The Environment Chronicle

Notable environmental events between 2008 and 2008 Deselect

  1. The Climate Change Act became law in the UK on 26 November 2008. "The target for 2050 (1) It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline. (2) “The 1990 baseline” means the aggregate amount of— (a) net UK emissions of carbon dioxide for that year, and (b) net UK emissions of each of the other targeted greenhouse gases for the year that is the base year for that gas."

  2. The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers to the UNECE Aarhus Convention, adopted in May 2003 in Kiev entered into force on 8 October 2009. The Protocol will help identify the biggest polluters in communities across Europe, including those spewing greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.

  3. National Strategy for Sustainable Use and Protection of the Sea adopted by the Federal Cabinet on 1 October 2008. National Marine Strategyis an important building block developed by the federal government to ensure Germany is equipped with an integrated marine policy for the future.

  4. Judgment of the European Court of Justice in Case C-237/07: Where there is a risk that the limit values for particulate matter may be exceeded, persons directly concerned can require the competent authorities to draw up an action plan. The Member States are obliged only to take such measures in the short term in an action plan as are capable of reducing to a minimum the risk that limit values may be exceeded and of ensuring a gradual return to a level below those values.

  5. On July 7, delegates of the EU member states and European Commission (EC) endorsed a proposal for a regulation reducing so-called standby power consumption in household and office products. Once approved by the EU Parliament, the new regulations on electronic devices will take effect as of 2010. The EC Regulation will also be effective in all 27 EU Member States immediately. According to the regulation, there will be a maximum allowed power consumption in standby mode of no more than one watt in office and household devices as of the year 2010. If the devices have a display, the maximum may be increased to two watts. The admissible levels will be halved three years later. This directive is the first measure under the Ecodesign of Energy-Using Products Directive (Ecodesign Directive).

  6. The Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive)comes into force on 15 July 2008. The objective of the agreement is to achieve the good environmental status for the European Union's marine waters of by 2020.

  7. The EU will have new waste legislation which includes targets for re-use and recycling of waste to be attained by 2020. The directive sets out rules on recycling and requires Member States to draw up binding national programmes for waste prevention. Waste prevention targets will be considered by the Commission in the future. Incineration of waste will be categorised as a recovery operation rather than disposal, provided it meets a certain energy efficiency standard. It is expected that the directive will be adopted formally by the Council in autumn.

  8. The fourth amendment to the Genetic Engineering Act entered into force in April 2008.

  9. On 1 January 2008 the cities of Berlin, Cologne and Hanover introduced low emission zones to mitigate air pollution caused by fine particles. Low emission zones are identified by traffic signs and additional signs. The Thirty-fifth Ordinance on the Implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act (Ordinance on the marking of vehicles) stipulates that vehicles have to be marked with stickers (on the windscreen inside the vehicle) and lays down the criteria vehicles have to meet for the different kinds of stickers. Stickers are valid for all low emission zones in any city in Germany.