Media Centre - Position Papers
The EU ETS reform, published on 15 July, presents several positive elements that contribute to improving the predictability of the regulatory framework. However, these improvements are not yet sufficient in protecting the competitiveness of energy intensive industries, ensuring adequate regulatory stability and predictability, and in stimulating investments in low-carbon technologies.
From 2005 to 2014, our industry has reduced carbon emissions by 26%, resulting in 21% carbon-intensity reduction. We have been early-movers in low-carbon investments and have plans to grow our business in Europe, building synergies with circular economy and the bioeconomy.
To bring environmental protection in line with industry competitiveness, we ask to:
1. Remove artificial cap on free credits to industry.
Artificially capping access to free credits depresses future investments: it means acceptingdeindustrialisation as a legitimate way to reduce emissions in Europe, even if this wouldincrease Europe’s carbon footprint in the world.
The artificial cap will also lead, sooner or later, to the application of the cross-sectoralcorrection factor (CSCF). This is the most unfair among all instruments, as it cuts allocationirrespective of industry potentials, neutralises carbon leakage provisions, limits predictability,and punishes investments made by early movers.
2. Keep the proposed approach to benchmarks review, but improve key design aspects.
The benchmark review needs to predictably promote and reward investments in low-carbontechnologies, while finding the right balance between accuracy and administrative burden.Reducing benchmarks at achievable paces, with rules clearly stated upfront, will lowerregulatory risks and reward the installations who will invest in low-carbon technologies.
Looking at the administrative burden, the pulp and paper industry, with more than 700installations in the ETS – 60% of which below 25kt – emitted just 31.6 MtCO2 in 2014.Roughly 1.4% of total ETS emissions. Yet, it is the 2nd biggest sector for number ofbenchmarks (11), covering only about 50% of industry production – the rest being under theso-called fall-back approach. It is self-evident that opting for a full review of benchmark valuesinstead is disproportionately costly while only delivering marginal accuracy improvements.
This is why we look favourably at the approach proposed by the Commission. However, manyparameters need to be reviewed and/or clarified, starting with:
•Linearity of the reduction factor;
•Disruptive impact in moving from one reduction pattern to the other;
•Avoid/reduce administrative burden in data collection and verification;
•Fairly assess progresses for installations in fall-back approaches.
3. Grant to all energy-intensive industries equal protection against present and futurerisks of carbon leakage.
Industry is either exposed to global competition or not: there is no middle ground. In thiscontext, the Commission proposal seems reasonable. Moreover, it is worth noticing that therest of the world does not impose comparable costs on energy intensive industries, withcarbon leakage provisions appearing also in other non-EU countries.
4. Adopt binding EU rules for compensation of indirect carbon costs.
Indirect carbon costs affect industrial international competitiveness as much as direct carboncosts do. The principle of equal treatment in shielding industry from both carbon costs musteffectively and consistently apply in all Member States.
5. Stop penalising investments in industrial Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
In the pulp and paper industry CHP is considered as Best Available Technique. Installations are therefore expected to use this technology. Today however the EU ETS does not send the right investment signal to invest in industrial CHP: the EU ETS grants no free credits for electricity produced and no consistent and adequate compensation for indirect carbon costs is given across Europe either. Given the relevant co-benefits CHP delivers in moving Europe towards a low-carbon economy, corrective measures to provide the right investment signal are urgently needed.
6. Earmark innovation and modernisation funding to energy intensive industries.
The earmarked 450 million allowances is the largest industry innovation fund ever. To deliverits full potential it should be linked to the goal of 2050 sectoral roadmaps, and aimed at thedeployment of new technologies for each Annex I sectors. The modernisation fund should alsoprimarily support low-carbon technologies in industry.
For more information, please contact Nicola Rega, Climate Change and Energy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: +32 485 403 412
Our associations are part of the paper and print value chain and include paper manufacturing, paper converting, printing, postal services and direct marketing. We are all committed to safeguarding the protection of personal data.
Our industry – which ranges from the manufacturer to the distributor of direct mail – provides jobs to 3 million Europeans active in more than 120 000 companies and generates a turnover of over € 340 billion.
The review of the existing framework aims primarily at adapting the rules to the growing development of technology. It is essential that the new rules allow for the more ‘traditional’’ side of the communication industry - i.e. postal direct mail – to keep its ability to process personal data.
