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EXME 12 / 18.10
Midday Express of 2012-10-18
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Six Member States - Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Cyprus and Luxembourg - exceeded their milk quotas in 2011/2012, triggering "superlevy" penalties of about € 79 million, according to Commission figures published today. Despite the overrun of the quotas in these six Member States, total EU deliveries remained well below the global quota volume (-4.7%). According to national declarations, Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Cyprus and Luxembourg exceeded their national quotas by a total of 283 000 tons, despite the 1% quota increase in the year 2011/2012 decided in the framework of the 2008 CAP Health Check. The Netherlands also exceeded also its direct sales quota, while the other Member States exceeded only their quota for deliveries.
The Commission is issuing new guidelines on inland navigation and nature protection to assist this important sector in applying EU environmental legislation. The guidelines – "Inland waterway transport and Natura 2000 – sustainable inland waterway development and management in the context of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives" – explain how best to ensure that activities related to inland navigation are compatible with EU environmental policy in general and nature legislation in particular. The document also emphasizes the significance of the inland navigation for securing long-term sustainability of EU transport network and highlights the achievements of this sector in integrating nature protection into its activities to date.
Climate Change Committee approves national limits on non-ETS emissions for 2013-2020
The EU Climate Change Committee today approved annual limits for 2013-2020 on Member States' emissions of greenhouse gas emissions from sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The draft Decision lays down so-called annual emission allocations (AEAs), in tonnes, for each Member State and year from 2013 to 2020. It translates the 2009 Effort Sharing Decision, which addresses emissions from sectors not included in the EU ETS, into absolute annual emission figures. The Effort Sharing Decision sets binding national emission reduction or limitation targets for 2020, expressed as percentage changes from 2005 levels, and also sets out how the AEAs are to be calculated. The sectors covered by the Effort Sharing Decision include transport (except aviation), buildings, agriculture and waste. Emissions from forestry are not included, however. The draft Decision also fixes AEAs for Croatia, which is expected to join the European Union on 1 July 2013. The Climate Change Committee comprises representatives from all Member States and the European Commission. The draft Decision represents an important element in the implementation of the 2009 EU climate and energy package of legislation. The European Parliament and Council now have three months to scrutinise the text, after which the Commission will adopt it. More information: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/articles/news_2012101702_en.htm
The European Commission has called on the Finnish telecoms regulator (FICORA) to amend or withdraw its proposal on regulated access to dominant operators' broadband networks. If implemented, FICORA's plans would damage competition and hamper investment in competitive broadband services. This could limit current and future offers available to consumers and businesses. This is the third time that the Commission has issued a formal recommendation under Article 7a of the Telecoms Directive ( MEMO/11/321).
Today, the Commission published a proposal to limit global land conversion for biofuel production, and raise the climate benefits of biofuels used in the EU. The use of food-based biofuels to meet the 10% renewable energy target of the Renewable Energy Directive will be limited to 5%. This is to stimulate the development of alternative, so-called second generation biofuels from non-food feedstock, like waste or straw, which emit substantially less greenhouse gases than fossil fuels and do not directly interfere with global food production. For the first time, the estimated global land conversion impacts – Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) – will be considered when assessing the greenhouse gas performance of biofuels.
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