Policy News

April 2019

Provisional Agreement on LIFE Programme 2021-27
Provisional agreement
has been reached between the Council and the European Parliament on the next LIFE Programme which will run from 2021-27. The new LIFE programme will likely have the following structure:

The field Environment, which includes:
  • the sub-programme Nature and Biodiversity;
  • the sub-programme Circular Economy and Quality of Life;
The field Climate Action, which includes:
  • the sub-programme Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation;
  • the sub-programme Clean Energy Transition.
A new ‘strategic nature projects’ action is introduced which seeks to mainstream nature and biodiversity policies into other policies and programmes.

The budget of the programme is not included in this agreement. This is being negotiated separately as part of the overall Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) discussions.

Third Countries (which the UK will be after Brexit) will be eligible to take part in the new LIFE programme but they will have to contribute financially.

Sustainability Criteria for Biofuels
The European Commission has published the criteria to be used to determine both high ILUC-risk biofuel feedstock and low ILUC-risk biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels. The criteria seeks to ensure that the production of biofuels remains sustainable and does not lead to environmentally negative indirect land-use change (ILUC) situations.

Responsible Island Prize
The European Commission has launched a prize to reward islands for their local renewable energy production. The prize will be awarded on the basis of:
  • the share of renewable energy produced by innovative energy technologies
  • environmental and socioeconomic sustainability and impact
  • citizen and community involvement
  • replicability of the solution
The deadline for submitting applications is 26 September. The winning island will receive €500,000.


March 2019

New Energy Efficiency Labels
The European Commission has published the design of the new energy efficiency labels that will feature on dishwashers, washing machines and washer-driers, refrigerators, lamps, electronic displays including televisions, and refrigerating appliances. The new labels respond to an EU decision taken back in 2017 to revise the eco-labelling system, moving from the A+++ to G scale to an A to G energy scale. Products’ energy efficiency ratings will be rescaled during 2021 to fit the new scale. The Council and the European Parliament have two months to raise an objection to the Commission’s proposed design. If no objection is raised, the labels will be adopted.

Drinking Water Directive – General Approach Agreed at Council
EU environment ministers meeting in Brussels on 5 March reached a general approach to the Commission’s proposal for a revised Drinking Water Directive. The Council reports that the position agreed by ministers, ‘provided for stricter rules for tap water, including a new procedure which sets hygienic requirements for materials in contact with tap water such as pipes’.

Batteries 2030+
Batteries 2030+ is a Horizon 2020 funded project that brings together universities, research centres and industry-led associations. The project has one year to lay the foundations for a long-term, large-scale research initiative on future battery technologies. 

Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
The European Commission has published a ‘European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment’. The Communication gives an overview of the situation as regard pharmaceuticals present in the environment and proposes some actions that could be taken to address it. The proposed actions fall under the following 6 headings:
  • Increase awareness and promote prudent use of pharmaceuticals
  • Support the development of pharmaceuticals intrinsically less harmful for the environment and promote greener manufacturing 
  • Improve environmental risk assessment and its review 
  • Reduce wastage and improve the management of waste 
  • Expand environmental monitoring 
  • Fill other knowledge gaps 

EU opens in-depth investigation into British Capacity Market scheme
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to determine whether the British Capacity Market scheme to safeguard security of electricity supply is in line with EU State aid rules. This follows the EU General Court's annulment of a previous Commission decision approving the scheme.

In July 2014, the Commission found the Capacity Market scheme to be compatible with EU State aid rules. In particular, the Commission concluded that the scheme was necessary to guarantee security of electricity supply in mainland Great Britain, was in line with EU energy policy objectives, and did not distort competition in the Single Market.

In November 2018, following an appeal of the Commission's 2014 decision by a company operating in the market, the EU General Court annulled the Commission's decision on procedural grounds.

The UK has expressed to the Commission its intention to maintain the Capacity Market scheme. Therefore, in order to comply with the General Court's judgment, the Commission has today opened an in-depth investigation under EU State aid rules into the scheme. The Commission's investigation will focus, in particular, on the participation of energy consumers offering to reduce their electricity consumption in times of supply disequilibrium in the electricity market. The opening of the in-depth investigation gives all interested parties the opportunity to submit their comments. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

As long as the UK is an EU Member State, it has all the rights and obligations of the membership. In particular, EU competition law, including EU State aid rules, continue to apply in full to the United Kingdom until it is no longer a member of the EU.

