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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 339]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 339]
Send date: 2012-10-12 09:09:54
Issue #: 156
Content:
Bulletin CTA
1

 

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [12/10/2012]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main ACP-EU Events for the week of 15/10/2012 - 21/10/2012
  2. Growing a better future for farmers
  3. EDD panel: Growing a Better Future for Farmers
  4. EU-accredited ships plundering African fish
  5. EFSA publishes initial review on GMO study
  6. Commission proposes measures to tackle 'biopiracy'
  7. "Milk package" fully applicable
  8. Europe Intensifies EPA Lobby in West Africa
  9. Ending the abuse of the marine environment
  10. EU approach to resilience: learning from food crises
  11. MEPs back mandatory accounting for farm and forestry emissions
  12. Taking action for agriculture: countdown to Doha
  13. Almost 50 percent of fruit and vegetables in the EU not consumed
  14. Indigenous agroforestry may improve livelihoods
  15. Sugar quotas and EU farm spending budge dominate CAP reform debate
  16. MDG target to halve prevalence of hunger within reach
  17. Little increase in deep-sea fishing opportunities 2013-2014
  18. New Maritime Agenda for growth and jobs
  19. Change of timing for auctions of emissions allowances
  20. MEPs adopt Directive on Energy Efficiency
  21. Ministers split on tools to tackle farming crises
  22. EU Court of Justice confirms farmers’ right to cultivate GM crops


  1. Main ACP-EU Events for the week of 15/10/2012 - 21/10/2012
    2012-10-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Gender and development, Migration and development, New Technologies, ACP-EU Fisheries, Food Security, Health and Development, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy, Humanitarian Aid

    European Commission
    -    16 – 17 October: European Development Days 2012

    European Council
    -    15 October: Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) [Luxembourg]
    -    15 October: Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) (Development) (Luxembourg)

    ACP Group
    -    16 October: ACP Sugar Committee
    -    19 October: Sub Committee on Sustainable Development

    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.




  2. Growing a better future for farmers
    2012-10-12

    CTA125-Conference-Ebanner-01

     

    Watch the high-level panel live next Tuesday, 16 October, 16.30 - 18.00 (CET).


    Link Webstream
    Link High-level Panel
    Link European Development Days 2012


  3. EDD panel: Growing a Better Future for Farmers
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy

    To improve information sharing and promote networking, the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in collaboration with FAO, AgriCord and other partners will organise a high-level panel in Brussels on 16 October 2012, in the context of the European Development Days. Various panelists will give their perspectives on how they see the future of farmers in the context of new drivers affecting food production, trade and the environment.
    Among the topics that will be discussed are: how policy factors influence agricultural production and the nutritional status of the poor in developing countries, how small-scale farmers can increase their productivity to feed a growing population, the economic drivers behind key policy decisions, the new policy challenges affecting food production and the role of traditional and emerging actors in the food system.
    The objectives of the panel are to i) raise awareness on existing and emerging challenges on food policies ii) promote the exchange of information and expertise from various parts of the world, especially from developing countries iii) feed into the debate various perspectives on policy options, which have the potential to improve the future of farmers.
    Speakers will come from different parts of the world, highlighting unique experiences: Graziano Da Silva, Director General, FAO, will address the audience from Rome in the context of World Food Day; Richard Greene, Mission Director in Bangladesh, USAID; Ruth Rawling, Vice-President Corporate Affairs, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Cargill; Piet Vanhemtsche, President, Agricord; Kalilou Sylla, Executive Secretary, ROPPA, Panafrican Farmer's Organisation, PAFO; Elisangela dos Santos Araujo, Federação Nacional dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras na Agricultura Familiar (FETRAF), Brazil.
    The panel will be webstreamed and will be available to watch here on 16 October 16.30 - 18.00 (CET).


