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The European Union (EU) aims to protect, conserve, and enhance its natural capital; turn itself into a resource-efficient, green, and competitive low-carbon economy; and safeguard the EU’s citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and wellbeing by 2020. In furtherance of these goals, it has introduced a variety of legislative measures to fight air pollution and improve air quality. The EU itself and its Member States have ratified the relevant international agreements on the topic. These international commitments were enacted into EU legislation. The legislation sets ambient air quality limits and target values for air quality, implements emission mitigation controls, sets caps on Member States’ total annual emissions of certain pollutants, sets vehicle emission standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport, sets fuel quality standards, encourages the use of renewable fuels, establishes an emission trading scheme (ETS), sets annual national GHG emission limits for sectors not covered by the ETS, and limits industrial pollution, among other measures.

I. General Introduction

The European Union (EU) prides itself on having some of the highest environmental standards in the world.[1] In 2015, the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) were 22% lower compared with 1990 levels, with emission levels varying among the individual Member States.[2] In order to lower its carbon footprint further, the EU has set the objective of becoming a “smart, sustainable and inclusive economy” by 2020 with policies and actions aimed at making it “more resource-efficient, greener, and more competitive.”[3] Resource efficiency is understood as a low carbon economy, with an increased use of renewable energy, a modernized transport sector, and energy efficiency.[4] The latest policy goals for EU environmental law through 2020 can be found in the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP).[5] The EAP sets out several key objectives:

a. to protect, conserve and enhance the Union’s natural capital;

b. to turn the Union into a resource-efficient, green, and competitive low-carbon economy;

c. to safeguard the Union’s citizens from environment-related pressures, and risks to health and wellbeing;

d. to maximize the benefits of Union environment legislation by improving implementation;

e. to improve the knowledge and evidence base for Union environment policy;

f. to secure investment for environment and climate policy and address environmental externalities;

g. to improve environmental integration and policy coherence;

h. to enhance the sustainability of the Union’s cities; [and]

i. to increase the Union’s effectiveness in addressing international environmental and climate-related challenges.[6]

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II. EU Competence to Legislate in the Field of Environmental Law

The European Union is currently made up of twenty-eight Member States.[7] Although the Member States remain independent, sovereign states, they have transferred some of their sovereign powers to the institutions of the EU. In general, the EU can only act insofar as the EU Members States have conferred the competence upon it in the EU Treaties to achieve the objectives set out in the Treaties (principle of conferral).[8] Competences not conferred upon the EU remain with the Member States.[9] Articles 2-6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) set out the competences of the EU, which are divided into exclusive, shared, and supporting competences.[10] Exclusive competence means that only the EU may legislate, whereas both the EU and the Member States may legislate in the areas of shared competences.[11] As long as the EU has not exercised its shared competence to legislate, the Member States are free to adopt their own measures.[12]

Even though the EU was active in setting environmental policy early on, an explicit legal basis for the EU to legislate in this area was not codified in the EU Treaties until 1987, when a new title, “Environment,” was added.[13] The EU’s competence to legislate in the field of environmental law is listed among the shared competences.[14] It is described in further detail in article 11 and articles 191 to 193 of the TFEU. According to these provisions, the EU can act both internally and externally, meaning that it can enact legislation binding upon the Member States as well as conclude agreements with third countries or international organizations regarding environmental law.[15] These agreements are binding on EU organs and institutions as well as on the Member States.[16] The EU has adhered to various international agreements in the field of environmental law, among them the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement.[17] Because of the shared competence in environmental law, the EU and the Member States will usually conclude mixed agreements in this field, meaning treaties between the EU and the Member States jointly with a third state or organization.[18]

As the EU has exercised its shared competence to legislate in the field of environmental law, the Member States are generally precluded from regulating themselves.[19] They are, however, allowed to adopt more stringent regulations than the EU standards upon notification of the European Commission.[20] Over the years, the EU has enacted a plethora of legislative measures in the field of environmental law and issued various action programs.