If the Withdrawal Agreement comes into force, EU state aid law will continue to apply to the United Kingdom after 29 March 2019, until the end of the transition period foreseen in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Low Carbon Technologies get New Investment Fund
The European Commission has launched the Innovation Fund, an investment fund worth over €10bn for low carbon technologies. The Fund is the successor to the NER300 programme and will primarily be financed by the sale of allowances from the Emissions Trading Directive. The Innovation Fund will finance projects in five areas:
  • Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy intensive industries, including products substituting carbon intensive ones
  • Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)
  • Construction and operation of Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • Innovative renewable energy generation
  • Energy storage
The Commission aims to launch the first call for proposals in 2020, followed by regular calls until 2030.

Consultation on Gas PCIs
The European Commission has launched a consultation on the merit and current value of the existing list of gas Projects of Common Interest. Projects of Common Interest benefit from a number of advantages including accelerated permit granting and are also a prerequisite from taking part in Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) projects. The deadline for responding to the consultation is 29 May.

Report on Implementation of the Water Framework Directive and Floods Directive
A report published recently by the European Commission reviews the progress made by Member States in implementing the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Floods Directive. It covers the Second River Basin Management Plans and the First Flood Risk Management Plans. The report concludes that while much has improved in terms of compliance and reporting, a lot still remains to be done to fully achieve the objectives of the WFD. The report includes an annex with recommendations for each Member State. Recommendations for the UK include:
WFD
Ensuring the public is duly consulted, addressing the uncertainties reported in relation to the assessment of the status, the pressures and the effect of potential measures for groundwater bodies, improve justifications for the application of exemptions, identify sources of funding to facilitate successful implementation of measures
Floods Directive
Develop measurable objectives of the FRMPs, present the methodology for assessing measures in terms of costs and benefits as well as its application and results of this analysis, better document the prioritisation of the measures, include an estimation of the cost of measures in all FRMPs and provide an explanation of how a lack of funding may impact the implementation of the measures, ensure systematic coordination with the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. 

Peers raise their concerns over the proposed Office of Environmental Protection.
In 2017, the House of Lord’s EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee published a report – Brexit: environment and climate change – which highlighted the important role of the European Commission and Court of Justice of the European Union in ensuring Member States comply with environmental legislation. It recommended the establishment of an independent, domestic enforcement mechanism to fill the gap when the UK leaves the EU, with the ability (as EU institutions do) to sanction Government non-compliance through the courts. 

This proposal was not supported by Government at the time, but in December 2018 the Government published proposals for an Office of Environmental Protection (OEP) as part of the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill. 

The Committee raises concerns that the OEP's members and budget will be determined by the Secretary of State and recommends that Parliament be given a greater role. Peers also call for climate change to be included in the OEP's remit (it is currently explicitly excluded) and asks questions about how the Secretary of State is working with the devolved administrations to ensure environmental protection is upheld in all four nations of the UK.



February 2019

New European Technology and Innovation Platform on Batteries
The European Commission recently launched the European Technology and Innovation Platform on Batteries. This platform, which brings together public and private industrial and research stakeholders will have the role of driving forward research and innovation in the field of batteries.

Reflection Paper on a Sustainable Europe
The European Commission has published a ‘reflection paper’ – Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030. The paper looks at how the EU might deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and puts forward 3 scenarios for discussion:
  • An overarching EU SDG strategy to guide all the actions of the EU and its member states 
  • Continued mainstreaming of the SDGs in all relevant EU policies by the commission, but not enforcing member states’ action 
  • Putting enhanced focus on external action while consolidating current sustainability ambition at EU level 

Micro-Plastics – EU Chemicals Agency gives its point of view
As part of its wider Plastics Strategy, the European Commission asked the EU Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to carry out an assessment of the health and environmental risks posed by intentionally added microplastics. The results of that assessment were published recently. The ECHA concluded that a restriction under the REACH Regulation would be justified and if adopted, could reduce the amount of microplastics released into the environment by about 400 thousand tonnes over 20 years.
The Commission must now consider the proposed restriction, including a consultation and decide on further action if necessary.

Chemicals in European Waters Report
A new report recently published by the European Environment Agency looks at the chemical status of EU freshwater bodies. The report notes that while EU legislation has led to fewer hazardous chemicals making their way into European lakes, rivers and surface waters, dealing with mercury and brominated flame retardants remains a challenge. The report also warns of the effect of mixtures or cocktails of single chemical substances which while alone and in small concentrations do not pose a risk, could do when combined.

January 2019

Brexit - EU Energy Efficiency Target Values Adapted
The EU has revised the absolute values of its energy efficiency directive targets to take account of the UK leaving the EU. The current energy efficiency directive has a headline target of at least 32.5 % by 2030 which, for an EU of 28 Member States, is translated into absolute values of no more than 1,273 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) of primary and no more than 956 Mtoe of final energy consumption. Adapting the values to an EU of 27 Member States, equivalent projections are energy consumption levels of no more than 1,128 Mtoe of primary energy consumption and no more than 846 Mtoe of final energy consumption in 2030.

Chemicals in European Waters Report
A new report recently published by the European Environment Agency looks at the chemical status of EU freshwater bodies. It notes that while EU legislation has led to fewer hazardous chemicals making their way into European lakes, rivers and surface waters, dealing with mercury and brominated flame retardants remains a challenge. The report also warns of the effect of mixtures or cocktails of single chemical substances which while alone and in small concentrations do not pose a risk, could do when combined.

EU Sustainable Energy Week
The EU’s Sustainable Energy Week will this year take place from 17-21 June. There are a number of ways of getting involved in the week which can be a great opportunity to network:
The deadline for applying for the policy conference, the networking activity and the Awards is 11 February.

Commission seeks feedback on EU implementation of Aarhus Convention
This consultation aims to collect information and views from key stakeholders on the effectiveness of access to justice in environmental matters and how the EU has implemented the Aarhus Convention in this area. Participants are also be asked to comment on the possible economic, social and environmental impacts of any measures that might be considered to resolve problems identified.

Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol enters into force 1 January 2019
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol seeks to gradually reduce the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - harmful man-made greenhouses gases. The agreement is expected to reduce global warming up to 0.4°C by 2100, which will contribute significantly to the Paris Agreement objective to limit rises in temperature to well below 2°C.

New Renewables and Energy Efficiency legislation
Three key pieces of legislation in the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, entered into force on the 24th December 2018 (The revised Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 the revised Energy Efficiency Directive (EU) 2018/2002, and the new Governance Regulation (EU) 2018/1999). The updated legislation sets requires Member States to draw up National Energy and Climate Plans for 2021 to 2030 and sets new binding energy efficiency and renewable energy targets to be reached by the end of the period.

Publication: New municipality led circular economy case studies
These case studies published by the EIT Climate-KIC (European knowledge and innovation community), investigate how cities can promote economic prosperity while simultaneously preserving resources and reducing waste. The studies identify the potential of cities to become key drivers of sustainable consumption, as urban areas lend themselves well to a circular economy system due to the close proximity of citizens, producers, retailers and service providers.

EU Ship Recycling Regulation Comes into Force
This Regulation which entered into force on 31 December 2018 means that all large sea-going vessels sailing under an EU flag can now only be recycled in yards included in the European List of ship recycling facilities.

Report - EU Energy Prices
The European Commission has published a comparison of energy prices and costs across the EU. Drawing on figures from 2017, the report looks at the overall cost of household energy prices including a breakdown of taxes, network charges and energy prices.

Commission Re-assesses Low Voltage Directive
The European Commission has launched an online consultation on the Low Voltage Directive. The Low Voltage Directive covers electrical items placed on the EU market with a rated voltage of between 50V and 1000V (alternating current) or between 75V and 1500 V (direct current). The Directive seeks to ensure safety for consumers. The Commission would like to see whether the Directive is still ‘fit for purpose’ and would like to hear from stakeholders about any issues arising from the Directive and what could be done about them. The deadline for responding is 4 April.

Council Position on future LIFE Programme
The European Council has reported that they have reached agreement on a ‘partial general approach’ to the Commission’s proposal for a new LIFE programme from 2021. One element of note is that ministers agreed to add a dedicated sub-programme for the clean energy transition to the LIFE programme.

EIP focus groups
The European Innovation Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture is looking for experts to join 5 new focus groups. Focus groups are task and finish groups addressing a particular challenge. The following groups are looking for members:
  • Bee health and sustainable beekeeping
  • Diversification opportunities through plant-based medicinal and cosmetic products
  • Soil salinisation
  • Protecting agricultural soils from contamination
  • Reducing antimicrobial use in poultry farming
The deadline for applying is 11 February 2019.

Consultation: EU Action on Forest Degradation
The European Commission has launched an online consultation on possible EU action to tackle deforestation. The deadline for responding is 25 February.