Some of the proposals in the General Data Protection Regulation would considerably restrict direct marketing opportunities of industry and thereby have a serious impact on the ability for Europe to communicate while jeopardizing the existence of many of our companies in Europe.
In this decisive phase of the legislative procedure on the review of the European Data Protection legislation, we would like to highlight our key concerns and count on the negotiations to lead to a workable legislative framework, which:
Recognises the use of personal data in direct marketing as being carried out for a legitimate interest (Recital 39 as proposed by the Council)
Recognises the legitimate interest as legal basis for the further processing of data (Article 6.4)
Avoids excessive requirements on profiling (Article 20)
Acknowledges the legitimate interest of third parties and maintain the existing balance (Article 6.1.f)
Avoids the mandatory use of ambiguous graphical forms (Article 13.2.a as proposed by the European Parliament)
Avoids disproportionate administrative burden for SMEs
We trust the trilogue negotiations will lead to a balanced solution combining citizen’s fundamental rights to data protection with standard business activities.
CEPI – Confederation of European Paper Industries – www.cepi.org
FEDMA – Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing – www.fedma.org
FEPE – European Envelope Manufacturers Association – www.fepe.org
INTERGRAF – European Federation of Print and Digital Communication – www.intergraf.eu
POSTEUROP – European Postal Operators – www.posteurop.org
CEPI replied to the European Commission's public consultation on the circular economy in July.
Background (from the Commission website): In December 2014, the Commission announced the withdrawal of its legislative proposal for the review of waste legislation, to be replaced by a new, more ambitious, initiative for the promotion of the circular economy by the end of 2015.
This initiative aims at promoting the transition to the circular economy through a comprehensive, coherent approach that fully reflects interactions and interdependence along the whole value chain, rather than focusing exclusively on one part of the economic cycle. It will comprise a revised legislative proposal on waste and a Communication setting out an action plan on the circular economy for the rest of this Commission’s term of office. The action plan will cover the whole value chain, and focus on concrete measures with clear EU added value, aiming at ‘closing the loop’ of the circular economy. The circular economy initiative will also contribute to wider EU objectives such as the Energy Union, the climate objectives and resource efficiency.
CEPI's response to public consultation as part of the Fitness Check of the EU nature legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives)
The purpose of the consultation was to gather opinions on current EU nature conservation legislation (the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive) and its implementation to date, as part of the 'fitness check' that the European Commission is carrying out under its Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).
Here's a short summary of how CEPI thinks the European nature conservation strategy should can improve:
- Combine management and conservation: The voluntary work on SFM (e.g. through PEFC and FSC certification) should be recognized, however, protection measures under certification schemes should not lead to permanent conservation status.
- Focus on the maintenance of valuable habitats in a dynamic model taking into account natural processes
- It should be possible to adapt annexes in case of changed conservation needs
- Owners should be able to request the reversal of a conservation area once this area does no longer serve the initial conservation objective
- Leave the organisational implementation to the Member States
- Take a cooperative approach respecting economic interests of forest owners and operators
Background: On 24 October 2014, the European Council agreed on the 2030 framework for climate and energy, including a binding domestic target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 40% in 2030 as compared to 1990. To meet this target, the European Council agreed that the emissions in the EU Emission Trading System should be reduced, compared to 2005, by 43%. A reformed EU ETS remains the main instrument to achieve the emission reduction target. The cap will decline based on an annual linear reduction factor of 2.2% (instead of the current 1.74%) from 2021 onwards, to achieve the necessary emission reductions in the EU ETS. The European Council furthermore gave strategic guidance on several issues regarding the implementation of the emission reduction target, namely free allocation to industry, the establishment of a modernisation and an innovation fund, optional free allocation of allowances to modernise electricity generation in some Member States.
The strategic guidance given by European leaders on these elements will be translated into a legislative proposal to revise the EU ETS for the period post-2020. This constitutes an important part of the work on the achievement of a resilient Energy Union with a forward looking climate change policy, which has been identified as a key policy area in President Juncker's political guidelines for the new Commission.
The purpose of this stakeholder consultation was to gather stakeholders' views on these elements.
CEPI's Key messages :
- The ETS in general, and the benchmarks in particular, should reward installations and sectors reducing GHG emissions, without penalising early movers, new investment made, and low-carbon economic growth. Fiscal and legislative stability and predictability are needed to enable investments in low-carbon technologies.
