EEAC WORKING GROUPS AND AD-HOC GROUPS
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European Environmental Advisory Councils | Working Groups & Special Events
Workshop on Integration of Environment and Sustainable Development in Transport Policies in Europe, Brussels, 29 January 1999
At the workshop on transport and infrastructure during the 6th Annual Conference in Tuusula it was decided that the European Environmental Advisory Councilsshould cooperate and develop a common view in the field of transport policy. A follow-up workshop was prepared by the Royal Commission for Environmental Pollution and hosted by the MiNa-Raad in Brussels.
Several Councils participated in the meeting to take forward the conclusions of the transport workshop which was part of the Sixth Annual Conference of European Environmental Advisory Councils in Finland in September 1998, within the general conference theme of environmental policy integration and implementation. The report on the integration of environmental considerations into transport policies, presented to the Vienna European Councilin December 1998 by the EU Transport Ministers was discussed in the light of the conclusions of Tuusula. It was considered whether EEAC should take further steps to develop a common view on the integration of environmental considerations into transport policies.
Jaap ten Broek, VROM-raad
Luc Goeteyn, MiNa-Raad
Kirsten Koropp, Deutscher Rat für Landespflege (DRL)
Jonathan Larwood, English Nature and
Focal Point Information Service
David Lewis, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP)
Henning Tegner, Umweltrat (SRU)
Expressions of interest had also been received from The Netherlands Council for the Rural Area (RLG) and the Danish Nature Council, although it was not possible for them to be represented at this meeting.
1. The agenda circulated prior to the meeting was approved.
Review of the conclusions of the Transport Worksshop at the 6th Annual Conference
Discussion of the report by EU Transport Ministers to the Vienna Council
Development of trans-European networks
Potential for further cooperation between European Environmental Advisory Councils on this subject
2. No amendments had been suggested to the Conclusions of the Transport Workshop which formed part of the conference of European Environmental Advisory Councils held at Helsinki in September 1998. It was agreed that these should form the basis for further cooperation.
3. A copy of the Report from the Transport Council to the Vienna Council on integrating the environment and sustainable development into the transport policy of the Community had been circulated prior to the meeting . It was noted that this report was of a rather preliminary kind, and that a further report had been requested by the end of 1999. There may therefore be an opportunity for European Environmental Advisory Councils to have some influence on the further development of thinking on this front.
4. In Agenda 2000 the European Commission is seeking an increase in funding for Trans-
5. As a first step to exploring the potential for further cooperation on this subject, those present summarized the extent to which their councils are, or have recently been, involved in considering transport issues:
VROM-raad is preparing advice for the Dutch government by June 1999 on the environmental problems of transport and had already carried out a literature review. Two points likely to loom large are the difference between freight and passenger transport and the interaction between transport and spatial planning policies. The Dutch government had steered development towards transport corridors, but this threatened to aggravate congestion. Other adverse impacts of transport could be dealt with, broadly speaking, by environmental taxes or charges.
MiNa-Raad is preparing advice on its own initiative on transport and traffic policy. This will result in a general background document, to be followed by more detailed studies of particular issues. Following the general election transport and traffic will be one of the main issues for the new Flemish government, and there may be a government policy statement later in 1999.
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution is not at present working on transport issues as such. Its reports in 1994 and 1997 had a major influence on the government's White Paper on an integrated transport policy published in July 1998. There is much public interest in how effectively the policies in that White paper are being implemented. In its current study of energy and the environment, the Royal Commission is taking full account of energy demand and supply for transport.
English Nature's main concern is that nature conservation should receive equal consideration with other factors when transport policies are reviewed and projects assessed. It is contributing to the current review of the national programme for trunk road construction and the development of techniques for that purpose.