December 2018

Provisional Political Agreement Reached on Single-use Plastics Directive
The Council has reported that a provisional political agreement has been reached between the Council and the European Parliament on the new Single-use Plastics Directive. The Council reports that the agreed text means that the following products will be banned in the EU:

  • Plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks)
  • Plastic plates
  • Plastic straws
  • Food containers made of expanded polystyrene, used to contain food that is intended for immediate consumption either on-the-spot or take-away, and that is ready to be consumed without any further preparation, like cooking, boiling or heating
  • Beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene
  • Cups for beverages made of expanded polystyrene
  • Products made from oxo-degradable plastic: this term refers to plastic materials which contain additives that promote oxidation of that plastic into micro fragments under aerobic conditions. 
  • Cotton bud sticks made of plastic

In addition, Member States will have to take measures to reduce the consumption of the following products:
  • Food containers made of plastic, used to contain food that is intended for immediate consumption either on-the-spot or take-away, and that is ready to be consumed without any further preparation, like cooking, boiling or heating.
  • Plastic cups for beverages, including their covers and lids

Other measures in the agreed text including a binding target from 2025 for PET beverage bottles to have at least 25% recycled plastic (30% by 2030) and for wet wipes to carry a marking on their packaging which informs consumers of the presence of plastic in the wet wipe and of the harm done to the environment if it is thrown away other than in the bin.

This agreement must now be formally agreed by both the Council and the European Parliament before coming into law.

Circular Plastics Alliance
The European Commission has launched a Circular Plastics Alliance to improve the quality and economics of plastics recycling in Europe. The Alliance brings together key industry stakeholders covering the full plastics value chain – from waste collectors to recyclers and primary producers to converters, brand owners and retailers. 

Consultation on Product Policy and the Circular Economy
The European Commission has launched an online consultation on the EU’s product policy with a view to determining how these policies are contributing to the circular economy. The deadline for responding is 24 January.

UK and EU agree 2019 North Sea and Atlantic fishing quotas
Next year the number of fish stocks managed at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels will rise to 59, and there will be additional protection for the European eel. At the same time UK and EU fishermen in the Atlantic and the North Sea will be able to increase their catches of a number of healthy stocks.

The UK and EU decided in particular to increase catches for a number of stocks, including plaice in Skagerrak/Kattegat, the Southern hake stock, Western and Southern horse mackerel, cod, sole and plaice in the Irish Sea, and sole and megrim in the Bay of Biscay. Decreases were also agreed for some stocks. For recreational fisheries the "bag limit" stays at one fish per day but for seven months.

These quotas are expected to apply to the UK for the whole of 2019, including the nine months after Brexit. 

EU Forest Strategy Progress Report
A progress report on the implementation of the EU’s forest strategy was recently published by the European Commission. The report concludes that significant progress has been made towards the strategy’s 2020 targets and that the strategy remains fit for purpose in terms of supporting 2030 climate ambitions. Thought will have to be given though to how it fits into new policies such as more ambitious renewable energy targets and the LUCUCF directive .t

Political Agreement Reached on new Directive on port reception facilities for the delivery of waste from ships
The Council and the European Parliament have come to a political agreement on the text of a directive on port reception facilities for the delivery of waste from ships. This directive, which aims to reduce the amount of marine litter from ships, will ensure that waste generated on ships or collected at sea is always returned to land, recycled and processed in ports.

Long-term EU Strategy – Clean Planet for All
The European Commission has published its long-term vision for ‘a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’ – A Clean Plant for All. The vision looks to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It does not propose new initiatives, nor to revise the current 2030 climate targets, but instead identifies 7 strategic ‘building blocks’:
  • Maximising energy efficiency
  • Maximising the use of renewables
  • Clean mobility
  • A circular economy
  • Smart network infrastructures
  • The bioeconomy
  • Carbon Capture and Storage

Critical infrastructures consultation
The European Commission has published an online consultation of the 2008 European Critical Infrastructure Protection Directive. This Directive establishes a procedure for identifying and designating European Critical Infrastructures (ECI) and sets out a common approach for assessing the need to improve their protection. The Commission is currently evaluating this Directive, looking at its effectiveness and efficiency, in particular in the context of an increased terrorist threat and considering all types of attacks, including insider infiltration, unlawful use of drones and hybrid threats. This consultation is open to all stakeholders and closes on 11 February 2019.