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III. Legal Framework

A. Air Quality

1. Ambient Air Quality Directives

Since the 1970s, improving air quality and fighting air pollution has been a focus of EU environmental policy. It therefore enacted a series of directives that set ambient air-quality limits and target values for air quality, and implemented emission mitigation controls.[21] Directives are binding on EU Member States, but are not directly applicable and therefore need to be transposed into national law.[22] The first major legislative instrument was the Air Quality Framework Directive 96/62/EC and its accompanying four “daughter” directives.[23] In 2001, these directives were supplemented by the “Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Programme,” which laid out a thematic strategy to review the implementation and effectiveness of the directives, improve monitoring of air quality and the provision of information to the public, and set priorities for further action.[24]

In 2008, the Air Quality Framework Directive and three of the four daughter directives were consolidated into a single Ambient Air Quality Directive.[25] The Ambient Air Quality Directive kept the existing standards for the ambient concentration of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen, lead, benzene, and carbon monoxide, and set new ones for particulate matter.[26] It also included specific provisions, objectives, and target values for the secondary pollutant ozone and ozone precursor substances such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOC).[27] The Ambient Air Quality Directive also established minimum common requirements and criteria for Member States’ monitoring and assessment of air quality in their designated zones and agglomerations.[28]

In order to improve air quality and remedy situations in which targets are not met, the Ambient Air Quality Directive includes the following measures and corrective actions:

  • Thresholds, limit values, and target values for each pollutant covered by the directive.[29]
  • Specifically designated national bodies to carry out the tasks of the directive.[30]
  • Air quality plans to address situations where pollution levels exceed limit or target values in a zone or agglomeration. Air quality plans set out measures to attain the limit or target values and may include specific measures to protect sensitive population groups, such as children.[31]
  • Short-term action plans if there is a risk that pollution levels may exceed one or more of the alert thresholds.[32] These may include measures to reduce road traffic, construction works, certain industrial activities, or domestic heating, as well as specific measures to protect sensitive population groups.[33]
  • Provide information about ambient air quality, air quality plans, and other related topics to public and environmental, consumer, and other relevant organizations by means of any easily accessible media including the Internet.[34]
  • Publication of annual reports on all the pollutants covered by the legislation of EU Member States.[35]

The limit values for the covered air pollutants became legally binding upon the Member States with the entry into force of the Clean Air Directive in June 2008. However, Member States were allowed to apply to the Commission for time extensions of three years (particulate matter) or up to five years (nitrogen dioxide, benzene) to meet certain limit values, provided that air quality plans were established for these zones or agglomerations.[36]

2. Reduction of National Emissions

The National Emission Ceiling Directive (NEC Directive), which updated and replaced earlier directives in 2016, sets caps on Member States’ total annual emissions of certain pollutants from all land sources in their territory that are not in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).[37] The update also implemented the international obligations agreed upon by the EU and its Member States in the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution of 1979 (LRTAP Convention) and its revised Gothenburg Protocol.[38]

The NEC Directive entered into force on December 31, 2016, and Member States have until July 1, 2018, to transpose it into national law.[39] It establishes different national emission-reduction commitments for each Member State from 2020 to 2029, and from 2030 onwards for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia, and fine particulate matter.[40] The emission ceilings for 2010 that were set in the earlier Directive remain applicable until the end of 2019.[41] In order to achieve the objectives of the NEC Directive, each Member State must draw up, adopt, and implement a National Air Pollution Control Program and provide it to the Commission.[42] These programs are also supposed to contribute to the successful implementation of the air quality plans established under the Ambient Air Quality Directive.[43] The programs must be updated every four years.[44] In addition, Member States are required to prepare and annually update national emission inventories for the pollutants covered by the NEC Directive as well as emission projections for certain pollutants.[45] Information on National Air Pollution Control Programs, national emission inventories, national emission projections, informative inventory reports, and additional reports must be made available to the public.[46]

3. Compliance with and Update of Air Quality Legislation

Even though air quality has substantially improved across Europe due to the abovementioned measures, air pollutant concentrations are still too high and expose people to serious health risks.[47] In 2014, all but five EU Member States exceeded the allowed thresholds for particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide set in the Ambient Air Quality Directive. The Commission opened infringement proceedings and ten Member States were referred to the Court of Justice.[48] The respective national emission ceilings for one or more pollutants were also frequently exceeded by Member States.[49] The EU therefore proposed a Clean Air Policy Package in 2013, which included a Clean Air Programme for Europe[50] and proposals for the above mentioned NEC Directive from 2016;[51] for a Directive on Limitation of Emissions of Certain Pollutants Into the Air from Medium Combustion Plants (the MCP Directive), which entered into force in 2015;[52] and to approve the revised Gothenburg Protocol at EU level, which was accepted by the Council in July 2017.[53] The goal of the Clean Air Policy Package is to achieve compliance with existing legislation and to further reduce emissions of air pollutants until 2030.[54]