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Days
    Link BR 21: Geopolitics of Food
    Link EFlyer_CTA.pdf

  4. EU-accredited ships plundering African fish
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    Fish caught illegally off the coast of West Africa end up for sale in the European Union, according to a study by the UK-based charity Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF). The 18-month study documented 252 reports of illegal pirate fishing by industrial vessels in inshore areas off the coast of Sierra Leone. Nine out of the 10 vessels, which account for the majority of the reported illegal activities, are accredited to export to the European market.
    Evidence shows the EU-accredited boats went inside exclusion zones and used banned fishing equipment, among other violations. Bribes, intimidation, and the refusal to pay fines were also documented along with photos of a local fisherman beaten unconscious. The study says the industrial-sized vessels have adversely affected the coastal communities and local fishermen by “severely compromising food security, local livelihoods, the health of fish stocks and the marine environment." The European Commission, for its part, says the illegal practices, on a global scale, deprives coastal communities of up to €18 billion worth of seafood and seafood products annually. 


    Source: EU Observer


    Link Read more
    Link European Commission: IUU Fishing
    Link EU accused of hypocrisy over weak fish deal


  5. EFSA publishes initial review on GMO study
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy

    The European Food Safety Authority has concluded that a recent paper raising concerns about the potential toxicity of genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 and of a herbicide containing glyphosate is of insufficient scientific quality to be considered a valid for risk assessment. EFSA’s initial review found that the design, reporting and analysis of the study, as outlined in the paper, are inadequate.
    EFSA’s preliminary review issued on 4 October 2012 is the first step in a two-stage process. A second analysis will be delivered by the end of October 2012.  This will take into account any additional information from the study authors, who will be given an opportunity to supply study documentation and procedures to the Authority to ensure the broadest possible understanding of their work. It will also include an overview of Member State assessments of the paper and an analysis from the German authorities responsible for the assessment of glyphosate.

    Source: EFSA


    Link Read more
    Link European Food Safety Authority
    Link EU Court of Justice confirms farmers’ right to cultivate GM crops


  6. Commission proposes measures to tackle 'biopiracy'
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment

    Researchers and companies in the EU received a boost today with a new proposal that should provide reliable access to genetic resources from outside the Union. The proposal – a draft Regulation that would implement the 'Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-sharing' – is designed to protect the rights of countries and of indigenous and local communities that allow their genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge to be used, while also giving researchers in Europe improved, reliable access to quality samples of genetic resources at low cost with high legal certainty.
    Genetic resources play a significant and growing role in many economic sectors, including plant and animal breeding, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Many of these resources come from biodiversity hotspots in the developing world. The absence of clear rules has led some countries to claim that their sovereign rights have been flouted by foreign researchers, a situation known as "biopiracy". The lack of trust has occasionally led to restrictive conditions that hinder access to genetic resources.
    The proposals are designed to address those fears, while maximising opportunities for research, development and innovation in nature-based products and services. A level playing field for all EU users of genetic resources should bring particular benefits for SMEs and for publicly funded non-commercial research and enhance opportunities for international collaboration.
    The proposed Regulation would oblige users to check that genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge have been accessed in accordance with the applicable legal requirements in the country of origin, and that the benefits are fairly and equitably shared. Users would also be obliged to declare that they have exercised the "due diligence" required by the Regulation (or will do so in future). Users found in breach of the Regulation would be sanctioned.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Access and Benefit Sharing
    Link Convention on Biological Diversity


  7. "Milk package" fully applicable
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy

    The so-called "Milk Package", designed with a view to the longer term future of the dairy sector following the end of the EU dairy quota system in 2015, is fully applicable from 3 October 2012. Drafted on the basis of the conclusions of a special High Level Group set up after the 2009 milk market crisis, this series of measures is aimed at boosting the position of dairy producers in the dairy supply chain and preparing the sector for a more market-oriented and sustainable future.
    The new regulation was published on 30 March 2012, with some elements entering into force on 2 April and others only today (6 months later). Commenting on the new rules, Commissioner Cioloş announced the importance of producers taking advantage of the new regulatory framework to be more organised and to "carry out real clout in the food chain".
    The measures will apply until mid-2020. The Commission is mandated to report in 2014 and 2018 on the market situation and the implementation of the measures. These reports (to the Council and the European Parliament) will assess in particular the effect of these measures on milk producers and milk production in disadvantaged regions and will cover potential incentives to encourage farmers to enter into joint production agreements.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Milk and milk products
    Link Report on the phasing-out of milk quotas


