Issue 54

Newsflash
March - April 2017

The Great Repeal Bill was published lat the end of March by the UK’s government as an important part of the BREXIT process. The Bill plans to convert all EU law into UK law before the withdrawal actually occurs. This converted law will include all EU regulations, EU treaties, and the CJEU case law. Additionally, the Bill will repeal the ECA.

The European Union recently implemented a new set of draft emissions standards under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive in a

revisied BREF. It sets out the Best Available Techniques for Member States in treating waste. Specifically, it discusses techniques to practice pollution control for waste treatment plants. The document aims to replace guidelines that were created in 2006 and bring new and improved emission limits. The agreed upon numbers are as follows:

The European Investment Bank and the European Commission have agreed on a loan arrangement with Rewilding Europe Capital in order to support businesses with nature-focused initiatives. The Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), which was created by the EIB and the Commission, is backing the loan of €6 million.

The development replacing the linear economy with a circular economy is believed to have positive impacts on the economic sectors of production, consumption, environment and society. As it is a recently established project, there is currently a lot of research being conducted to ensure that there is a clear understanding of what a circular economy is and the actions that it entails in order to succeed.

This year, the LIFE Programme and the EU Habitats Directive are happy to celebrate their 25th anniversaries. The LIFE Programme is an organization created by the European Union that supports projects based on environmental, nature conservation, and climate action initiatives. The organization has been incredibly successful since it was founded in 1992, expecting to have contributed 3.4 billion euros to the cause between 2014-2020.

The European Court of Auditors from the European Commission has recently expressed concerned that Member States are not investing enough in the numerous Natura 2000 sites throughout Europe. The European Commission has to now reevaluate the numbers to determine if the current funds are enough to make an impact on Natura 2000. The main concern by the Auditors is that the Member States evidently do not know how to correctly allocate the funds that they have set aside for the initiative of Natura 2000.

The European Union is incredibly focused on providing appropriate funds for environmental needs across Europe, namely for the Natura 2000 initiative. The EU funds nearly 5.8 billion euros per year to implement the directive and ensure that it is being carried out properly. The European Court of Auditors recently analysed the initiative and concluded that five member states are not living up to expectations of the goals that should be met for Natura 2000. The Auditors found that the funds were not being properly allocated to the sectors of the Natura 2000.

On 31 May 2017, the European Commission is holding an event dedicated to the LIFE Programme. This event will discuss funding opportunities for the organisation in 2017 and give information about the project. The event will take place from 10:00-16:00 in Brussels and registration is first come, first serve. Representatives of businesses are all welcome to join, as well as from NGOs, industry, and local and regional authorities. There will be opportunities to meet European Commission specialists and discuss implementations.

The European Environment Bureau has announced that it is holding a photo competition in order to raise awareness of the importance of nature. The purpose is to remind people of what nature does for us, including giving us air, water, food, clothing, and also lessening the intense effects of climate change. The photo competition is called ‘NATURE@work’ and the EEA encourages widespread participation.

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In the midst of the transition to the circular economy, there is a significant amount of change that needs to occur in order to ensure that progress will be made. The Circular Economy Package, released by the European Commission in 2015, stated that there will be actions taken to launch a project with various banks and the European Investment Bank to provide more financial support to the new circular economy. “The group”, which is specifically the Support the Circular Economy Financing Expert Group, will carry out tasks similar to the Commission’s Register of Commission expert group.

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