Draft Political Agreement on Fertiliser Regulation
Provisional political agreement has been reached between the Council and the European Parliament on the revised Fertiliser Regulation. Reported elements of the new Regulation include:
  • Cadmium content in “CE marked” phosphate fertilisers will be 60 mg/kg as from the date of application of the regulation (i.e. three years after its entry into force).
  • Where the fertilising product has a cadmium content lower than 20 mg/kg, the statement “Low cadmium (Cd) content” or similar may be added.
  • An EU-wide quality, safety and environmental criteria for “EU” fertilisers (i.e. those which can be traded in the whole EU single market).
  • This provisional agreement must now be formally agreed by the Council and the European Parliament.

Call for Projects of Common Interest – Transport of CO2
The European Commission has launched a call for projects that wish to be considered as Projects of Common Interest in the field of cross border CO2 transport. Projects of common interest (PCIs) are key cross border infrastructure projects that link the energy systems of EU countries. The deadline for submitting your project is 2 March.

Sustainable Energy Week – Apply to Host a Session at the Policy Conference
The 2019 EU Sustainable Energy Week will take place from 17-21 June. The focus of the week is the Policy Conference which takes place from 18-20 June. Organisations interested in organising one of the sessions of the policy conference can apply to do so. The deadline for applications is 28 January.

Blue Economy Call – Info Day Presentations
Organisations applying for funding under the Horizon 2020 Blue Economy call would be wise to look through the presentations given at the recent Blue Economy call Commission info day. All slides are now available online.

Electricity Projects of Common Interest – Consultation on new List
Every two years the European Commission has to draw up a list of Projects of Common Interest in electricity. The fourth list, to be adopted next year, is currently open for consultation. The deadline for responding is 28 February 2019.

New Energy Efficiency and Renewables Targets
A new EU energy efficiency target of 32.5% by 2030 and a new EU renewables target of 32% by 2030 will now become law having been signed off by ministers recently.

November 2018

Evaluation of EU Climate Adaptation Action
The European Commission has published the results of an evaluation into the first five years of the EU’s Climate Adaptation Strategy. The report finds that the strategy has focused decision makers attention and ensured that other EU policies integrate climate considerations.

Plastic Recycling Pledges
Part of the EU’s Plastics Strategy published earlier this year was a pledge campaign in which stakeholders pledged to recycle plastics. The Campaign closed in September with 65 companies pledging to boost the uptake of recycled plastics.

Critical infrastructures consultation
The European Commission has published an online consultation of the 2008 European Critical Infrastructure Protection Directive. This Directive establishes a procedure for identifying and designating European Critical Infrastructures (ECI) and sets out a common approach for assessing the need to improve their protection. The Commission is currently evaluating this Directive, looking at its effectiveness and efficiency, in particular in the context of an increased terrorist threat and considering all types of attacks, including insider infiltration, unlawful use of drones and hybrid threats. This consultation is open to all stakeholders and closes on 11 February 2019.

Air Pollution Remains Too High in the EU
Figures recently released by the European Environment Agency show that while improvements have been made in tackling air pollution over the years, pollutant levels in our air still remain too high. In addition, while progress may be being made towards EU targets, stricter WHO guidelines are far from being met. Of the pollutants covered in the report, for PM2.5, the percentage of the EU-28 urban population exposed to PM2.5 stood at 6% in 2016, down from 7% the year before. However approximately 74% of the EU urban population were exposed to concentrations exceeding the stricter WHO guidelines. On Nitrogen dioxide, in 2016, 7% of the EU-28 urban population lived in areas with concentrations above the annual EU limit value and the WHO guidelines. This is down from 9% in 2015. Lastly, as regards ground-level ozone, about 12% of the EU-28 urban population were exposed to levels above the EU’s target value in 2016. This is a considerable decrease from 2015 (30%), but still higher than the 7% recorded in 2014. Around 98% of the EU 28 urban population were exposed to ground-level ozone levels exceeding the stricter WHO guidelines.

EU Progress Toward the Paris Climate Agreement
A new report published recently by the European Commission charts the progress made to date towards the Paris Climate Agreement goals. The report describes action taken by the EU in a number of fields including climate adaptation, emissions trading, and climate finance. On greenhouse gas emissions, the report finds that the EU is on track to meet its 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % from 1990 levels with EU GHG emissions down by 22% in 2017, according to preliminary data.

2017 UK LIFE projects
5 projects in the UK received LIFE funding under the 2017 call for proposals. Four projects are in the area of nature and biodiversity and one tackles environmental governance and information. The total EU funding received by the 5 projects is €29.6 million

Continuity of Planning (Environment)
The Government recently published a press release outlining details of the Statutory Instruments it has published in relation to environmental assessment and planning to ensure continuity after Brexit.