  8. Europe Intensifies EPA Lobby in West Africa
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The European Union (EU) has rebuffed claims that the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the West African region and Nigeria within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is out to undermine the region’s nascent manufacturing sector. In a move to further woo the African nations to fully endorse the agreement, the EU stressed that, on the contrary, the EPA represents an opportunity for Nigeria, in terms of attracting investment to the non-oil sectors, improved access to the EU market and economic governance. Various pan African experts on global trade have warned African nations not to sign the agreement, which they believe will stunt the development of the industrial sector of the sub-region.
    The EU Ambassador, Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr. David Macrae, who congratulated Nigeria on its recent 52nd Independence anniversary, disclosed that the EU is West Africa’s major trading partner, most notably in respect of non-oil products. Macrae said there was need to identify those sectors which need protection, put them aside and look together to see how those sectors can be made competitive, and stressed that the idea of developing a sector was that in the long term it can become more viable not needing special protection.

    Source: ThisDay Live


    Link Read more
    Link EU-West Africa: Negotiations and Agreements
    Link ECOWAS


  9. Ending the abuse of the marine environment
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries, Environment

    In a speech at the Fisheries (PECH) Committee meeting on 9 October 2012, Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment, emphasised the inefficiency of today’s fishing infrastructures, economic and financial systems, and business models, which has led to the abuse of marine resources and to a poor status of today’s marine ecosystems. He stated that it would be necessary to find a solution, in order to move from resource depletion to resource efficiency.
    The European Commission has been promoting a growth model that places the efficient use of natural resources at the centre of its economic transformation, demonstrated in the Commission’s adoption of a proposal for a reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and a proposal for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, both of which would promote better conditions and sustainable fisheries that respect the ecosystems.
    The Commissioner highlighted the importance of exploiting the full potential of the EU environmental policy and to promote “blue growth” through the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. However, he emphasised that EU action would only bring changes and be credible through a coherent approach.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Commissioner Janez Potočnik
    Link Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing


  10. EU approach to resilience: learning from food crises
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy

    Resilience is the ability of an individual, a household, a community, a country or a region to withstand, adapt, and quickly recover from stresses and shocks such as drought, violence, conflict or natural disaster.
    The European Commission's new resilience communication outlines ten steps that will increase resilience and reduce the vulnerability of the world's most vulnerable people. These steps include support for the design of national resilience strategies, disaster management plans and efficient early-warning systems in disaster-prone countries, as well as putting forward innovative approaches to risk management through collaboration with the insurance industry.
    The communication is based on the Commission's significant experience responding to humanitarian crises and tackling the root causes of weak development – such the massive recent drought crises in Africa where the Commission is focusing on immediate crisis response, but also on fostering long-term food security and on increasing the population's ability to cope with future droughts. 

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Fighting Hunger
    Link BR 23: Nutrition Security


  11. MEPs back mandatory accounting for farm and forestry emissions
    2012-10-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    Accounting for EU emissions from forestry and agriculture should be mandatory and based on robust rules, according to MEPs voting on draft land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) legislation in the Environment Committee on 10 October 2012. They also recommended a future obligation to account for emissions from wetlands. The draft legislation received wide cross-party support in the Environment Committee, with 36 votes in favour, 13 against and 1 abstention. It follows an agreement from the UN climate summit in Durban last December. 
    Environment MEPs say the legislation should require Member States to account for emissions and removals not only in forestry - as agreed at international level - but also in management of land for crops and grazing. Wetlands should also be included within a year after IPCCC guidelines are set for these. Member States should also prepare LULUCF Action Plans to describe and project trends for emissions and removal of greenhouse gases. The plans should also analyse the potential to curb emissions and increase removals and set out the policies and timetable for action.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link LULUCF in the EU
    Link IPCCC: LULUCF