B. Vehicle Emissions

About one-fifth of the CO2 emissions in the EU can be attributed to traffic, the only major sector in which GHG emission are still increasing.[55] In order to reduce GHG emissions from transport, the EU sets emission standards for light-duty vehicles (cars and vans), has proposed a strategy to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (coaches, buses, trucks), requires that new cars display a label indicating the car’s fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, sets fuel quality standards, and encourages the use of biofuels.

1. Emission Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles

The EU emission standards were enacted as a regulation, meaning they are directly applicable in the EU Member States without any national implementing legislation needed.[56] The limit for passenger cars that are registered for the first time was originally set as 130 grams (g) of CO2 emitted per kilometer (km).[57] The limit was phased in between 2012 and 2015.[58] Currently, new passenger cars may not emit more than 95 g CO2 per km on average by 2021.[59] The targets are phased in from 2020, meaning 95% of new cars will have to comply with the limit in 2020, increasing to 100% in 2021.[60] New light commercial vehicles (vans), defined as vehicles used to carry goods weighing up to 3.5 tonnes and weighing less than 2610 kg when empty, have different limits.[61] They originally had a target of 175 g of CO2/km by 2017.[62] The limit was phased in between 2014 and 2017.[63] By 2020, new vans may not emit more than 147 g CO2/km.[64] The targets are based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test procedure. If a manufacturer exceeds the average CO2 emission limit, a fine will be imposed for each vehicle registered.[65] From 2019 onwards, the fine for manufacturers of passenger cars and vans will be €95 (around US$118) for each gram that exceeds the limit.[66]

In November 2017, a legislative proposal amending the current CO2 emission standards for light-duty vehicles was published.[67] The current standards will expire on January 1, 2020. The new emission targets will be based on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which was introduced on September 1, 2017.[68] The WLTP is a globally harmonized laboratory test procedure developed within the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) framework with the support of the European Commission that is supposed to provide fuel consumption and CO2 emission values that are more representative of real-world conditions.[69] As the new targets will be WLTP based, the new EU fleet-wide targets from 2020 onwards will not be defined as absolute values in g CO2/km, but will be expressed as percentage reductions compared to the average of the specific emission targets for 2021 determined for each manufacturer.[70] The proposal envisages a 15% reduction in 2021 and a 30% reduction from January 1, 2030 onwards.[71]

2. Emission Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (trucks and buses) are currently neither measured nor reported, even though they account for 25% of road transport CO2 emissions and are expected to increase further in the future.[72] In 2017, the Commission therefore proposed to set up a system for monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions from and fuel consumption by these vehicles as a prerequisite for setting emission standards.[73] The proposal requires heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers to calculate the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new vehicles using the new Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO) from January 1, 2019, onwards.[74] The Commission is expected to publish a proposal on emission standards for CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles by the end of 2018.[75] 

3. Car Labelling

Furthermore, EU legislation provides that each new car must display a label showing its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions so that consumers can make an informed choice.[76] The information on fuel efficiency must also be published in all promotional literature and guides, and be exhibited in a prominent position on a poster or display at the place of sale.[77]

4. Fuel Quality

The Fuel Quality Directive sets quality standards for petrol, diesel fuels, and biofuels used in road vehicles as well as for gas oil used in non-road-mobile machinery.[78] The rules generally ban petrol with lead and limit the amount of sulfur in diesel fuels.[79] Petrol and diesel fuels may only be placed on the market in a Member State if they comply with the environmental specifications set out in the Directive.[80] Fuel suppliers are required to reduce the GHG intensity of the EU fuel mix by 6% by 2020 in comparison to 2010.[81] Furthermore, the Fuel Quality Directive sets sustainability criteria for biofuels when they are to be taken into account for GHG emission reductions in line with the ones set in the Renewable Energy Directive, as outlined below.[82]

5. Renewable Fuels

The EU promotes the use of biofuels and bioliquids as an alternative to fossil fuels in order to decrease carbon emissions from transport.[83] The target is to have 10% of the transport fuel of every EU Member State come from renewable fuels by 2020 as part of the overall goal to fulfill at least 20% of the EU’s total energy needs with renewables as set out in the Renewable Energy Directive.[84] In order to achieve these goals, the EU sets sustainability criteria for biofuels, has enacted legislation to combat indirect land use change,[85] requires EU Member States to submit reports on emissions from cultivation of raw materials for use in biofuels, promotes biofuels as an alternative in aviation, and sets quality standards for biofuels.

