Issue 48

March 2016

A number of member states have not fully transposed EU rules on company energy efficiency audits into national law more than a year after the deadline.  In a study, conducted on behalf of the European Commission, Spain, Poland and other Eastern European member states had failed to complete the transposition.  Whilst many of the other EU countries had transposed the rules by summer 2015, a number of them are failing to check whether large companies are carrying out the required audits.

With the recent announcement of the UK referendum following February’s European Council meeting in Brussels the impact of a potential UK exit from the EU has real implications in the UK for environmental law.  Stanley Johnson, father of Boris (the Mayor of London), recently launched a new campaign group under the banner of ‘E4E - Environmentalists for Europe’ that aims to work with a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals, in the hope and expectation that the importance of the UK’s contribution to European environmental policy, a

ENEP’s President, Kristof De Smet travelled to London last week to meet with the Society for the Environment's new Chief Executive - Dr Emma Wilcox.

The 3rd conference of the European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water), was held in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, on 10th February 2016.  In concluding the conference the Leeuwarden declaration was launched that underlines the key issues if Europe is to accelerate the development and uptake of innovation in the water sector.The conference was attended by more than 500 scientists, innovators, policy-makers, economists, engineers, resource managers and investors from over 50 countries.

The National Emission Ceiling Directive is one of the main regulatory tools in the battle against air pollution.  Ahead of Member States gathering in Brussels on 25th February, for the first of several meetings to look at setting new caps for 2020, 2025 and 2030, the European Environment Bureau has published its own analysis of the expected impact of the lower ceiling being sought by a number of Member States on human health.

Energy Union – the plan to ensure that Europe has secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy – is celebrating its first anniversary! Much has already happened in the quest to make Energy Union a reality. And, of the back of the COP21 agreements 2016 is set be a big year for implementation with another series of implementing initiatives being brought forwards by the European Commission.

The European Commission has announced the approval of 96 environment projects and 26 climate action projects that will receive €197.35 million cofinancing from the LIFE programme, the EU’s main funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The environment projects will be implemented in 21 Member States, representing a total investment of €264.8 million.

You can now access a variety of materials online following the high level EMAS conference where celebrated its 20th anniversary where participants look at the scheme’s achievements and also looked forward to its contribution to the circular economy and energy efficiency.  See also the latest video on EMAS.  With EMAS being applied to over 4 000 organisations on 7 000 throughout the EU.

The Joint Research Centre supports EU Member States in implementing environmental policies and participates in international efforts to promote the sustainable use of resources and improve land-use management. This report describes the work of the JRC in support of sustainable development. It shows how its tools, methods, analyses and activities contribute to a better understanding, monitoring and anticipation of the complex interactions between human activity and the natural environment.

By 2030, more energy will be saved than the amount of energy consumed deriving from oil, according to a JRC analysis. Energy savings can thus be considered as "an energy source in its own right", in line with the European Commission strategy for a resilient energy union. As Europe is likely to miss the intermediary 2020 target of 20% of energy saved, the authors recommend scaling up private investments and introducing a guarantee fund to remove the perceived risk by investors.