  12. Taking action for agriculture: countdown to Doha
    2012-10-10

    In the last few years, great strides have been made towards agriculture’s inclusion on the official climate change policy agenda. Finally, issues related to farming, food and sustainable agriculture have gained recognition, both due to the pressing urgency for adapting farming practices to a changing climate, but also for the potential mitigation benefits. At the upcoming UN climate change meeting (COP18), in Doha later this year, countries will not discuss whether agriculture should be considered in international climate policy, but how it can help to achieve mitigation and adaptation goals.
    In 2008, parties requested the UNFCCC secretariat to prepare a technical paper on the challenges and opportunities for mitigation in the agricultural sector, which was finalized later that year. Agriculture was thereafter included in the official UNFCCC meeting agenda during COP15 in Copenhagen, in 2009, where parties tried to work out a formal decision. Even if agriculture was recognized as important in tackling climate change, parties failed to agree on a legally binding agreement. This was repeated the year after, during COP16 in Cancun, which again failed to produce anything concrete. During COP17 in Durban, parties could only agree to further the discussions, during the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice in May earlier this year.  Here the discussions were heated, but formally, the outcome was a very general one: agriculture is now to be discussed as part of the official COP18 agenda in Doha later this year. Even if no formal decision has been made, the discussions have paved the way for what an agricultural work programme should include and the understanding that agriculture is one of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change.

    Source: CGIAR-CCAFS


    Link Read more
    Link COP18
    Link BR 29: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security


  13. Almost 50 percent of fruit and vegetables in the EU not consumed
    2012-10-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, almost 50% of fruits and vegetables in the EU are not consumed with the main losses being connected to the production of fresh produce. 20 percent of fresh produce is lost due to accidental damage during threshing or fruit picking, damage by insects, mechanical damage and/or spillage during harvest operation and crops sorted out post-harvest following quality requirements by supermarkets and other companies, lack of tuning between supply and demand and other reasons. Further down the food supply chain, 13 percent of what is initially produced gets lost due to consumer behavior by throwing away edible fruit and vegetables, or by wasting due to storing the fresh produce for too long or at the wrong temperature.
    Within the European Project Veg-i-Trade, scientists of Ghent University and Wageningen University are trying to reduce the losses within the fruits and vegetables chain by developing statistical models to predict the degradation and the safety of fresh produce. These models can be used to improve the planning and logistics of food processors, transporters and supermarkets. By adapting for instance the size of the produced batches of food, the amount of stock and the storage conditions, less food would be lost.

    Source: Science Daily


    Link Read more
    Link Project Veg-i-trade
    Link BR28: Food waste


  14. Indigenous agroforestry may improve livelihoods
    2012-10-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    Smallholder farmers should use their indigenous knowledge of trees to boost incomes and drive social development, according to a new book by Roger Leakey, vice chairman of the International Tree Foundation and renowned tree biologist.  Leakey said his new book Living with the Trees of Life: Towards the Transformation of Tropical Agriculture is the world's first research-based guide for agroforestry — an agricultural practice that uses the interactive benefits of combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. His agroforestry ideas are supported by the International Tree Foundation and the World Agroforestry Centre.
    Leakey has developed a three-step farming guide, which integrates agroforestry practices and technological interventions into sustainable farming. It aims to enhance trade and income, and to generate funds for reinvestment in education and local infrastructure.  The first step is to make soil more nitrogen-rich — and thus fertile — by planting leguminous trees and shrubs. The second step is to encourage local farmers to select native crops for production. Using their indigenous knowledge, farmers select the most appropriate crops, which Leakey said are usually "traditional fruits, nuts and medicinal plants [which] they once gathered from the forest". Farmers are then trained in rural resource centres (RRCs), where they learn low-tech methods for maximising the quality of fruits and nuts. The third step involves transitioning from the local to the global marketplace, and engaging with big businesses.
    In Cameroon, where the initial projects started, one RRC has seen its income rise from US$145 to US$28,350 per year in the ten years since its farmers were trained. However, a pressing problem is ensuring that farmers are not exploited but supported by big businesses, said Albert Tucker, an international trade consultant and fair trade advocate. Leakey agreed that there were still big question marks over how to protect farmers, and that years of international debate had so far failed to solve these issues.