- The pulp and paper industry cannot pass through carbon costs to its customers: the global market of export goods sets prices, not the production costs of the European industry. This can be easily verified by the lack of correlation between carbon prices and final product prices.
- For “direct carbon costs”, free allocation is a necessary condition but not sufficient to avoid carbon leakage: support mechanisms should be set up to help the EU industry improve its energy efficiency and reduce its GHG emissions.
- Concerning “indirect carbon costs”, it would be better for a mandatory and harmonised EU-wide compensation scheme to address the impact of rising electricity costs due to ETS in all Member States. Financing of compensation schemes should include also, but not be limited to, auctioning revenues from ETS.
- Support for innovation in industry should not come at the expenses of carbon leakage protection: funding for innovation will have to come on top of free allowances for industry. It should be directed to directly finance large-scale demo and pilot projects, as well projects close to commercialisation stage (TRL 6-8). These are high risk, high capital investments where the private sector would not be able to deliver without the backing of public financing.
- The role that European industry plays in the circular economy and in the bioeconomy is of strategic importance for Europe’s access to raw materials and reducing Europe’s carbon footprint. This should be acknowledged when reviewing the EU ETS, by addressing the ETS impact on prices and availability of raw material, such as wood.
Read the full reponse.
CEPI welcomes Commission intentions for meaningful recycling in Europe and identifies enabling measures for meeting ambitious targets
UPDATE: The Commission has recently announced the withdrawal of the waste targets review and will publish a new proposal in the course of 2015.
Comments by CEPI on the European Commission proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directives 2008/98/EC on waste, 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste, 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment /* COM/2014/0397 final - 2014/0201 (COD)
• Recycling Targets must be ambitious but realistic to increase collection in an environment where some Member States have already reached high recycling rates. Member States should set their target for paper packaging recycling at a minimum of 80% by 2020.
• Packaging Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between the different consumer packaging materials
• The proposed methodology to calculate recycling rates can favour high quality recycling but it should refer to material specific standards or similar quality assurances. For paper, the input method should continue to apply under strict input quality criteria, including for exports
• Incineration restrictions and separate paper collection obligations are needed as complementary measures to ensure recyclable paper diverted from landfills gets actually recycled.
• Final recycling must be clearly defined to ensure targets are meaningful and can be compared between Member States.
Recycling Targets: Minimum targets for Paper Packaging Recycling Rates should be set at 80% by 2020 in all Member States
European Paper Industry is a world champion in recycling, but reaching new targets will be increasingly challenging as several Member States have already reached recycling rates close to the theoretical potential of paper recycling. The average European Paper Recycling rate was 71,7% in 2013 and the sector has set a target of 70% recycling rate by 2015. The recycling rate has increased significantly from levels around 40% in 1990 and 62% in 2005, but has started levelling up since the last five years. As we reach the absolute potentials of paper recycling in some Member States, setting ambitious targets in all Member States is crucial to further stipulate recycling in less than average performing countries. Too ambitious average targets alone will however not be sufficient to reach the objectives set out in the circular economy communication. Further improvement of the paper and board packaging recycling rate will largely depend on progress in less than average performing countries. CEPI therefore proposes that all Member States set their target for paper packaging recycling at a minimum of 80% by 2020. Concrete targets for 2025 and 2030 should be set once the performance based on the proposed methodology and progress towards 2020 targets is assessed, e.g. through the newly proposed early warning system.
Recycling targets in Europe should not discriminate between consumer packaging materials and one material should not compensate for others in a Member State’s calculation of all packaging waste prepared for re-use and recycled. Recyclability and the recycling performance have increasingly become key aspects in the competition between consumer packaging materials.
Calculation Methodology : for paper, the input method should continue to apply under strict input quality criteria
CEPI welcomes the Commission’s intention to set the focus on high quality recycling. The recycling process can only deliver efficiently produced high quality recycled products if the input to this final recycling process fulfills strict quality requirements, too. The Commission proposal rightly distinguishes between final recycling processes with « clean » input material, for which the input method would continue to be applied, and final recycling processes with lesser quality material, for which the output method would have to be applied. CEPI understands the proposed discarded materials as non-target material that is not part of the original product and can be separated in dry sorting.
