European Commission Proposes a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) for Iron, Steel, Cement, Fertilisers, Aluminium and Electricity (4 in 4-Part Series)

Another much-anticipated and likely controversial proposed regulation would establish a CBAM for certain imports. The Commission presented it as a measure to ensure that ambitious climate action in Europe does not lead to “carbon leakage” by pushing carbon-intensive production out of the single European market but contribute to a global emissions decline by encouraging the international partners of the EU and their industries to take steps in the same direction.

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European Commission Proposes a Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (3 in 4-Part Series)

Icons energy sources for renewableAs another key component of the Fit for 55 package, the Commission made a proposal to amend Directive 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED II) and related legal acts.

The revision would increase the overall binding target for renewable energy in the EU energy mix from the current 32% to 40%, complemented by indicative national contributions of Member States to reach the collective EU target. The Commission proposes specific targets for renewable energy use in certain sectors by 2030: 

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European Commission Proposes “Most Crucial Change to the EU Emission Trading System So Far” (2 in 4-Part Series)

Power StationAs part of the Fit for 55 package, the Commission presented a proposal to revise Directive 2003/87 establishing a system for GHG emission allowance trading within the EU, as well as related legal acts.

According to the Commission’s Explanatory Memorandum, ensuring continued effective protection for the sectors exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage while incentivising the uptake of low-carbon technologies will remain a specific objective of the EU ETS. Other objectives included addressing the distributional and social effects of this transition, by reviewing the use of auctioning revenues and the size and functioning of the low-carbon funding mechanisms.

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European Commission Proposes a Landmark “Fit for 55” Package of Climate and Energy Legislation (1 in 4-Part Series)

renewable wind energyDelivering a key component of the European Green Deal umbrella policy that it adopted in December 2019, the European Commission issued 15 legislative proposals, accompanied by three non-legislative communications in July 2021. With the supporting documents, e.g. impact assessments, the package adds up to around 4,200 pages. It includes the following initiatives:

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July 2021 Update: frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK and EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy

Our Environmental, Safety & Health team is pleased to share with you the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law and Procedure; providing bite-size updates on EU and UK law, procedure and policy.

The updates covered in this month’s edition include (among others):

  • The government has published its COVID-19 summer 2021 road map for England, and updated step 4 working safely guidance.
  • Company is fined £910,000 after a self-employed lorry driver is killed while making a delivery.
  • Cinema chain is fined £750,000 after a man is killed by a reclining seat.
  • The UK and the EU have agreed to extend the Northern Ireland Protocol grace period for chilled meat products to 30 September 2021.
  • Court of Appeal held litigation privilege is still maintained even if a third party had misled as to the purpose of their information request.
  • Manufacturing company is fined (including under REACH) after workers are exposed to asbestos.
  • Waste and recycling sector commits to tackling modern slavery.
  • Health & Safety Executive announces an increase in worker deaths on the day the English football team competed in the semi-final of the Euros.
  • The Food Standards Agency publishes its revised Food Law Code of Practice.
  • DEFRA and Natural England launch the biodiversity metric.
  • Draft UK REACH amendment regulations have been issued and the HSE has also announced the opening of Lead Registrant functionality in UK REACH.
  • Amendments made to the UK law on waste shipments.
  • BEIS consults on strengthening the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.
  • Record £90 million fine for Southern Water following an EA prosecution.
  • Environment Agency Waste quality protocols review.
  • UK government publishes the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, consults on ending the sale of new non-zero emission HGVs, and issues a Green Paper on a new road vehicle CO2 emissions regulatory framework.
  • New guidance is issued on best available techniques for carbon capture.
  • Government consults on the technical details of plastic packaging tax.
  • DEFRA is consulting on the establishment of an “environmental review”.
  • Biffa Waste Services Ltd has been fined £1.5 million for illegal waste exports.
  • Royal Dutch Shell plc has confirmed that it will appeal the Dutch carbon emission ruling.
  • European Commission proposes a landmark “Fit for 55” package of climate and energy legislation.
  • European countries announce their intention to restrict PFAS.
  • New waste gas BREF for the chemical sector.
  • European Commission proposes a new General Product Safety Regulation.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

US EPA Takes AIM at HFCs

green fieldIt’s déjà vu all over again.  Over the course of more than thirty years, EPA and industry partners successfully wound down usage of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) in Title VI of the Clean Air Act, enacted following the 1987 Montreal Protocol.  Under SNAP, HCFCs and CFCs were largely replaced with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in a wide variety of industrial and commercial uses.  But while HFCs are much less harmful to the ozone layer, modern science now recognizes HFCs as extremely potent greenhouse gases, and so it has become necessary to replace the replacements.  The international community began addressing HFC usage through the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and the United States followed suit with legislation at the end of last year.