    Source: SciDev Net


    Link Read more
    Link World Agroforestry Centre
    Link International Tree Foundation


  15. Sugar quotas and EU farm spending budge dominate CAP reform debate
    2012-10-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy

    Quotas for sugar beet producers must be prolonged to allow beet producers time to adapt to new market realities, and EU farm spending should be frozen in real terms for 2014-2020, said many Agriculture Committee MEPs in the EU farm policy reform debate that took place on 17-18 September 2012. In the debate, MEPs advocated retaining sugar quotas for EU beet farmers until 2020. Farmers have invested a lot in their capacity to produce sugar and a decision to phase out quotas in 2015 would hurt them, many MEPs argued.
    According to MEP Martin Häusling, quotas "have brought stability to the EU market" and abolishing them would only benefit the processing industry, rather than consumers and farmers. Although abolishing quotas could be beneficial and provide new opportunities for farmers, it would threaten the ability of Europe’s sugar industry to compete globally.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EU Sugar Policy
    Link EU Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development


  16. MDG target to halve prevalence of hunger within reach
    2012-10-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Health and Development

    According to the UN, the international target to halve the prevalence of hunger in the world is within reach, after figures were published in the State of the Food Insecurity in the World report that suggest that global progress on reducing hunger has been better than previously assumed. The percentage of hungry people in developing countries has fallen from more than 23 percent 1990 – 1992 to less than 15 percent 2010 – 2012, bringing the estimated number to 870 million hungry people between 2010 – 2012.
    The figures do not show an increase in global hunger following the recent food price and economic crises, but demonstrate a “significant slowdown” in progress, bringing hunger reduction to a halt for developing countries, which will need to be reversed if the Millennium Development Goal to eradicate hunger is to be met.
    The report, which was launched ahead of the Committee on World Food Security meetings to be held in Rome next week, calls for more investment in smallholder farmers, “nutrition-sensitive” policies and the creation of comprehensive social protection systems that target the poor.


    Source: Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link Piebalgs: from MDGs to a Decent Life
    Link BR 29: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security


  17. Little increase in deep-sea fishing opportunities 2013-2014
    2012-10-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    The European Commission has proposed fishing opportunities for the deep-sea fish stocks in EU and international waters of the North-East Atlantic for 2013-2014. Following scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the Commission proposes to increase total allowable catches (TACs) for 3 stocks, a decrease for 13 stocks, and maintain TACs at the current level for 8 stocks (including zero TACs for 6 stocks), compared to 2012.
    Fishing at these levels should permit to bring this stock to sustainable levels by 2015. European Commissioner Maria Damanaki, in charge of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, emphasised the importance of preserving deep-sea fishery, in order to avoid overexploiting vulnerable species.
    Fishing for deep-sea species has been regulated by the European Union since 2003 in terms of total allowable catches (TACs) per species and area, and in terms of maximum fishing effort deployable in the North-East Atlantic. Deep-sea fish are caught in waters beyond the main fishing grounds of continental shelves and are distributed on the continental slopes or associated with seamounts. Most of these species are slow-growing and long-lived, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fishing.
    Deep-sea fish account for approximately 1 percent of fish landed from the North-East Atlantic, but some local fishing communities depend to a certain extent on deep-sea fisheries. The catches – and related jobs - have been declining for years, due to depleted stocks. The Commission recently proposed a new management system for deep-sea fisheries in order to ensure better protection of deep-sea stocks and their habitats.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Fishing Areas in the EU
    Link Maritime Affairs and Fisheries


  18. New Maritime Agenda for growth and jobs
    2012-10-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Fisheries

    A European agenda for creating growth and jobs in the marine and maritime sectors was adopted on 8 October 2012 by European Ministers for maritime policy and the European Commission, represented by President Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Maria Damanaki at a conference in Limassol. Five years after the launch of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, the Member States and the Commission reaffirmed that a dynamic and coordinated approach to maritime affairs would enhance the development of the EU's 'Blue Economy' while ensuring the health of seas and oceans.
    The declaration proposes a marine and maritime agenda to back the Europe 2020 strategy. As highlighted in the Commission's recent Blue Growth initiative on opportunities for marine and maritime sustainable growth (IP/12/955), the agenda focuses on promising maritime sectors where there is a great potential for new jobs and growth. These sectors are: marine renewable energy, aquaculture, blue biotechnology, coastal tourism and sea bed mining.
    The blue economy is important for Europe. Its gross value added is estimated at around €500 billion, which is expected to increase to approximately €600 billion in 2020. Over the same period, people employed in the blue economy are expected to increase from 5.4 million to 7 million. Added to this is the fact that 75 percent of Europe's external trade and 37 percent of intra-European trade is seaborne. Europe's oceans, seas and coasts are, and will continue to be, Europe's economic lifeline.
    The European Commission has built a comprehensive picture of the economic size and employment of marine and maritime sectors in Europe, and has also looked at where these sectors could realistically be heading in the coming years and where there is a particular potential for innovation and new jobs.
    Following the adoption of the Limassol Declaration, a set of Commission initiatives will be launched in the near future to explore and develop the growth potential in the identified areas, including Communications on coastal and maritime tourism, ocean energy, blue biotechnology and marine mineral mining, as well as strategic guidelines on aquaculture. All initiatives will be undertaken in consultation with Member states and relevant stakeholders. 

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Press Release: European Maritime Safety Agency
    Link Limassol Declaration


  19. Change of timing for auctions of emissions allowances
    2012-10-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission, respecting its pledge to the Council of last April, presented a package of three documents aimed at strengthening the carbon market and raising the price of carbon on 25 July 2012. The first document is a Commission draft regulation modifying the 2013-2020 calendar for auctions of emission allowances under the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). The second document is a draft decision of the Council and European Parliament spelling out the Commission’s powers to adopt this type of amendment to the regulation on auctions of emission allowances. The third is a working document that analyses the functioning of the ETS and proposes three options for its long-term improvement.
    Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard stated that the EU ETS had built up a growing surplus of allowances over the last few years, marking the necessity to change the timing of allowances – a short-term measure that would improve the functioning of the market.
    By changing the timing of auctions, the Commission hopes to shrink the surplus, stabilise the market and push up the price of CO 2 per tonne. Later this year the Commission will present a first report on the functioning of the European carbon market, which will offer the opportunity for a thorough debate on the necessary structural measures to address the challenges in the EU ETS.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Press Release: Emissions Trading
    Link Q & A: Emissions Trading


