Air pollution and climate news
The International Energy Agency (IEA) published its preliminary CO2 emissions data for 2016: global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion amounted to 32.1 Gt CO2 in 2016, ie the same level as in 2015 and almost the same level as in 2014, indicating that global CO2 emissions remained stable for the 3rd year running despite the fact that the global economy grew by 3.1% in 2016.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)'s Council formally adopted the first global CO2 emissions standard for aircraft. At its 39th session, on 6 October 2016, the ICAO Assembly gave its political endorsement for the adoption of the standard. Discussions on the issue had been conducted since 2010. The ICAO's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), a technical body, defined a system for measuring CO2 emissions from new aircraft which was published in July 2012. It is based on aircraft cruise point fuel burn performance, aircraft size and weight.
http://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/FR/ICAO-Council-adopts-new-CO2-emissions-standard-for-aircraft.aspx (ICAO press release)
28 February 2017: Revision of the Emissions Trading Directive - the EU Environment Council adopts its position
At the EU Environment Council, the Environment Ministers of the 28 Member States discussed the proposal for a Directive revising Directive 2003/87/EC to reform the EU greenhouse gas Emissions Trading System (ETS) for its 4th trading period (2021-2030). The discussions were conducted on the basis of a compromise text prepared by the Maltese Presidency. After lengthy negotations, Ministers reached a "general approach", ie Council's position on the proposal which will form the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament with the aim of concluding a final agreement on the text. The European Parliment adopted its position on 15 February 2017.
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/02/28-ets-revision/ (Council press release)
http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6841-2017-INIT/en/pdf (Council's general approach)
15 February 2017: Revision of the Emissions Trading Directive - the European Parliament approves the Duncan report on the proposed Directive
The European Parliament (EP), meeting in plenary, approved (by 379 votes in favour, 263 against and 57 abstentions) the report prepared by UK MEP Iain Duncan on the proposal for a Directive revising Directive 2003/87/EC establishing the EU greenhouse gas Emissions Trading System (ETS). The revision involves implementing the 4th trading period (2021-2030). The EP's Industry, Transport and Energy Committee (ITRE) adopted its position on 13 October 2016 and the EP's Environment Committee (ENVI), which takes the lead on this file, on 15 December 2016. The EP also mandated Iain Duncan to begin the trilogue negotiations with the Environment Council (which is expected to vote on the file on 28 February 2017) and the Commission in order to reach an informal agreement on a final compromise text which will be put before the EP and the Council for formal adoption.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20170210IPR61806/meps-back-plans-to-cut-carbon-emission-allowances-and-fund-low-carbon-innovation (EP press release)
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2017/595926/EPRS_BRI(2017)595926_EN.pdf (EP briefing)
15 February 2017: Infringement of EU NO2 concentration limit values - Commission sends a reasoned opinion to five Member States
The European Commission sent a reasoned opinion to five large Member States (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain) for failing to address repeated breaches of EU NO2 concentration limit values set by Directive 2008/50/EC. The Commission thus urges the five Member States to take rapid action to comply with the limit values, as required by the Directive. In France, 19 air quality zones are concerned, including Paris, Lyon and Marseille. A reasoned opinion is the 2nd stage in the formal infringement procedure under the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (article 258). If France (and the other four Member States) do not comply with this formal request, the Commission may then decide to refer them to the EU Court of Justice.