Issue 39

February 2015

The European Commission started a consultation on whether the EU needs to do more on the environmental impact of shipping. The consultation is open until 22 April.

A consultation on the 2009 EU Maritime Strategy opened this week, as part of a mid-term review. It asks whether the strategy should place greater importance on shipping’s environmental performance. The Commission inquiry also aims to find out whether respondents “see a strong trade-off between the environmental performance and the competitiveness of the EU maritime transport sector”.

The Italian parliament has started work on a legislative proposal tabled by MP Alessandro Mazzoli, which proposes an overhaul of waste and recycling legislation. The proposal includes a major focus on separate waste collection.

The “zero waste” law that the parliament’s environment committee began discussing on Wednesday calls for 90% separate collection and 85% recycling of urban waste by 2020.

It would also set a 50% waste reduction target for 2050 relative to 2000. The main focus of the proposal is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Denmark has named food waste, construction, clothes, waste electronic equipment and packaging as the five priorities of its first waste prevention strategy.

The €3.3m three-year plan launched this week sets out 72 initiatives under the abovementioned headings.

The initiatives include a climate ministry plan to create a tool to calculate the life-cycle cost of buildings, and a partnership between firms and the authorities on preventing construction waste, which will identity barriers and common solutions and carry out demonstration projects.

Recycling targets under new proposals on the circular economy should be “more realistic” waste companies have warned.

Industry representatives of the waste management sector gathered at the UK Foodservice Packaging Association’s annual seminar last week and raised concerns that new recycling targets would see quantity usurp quality.

The EU remains a long way from its 2020 energy efficiency target, with an 8% gap to the 20% saving goal still open, the latest Eurostat figures show.

The EU’s primary energy savings reached 11.9% in 2013, according to updated statistics on energy consumption. This still leaves a sizeable gap to the EU’s non-binding 2020 target, which is set relative to a business-as-usual projection.

Savings in terms of final energy consumption reached 12.8% in 2013.

Energy labels should be based on a new ‘A to G’ scale rather than the ‘A+++ to D’ system that has developed over time, consultants have told the European Commission.

Consultants London Economics performed behavioural experiments to investigate consumers’ understanding ahead of an upcoming revision of the 2010 Energy Labelling Directive, expected in April together with an update of the Eco design Directive.

A consultation launched by the European Commission in the summer of 2014 has advised against legislation to underpin controversial biodiversity offsetting.

The initiative is planned because at present there is no requirement to compensate for damage to nature outside the Natura 2000 network of protected habitats, leading to a net loss of biodiversity over time. The EU has a target of halting biodiversity loss by 2020.

In April 2015 the European Commission will launch a 12-week consultation with the aim of reviewing the Birds and Habitats Directives. Publications that might contribute to the review are currently collated in collaboration with the public affairs consultancy Milieu.

This coincides with the proposal by CIIEM to set up a new Thematic Task Force that aims to monitor the review and ensure that the voices of environmental professionals are heard. The review also coincides with ENEP’s preparation for Green Week 2015, which will fittingly focus on nature and biodiversity this year.

The 2015 edition of Green Week, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, will take place from 3 to 5 June at The Egg Conference Centre, Rue Bara, in Brussels. The theme will be nature and biodiversity.

Take part in shaping Europe’s sustainable energy future! The EU Sustainable Energy Week will bring together public authorities, energy agencies, research organisations, NGOs, businesses, and private consumers to share best practices and inspire ideas on secure, clean and efficient energy.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, for example, by: