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Our IEU MONITORING headlines today:

# F-GASES

DG Climate: EU phasedown on track as fluorinated greenhouse gas use falls

Link

13/12/2016

The production, import and export of fluorinated gases (F-gases) fell in the European Union last year, according to a new report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today. F-gases are mainly used in cooling and heating equipment. Since they have a high global warming potential, phasing down HFCs is critical to global efforts to fight climate change.

Large reductions in F-gas use and emissions are expected from a new phase-down measure put in place by the 2014 F-gas Regulation, which will progressively cap the supply of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to the EU market. Reducing the use of these gases in products and equipment in addition to preventing losses from equipment will ensure emissions decline.  In 2015, companies stayed well within the prescribed limits of the phase-down quota system.

HFCs are the most commonly used F-gases. They were introduced in the past mainly to replace chemicals that were found to be harming the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol on ozone depleting substances was amended this year to also regulate HFCs. Both developed and developing countries have agreed on mandatory commitments to reduce production and consumption of HFCs over the next three decades. The ambitious measures put in place through the F-gas Regulation will ensure the EU meets its global commitments.

Key findings based on reporting by companies in the EU in 2015:

  • Production of F-gases in the EU declined by 5 % (as CO2-eq) in 2015.

  • F-gas imports to the EU decreased by about 40 %, compared with the exceptionally high amounts reported in 2014 (both by weight and as CO2-eq).

  • EU exports of F-gases decreased by 2 % (by weight) or 1 % (CO2-eq) compared with 2014. However, compared with 2013, exports in 2015 increased by 18 % (by weight) and 23 % (CO2-eq).

  • Supply of F-gases in the EU decreased by about 24 % (by weight and as CO2-eq) since 2014.

Read more:

# EU ETS

Markus Pieper (EVP/CDU): „Clean Energy Package“ lässt Folgenabschätzung auf Emissionshandel (ETS) vermissen - Keine Einsparvorgaben für grüne Energie

Das heute im Europäischen Parlament diskutierte „Clean Energy Package“ lässt eine klare Folgenabschätzung der europäischen Energiegesetzgebung auf den Emissionshandel (ETS) vermissen. „Es fehlt eine systematische Analyse, was verbindliche Einsparvorgaben und Ausbauziele für Erneuerbare auf den Preis der Emissionszertifikate bedeuten könnte“, so Markus Pieper, Berichterstatter des Parlaments für die Umsetzung der Energieeffizienzrichtlinie.
 
In der heutigen Plenardebatte zum „Clean Energy Package“ betont Pieper, dass neben den verbindlichen Zielvorgaben auch indirekte Wirkungen auf das ETS, wie Energie-Labeling, Öko-Design-Vorgaben und Bauvorschriften für Industrieanlagen die Preise der Zertifikate beeinflussen: „Was wir brauchen, ist eine Gesamtfolgenabschätzung auf das ETS-System. Es darf nicht passieren, dass wir später wieder in den Markt des Emissionshandels eingreifen, Zertifikate vom Markt nehmen und dadurch Unternehmen verunsichern“, mahnt Pieper. Dabei spielt er auf die wiederholten politischen Korrekturen des ETS-Systems in der vergangenen Periode an.
 
Bei künftigen Energieeinsparvorgaben sollte ganz auf verbindliche Vorgaben verzichtet werden, ergänzt der Europaabgeordnete: „Wir werden künftig mehr Strom und nicht weniger brauchen. Durch die rasante Entwicklung hin zur Elektromobilität und im Wärmemarkt wird die Nachfrage steigen. Hinter der Steckdose wird jedoch zunehmend Grün produziert, da konterkarieren Einsparvorgaben den Weg in das Zeitalter der Erneuerbaren Energien.“ Bereits in der letzten Periode, als die Europäische Union das Einsparziel für 2020 schon 2014 erreicht hatte, haben konjunkturelle Entwicklungen und Innovationsschübe die Zielplanungen komplett über den Haufen geworfen. Deshalb sollte im Bereich der Energieeffizienz mit indikativen Zielen gearbeitet werden, betont Pieper mit Verweis auf die jetzt anstehenden Verhandlungen in den Ausschüssen des Europäischen Parlaments.
 

European Container Glass Industry on EU ETS Post 2020 - Glass Recycling Good Practice "Tiered" Apart

The debate on the post-2020 EU Emissions Trading Scheme is heating up as the so called "tiered approach" threatens investments in recycling and low carbon production, and it increases the risk of exposure to carbon leakage. With "tiering", not all industries are treated in the same way and it means that competing industries will get more allowances than others.

The container glass industry would receive only 35% of the needed allowances to produce in Europe. This is at odds with efforts made along the glass packaging closed loop chain to upgrade recycled glass to permanent raw material for new production. It would trigger a dramatic reduction of investments in research and innovation.

Today, the Container Glass Industry annually invests over €600 million on average in energy efficiency, decarbonisation and facilities upgrading. Every year, the Industry contributes up to €9.5 billion to the EU GDP, and maintains 125,000 jobs across the EU.

At the next EP Envi Committee, the container glass industry asks MEPs to vote against the Tiered Approach and to support a more future oriented and dynamic ETS system that supports resource-efficient industries. Materials like glass can be recycled infinitely and its recycling goes along with several environmental benefits. One ton of recycled glass replaces 1.2 tons of virgin raw materials and avoids 670 Kg of CO2 emissions.
 

WWF: €120 billion more for climate possible from strong EU carbon market reform - report

Brussels, Belgium - 13 December 2016

EU countries could receive up to €120 billion more for climate action through a strengthened Emissions Trading System (ETS) reform, WWF research reveals.

As MEPs prepare to vote on the reform proposal this week, the new webtool and report - commissioned from the Ecologic Institute by the EU LIFE-funded Maximiser project - show the impact their decisions can have on auctioning revenues and climate finance.

Under the European Commission’s proposal, polluting industries would still get free emissions allowances. But moving to full auctioning would generate much greater revenues for Member States, who should then be required to spend 100% of these revenues on renewables, energy efficiency and climate finance.

“For well over a decade the EU ETS has failed to achieve adequate emission reductions due to an ineffective carbon price signal.  Real change is needed now for it to deliver climate benefits and become a crucial source of financing for the transition to a zero carbon Europe by 2050,” said Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office.

“We need to cut carbon pollution far quicker in order to be in line with the Paris Agreement.  But EU policymakers are considering giving mega-bonuses in the form of free allowances to polluting industries, instead of using pollution pricing to help reach a cleaner, safer planet! This is utterly surreal. We urge MEPs and Member States to fix the ETS and help maximise benefits for the climate,” said Sam van den Plas, WWF climate policy officer.

The MaxiMiseR project, delivered by WWF’s European Policy Office, finds that EU countries spent 85% of their ETS revenues on climate action from 2013-2015 - nearly €10 billion. While considerably higher than the 50% envisaged by the ETS directive, more revenues can be generated - and used more smartly for the climate - by:

  • Removing more surplus allowances from the market every year
  • Phasing out free emissions allowances over time and moving to 100% auctioning
  • Making sure EU countries spend 100% of their revenues on climate action.

Furthermore, just 9% of ETS auctioning revenues in 2013-2015 went to international climate action, according to Member States’ reports. 

“It’s high time the EU took its international climate finance commitments seriously. A new EU international climate finance fund should be set up, funded by ETS auctioning revenues, to support developing countries in tackling climate change and its impacts. This would be a step towards the EU’s fair share of the $100 billion per year pledged by developed countries in Paris,” added Lübbeke.

The Maximiser project also calls for better templates for the reporting of ETS revenue spending, and regular quality checks by the European Commission, to ensure transparent and accessible information.

Notes to the editor

On the EU ETS

For well over a decade the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) has put a price on greenhouse gas emissions from Europe’s largest carbon polluters. However, the EU ETS has:

  • Failed to achieve adequate emission reductions while the carbon price signal remained ineffective.
  • Undermined the polluter pays principle by issuing vast amounts of free pollution permits to energy-intensive sectors.
  • Missed the opportunity to invest in a clean and competitive economy for the future.

Unfortunately, the current European Commission proposal falls short of what is needed to revive Europe’s carbon market.

In the coming week, EU lawmakers have two key opportunities to agree on remediating these shortcomings:

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee will vote on the ETS reform proposal on Thursday 15 December. The Environment Council will discuss the proposal, and possibly adopt a position on it, on Monday 19 December.

WWF strongly encourages decision-makers to ensure the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) puts a meaningful price on greenhouse gas emissions from Europe’s largest carbon polluters.

On the MaxiMiseR project

Immediate action is crucial in tackling climate change, but so is long-term thinking.

The most effective long-term plans are ambitious, credible, based on the latest science and developed in a transparent and open way.

EU countries were asked to submit long-term ‘low carbon development strategies’ in 2015, and to report on progress in 2017.

WWF’s EU-funded MaxiMiseR project is evaluating EU countries’ plans and seeing what works, to try and improve them.

As part of this process, it has analysed Emissions Trading System auctioning revenues to see how they can best be used to fund decarbonisation. It also built a webtool so users can easily access ETS data and pull out and compare national figures.

Website: www.maximiser.eu
 

CAN Europe: No more presents for polluters!Make the EU ETS work for the climate

Brussels, 13 December 2016

On 15 December, the European Parliament’s environment committee will cast a decisive vote on the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Carbon Market Watch, WWF and almost 100 000 European citizens in the WeMove.EU community urge the committee members to vote for a bold reform to turn the EU ETS into an effective climate protection tool and make the polluting industries and power producers pick up the tab for the harm they cause.

In particular, they call on the MEPs to push for faster reduction of emissions, aligning the starting point with real emission levels, much more ambitious targets, regular scaling-up of ambition and permanent cancellation of the surplus pollution permits.

Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said:

“With the current low price on carbon, polluting industries are getting a free ride to pollute at the expense of EU citizens. MEPs need to vote for an ambitious reform of the ETS to make the polluters pay the full price for the damage their activities bring to our climate, health and environment. The European Parliament needs to ensure that the reform of the ETS turns it into a strong climate protection instrument that delivers emission reductions in line with the Paris Agreement.”

Sam Van den plas, EU climate policy officer at WWF European Policy Office, said:

“Meaningful improvements to strengthen the EU carbon market are long overdue. Responsible policymakers in the European Parliament should agree on amendments to reduce carbon pollution faster and more effectively than initially proposed by the EU Commission. Our common priority to limit global warming cannot be traded off against short-termism and vested economic interests. Now is the moment to prove that Europe’s carbon market can create benefits for people and planet.”  

Agnes Brandt, Senior EU Policy Officer at Carbon Market Watch said:

“The EU ETS is supposed to make polluters pay and drive low-carbon investments, but it is doing the exact opposite. As a result, heavily polluting businesses have made billions of euros from the EU ETS, while support for innovative industry frontrunners has been only a fraction of this. The Parliament now has the opportunity to tilt the balance in favor of green innovators by overhauling the free allocation rules and boosting the Innovation Fund.” 

Julia Krzyszkowska, Senior Campaigner at WeMove.EU said: 

“Close to 100,000 citizens from all 28 EU member states signed the petition to urge the Members of the European Parliament to vote for an ambitious reform of the EU ETS, proving that European policies on fighting climate change matter a great deal to their electorate. It is high time our parliamentarians listened to the voices of the citizens over the big business lobbyists, and made EU’s key climate policy work for people and the climate.”

Notes:

[1] A petition calling on MEPs to support ambitious reform of the ETS, launched by CAN Europe, Sandbag, Carbon Market Watch, WWF, Oxfam and WeMove.EU has been signed by nearly 100 000 citizens

[2] The media advisory is available online here.

Key lawmakers strike early EU ETS reform deal, Dec. 15 vote tipped to go ahead - Carbon Pulse

Senior MEPs from across the political spectrum struck an early compromise deal on the post-2020 EU ETS reform bill late Tuesday and are confident a committee vote will take place later this week, two sources said.

VISIT WEBSITE
 

# COP22

Progress on Mitigation and Transparency at Marrakech Climate Conference

The third edition of the newsletter from the UNFCCC secretariat‘s Mitigation, Data and Analysis  programme highlights the progress on mitigation and transparency at the UN Climate Change Conference held from 7 to 18 November 2016 in Marrakech with a focus on the operationalization of the Paris Agreement and implementation of the existing MRV arrangements under the UNFCCC.

Read newsletter

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# CAR EMISSIONS

EU Commission Answer - Volkswagen scandal - compensating European consumers - E-006975/2016

Commission response
See question(s) : E-006975/2016 
 
5 December 2016
E-006975/2016
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission

The Commission has no direct enforcement power in the area of consumer protection and it is for Member States to assess, on a case-by-case basis, whether a practice is illegal and what enforcement measures need to be taken.

In order to improve the existing cooperation between consumer authorities, the Commission tabled in May 2016, a proposal for a revised Regulation on consumer protection cooperation(1). The proposal foresees a new coordinated enforcement procedure that the Commission could trigger in case of harmful practices, affecting consumers in several EU countries. The support of the Honourable Members and of the European Parliament in general, is key in order to make the current cooperation more efficient within the EU.

As regards the Volkswagen (VW) case, the Commission met with 31 European consumer organisations on 8 September 2016 to explore solutions for the customers affected by the emission case. This meeting gave consumer organisations the chance to exchange information on how to deal with this case in order to help the affected consumers who would like to seek compensation before national Courts, when justified. The Commission has also encouraged national enforcers to share information about investigations and enforcement measures that have been taken eventually in their Member State and offered them practical solutions such as an IT platform.

In September and October 2016, the Commission met with a high-level representative of the VW group. VW agreed to an action plan whereby they will inform all affected customers in the EU by end 2016, on the details of the recall campaign and have all cars repaired by autumn 2017. The Commission will be closely monitoring this commitment.

 
(1) COM(2016)283 final
Last updated: 13 December 2016

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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EU Commission Answer - Air pollution from Euro 6-standard diesel vehicles - E-007034/2016

Commission response
See question(s) : E-007034/2016 
 
5 December 2016
E-007034/2016
Answer given by Ms Bieńkowska on behalf of the Commission

1. The Commission considers that the introduction of the new on-road testing procedure (RDE) will be a major step towards improving the robustness of the testing and ensuring comprehensive monitoring of vehicle emissions. The RDE tests allow for assessing vehicle emissions in real driving using portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS), i.e. vehicles will be tested on the road and not in a laboratory. The Commission has also made a proposal to amend the type-approval Directive in order to improve the market surveillance system.

2. Under the current legislative framework, vehicle type-approval and market surveillance fall under the responsibilities of the Member States. The Commission is working closely with the Member States and their type-approval authorities to support and coordinate all necessary investigations on possible cases of manipulation. The Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) is supporting these efforts by developing a common testing method and analysis tool to identify suspicious vehicles with possible illegal defeat devices.

Results from the Transport and Environment report mentioned in the question are based on these national investigations. Currently, Germany, France, Italy and UK have finalised their investigations, while some other results are expected later in 2016. A detailed Commission's report summarising the state of play was already submitted to the European Parliament in late July 2016.

Last updated: 13 December 2016

Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

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# CLIMATE FINANCE

Swedish Government: Inquiry to promote the market for green bonds

The Government has appointed an inquiry to identify ways to promote the market for green bonds. Mats Andersson, former CEO of the Fourth AP Fund, is Inquiry Chair.
 
"There is a great deal of demand for investments in green bonds. We want to look into how the market can be developed to facilitate investments that can build a sustainable world. We also want to ensure a high level of confidence in the market; growth must not take place at the expense of watered down environmental requirements," says Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs Per Bolund.
 
The remit includes analysing and producing examples of project types that could be financed through green bonds, and proposing a structure for processes and criteria that identify green projects. The inquiry is to also analyse and present proposals on processes and routines for third party validation of green bonds, and present proposals on what information investors need to make well-founded investment decisions.
 
If the inquiry presents a proposal for a sovereign green bond, such a proposal must be compatible with the design of the Budget Act and efficient national debt management, and be cost-neutral.
 
Mats Andersson, former CEO of the Fourth AP Fund, is Inquiry Chair.
 
"I am very pleased that Mats Andersson has accepted the role of Inquiry Chair. He has both a genuine interest in creating a sustainable financial market and long experience of capital management," said Mr Bolund.
 
The inquiry is to present its report by 15 December 2017.
 
View the full press release on government.se

 

# CLIMATE MONITORING

U.S. NOAA: Unprecedented Arctic Warmth Triggers Massive Sea Ice, Snow Declines in 2016

A new NOAA-sponsored report shows that unprecedented warming air temperature in 2016 over the Arctic contributed to a record-breaking delay in the fall sea ice freeze-up, leading to extensive melting of Greenland ice sheet and land-based snow cover.

Now in its 11th year, the Arctic Report Card, released today at the annual American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco,  is a peer-reviewed report that brings together the work of 61 scientists from 11 nations who report on air, ocean, land and ecosystem changes. It is a key tool used around the world to track changes in the Arctic and how those changes may affect communities, businesses and people.