The 2020 American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act) authorizes EPA to promulgate rules to reduce HFC production and usage to 15% of baseline levels by 2036.  The Act comes amidst a flurry of activity related to HFCs, including widespread state regulation and legislation.  Recently, the EPA proposed a rule to enact the AIM Act’s provisions by establishing a production and consumption allowance system.  Meanwhile, a coalition of state and local governments recently petitioned for rulemaking seeking even more robust action against HFCs.  Assertive legislation and rulemaking now looks to force HFCs the way of CFCs.   Continue Reading

June 2021 Update: frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK and EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy

Our Environmental, Safety & Health team is pleased to share with you the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law and Procedure; providing bite-size updates on EU and UK law, procedure and policy.

This month’s edition includes the following:

  • Airline company fined £1.8 million after employee was crushed by an airline tug pulling a train of luggage.
  • The National Audit Office published its report on UK product safety regulation.
  • Bill proposes amendments to Modern Slavery Act to introduce an offence for false or incomplete information included in a business’s modern slavery statement.
  • NHS Trust fined £1.5 million and ordered to pay costs of £86,222 after failing to manage risks.
  • Committee on Climate Change published its third Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk
  • UK government will require businesses to commit to net zero by 2050 as a condition of bidding for any major government contracts.
  • HM Treasury launched the Green Technical Advisory Group to help tackle “greenwashing”.
  • Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures is launched and publishes its first report.
  • HM Treasury published the government response to the Dasgupta review on biodiversity.
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on compensation relating to the UK Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Price Support .
  • The Environment Agency has published its latest list of enforcement undertakings.
  • The Health & Safety Executive has published the UK REACH Work Programme, which describes operational work planned for 2021/22
  • Slovenian Council Presidency outlines sustainability policy priorities.
  • European Commission plans carbon border adjustment mechanism for imports of iron, steel, cement, fertilisers, aluminium and electricity.
  • European Commission proceeds with infringement procedures against 18 member states due to their failure to comply with EU waste law.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

May 2021 Update: frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK and EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy

Our Environmental, Safety & Health team is pleased to share with you the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law and Procedure; providing bite-size updates on EU and UK law, procedure and policy.

This month’s edition includes the following:

  • Fire Safety Act 2021 receives Royal Assent.
  • Metro operator fined £1.5 million after a worker was electrocuted on high-voltage overhead cables.
  • Government advisory group recommends default flexible working policies post-pandemic.
  • Environmental lawyer found in contempt by the Supreme Court.
  • Rail company fined £700,000 after a fire broke out at a substation in Kent.
  • UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UKETS) auction launches, with carbon prices higher than in the EU.
  • High Court judgment on an environmental warranty claim.
  • The Environment Bill returned to Parliament on 26 May.
  • Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) consults on draft guidance for businesses about “green” claims.
  • Dutch court orders Shell to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030.
  • Thames Water fined £4 million for sewage pollution.
  • Scientists write a letter to UK ministers about chemical data requirements under UK REACH.
  • Young people challenge government on climate policies.
  • European Commission starts revision of the REACH and CLP Regulations.
  • European Commission adopts the Zero Pollution Action Plan.
  • European Commission issues draft rules on the separate collection of single-use plastic beverage bottles.
  • European Parliament demands that the EU strengthens its rules on companies’ environmental liability.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

April 2021 Update: frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK and EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy

Our Environmental, Safety & Health team is pleased to share with you the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law and Procedure; providing bite-size updates on EU and UK law, procedure and policy.

This month’s edition includes the following:

  • The government has published a consultation on a proposed new Protect Duty closing 2 July 2021.
  • Retailer fined £7.56 million for selling food past its use-by date.
  • Suspended prison sentence imposed for breach of a reporting restrictions order in a criminal trial.
  • High Court entitles private prosecutor to recover expenses incurred prior to commencement of criminal proceedings from central funds.
  • New carbon targets announced.
  • Single-use carrier bag charge increase.
  • The government publishes response on standards for biodegradable, compostable and bio-based plastics.
  • The EA has issued updated guidance and positions on various waste and permitting matters.
  • Use of “rogue trader” leads to enforcement against landowners.
  • EU Commission proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
  • European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) commences study on chemical recycling.
  • ECHA identifies nearly 300 chemicals for regulatory action.
  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issues guidance to applicants from the plastic sector, including on new transparency requirements.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

March 2021 Update: frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK and EU Environment Safety and Health Law Procedure and Policy

Our Environmental, Safety & Health team is pleased to share with you the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law and Procedure; providing bite-size updates on EU and UK law, procedure and policy.

This month’s edition includes the following:

  • The Home Office has published its response to the fire safety consultation for England.
  • Modern slavery – registry launched and guide to powers also published.
  • The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has published a call for evidence seeking views on changes to the UK product safety regime.
  • Thames Water fined £2.3 million for foreseeable pollution from sewage discharge.
  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy.
  • New energy efficiency legislation announced by UK government, and response to eco-design consultation.
  • Government confirmed in consultation response the 2030 date for ending sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans.
  • DEFRA consults on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) national implementation plan (NIP).
  • BEIS consults on mandatory climate-related financial disclosures by publicly quoted companies, large private companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs).
  • DEFRA announces second consultations on extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging and a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

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