In the production of recycled paper, the input material for the recycling process is covered by a European Standard (EN 643). This standard sets limits on the share of non-paper components generally not exceeding 1,5%. CEPI is therefore of the opinion that for paper, the input method should continue to apply. However, the Commission proposal leaves too much room for interpretation and should refer to European Standards or similar quality assurances.
Paper for Recycling exported outside the European Union should count towards the recycling rate provided it meets the EN 643 standard and is effectively recycled outside Europe at broadly equivalent environmental conditions as in the EU. This should be demonstrated by a certification scheme as it is being considered by the European Commission and which would include in its scope the reprocessing site in the destination country and ensure traceability through adequate documentation.
Furthermore, it is of great importance that the denominator for the calculation of the recycling rates is identical in all Member States to allow for comparison.
Complementary measures to reach recycling targets
To reach high recycling targets based on the proposed new methodology, complementary measures next to the introduction of a landfill ban are however essential:
CEPI welcomes the introduction of a landfill ban for recyclable waste. However, CEPI thinks that formulating a landfill ban for recyclable material and high recycling targets is not sufficient to reach the objectives. CEPI therefore thinks it is needed to formulate incineration restrictions for recyclable material from the municipal waste stream. This is to avoid waste is only shifted one step up in the waste hierarchy. In the past, several Member States have set the focus on diversion from landfill. This has partly led to low quality collection systems, which would not be able to deliver the input quality to recycling processes according to the new methodology as suggested bythe Commission proposal.
Obligation to collect paper separately from other recyclables and residual waste
To ensure reaching the required quality input for paper recycling processes, paper should be collected separately from other recyclables such as plastics, metal and glass, and from residual waste. The Waste Directive of 2008 has formulated a separate collection target in 2008, however Member States have interpreted this requirement in different ways. CEPI therefore urges the Commission to reinforce the requirement on separate collection for paper. Separate collection is crucial to achieve the landfill restrictions proposed by the commission.
Current recycling definition is too vague
The current definition of recycling is too vague, as it includes next to “reprocessing” also “any other recovery operations”. This leads to a wide range of interpretations, including on the recycling rate, between countries and materials. The only way to ensure material that has been discarded is effectively back in the circular economy is to make sure it is not recognized recycled unless it is reprocessed in a production process into new products, materials or substances that have comparable properties to the corresponding virgin raw materials. The proposed methodology for high quality recycling cannot be reached without a precise recycling definition. Article 3 (17) of directive 2008/98/EC should be amended as follows :
• ‘recycling’ means any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes the reprocessing of organic material but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations; ‘final recycling’ means reprocessing in a production process of waste or materials reclaimed from waste into products, materials or substances with similar properties as the equivalent virgin raw material based product, material or substance. It excludes pre-processing.
Next to these measures, CEPI has the following comments on the Commission proposal:
Extended Producer Responsibility : CEPI believes that the proposed provisions of Annex VII paragraph 6.1 and 6.4 place disproportionate financial burden on producers and cover aspects beyond the producers’ control. Putting the burden of « financial contributions to cover the entire cost of waste management… » would act as a disincentive for other actors with roles and responsibilities in the waste collection and sorting chain to focus on cost efficiency. Consequently the competitiveness of European economy would be harmed. CEPI believes that extended producer responsibility should not allow overlapping and duplicating payments: fees should only apply in absence of action when responsibility is delegated to compliance schemes, and fees should be charged on the basis of true cost after the deduction of all fees and revenues related to the waste generated. CEPI also believes Annex VII concerning minimum requirements for EPR should not be amended through the adoption of delegated acts since they are an essential part of the legislation.
Renewability : CEPI is concerned that the Commission published a proposal on the circular economy without mentioning renewability. CEPI believes that the contribution of renewable materials and products to the circular economy should be acknowledged, e.g. by adding renewability to the packaging eco-design options for Member States consideration. CEPI believes that such a non-binding list of ecodesign options is preferred over national packaging design requirements as proposed by the Commission as the latter would undermine the single market by producing barriers to trade.
Definition of Municipal Waste : The definition of municipal waste should not include material from the retail sector. The collection of waste from the retail sector is already well organised. Including the retail sector would divert the focus from the challenge of improving the waste collection from households and small shops.