“Rarely have we seen the Arctic show a clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its cascading effects on the environment than this year,” said Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program. “While the science is becoming clearer, we need to improve and extend sustained observations of the Arctic that can inform sound decisions on environmental health and food security as well as emerging opportunities for commerce.”

Take a look at the short video of Arctic Report Card 2016.

Major findings in this year’s report include:

  • Warmer air temperature: Average annual air temperature over land areas was the highest in the observational record, representing a 6.3 degree Fahrenheit (3.5 degree Celsius) increase since 1900. Arctic temperatures continue to increase at double the rate of the global temperature increase.
  • Record low snow cover: Spring snow cover set a record low in the North American Arctic, where the May snow cover extent fell below 1.5 million square miles (4 million square kilometers) for the first time since satellite observations began in 1967.
  • Smaller Greenland ice sheet: The Greenland ice sheet continued to lose mass in 2016, as it has since 2002 when satellite-based measurement began. The start of melting on the Greenland ice sheet was the second earliest in the 37-year record of observations, close to the record set in 2012.
  • Record low sea ice: The Arctic sea ice minimum extent from mid-October 2016 to late November 2016 was the lowest since the satellite record began in 1979 and 28 percent less than the average for 1981-2010 in October. Arctic ice is thinning, with multi-year ice now comprising 22 percent of the ice cover as compared to 78 percent for the more fragile first-year ice. By comparison, multi-year ice made up 45 percent of ice cover in 1985.
  • Above-average Arctic Ocean temperature: Sea surface temperature in August 2016 was 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) above the average for 1982-2010 in the Barents and Chukchi seas and off the east and west coasts of Greenland.
  • Arctic Ocean productivity: Springtime melting and retreating sea ice allowed for more sunlight to reach the upper layers of the ocean, stimulating widespread blooms of algae and other tiny marine plants which form the base of the marine food chain, another sign of the rapid changes occurring in a warming Arctic.
  • This year’s report also includes scientific essays on carbon dioxide in the Arctic Ocean, on land and in the atmosphere, and changes among small mammals.

  • Ocean acidification: More than other oceanic areas, the Arctic Ocean is more vulnerable to ocean acidification, a process driven by the ocean’s uptake of increased human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. Ocean acidification is expected to intensify in the Arctic, adding new stress to marine fisheries, particularly those that need calcium carbonate to build shells. This change affects Arctic communities that depend on fish for food security, livelihoods and culture.
  • Carbon cycle changing: Overall, the warming tundra is now releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than it is taking up. Twice as much organic carbon is locked in the northern permafrost as is currently in the Earth’s atmosphere. If the permafrost melts and releases that carbon, it could have profound effects on weather and climate in the Arctic and the rest of the Earth.
  • Small mammals: Recent shifts in the population of small mammals, such as shrews, may be the signs of broader consequences of environmental change.

Read the cards online: www.arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card

Watch a short video on Arctic Report Card 2016: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0rp6-BEur8&feature=youtu.be

Read a web story on how warming affects small mammals: www.noaa.gov/stories/untamed-shrews-herald-warming-arctic
 

# EU REGISTERS

## EU COMMISSION

### DG ENV

C(2016)8583/1 CLIMA (DG Climate Action) 13/12/2016
  • Décision d'exécution de la Commission confirmant ou modifiant le calcul provisoire des émissions spécifiques moyennes de CO2 et les objectifs d’émissions spécifiques concernant les constructeurs de véhicules utilitaires légers neufs pour l’année civile 2015, en application du règlement (UE) n° 510/2011 du Parlement européen et du Conseil

Document request
C(2016)8579/1 CLIMA (DG Climate Action) 13/12/2016
  • Décision d'exécution de la Commission confirmant ou modifiant le calcul provisoire des émissions spécifiques moyennes de CO2 et les objectifs d'émissions spécifiques concernant les constructeurs de voitures particulières pour l'année civile 2015, en application du règlement (CE) nº 443/2009 du Parlement européen et du Conseil

Document request

## EU COUNCIL

  • ST 15472 2016 INIT COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) …/… of XXX supplementing Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on type-approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information, amending Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Regulation (EC) No 692/2008 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 1230/2012 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 692/2008

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