Only biofuels and bioliquids that fulfill the following sustainability criteria are entitled to receive government support or can count towards national renewable energy targets:[86]

  • They achieve GHG savings of at least 35% in comparison to fossil fuels. This savings requirement rose to 50% in 2017 and again to 60% in 2018, but only for new production plants.
  • They are not produced from raw materials obtained from land with high biodiversity value such as primary forests or highly biodiverse grasslands.
  • They are not grown in areas converted from land with previously high carbon stock such as wetlands or forests.[87]

In 2016, the Commission published a proposal that updates the targets and the current sustainability criteria for biofuels, bioliquids, and biomass fuels.[88] Negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council, and the Commission on the legislative proposal started in February 2018 and are still ongoing.[89]

C. 2020 Climate and Energy Package

The “2020 Package” of the EU is a set of legislation that establishes the following three binding targets to ensure that the EU meets its climate and energy targets for the year 2020:[90]

  • 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels)
  • 20% of EU energy from renewables
  • 20% improvement in energy efficiency[91]

The goals are to be met by the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), by binding national annual GHG emission reduction targets for sectors not in the ETS, and by binding national targets for raising the share of renewables in energy consumption as discussed above.[92]

1. Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)

The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) adheres to the “cap-and-trade” principle, meaning that there is a limited quantity of tradable rights to emit greenhouse gases (emission allowances) available.[93] Sectors covered by the ETS include energy industries, large industrial installations, and aviation.[94] The EU ETS currently covers all EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. In addition, on November 23, 2017, the EU and Switzerland signed an agreement to link their GHG emissions trading systems and create a joint CO2 market.[95] In a next step, the Swiss parliament and the competent EU institutions (Council and Parliament) need to approve the ratification for the agreement to enter into force.[96]

The EU ETS has a single, EU-wide cap on GHG emissions.[97] Previously, a system of national caps was in place.[98] The current default method for allocating emission allowances is auctioning, meaning that companies are required to buy an increasing proportion of allowances through auctions.[99] When the ETS was established, the default method was free allocation.[100] Companies in certain sectors are required to participate in the ETS.[101] They either receive or buy emission allowances, which they can trade with others as needed. The Member States are required to use at least 50% of auctioning revenues for climate and energy-related purposes.[102]

In July 2015, a proposal was published for reforming the ETS for the period after 2020. The proposal was adopted in March 2018.[103] In order to meet the 43% GHG emission reduction target in the ETS sector compared to 2005 levels in line with the EU 2020 Package and the Paris Agreement commitments, the number of emission allowances will be reduced by an annual rate of 2.2% starting in 2021, among other measures.[104]

2. Effort Sharing Decision 

The Effort Sharing Decision sets annual national GHG emission limits for the period 2013–2020 for sectors not covered by the ETS, which include transport, buildings, agriculture, and waste.[105] The national targets aim for a GHG emissions reduction of between 10% and 20% in total compared with 2005 levels.[106] Furthermore, the Effort Sharing Decision also limits the amount of CO2 equivalent (in tonnes) that each Member State may emit in each year from 2013 to 2020 by establishing annual emission allocations (AEA).[107]

In July 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation to limit post-2020 national GHG emissions and to meet the Paris Agreement obligations.[108] The proposal was accepted in the plenary session of the European Parliament on April 17, 2018.[109] In a next step, the text must be approved by the Council before entering into force.[110]

D. Industrial Pollution

The EU also tries to reduce harmful industrial emissions by setting limits for emissions of pollutants from large combustion plants with a thermal input of 50 megawatts (MW) or more,[111] setting emission limits for medium combustion plants over 1 MW and less than 50 MW as enacted in the MCP Directive as part of the Clean Air Policy Package mentioned above,[112] and by developing a general framework based on integrated permitting, meaning that permits for plants must take account of a plant’s complete environmental performance to avoid pollution being shifted from one medium to another.[113] Permit conditions including emission limit values must be based on the Best Available Techniques (BAT).[114]

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Prepared by Jenny Gesley
Foreign Law Specialist
June 2018


[1] Environment, European Union, https://europa.eu/european-union/topics/environment_en (last updated Apr. 16, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/MK9W-H3F4.