For more information, please contact Ulrich Leberle at email@example.com, mobile +32 479 905 921
Customer Requests: CEPI recommends use of harmonised disclaimers for voluntary declarations in the European pulp and paper industry
Companies are experiencing, in their daily customer contacts, requests for various declarations, frequently related to non-relevant topics and often totally misplaced. Answering such requests can cause misunderstandings with customers.
In order to help companies give responsible and harmonised answers to their customers CEPI recommends a set of standard disclaimers (see annex), to be routinely used depending on the type of request and on the individual discretion of each company. These disclaimers are recommended to be used routinely when signing declarations in reply to those requests, by inserting them in the declaration document. Using the same disclaimers across the pulp and paper industry will reduce the pressure of making unsubstantiated declarations and reduce reputation risks as well as the risk of possible financial claims for individual companies and the sector as a whole.
i. These disclaimers are not intended to be used when such declarations of compliance are mandatory (required by law). These shall be prepared and issued mandatorily, following the forms and ways of releasing them as the legislation requires.
ii. These disclaimers are intended to be used for voluntary declarations regarding statements attesting to the compliance with specific legislation or with qualitative and technical adaptations to non-binding technical standards. For such requests for voluntary declarations, three standard disclaimers are recommended by CEPI:
a. Issuing a declaration on the absence of certain substances
b. Refusing a declaration of compliance with non-relevant legislation
c. Issuing a declaration of compliance with non-relevant legislation
For more information, please contact Jori Ringman, at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone n°: +32 47825 50 70
CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 520 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 950 paper mills. Together they represent 24% of world production.
Website: http://www.cepi.org/ email@example.com
Annex : Disclaimers
1. Requests that may be relevant to our sector, but which are made in a form that is neither in line with legislation nor with scientific common sense. The most frequent case to be considered is a request to declare the “absence” of certain chemicals, whilst the applicable legislation sets a specific limit or no limits are set at all. The voluntary release of such declarations should be accompanied by the following disclaimer:
With reference to the present declaration, ‘absence’ means that the final product may contain substances that were in the incoming raw materials as traces or impurities and were not intentionally added during the pulp and papermaking process.
2. Requests related to declarations that are totally irrelevant to our sector1.
In case the company decides not to release any declarations, the following disclaimer should be used:
The declaration that has been requested cannot be released, as it concerns2 [(for example) the restrictions on the content of the chemicals listed in the Directive 2002/95/EC, the so called ‘RoHS directive’, on the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.]
This legislation is not applicable to pulp and paper products.
3. In case the company nevertheless decides to voluntarily release a declaration where the request is related to legislation or standards that are not relevant to pulp and paper, the voluntary release of such declarations should be accompanied by the following disclaimer:
Where the present declaration refers to legislation or a standard in which this product is not included in the scope, ‘compliance’ means a declaration of intent by the manufacturer, whereas there are no legal means to formally comply due to the limitations set by the scope of the referred legislation or standard. ‘Absence’ means the final product may contain substances that were in incoming raw materials as traces or impurities and were not intentionally added during the pulp and papermaking process.
* * *
1A typical example is the declaration on the compliance with the restrictions on the chemicals listed in Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS Directive) regarding the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. Naturally, such declarations are mandatory in special cases where the product is used for electronic applications.
2Insert the reference and scope of the legislation or standard relevant to the request.
The disclaimer has been translated into Spanish by our member Aspapel. Read it here
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) representing the employers in the paper industry and industriAll European Trade Union, representing 7.1 million workers across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors are the Social Partners in the European Social Dialogue Committee for the paper sector.
In the current context of economic crisis, characterized by the decline of the manufacturing sectors, CEPI and industriAll Europe take note with great concern of the overall loss of competitiveness of the European manufacturing industries, which leads to capacity closures and job losses.
CEPI and industriAll Europe welcome the European industrial policy and its ambition to increase the contribution of the industries to 20% of the GDP by 2020. However, CEPI and industriAll believe it needs to go further in redressing the competitiveness of the manufacturing sectors.
The goal of a European industrial policy should be holistic and be directed towards safeguarding and even developing industrial activities and creating stable high quality employment while increasing efficiency and sustainability in the process, taking into account the more general objective of sustainable development.
However, high energy and raw material prices are undermining industrial growth in Europe, while our industry faces fierce competition from regions of the world where energy costs are much lower than in Europe.