The Umweltrat (SRU) produced a report in 1994 which emphasized the role of fuel taxation and the need for fair pricing of the use of transport infrastructure. Transport will also be covered in its next report in 2000. A particular concern is the environmental assessment of Trans-
There was general agreement that effective integration of environmental considerations into transport policies would require satisfactory arrangements for environmental assessment and the setting of goals for the short, medium and long term. It would also require transparency and openness in the policy process. There had been no environmental input to the European Commission's June 1998 White Paper or to the high-
Discussion then focused on selection of indicators to measure the sustainability of transport systems, as the Transport Council had invited the European Commission to prepare a selection of such indicators. Relevant work nationally on indicators was summarized:
- work on indicators is carried out by RIVM Bilthoven, which is also involved in validating models for the Central Planning Bureau. One project has looked at 14 options for reducing freight transport, based on changes in the weight/volume of vehicles, reducing the distance goods are carried or reducing the number of empty journeys. More generally, it has proved difficult to devise statistical measures of accessibility or mobility.
- MiNa-Raad produced advice in 1996 on collection of environmental data and development of indicators. In its view data required for the evaluation of environmental quality ought to be collected and published annually, data requited to evaluate the effectiveness of policy responses ought to be collected and published every two years, and forecasts and scenarios ought to be reviewed every five years.
- the Department of the Environment had published about 150 indicators of sustainable development in 1996 as a basis for discussion and consultation; many of these related either to transport systems or their effects. In November 1998 the government had published for consultation a set of 13 "headline" indicators of sustainability, one of which was road traffic.
There was also some discussion of the two-way relationship between transport policies and spatial planning. Spatial planning policies can have only a limited effect if they are working in the opposite direction to the pricing of transport.
It was agreedthat cooperation between European environmental advisory councils should be able to contribute to integrating environmental considerations into transport policies, and should focus on three areas:
production of a summary document of indicators of the sustainability of transport systems
pooling knowledge and experience on assessment of infrastructure proposals, at both strategic and project levels
identifying ways in which transport policy processes at European level can be made more open and giving guidance to environmental advisory councils about how they can contribute most effectively to those processes.
A further meeting would be arranged during March to take these tasks forward.
6. A further promising area for cooperation would be the pricing of transport systems. This will be given further consideration when more information is available about the nature and timetables of proposals from the European Commission.
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, March 1999
!--abhier dann "Participants" und "Summary" so wie's ist von wshop02a.htm nehmen und einfügen alle links weglassen !!
** unter Punkt 1 dort die folgenden vier Unterpunkte ergänzen (agenda):
1.Review of the conclusions of the Transport Worksshop at the 6th Annual Conference
2.Discussion of the report by EU Transport Ministers to the Vienna Council
3. Development of trans-European networks
4.Potential for further cooperation between European Environmental Advisory Councils on this subject
Transport and Environmental Degradation
The German Council of Environmental Advisors and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution in the United Kingdom wish to emphasize (to the European Commission) the importance of the environmental problems associated with transport and the need for early action to resolve those problems.
A central topic in the 1994 Environmental Report of the German Council of Environmental Advisors, Sustainable Development, which has been submitted to the federal government, is "Traffic and Environment – Elements and Chances of a Sustainable Mobility". Starting from an analysis of the present situation, key points requiring action are identified and consideration given to the choice of the most appropriate policy instruments for reducing the environmental impact of traffic. The discussion covers the technical potential for reduction, environmental legislation, economic incentives, and also changes in infrastructure and organization. Recommendations are made for actions to increase the price of transport in recognition of the finite nature of natural resources on one side and the finite capacity of transport infrastructure on the other side.
In October 1994 the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution published a report on "Transport and the Environment". This analyses recent trends and their consequences for health and the environment. It discusses alternative perspectives on transport policy, the economic costs and benefits of transport, the potential of improvements in road vehicle technology and performance, and the interaction between transport and land use planning. The report puts forward, in the form of objectives and targets, the components for a sustainable transport policy, and recommends a number of measures which will help to achieve the targets.
The German Council of Environmental Advisors and the Royal Commission have identified important common elements in their analyses of the problematic nature of the present situation and in their recommendations for action. In some cases these appropriately relate to the European Union as well as the national level, and they wish to draw them to the attention of the European Union. They have therefore prepared a joint statement on transport and environmental degradation which is enclosed for your consideration.