[3] Communication from the Commission. Europe 2020. A Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, at 5, COM (2010) 2020 final (Mar. 3, 2010), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52010DC 2020&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/C6Z3-HZG9.

[4] Id. at 6.

[5] Decision No. 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living Well, Within the Limits of Our Planet’ (7th Environment Action Programme) (EAP), 2013 O.J. (L 354) 171, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri= CELEX:32013D1386&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/NN5R-SJ2R.

[6] Id art. 2(1)(a)–(i).

[7] A list of the Member States is available on the website of the EU. EU Member Countries in Brief, EU, https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries/member-countries_en (last updated Apr. 16, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/VE4P-44TW. The United Kingdom currently remains a full member of the EU.

[8] Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), art. 5, 2016 O.J. (C 202) 13, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:9e8d52e1-2c70-11e6-b497-01aa75ed71a1.0006.01/DOC_2&format=PDF, archived at http://perma.cc/V92F-NZZG.

[9] Id. art. 4, para. 1.

[10] Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), 2016 O.J. (C 202) 47, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:9e8d52e1-2c70-11e6-b497-01aa75ed71a1.0006.01/DOC_3& format=PDF, archived at http://perma.cc/8TVM-PUJW.

[11] Id. art. 2, paras. 1, 2, art. 4, para. 1.

[12] Id. art. 2, para. 2.

[14] TFEUart. 4, para. 2, lit. e.

[15] Id. art. 191, para. 4.

[16] Id. art. 216 para. 2.

[17] United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), May 9, 1992, 1771 U.N.T.S. 107, http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/background_publications_htmlpdf/application/pdf/conveng.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/2XMZ-7GKG; Status. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations Treaty Collection (UNTC), https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetailsIII.aspx?src= IND&mtdsg_no=XXVII-7&chapter=27&Temp=mtdsg3&clang=_en (last updated Apr. 16, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/JY6G-BAUX; Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol), Dec. 11, 1997, 2303 U.N.T.S. 162, annex B, http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/kpeng.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/3HQM-LT8M; Status. Kyoto Protocol,UNTC, https://treaties.un.org/Pages/View Details.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-7-a&chapter=27&clang=_en (last updated Apr. 16, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/RF7S-BGQN; Paris Agreement, Dec. 12, 2015, http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/ convention/application/pdf/english_paris_agreement.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/9UKH-4U6T; Status. Paris Agreement, UNTC, https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-7-d&chapter=27&clang=_en (last updated May 2, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/M76Y-4TKJ.

[18] Marcus Klamert, The Principle of Loyalty in EU Law 183, 186 (2014).

[19] TFEU art. 2, para. 2.

[20] Id. art. 193.

[21] Air Quality – Introduction, European Commission, http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/quality/index.htm (last updated Jan. 15, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/U5DW-GP4V.

[22] TFEU art. 288, para. 3.

[23] Council Directive 96/62/EC of 27 September 1996 on Ambient Air Quality Assessment and Management, 1996 O.J. (L 296) 55, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31996L0062&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/Z76D-74ET.

[24] Communication from the Commission – The Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Programme: Towards a Thematic Strategy for Air Quality, at 6, COM (2001) 245 final (May 4, 2001), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52001DC0245&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/5Y5B-SB3K.

[25] Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe (Ambient Air Quality Directive), 2008 O.J. (L 152) 1, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32008L0050&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/6XF2-QWC4.

[26] Id. art. 5, para. 1.

[27] Id. annexes VII, X.

[28] Id. arts. 6-11, annex III.

[29] Id. annexes II, VII, XI, XIV.

[30] Id. art. 3, annex XV.

[31] Id. art. 23.

[32] Id. art. 24.

[33] Id. art. 24, para. 2.

[34] Id. art. 26, annex XVI.

[35] Id. art. 26, para. 2.

[36] Id. art. 22.

[37] Directive (EU) 2016/2284 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016 on the Reduction of National Emissions of Certain Atmospheric Pollutants, Amending Directive 2003/35/EC and Repealing Directive 2001/81/EC (National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive), art. 2, 2016 O.J. (L 344) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/ legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32016L2284&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/6FNN-F4PP. For the ETS, see infra Part III(C).