Therefore, CEPI and industriAll Europe urge the European Institutions to establish the enabling and predictable conditions needed to fulfill the ambition to increase industry’s share of GDP by 20%. They ask the EU Institutions:
• To allow the industry time for adaptation, and to reduce the regulatory risks for companies, in light of the some 130 ambitious environmental targets the EU intends to achieve between 2010 and 2050.
• To carefully balance new targets in the field of climate change with considerations of increasing the competiveness of its industry and ensuring the security of energy supply with view on the absence of similar commitments from the EU main trade partners. It would be incoherent and suicidal to impose constraints on our industry while importing products that do not meet the same constraints. For the paper sector, the renewable energy policies subsidizing the use of biomass wood for burning are putting at risk the sustainable and cost-effective availability of raw materials.
• To improve the coordination of forthcoming policies and legislations – including the social ones - and shift the policy work to better and coherent regulation. As an example, the publication of a non legally-binding guidance note to clarify the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation leads in reality to a substantial modification the Regulation itself. Hence it may create legal uncertainty and additional burden for the European operators.
• To promote fair and balanced terms, including in energy, environmental and social terms, when negotiating trade agreements, which otherwise could negatively impact the competitiveness of the domestic industries.
• To further promote the Commission’s initiatives aiming at assessing the environmental regulatory layers (e.g. Cumulative Cost Assessment) and thus to create stable and enabling conditions for the European manufacturing sector keeping in mind its vision to enhance growth, safe and healthy jobs and competitiveness.
• To secure sufficient support, notably from the EU budget, for research and innovation as well as in training and qualifications of the workforce that can benefit the manufacturing industries of Europe.
At a time where the paper sector social partners are concerned about the difficulties to attract young people to work in the manufacturing industries – in particular as young people mostly see capacity closures in the EU and relocations -, only a strong and ambitious industrial policy with concrete measures benefitting all the industrial branches can reverse the trend and create the conditions for investments within the European Union.
The EU paper sector social dialogue brings together the paper workers and employers from the EU member States, represented by IndustriAll European Trade Union and CEPI.
Major challenges to the sector include falling demand for certain products and the shift towards CO2-neutral production. The move to more efficient use of raw materials and the contribution to a low-carbon economy within a forest-fibre industry combining pulp, paper and wood-based products will lead to a demand for new skills and qualifications and a need to (re-)train the workforce. The Committee is currently focusing on:
• health and safety
• skills and qualifications
• demographic change
• resources and raw material policies.
CEPI comments on the draft EU guidelines on environment and energy aid
It is unwise to raise costs for the industry to promote competition in the internal market, by doing so Europe will lose competitiveness in the global market.
CEPI therefore calls the European Commission to urgently modify the proposed draft guidelines on environment and energy aid for 2014-2020, in order to:
• allow 100% aid intensity for cogeneration;
• do not cap exemption from electricity price increases due to support for renewables;
• do not change definition for energy intensive industry.
The Guidelines on environment and energy aid for 2014-2020 will be an essential tool for reaching the ambitious 2020 energy and climate goals in a cost-effective manner. It is therefore important to promote low-carbon investments while preventing distortion of competition.
The European Commission should scrutinise the impact of proposed measures on the overall EU industrial competitiveness. Preventing intra-EU distortion of competition is important. But in a global competitive market, EU industry is faced with costs unmatched by other economies.
CEPI asks the European Commission to urgently correct three main issues.
First, allow 100% aid intensity for cogeneration.
The European Commission cannot adopt interpretative guidelines derogating from EU law. Art. 15 of the Council Directive 2003/96/EC (the so-called “Energy Taxation Directive”) specifically allows Member States “total or partial exemptions or reductions in the level of taxation” for energy used and electricity produced from combined heat and power generation (so-called “cogeneration” or “CHP”). However, the draft guidelines propose restricting investment and operating aid for cogeneration installations (from para. 17 onwards).
Such a restrictive interpretation is not only contrary to EU law, but also to the overarching 2020 energy-climate policies, where promotion of cogeneration is a key element of energy efficiency policies. It is arbitrary, inappropriate and acts as a disincentive for cogeneration, and the promotion of energy efficiency.
Second, do not cap exemption from electricity price increases due to support for renewables.
