmental impact assessment (EIA) directive in December last year.

More activities and types of damage should be added to the ELD directive according to the latest studies that have been published by the European Commission on the scope and effectiveness of the ELD, the interpretations of significant biodiversity damage and a legislative analysis of the

An ENEP delegation led by Kristof De Smet, President of the European Network of Environmental Professionals (Belgium), met with Commissioner Potočnik this month to discuss ENEP’s role as a complimentary communication network to contribute to the equal and effective application of EU environmental law.

A study led by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) suggests mandatory biodiversity offsetting that goes beyond built developments and extractive industries – including activities in the fisheries, agriculture and forestry sectors – as the most effective strategy if the Commission is to halt ecosystem service and biodiversity loss by 2020 and therefore achieve the objective of its Biodiversity Strategy.

The EPILOBEE study, produced by the European Union Reference Laboratory for honeybee health (EURL) and co-financed by the European Commission and the participating Member States, is the first project to assess the loss of honeybee colonies across Europe.

The 7th Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) took place this month at the Square in Brussels. This year's theme was 'Meeting the Food & Environmental Challenge: How to sustainably produce more with less and trade better'. The focus was on four areas: environment, sustainable agriculture, farming and trade.

In a vote on the Environment Committee’s proposals to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic bags in the EU, MEPs have approved obligatory reduction targets – 50 per cent by 2017 and 80 per cent by 2019 compared to 2010 – and mandatory charging by 539 to 51 votes. 72 parliamentarians abstained. “As front-running countries have demonstrated, dramatically reducing the consumption of these disposable bags is easily achievable with coherent policy,” said rapporteur Margrete Auken (Greens/EFA).