[38] Id. recitals 5–7; Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), Nov. 13, 1979, 1302 U.N.T.S. 217, http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/lrtap/full%20text/1979.CLRTAP.e.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/F9ZJ-DU4Y; 1999 Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Gothenburg Protocol), Nov. 30, 1999, as amended on May 4, 2012, 2319 U.N.T.S. 81, http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2013/air/eb/ECE.EB.AIR. 114_ENG.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/R47Y-ERQZ.

[39] NEC Directive arts. 20, 22.

[40] Id. art. 4, para. 1, annex II.

[41] Id. art. 21, recital 37; Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on National Emission Ceilings for Certain Atmospheric Pollutants, 2001 O.J. (L 309) 22, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32001L0081&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/7P96-DL5R.

[42] NEC Directive arts. 6, 10.

[43] Id. recital 18.

[44] Id. art. 6, para. 3.

[45] Id. art. 8, art. 10, para. 2.

[46] Id. art. 14.

[47] Air Pollution, European Environment Agency (EEA), https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/air/intro (last updated Oct. 9, 2017), archived at http://perma.cc/88H5-V2T8.

[48] European Parliament, Implementation of the Ambient Air Quality Directive. Study 23 (Apr. 2016), http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/578986/IPOL_STU(2016)578986_EN.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/6ZSJ-XG8A.

[49] NEC Directive Reporting Status 2017 - The Need to Reduce Air Pollution in Europe, EEA, https://www.eea. europa.eu/themes/air/national-emission-ceilings/nec-directive-reporting-status#tab-data-visualisations (last updated Apr. 16, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/NJP2-47GN.

[50] Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – A Clean Air Programme for Europe (Clean Air Programme for Europe), COM (2013) 918 final (Dec. 18, 2013), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri= CELEX:52013DC0918&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/6D6A-HYK4.

[51] NEC Directive, supra note 37.

[52] Directive (EU) 2015/2193 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on the Limitation of Emissions of Certain Pollutants Into the Air from Medium Combustion Plants (Medium Combustion Plant (MCP) Directive), 2015 O.J. (L 313) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32015L2 193&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/2QNQ-VZLV.

[53] Council Decision on the Acceptance of the Amendment to the 1999 Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone, file no. 2013/0448 (NLE) (Apr. 26, 2017), http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-7524-2017-ADD-1-COR-1/en/pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/AV5Y-LM4M; Press Release, Council of the EU, Improving Air Quality: EU Acceptance of the Gothenburg Protocol Amendment in Sight (July 17, 2017), http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ en/press/press-releases/2017/07/17/agri-improving-air-quality/, archived at http://perma.cc/6NUX-T3U2.

[54] Clean Air Programme for Europe, supra note 50, at 6, para. 3.1.

[55] Road Transport: Reducing CO2 Emissions from Vehicles, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/clima/ policies/transport/vehicles_en (last visited Apr. 16, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/Z5XZ-2PQZ.

[56] TFEU art. 288, para. 2.

[57] Regulation (EC) No. 443/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 Setting Emission Performance Standards for New Passenger Cars as Part of the Community’s Integrated Approach to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Light-Duty Vehicles, art. 1, para. 1, 2009 O.J. (L 140) 1, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009R0443&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/NP8M-SJGD.

[58] Id. art. 4.

[59] Id. art. 1, para. 2; Regulation (EU) No. 333/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 Amending Regulation (EC) No. 443/2009 to Define the Modalities for Reaching the 2020 Target to Reduce CO2 Emissions from New Passenger Cars, 2014 O.J. (L 103) 15, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/ ?uri=CELEX:32014R0333&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/FP7F-5AWA.

[60] Regulation (EU) No. 333/2014, supra note 59, art. 1, para. 4.

[61] Regulation (EU) No. 510/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2011 Setting Emission Performance Standards for New Light Commercial Vehicles as Part of the Union’s Integrated Approach to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Light-Duty Vehicles, art. 2, 2011 O.J. (L 145) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32011R0510&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/GGL4-5G8Q.

[62] Id. art. 1, para. 1.

[63] Id. art. 4.

[64] Id. art 1, para. 2.

[65] Regulation (EC) No. 443/2009, supra note 57, art. 9; Regulation (EU) No. 510/2011, supra note 61, art. 9.