Transport and Environmental Degradation
Joint Statement by the German Council of Environmental Advisors and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
The German Council of Environmental Advisors and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution in the UK have been watching with increasing concern the environmental degradation caused by passenger and goods transport. As a result of rising incomes in the European Union and the opening up of Eastern European countries, movements of people and goods have greatly increased. This has contributed to higher standards of living and enriched people's lives. The increase in road traffic resulting from greater mobility has led, however, to forms of environmental damage which are becoming less and less reconcilable with the principles of long term environmentally appropriate development. Emissions from internal combustion engines are endangering people's health and the environment, including the climate. Governments must now create a new framework which will make it possible to combine the benefits of an effective transport system for people and goods with protection of the environment and human health. This will require comprehensive new strategies.
There are certain points which both the German Council and the Royal Commission have identified as requiring early action at the level of the European Union. It is important to accelerate implementation of the Euro-III emission limits. It is also important to stimulate the introduction of other means of reducing emissions, especially as concerns climate effects, photochemical smog and carcinogens. In attempting to reduce the environmental damage caused by road traffic, environmental policy can no longer rely solely upon legislating for technical changes in vehicles. It takes a considerable time for vehicles conforming to a new standard to replace enough of the vehicles now on the road to produce a noticeable reduction in emissions. Moreover, the reductions brought about by imposing more stringent limits will be partly offset if the volume of traffic increases. Environmental policy must, therefore, also seek to reduce emissions by modifying human behavior.
The most effective way of bringing about modifications in human behavior is to provide financial incentives and disincentives. The German Council of Environmental Advisors and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, therefore, call for financial incentives to be used to achieve environmental objectives and bring about a closer correspondence between the costs and benefits of transport.
Electronic systems have considerable potential as a way of applying financial incentives by collecting appropriate charges from road users. They have the advantage that the rates of charge can readily be adjusted to reflect differences in the scale of the costs imposed by road users in different places and at different times. The widespread introduction of electronic systems will not occur unless common technical standards are established by the European Union to cover the design and operation of the equipment installed at the roadside and in vehicles. The German Council of Environmental Advisors and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, therefore, call on national governments and the European Commission to give high priority to the development and implementation of such standards.
Pending completion of that task, incentives for reducing emissions should be provided primarily by increasing the tax on mineral oil. This instrument is well suited for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from road vehicles, and would also help elasticity of transport demand, there will have to be a large increase in the mineral-oil tax over time in order to produce a noticeable effect. The German Council of Environmental Advisors and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution consider an increase in fuel prices of 100% in real terms by the year 2005 to be appropriate and necessary, and they call on the European Commission and national governments to amend Council Directive 92/82/EEC in order to ensure that this increase is put into effect on a phased basis throughout the European Union.
Workshop of the EEAC Energy Working Group
22nd March 2010, Brussels
EESC-Building, Rue Van Maerlant 2, VMA3, 1040 Brussels
The full decarbonisation of the power sector is on the EU Agenda despite, or perhaps in part because of the disappointing outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Conference. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso addressed a low-carbon energy future for Europe in his “Political Guidelines for the next Commission” and the European Council in principle confirmed its commitment to the idea of sharp greenhouse gas reductions in October 2009. Europe must prepare now for the energy transformation that will be required to keep global average temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees.
Several energy scenarios that address the question of how to achieve this revolutionary transformation of the power sector have been published or are in preparation. Scenarios for 2050 have been prepared not only by large energy companies, but also by the renewable energy industry, many NGOs and forward looking think tanks. These scenarios can inform the European Commission as it prepares its own proposals for the transformation ahead.
At the national level, several EU Countries have established long term commitments for sharp reductions of their green house gases. In some cases, these are backed with legally binding frameworks. The next step is to consider what must be done at a European-level to achieve large-scale emission reductions across the EU.
In 2009, the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) released a Statement, “Towards Sustainable European Infrastructures”. In that statement EEAC argued for a new infrastructure planning approach that includes the development of a transeuropean electricity grid. This is necessary in order to ensure the transition towards a power sector supplied by renewable energy. There is an emerging consensus that to develop a European electricity system that is clean (i.e. based on renewables), affordable, and secure, a new European super grid will be needed. This will require political will and a shared future vision.
It is the purpose of this workshop to bring various 2050 energy scenario writers together to discuss common and diverging assumptions, methods and outcomes, and to sketch out what a common future vision could look like. The workshop should be of interest for policy-makers as well as researchers and non-governmental organisation interested in the field of energy policy.
A key conclusion from the workshop is, that renewable sources in Europe have the potential to provide most if not all the electricity needed. 100% RES (Renewable Energy Sources) for electricity can be achieved at competitive costs while respecting biodiversity and while ensuring that the electricity demand is met at all times. The scenarios illustrate, that electricity from renewable sources may become the sustainable solution to our electricity system. read more
Speakers and presentations
13:00: Welcome, Stéphane Buffetaut, EESC Sustainable Development Observatory
13:10 - 15:15 Session I: Scenarios for a Decarbonised Power Sector
15:15 - 15:45: coffee break
15:45 - 16:50 Session II: Policy Commitments
16:50-18:30: Session III: Open Discussion: Chair Hubert David (Chair EEAC)
Can Europe´s energy system be built upon REN only? What are the next steps?
Copyright © 2000-2010 by European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils, Den Haag. All Rights Reserved
Last update: 3 May 2010
European Environmental Advisory Councils | Working Groups & Special Events
"Sustainability 21" on 5-6 November 1999 in Helsinki
The EU's record in promoting sustainable development came under close scrutiny at the Sustainability 21 Conference in Helsinki on 5 6 November 1999. This high-level conference was held in advance of the December Helsinki European Summit, at which EU Heads of State and Government will review Europe's progress towards sustainable development and the integration of environmental issues into other policy areas.
The conference proceedings are available here for download (pdf-Format) and can also be downloaded in German and French at:
Background on Organizers
Sustainability 21 - Transforming Markets
The Sustainability 21 Conference participants, differing in background but united in their desire to advance the objective of sustainable development in the European Union, declare with a view toward the discussion of environmental integration and sustainable development at the European Council meeting of 10-11 December 1999 in Helsinki:
The European Union, on the threshold of a new millennium, faces the challenge of making the transition to sustainable development and a better quality of life for Europe’s citizens. This is to be achieved by aligning the three dimensions of sustainability: environmental imperatives, economic objectives and social considerations.
There is an urgent need to face this challenge since, as the European Environment Agency reports, ‘unsustainable development’ in certain economic sectors (e.g. agriculture, energy and transport) is the major factor in the declining environmental quality in the EU.
Meeting this challenge requires sustained and coordinated direction from the EU’s political leaders, as initiated by the European Council’s ‘Cardiff integration process’. Meeting this challenge also requires active involvement of consumers as well as leadership from other sectors, such as the business community, which stand to gain markets from this leadership.
The ‘Cardiff process’ correctly identifies integration as a key mechanism for attaining sustainable development.
The European Council has invited various formations of the Council (agriculture, energy, transport, and others) to examine their own work and to identify the measures needed to accomplish the integration of environmental requirements into other policy areas in order to promote sustainable development as required by the Treaty of Amsterdam
The European Council in Helsinki should take a close and critical look at the reports the various formations of the Council have prepared to date. It is clear that the reports are of differing quality and lack a common framework. Further work by these Councils will be needed to turn them into strategies for integration.
The European Council should forcefully express its determination to continue to monitor, evaluate and link the integration strategies of the various formations of the Council.
The European Council should request the President of the European Commission to champion integration within the Commission and to take an active central role in making the integration principle work in practice. The Commission’s group for ‘Growth, Competitiveness, Employment and Sustainable Development’ should be a forum for initiatives for sustainable development.
The transition to sustainability is one of the biggest challenges facing our society. The European Council should resolve now to order the preparation of a ‘Sustainable Development Strategy for the EU’ with a time horizon of up to 30 years to be adopted in time for the Rio + 10 review. A new sixth Environmental Action Programme should constitute a strong environmental pillar of this strategy, alongside social and economic considerations.
