The Week Ahead: EPA Takes Comments on Water Management Plan; EU to Submit Goals for Next Kyoto Phase


The Environmental Protection Agency will take questions May 3 via a webinar on its draft strategy outlining actions to manage water programs and invest resources aimed at reducing adverse effects of climate change on water resources.

The draft strategy, which builds upon EPA's first climate change and water strategy released in 2008, focuses on five key areas: infrastructure, watersheds and wetlands, coastal and ocean waters, water quality, and tribal programs. The draft strategy also describes geographically based strategic issues and actions.

The agency is accepting comments on the draft water-climate strategy until May 17.

An April 5 article covers the release of the draft and provides details of a Natural Resources Defense Council report that found only nine states have taken steps to address the effects of climate change on water supplies and resources.

The NRDC report, Ready or Not: An Evaluation of State Climate and Water Preparedness Planning, said 29 states have “done either nothing at all or very little to prepare” to address risks to water.

EU to Outline Emissions Goals for Next Kyoto Phase

The European Council is expected May 1 to submit the European Union's greenhouse gas emissions reduction objective to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, which has yet to be set.

As detailed in a March 3 World Climate Change Reportarticle, EU environment ministers representing the Council said a second commitment period should run from Jan. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2020, which they will present to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the protocol, which meets May 15-24 in Bonn.

The European Union already has agreed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, with a pledge to increase the target to 30 percent if other big emitters take similar action. The European Union's first Kyoto commitment period target was an 8 percent cut, which the bloc is on course to achieve.

The second Kyoto commitment period will affect the European Union and a small number of other countries, which have agreed to take on emissions-reduction targets. Major emitters such as Canada and Japan have declined to join the second phase.

Black Carbon to Be Target Under Gothenburg Protocol

The U.N. Economic Commission for Europe is expected to finalize negotiations and adopt amendments to the Gothenburg Protocol during an April 30-May 4 meeting in Geneva. The changes will add particulate matter to the list of controlled pollutants, with black carbon as a specific component targeted for its climate effects.

As detailed in a Dec. 20, 2011, article, the Gothenburg Protocol, part of the Executive Body of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, seeks to end acidification, eutrophication, and ground-level ozone pollution in its signatory countries, which includes the European Community, Russia, and the United States, among its 26 parties.

Energy Department Initiative on the Agenda

The Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy will hold a public meetingMay 3 in Washington, D.C., to take comments on proposed test procedures for light-emitting diode (LED) lamps to support Federal Trade Commission labeling provisions.

New labeling requirements must provide consumers with information about a bulb's brightness, estimated yearly energy costs, life, light appearance, and wattage.

California to Hold Climate Meetings

The California Energy Commission will hold a workshop April 30 in Sacramento on "Climate Change and California Energy Systems." The commission will explore the impact of climate change on the state's energy system as well as adaptation strategies.

Also on April 30, the state's Climate Action Team Public Health Work Groupwill hold a meeting in Sacramento to discuss issues related to climate change and agriculture, including nutrition, food security, and food safety.

Organizations to Hold Sustainable Cities Event

"Driving Innovation to Build Sustainable Cities" will be the subject of an event April 30 in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute, World Environment Center, and World business Council for Sustainable Development. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) is scheduled to give the keynote address.