[66] Reducing CO2 Emissions from Vans, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/ vehicles/vans_en (last visited Apr. 18, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/F7GL-9XEU.

[67] Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Setting Emission Performance Standards for New Passenger Cars and for New Light Commercial Vehicles as Part of the Union’s Integrated Approach to Reduce CO2 Emissions From Light-Duty Vehicles and Amending Regulation (EC) No. 715/2007 (Recast), COM (2017) 676 final/2 (Jan. 26, 2018), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:609fc0d1-04ee-11e8-b8f5-01aa75ed71a1.0001.02/DOC_1&format=PDF, archived at http://perma.cc/P698-A46C.

[68] Press Release, European Commission, New and Improved Car Emissions Tests Become Mandatory on 1 September (Sept. 4, 2017), http://ec.europa.eu/growth/content/new-and-improved-car-emissions-tests-become-mandatory-1-september_en, archived at http://perma.cc/638Q-ZDPH.

[69] European Commission, Fact Sheet. EU Action to Curb Air Pollution by Cars: Questions and Answers, MEMO/17/2821 (Aug. 31, 2017), http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-17-2821_en.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/RZ7V-9CDF.

[70] COM (2017) 676 final/2, supra note 67, art. 1, para. 4, annex I.

[71] Id.

[72] Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2400 of 12 December 2017 Implementing Regulation (EC) No. 595/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council as Regards the Determination of the CO2 Emissions and Fuel Consumption of Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Amending Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Regulation (EU) No. 582/2011 (Certification Regulation), recitals 4 & 5, 2017 O.J. (L 349), 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32017R2400&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/G2PK-JWJD.

[73] Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Monitoring and Reporting of CO2 Emissions from and Fuel Consumption of New Heavy-Duty Vehicles, COM (2017) 279 final (May 31, 2017), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:a8840d33-4625-11e7-aea8-01aa75ed71a1.0003.02/ DOC_1&format=PDF, archived at http://perma.cc/TNB9-9HJX.

[74] Id. at 3. VECTO is described in the Certification Regulation, supra note 72, art. 5.

[75] Legislative Train Schedule: Resilient Energy Union with a Climate Change Policy. Heavy-Duty Vehicles CO2 Emissions and Fuel Efficiency, European Parliament, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-resilient-energy-union-with-a-climate-change-policy/file-heavy-duty-vehicles-co2-emissions-and-fuel-efficiency (last updated Mar. 20, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/R4WN-HYVR.

[76] Consolidated Version of Directive 1999/94/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1999 Relating to the Availability of Consumer Information on Fuel Economy and CO2 Emissions in Respect of the Marketing of New Passenger Cars (Car Labelling Directive), arts. 1, 3, 2000 O.J. (L 12) 16, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:01999L0094-20081211&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/5PPA-BNCJ.

[77] Id. arts. 4–6.

[78] Consolidated Version of Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 Relating to the Quality of Petrol and Diesel Fuels and Amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC (Fuel Quality Directive), art. 1, 1998 O.J. (L 350) 58, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:019 98L0070-20151005&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/2Y3P-7B9H.

[79] Id. art. 3, para. 1, art, 4, para, 1 in conjunction with annex II.

[80] Id. art. 3, para. 2 in conjunction with annex I art. 4, para. 1 in conjunction with annex II.

[81] Id. art. 7a, para. 2(a).

[82] Id. art. 7b.

[83] Biofuels, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/renewable-energy/biofuels (last visited Apr. 16, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/MY7N-CZRB.

[84] Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources and Amending and Subsequently Repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (Renewable Energy Directive), art. 3, 2009 O.J. (L 140) 16, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009L0028&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/QUL4-MM46.

[85] Directive (EU) 2015/1513 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 September 2015 Amending Directive 98/70/EC Relating to the Quality of Petrol and Diesel Fuels and Amending Directive 2009/28/EC on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources, 2015 O.J. (L 239) 1, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32015L1513&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/8AV2-XMNZ.

[86] Renewable Energy Directive arts. 2(k), 3, 5, 11, 17.

[87] Id. art. 17.

[88] Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Promotion of the Use of Energy From Renewable Sources (Recast), COM (2016) 767 final (Feb. 23, 2017), http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource. html?uri=cellar:3eb9ae57-faa6-11e6-8a35-01aa75ed71a1.0007.02/DOC_1&format=PDF, archived at http://perma.cc/8F73-HB5A.

