EU Environment Report: December 2011 – January 2012 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
EU Environment Report: December 2011 – January 2012

EU Environment Report: December 2011 – January 2012

In this issue:

(1) Automobiles: Commission proposes changes to pollution limits for cars
(2) Chemicals:
(a) New Biocides Regulation approved by Parliament
(b) 20 substances added to REACH Candidate List
(c) REACH representatives for non-EU companies
(3) Climate Change:
(a) Successful agreement reached at UN climate change meeting in Durban
(b) Commission publishes cost analysis of 30% CO2 target
(4) Electronics: New Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ("WEEE") Directive approved by European Parliament
(5) Energy: EU Energy Roadmap to 2050 published
(6) Other:
(a) Commission publishes draft State aid rules for EU Emissions Trading Scheme
(b) Commission makes legislative proposal for new Public Procurement rules
(7) The Months Ahead: Workshops & Conferences

 

New Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ("WEEE") Directive approved by European Parliament
The revised directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was approved by the European Parliament in its plenary session on 19 January 2012. It now only requires a formal rubber-stamping by the Council to become law. After much negotiation, the Councial and the Parliament finally reached an agreement on the Directive on 20 December 2011. The new WEEE directive amends the basis for calculating collection rates of electrical and electronic equipment. The new Directive is "open" in scope, meaning that it will now cover all equipment that meets the definition of WEEE (including a few precisely defined exceptions).

Successful agreement reached at UN climate change meeting in Durban
EU officials emerged from negotiations in Durban having successfully reached an agreement to draft a legally binding deal by 2015. Key highlights of the talks included commitments to new binding emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol, new accounting rules on emissions reductions from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and an EU push for either a protocol or a legal instrument for the future policy's global framework. Notably, the negotiations resulted in the more concrete goal of a legal treaty to which industrialised and developing countries alike are bound. Additional topics discussed in Durban included rules for the Green Climate Fund, financing of REDD+ forestry projects, and carbon capture and storage projects under the clean development mechanism (CDM), which resulted in the adoption of a new materiality standard for emissions reporting.

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