Commission Work Programme 2019
The European Commission has published its Work Programme for 2019, outlining the actions it intends to take during the coming year. In terms of environmental actions the following initiatives are due to be taken forward:
  • Reflection Paper "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030, on the follow-up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change" 
  • Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement 
  • Towards a new institutional framework for our energy and climate policy by 2025: options for enhanced qualified majority voting and for a possible reform of the Euratom Treaty
  • A Fitness Check of the Water Framework and Floods Directives together with the evaluation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive
  • A Fitness Check of the Air Quality Directives
  • Evaluation of the Regulation on the shipment of waste.
  • Evaluation on maximum residue levels for pesticides and authorisation of plant protection products
  • Evaluation of the Construction Products Regulation 

Obviously, without an agreement on Brexit, there is no way of knowing to what extent these initiatives will apply to the UK but while there is a still a likelihood that they could, it’s important to bear them in mind.

October 2018

A new action plan for a sustainable and circular European bioeconomy
The European Commission has announced an update to the 2012 Bioeconomy Strategy to further develop Europe’s sustainable use of renewable resources to tackle important challenges such as climate change and sustainable development.
The new action plan is centred around 3 main objectives:
  • Scaling up and strengthening the bio-based sectors
  • Rapidly deploying bioeconomies across Europe
  • Protecting the ecosystem and understanding the ecological limitations of the bioeconomy
From agriculture to bio-energy, the bioeconomy is one of the EU’s most important sectors with an annual turnover of around €2 trillion. The action plan aims to maximise progress towards the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the Paris Agreement.

No-Deal Technical Guidance Climate Change and Waste Shipments
On Friday 12 October the UK Government published a series of no-deal technical guidance documents including for meeting climate change ambitions and waste shipments.

On climate change, the documents looks at the impact on the UK’s participation in the emissions trading scheme (UK will be excluded in the event of a no-deal) and obligations under the Kyoto Protocol (The UK will not have guaranteed access to the Consolidated System of European Registries which includes the EU Emissions Trading System Union Registry and the UK’s Kyoto Protocol National Registry).

On waste shipments, the guidance focuses on the EU’s waste shipment Regulation. In the event of a no deal, ‘import/export licences issued by the UK would no longer be valid for shipments of waste to the 27 remaining EU countries, and licenses issued by the EU would no longer be valid for shipments to the UK’. However, even if the UK leaves without a deal, it will remain a party to the Basel Convention and a member of the OECD and guidelines exist for these countries exporting or importing waste shipments to and from the EU. In the event of a no deal these guidelines would then apply.




Publication of the EU Energy Statistical Pocketbook 2018
The EU’s Energy Statistical Pocketbook 2018 is now available online, providing an overview of annual energy-related statistics for the EU as a whole, as well as for each EU Member State. The pocketbook provides figures for issues such as energy import dependency, progress towards EU renewable energy targets and socio economic factors such as employment levels in the energy sector.

New report on the impacts of circular economy policies on the labour market
The European Commission has published a report looking at how the transition towards a more circular and resource efficient economy in Europe could affect labour markets. The report’s findings suggest circular economy policies could contribute to reducing negative environmental impacts, while simultaneously contributing to higher employment levels. By moving towards a more circular economy, GDP in the EU could increase by almost 0.5% by 2030. Additionally, the net increase in jobs could be approximately 700,000 through additional labour demand from recycling plants, repair services and rebounds in consumer demand from savings generated through collaborative actions. The report ends with a word of caution as account could not be taken of automation, technological advances or product material enhancement.

EU ratification of the Kigali Amendment on powerful greenhouse gases
The EU has ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which aims to reduce the global use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). EU member states are currently ratifying the Kigali Amendment individually and it will be implemented on 1 January 2019. The European Commission have highlighted the importance of ratifying the Kigali Amendment as a contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement objective of ensuring global temperature rise is well below 2 degrees this century. The amendment is predicted to avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming by the end of the century.

Land and Soil Management Award
The European Landowners Organisation (ELO) has launched its annual Land and Soil Management Award. This award recognises land use and soil management practices which mitigate soil threats. The award is open to farmers, landowners, land managers, groups of farmers, on their own or in collaboration with research institutes, universities and/or private companies. The deadline for applying is 31 December.



Following the closure of the European Partnership at the end of March 2019, this website is no longer active and will not be updated. However, it will be kept live for a period of time as an archive resource.