  20. MEPs adopt Directive on Energy Efficiency
    2012-10-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    MEPs adopted the first-reading agreement on energy efficiency, negotiated with Member States on 11 September 2012 in Strasbourg. In doing so, the European Parliament “adopted a missing pillar in the European strategy to combat climate change”, according to MEP Claude Turmes. Member States must transpose the directives into national legislations by early 2014 at the latest, which will enforce mandatory energy-saving measures, making each Member State responsible for designing an adequate national strategy to reach these goals.
    Once the directive is transposed into national legislations, EU Member States will be required to implement certain measures, such as renovating 3 percent of the total floor area of heated and/or cooled buildings owned and occupied by their central government. However, they will also be permitted to use alternative means to achieve equivalent energy savings.
    In order to meet the goal of cutting energy consumption in the EU by 20 percent by the year 2020, each Member State must set three-year energy efficiency targets (2014, 2017 and 2020). Progress will begin to be assessed by the European Commission in June 2014. If the targets are not ambitious enough, the binding measures will be imposed from 2014.
    Although some Member States, including Portugal and Spain, have voiced concerns over the potential costs arising from the directive’s full implementation, MEP Claude Turmes that the energy-saving investments are necessary and will lead to lower energy bills and more jobs in the medium term.

     

    Source: Energy Efficiency Magazine


    Link Read more
    Link EP Legislative Resolution 11 Sep 2012
    Link EU 2020 Targets


  21. Ministers split on tools to tackle farming crises
    2012-10-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The member states emerged divided over the future scope of emergency tools for reacting to agricultural market crises at the Agriculture Council, on 16 July, with some delegations saying they should cover all farm products, while more liberal-minded states strongly opposed such a move. In a public debate on the European Commission’s proposals for tools to react to farm crises, such as price slumps and outbreaks of animal disease, the ministers were widely in favour of ensuring that the EU executive has measures to respond quickly and effectively.
    Member states put their weight behind the Commission’s plans to modernise the current toolkit, including a fast-track procedure for responding to “specific problems”. Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos was quick to point to the EU’s fruit and vegetable sector, which was hit by a price slump in June and July last year after the E.coli crisis, that led to over 50 deaths and caused a drop in consumer confidence.
    However, the member states were less united on moves to extend the scope of the toolkit to cover all agricultural sectors. Spain, France, Portugal and Cyprus were among the group of at least ten countries demanding an extension of the measures to cover more areas. But more liberal-minded member states, including Sweden, the UK, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, said that use of the emergency measures should be subject to strict limits. For his part, Commissioner Ciolos warned that the future budgetary resources would not be “infinite,” ruling out an extension of measures to sectors that have never before benefitted from the support, such as potatoes, horse meat and cork.

    Source: Europolitics


    Link Read more
    Link Press Release: Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    Link Commissioner Dacian Cioloş


  22. EU Court of Justice confirms farmers’ right to cultivate GM crops
    2012-10-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy, Food Security

    At the beginning of September 2012, the EU Court of Justice clarified the legal requirements for the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the Member States of the European Union, such as the MON 810 maize varieties. The Court confirmed that additional national authorisation procedures, introduced on top of the existing approval process conducted by the European authorities (European Food Safety Authority) to be unlawful.
    In a judgment in Case C-36/11, issued on 6 September, the court ruled that member states’ authorities cannot prohibit “in a general manner the cultivation on their territory of such GMOs pending the adoption of coexistence measures”. It underlined that the cultivation of GMOs cannot be made subject to an additional national authorisation procedure when their use and marketing is already authorised pursuant to relevant EU legislation (Article 20 of Regulation No 1829/2003) and when those GMOs have been accepted for inclusion in the common catalogue provided for in Directive 2002/53. The ruling concerns a GM product that is allowed for cultivation in Europe but the rights of farmers to choose this legally approved crop were denied in practice by some bureaucratic barriers created by the Italian authorities.
    Agricultural innovation brings positive outcomes for farmers by helping them to cope with the various challenges of growing food. More than 16 million farmers grow GM crops globally. Benefits of using GM crops include yield increase, more resistance to target insects and pests, improved quality protection after harvest, increased tolerance to stress such as frost, drought, salt or heat, and improved nutritional value of food in very specific ways.

    Source: EurActiv

     


    Link Read more
    Link Decision of the EU Court of Justice
    Link European Commission: GMOs




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Ms Isolina BOTO
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Editor: Ronalee Biasca (biasca@cta.int)

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