[89] Legislative Train Schedule: Resilient Energy Union with a Climate Change Policy. Review of the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC to Adapt It to the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Targets, European Parliament, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-resilient-energy-union-with-a-climate-change-policy/file-renewable-energy-directive-for-2030-with-sustainable-biomass-and-biofuels (last updated Mar. 20, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/48FS-YP6F.

[90] 2020 Climate & Energy Package, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/strategies/2020_en (last visited Apr. 17, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/GK8Q-J2TU.

[91] Id.

[92] Renewable Energy Directive, supra note 84.

[93] Consolidated Version of Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 Establishing a Scheme for Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowance Trading Within the Community and Amending Council Directive 96/61/EC (ETS Directive), 2003 O.J. (L 275) 32, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02003L0087-20140430&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/28PQ-ZEEW.

[94] Id. annex I.

[95] Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the Linking of Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Systems, 2017 O.J. (L 322) 3, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri= CELEX:22017A1207(01)&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/LN2S-SQ32; Press Release, European Commission, EU and Switzerland Sign Agreement to Link Emissions Trading Systems (Nov. 23, 2017), https://ec.europa.eu/clima/news/eu-and-switzerland-sign-agreement-link-emissions-trading-systems_en, archived at http://perma.cc/PW9N-6ZTJ.

[96] Press Release, supra note 95.

[97] ETS Directive, supra note 93, art. 9.

[98] Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 Establishing a Scheme for Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowance Trading Within the Community and Amending Council Directive 96/61/EC (ETS Directive 2003), art. 9, 2003 O.J. (L 275) 32, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32003L0087&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/V443-28AN.

[99] ETS Directive, supra note 93, art. 10; Auctioning, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ ets/auctioning_en (last visited Apr. 18, 2018), archived at http://perma.cc/53L5-XE56.

[100] ETS Directive 2003, supra note 98, art. 10.

[101] ETS Directive, supra note 93, art 4, annex I.

[102] Id. art. 10, para. 3.

[103] Directive (EU) 2018/410 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2018 Amending Directive 2003/87/EC to Enhance Cost-Effective Emission Reductions and Low-Carbon Investments, and Decision (EU) 2015/1814, 2018 O.J. (L 76) 3, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32018L0 410&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/ET2Z-2WBU.

[104] Id. art. 1, para. 12.

[105] Decision No. 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the Effort of Member States to Reduce Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Meet the Community’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Commitments up to 2020 (Effort Sharing Decision), 2009 O.J. (L 140) 136, http://eur-lex.europa. eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32009D0406&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/24PB-J4D7.

[106] Id. art. 3, para. 1 in conjunction with annex II.

[107] Id. art. 2, para. 2, art 3, para. 2; Commission Decision of 26 March 2013 on determining Member States’ annual emission allocations for the period from 2013 to 2020 pursuant to Decision No. 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, 2013 O. J. (L 90) 106, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri= CELEX:32013D0162&from=en, archived at http://perma.cc/CCT6-YU6N.

[108] Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Binding Annual Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 for a Resilient Energy Union and to Meet Commitments under the Paris Agreement and Amending Regulation No. 525/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on a Mechanism for Monitoring and Reporting Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Other Information Relevant to Climate Change (Effort Sharing Regulation), COM (2016) 482 final (July 20, 2017), https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource. html?uri=cellar:923ae85f-5018-11e6-89bd-01aa75ed71a1.0002.02/DOC_1&format=PDF, archived at http://perma.cc/EDH8-46AF.

[109] Press Release, European Parliament, EP Backs National CO2 Cuts and Forestry Plans to Meet Paris Climate Targets (Apr. 17, 2018), http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20180411IPR01515/ep-backs-national-co2-cuts-and-forestry-plans-to-meet-paris-climate-targets, archived at http://perma.cc/C8XV-RVP8.

[110] Id.

[111] Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control), ch. III & annex V, 2010 O.J. (L 334) 17, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32010L0075&from=EN, archived at http://perma.cc/6GA5-KUXU.

[112] MCP Directive, supra note 52,arts. 2, art. 6, para. 1 in conjunction with annex II of Directive 2010/75/EU.

[113] Directive 2010/75/EU, supra note 111.

[114] Id. art. 14.

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Last Updated: 07/09/2018