The draft state aid guidelines propose capping aid for industry at 85% for increased costs to support renewable energy sources (RES). This proposal in unacceptable for two main reasons:
1. From an environmental perspective, there is no link between the additional cost associated to RES promotion and the behavioural change expected by the beneficiary (industry) to achieve this environmental objective. Although RES contribute also – but not exclusively – to the environmental objective, the redistribution of costs within society is a social policy, where competency lies with the Member States;
2. The cost of promoting RES varies across Member States, even for the same technology. The cost depends on geographical conditions and on the way it fits into other cost components in the electricity bill, such as: national energy mix, network charges, other taxes and levies. Tackling just one component of the overall electricity price will not address intra-EU competition. On the contrary, an additional cost promoting RES set at EU level has the potential of further increasing market distortion.
Third, do not change definition for energy intensive industry.
The Energy Taxation Directive clearly defines “energy-intensive business” a business entity “where either the purchases of energy products and electricity amount to at least 3,0 % of the production value or the national energy tax payable amounts to at least 0,5 % of the added value” (Art. 17).
However, the draft state aid guidelines introduce a different definition of energy intensive industry, setting higher thresholds (10% trade intensity and 5% tax costs/gross value added). The new thresholds are based on carbon leakage criteria set in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS).
Such an interpretation is arbitrary and conceptually not correct. The carbon leakage criteria are meant to protect EU industry from unmatched costs from third countries. It looks at global competition. The state aid guidelines look at intra-EU competition. The basis for assessing distortion of competition cannot be the same.
The definition of energy intensive industry in the state aid guidelines needs to match the definition in the Energy Taxation Directive to avoid legal uncertainties distorting the internal market.
For more information, please contact Nicola Rega at (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Increase the availability of paper for recycling in the EU
• As part of the Waste Target review, the paper industry proposes an EU-wide ban on landfilling/incineration of recyclable paper by 2020.
• Current EU paper recycling performance could increase by 10 million tonnes of paper and board if diverted from landfilling and incineration. Theoretically this incremental volume could result in a paper recycling rate of about 80% (71.7% was achieved in 2012).
• The policy context in the EU supports the notion of diverting recyclable materials from landfilling and incineration to recycling. However, without a legal requirement,local authorities do not always make recycling a priority for these streams. The paper industry is committed to supporting them in doing so.
In 2012, about 78.5 million tonnes of paper were consumed in Europe (EU-27). Of this volume, 56 million tonnes were recycled. An estimated volume of 10 million tonnes of paper and board, potentially useful for recycling, is currently going into incineration or landfill. The industry sees this as a valuable source of material that could be put back into the production cycle – increasing the current EU recycling rate significantly – but needs legal support to enable this because waste management decisions are mostly made by local authorities. The paper industry is committed to supporting local authorities in improving the collection of paper for recycling.
Increasing the availability of paper for recycling will have a positive effect on job and value creation in the EU, both in the waste management sector as well as in the processing industries. An extra 10 million tonnes would result in a paper recycling rate of about 80% (71.7% in 2012).
A ban in landfill will bring about a coherent implementation of EU policy
European Commission communications emphasise that a resource-efficient Europe needs to turn its own waste into a resource so as to decrease its dependence on imports of raw materials, reduce the impacts on the environment and generate economic opportunities.
The Waste Framework Directive includes a waste hierarchy which clearly prioritises recycling over energy recovery and disposal. One of the key conclusions of the European Commission’s report on the Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste1 is that ‘’Significant margin for progress still exists beyond the current EU minimum collection and recycling targets’’. ‘’[An] optimal combination of economic and legal instruments should be promoted notably through landfill bans and by applying the producer responsibility concept to additional waste streams on the basis of a common European approach’’.
The Road Map for a Resource Efficient Europe foresees: ‘’By 2020, waste [will be] managed as a resource’’. ‘’Energy recovery is limited to non-recyclable materials, landfilling is virtually eliminated and high quality recycling is ensured’’. Europe needs to step up its efforts so as to achieve this milestone for all recyclable materials by 2020.
CEPI believes that recyclable paper presents a material source for which the above milestone can be realistically met by 2020 at the latest. A specific ban on landfilling/incineration of recyclable paper could mark the first concrete step towards the elimination of incineration/landfilling of all recyclable materials by 2020 or at a later date where appropriate.
For more information, please contact Mr. Jori Ringman-Beck at (email@example.com), mobile n°: +32 478 255 070.
1 European Commission, 2011. Report from the Commission on the Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste. COM(2011) 13 final, p 9