Any strategy for integration and sustainable development must include principles and both short and long term targets, timetables, indicators and benchmarks. These elements are crucial for getting the message across to governments, all stakeholders and the general public. Without these mechanisms, there is no way of knowing whether we are on the right track and moving at the right speed.
A common framework of core headline indicators for monitoring progress should be developed to assist the various formation of the Council in their further work on integration. Core headline indicators should be complemented by sectoral indicators which reflect the specific areas of responsibility of each Council formation, as well as by indicators for the social and economic objectives (e.g. competitiveness) of sustainable development. The approach should be pan-European in scope, reflecting the upcoming accession of new member states.
Core headline indicators should address inputs (resource consumption), outputs (emissions, waste streams), responses(market instruments, management tools) and outcomes (human health, social welfare, biodiversity, environmental quality). Core headline indicators should serve as signposts to progress and be expressed in ways the general public can follow (quality of life terms).
Indicators for sustainability should have both a near-term (e.g. five years) and long-term character (e.g. one generation). The indicators should enable the monitoring of progress, e.g. in increasing the efficiency of resource use and the decoupling of resource use and economic growth.
The Commission, with the support of the European Environment Agency, should be requested to play a leading role in helping to develop and apply these headline and sectoral indicators, together with appropriate targets, timetables and independent monitoring systems to produce yearly progress and trend reports. Priority formations of the Council for action continue to be agriculture, transport, energy fisheries, trade and, in particular ecofin and internal market.
The European Council should also emphasise the need for each institution of the EU to use and further develop mechanisms for integration (e.g. environmental appraisals, integration procedures) appropriate to its role. One such mechanism could be a ‘Red Flag’ for unsustainable policies or measures. The European Council, for its part, should commit itself not to support any major policy initiative with significant environmental impacts unless it has been accompanied by satisfactory environmental appraisal and an analysis of its contribution to sustainability.
The European Council should seek to inspire a new spirit of governance, giving priority to the enabling of innovation and partnership and drawing on citizen and stakeholder involvement as called for by the Aarhus Convention with its rights of access to information, public participation and access to justice.
Promoting sustainable development will also require renewed efforts to improve environmental education and communication with the public. A strategy for sustainable development must address the influencing of personal behaviour and choices in consumption, including the provision of information which enables consumers to make sustainable choices.
Similarly, local and other levels of government and other sectors, including the business sector (both large companies and smaller enterprises), should be encouraged to examine their own role in sustainable development and to develop benchmarks and other mechanisms to improve environmental performance.
European Sustainability Kinsale 04-Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development in EU 20, 15-16 April 2004
European Sustainability Kinsale 04 - Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development in EU 25
Enlargement of the European Union to 25 member states presents new challenges and opportunities for revitalising and refocusing sustainable development policy. At EU level, there has been a commitment to review the European Union Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS); at the same time, many member states have reviewed, or are reviewing, their national strategies in the light of the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and developments at EU level. Accordingly, now is the time to forge stronger and closer connections between national and EU policies to make sustainable development more of a reality.
Against this background, and as part of Ireland’s EU Presidency, the Irish Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Comhar, Ireland’s National Sustainable Development Partnership, hosted a conference on sustainable development in April 2004. The theme of the conference will address the challenges and opportunities for sustainable development in an enlarged EU. It will build on the outcome of the Vienna workshop and expert meeting in The Hague with a view to contributing practical perspectives for the purposes of the SDS review, and further explore ways of linking national strategies and strengthening coherence with a reviewed SDS.Programme
Speech by Martin Cullen T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
In the course of the Kinsale conference the representatives of EEAC councils agreed on a document to be known as the ‘Kinsale Challenge’ making a number of specific recommendations to the EU and the Member States about the Lisbon and the EU Sustainable Development Strategy Review, particularly requesting that the Lisbon process should take account of the EU SDS review so that the sustainability dimension can be better reflected in it. The Kinsale Challenge. Reinforcing Sustainable Development in the European Union