EU environmental policies and legislation protect natural habitats, keep air and water clean, ensure proper waste disposal, improve knowledge about toxic chemicals and help businesses move toward a sustainable economy.

The following is a list of EU Environment and Climate Change related legislation documents and weblinks that are currently available on Lean Business Ireland.

Tackling threats posed by chemicals (Stockholm Convention)
2006/507/EC: Council Decision of 14 October 2004 concerning the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

It approves the European Union’s (or, as it was when adopted, the European Community’s) decision to participate in the Stockholm Convention. It defines POPs and rules governing their production, import and export. It requires that the public, politicians and the chemical industry are kept informed of the risks they pose.

The EU’s environment agency – environmental information and monitoring
Regulation (EC) No 401/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the European Environment Agency and the European Environment Information and Observation Network

The regulation describes the aims and objectives of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET). This enables them to provide information in support of the formulation of EU environmental policy.

The EU’s infrastructure for spatial information (Inspire)
Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)

  • It lays down general rules setting up an infrastructure for spatial information in Europe for the purposes of European Union (EU) environmental policies and for policies or activities which may have an impact on the environment.
  •  The European infrastructure builds on that of spatial information that is established and operated by EU countries.

The future of carbon capture and storage in Europe
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on the Future of Carbon Capture and Storage in Europe

The European Commission’s communication stresses that CCS is a key technology in the transition to a competitive low-carbon economy by 2050. It is capable of reconciling rising demand for fossil fuels with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It outlines the progress made to date and seeks the views of interested parties on a number of options to encourage the wider and commercially viable use of the technology in the European Union (EU).

KEY POINTS

Globally, over 20 demonstration scale CCS projects are operating successfully. Eight of these do the full capture, transport and storage. None are in the EU.

The communication identifies obstacles to wider use of CCS:

  • absence of economic rationale to invest in CCS given the low level of ETS prices;
  • public opposition to storing CO2 onshore (see background below);
  • sufficient storage capacity exists, but not all capacity is accessible or located close to CO2 emitters;
  • need for international cooperation.

Funding for large-scale CCS demonstration projects is available from the European energy programme for recovery and the NER300 programme.

The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Mobilising public and private finance towards global access to climate-friendly, affordable and secure energy services : The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund {SEC(2006) 1224} {SEC(2006) 1225}

A proposal has been made to set up a Global Fund of risk capital with a budget of 100 million to mobilise private investment in projects promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy in developing countries and emerging economies.

The Kyoto Protocol and other international agreements – Global climate change alliance
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Building a Global Climate Change Alliance between the European Union and poor developing countries most vulnerable to climate change

The Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) aims at supporting the poorest and most vulnerable countries with respect to their capacity to adapt to the effects of climate change. It will provide a platform for dialogue and regular exchange between the EU and these countries, aiming at the integration of climate change in national development strategies and in development cooperation.

The Kyoto Protocol and other international agreements – Implementing the Kyoto Protocol [Archived]
Communication of 3 June 1998 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Climate change - Towards an EU post-Kyoto strategy.Communication of 19 May 1999 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Preparing for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

These Communications outline a Community strategy for achieving the targets laid down in the Kyoto Protocol and the Buenos Aires Action Plan.

The Kyoto Protocol and other international agreements – The EU and the 2015 International Climate Change Agreement
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS The 2015 International Climate Change Agreement: Shaping international climate policy beyond 2020 Consultative Communication

It sets out the fundamental issues that the European Commission believes should be addressed in the latest multinational efforts to tackle climate change. These should put the world on track to reduce global emissions by at least 60% below 2010 levels by 2050.

KEY POINTS

  • The EU agreed in October 2014 that its contribution will be a binding, economy-wide cut in domestic greenhouse gases (GHG) of at least 40% by 2030.
  • The communication stresses that the new agreement must reflect how the world has changed since climate negotiations began in 1990 and will continue to evolve as 2030 approaches.
  • The Commission communication emphasises the importance of the following components:
    • Ambitious national commitments towards clear and fair targets within a common legal set of rules. These should be achievable and reviewed as global and national economic circumstances evolve.
    • Developed and developing countries alike should contribute towards the overall goal of limiting global average temperature rise to 2oC.
    • All countries should be accountable to each other and to the public for meeting their targets.

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