EU Environment Report: April 2013 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
EU Environment Report: April 2013

EU Environment Report: April 2013


In this issue...

Commission adds eight substances to REACH authorisation list

Climate Change
European Parliament opposes "backloading" proposal for ETS allowances
Council adopts decision on temporary derogation from the ETS Directive for intercontinental flights

Liability for Environmental Damage
Commission issues Green Paper on how to promote disaster insurance
Proposal to strengthen French environmental liability law being discussed in upper house of French parliament

Member States agree on new rules regarding imports of genetically modified food and animal feed
Commission publishes its environmental footprinting package
JRC study finds levels of pollutants in sewage sludge are too low to present a measurable risk

ECJ rules that endangered habitats must not be damaged for development purposes, except for reasons of overriding public interest

The Months Ahead
Workshops & Conferences

Chemicals—Commission adds eight substances to REACH authorisation list
On 18 April, the European Commission ("Commission") adopted Regulation 348/2013 adding eight substances to the REACH authorisation list. There are now a total of twenty-two substances of very high concern ("SVHCs") on the REACH authorisation list. SVHCs listed on the "authorisation list" require prior authorisation from the European Chemicals Agency before they can be used, placed on the market or imported into the EU after a certain date. The new substances which have been added to the list are trichloroethylene, chromium trioxide, acids generated from chromium trioxide and their oligomers (chromic acid, dichromic acid, oligomers of chromic acid and dichromic acid), sodium dichromate,potassium dichromate, ammonium dichromate, potassium chromate and sodium chromate.

Climate Change—European Parliament opposes "backloading" proposal for ETS allowances
On 16 April, the European Parliament voted against a proposal which would have enabled the Commission to postpone the auctioning of 900 million EU emissions trading scheme allowances ("ETS") from the years 2013-2015 to 2019-2020 – a proposal known as "backloading". The aim was to curb the surplus of emission rights within carbon markets, which is considered to have a negative impact on competitiveness. The proposal was intended as a short-term solution preceding long-term structural measures. It was rejected by a narrow margin of 334 against 315 votes and sent back for further consideration to the European Parliament’s environment committee, which now has two months to find a compromise. The Commission must also decide whether to withdraw the proposal, but has been urged by the Irish Presidency of the EU to refrain from doing so.

Council adopts decision on temporary derogation from the ETS Directive for intercontinental flights
On 22 April, the Member States in the Council adopted a decision confirming a temporary derogation from the ETS Directive. The effect of the decision is to defer the enforcement of the obligations on aircraft operators with regard to incoming and outgoing international flights under the ETS. This means that airlines will be temporarily exempt from the ETS requirement to report carbon emissions for flights between EU airports and third countries, and sanctions will not be imposed for failure to report. Meanwhile, the ETS Directive will continue to apply in full to intra-EU flights and flights between the EU and a number of closely-connected areas and territories, in particular EFTA states.

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