Issue 31

January/February 2014

Following the vote in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee on 28th January, the European Environment Bureau criticised a number of the MEPs amendments to the Commission proposal aimed at preventing and managing Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Europe. However, with the adoption of the Parliament’s amendment, exceptions regarding the commercial cultivation or breeding of species of Union concern could be accepted, on condition that they have a high economic, social or environmental value. The amendment also allows for national derogations.

With the European Commission holding substantive powers in the field of State Aid – that is Government of public sector funding to enterprises with a clear potential to distort the market.  Brussels has recently written to the UK Government in December to launch a state aid investigation into the subsidies that it plans to give EDF Energy (Electricity de France) to build a new nuclear power station. The European Commission is concerned that subsidy will lead to excessive windfall profits, market distortion and crowd out investment in renewable energy.

MEPs in a vote last Wednesday backed a legally binding package of climate and energy targets for 2030. The resolution calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by 40%, increasing renewable energy by at least 30% and improving energy efficiency by 40% and was adopted by 341 to 263 votes. The package put forward by MEPs differs from the Commission’s recently proposed energy and climate framework for 2030.