The Week Ahead: European Union on Path to Reduce Energy Use, Greenhouse Gas Emissions


The European Union is expected Oct. 8 to endorse legislation designed to reduce energy consumption and meet greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

As detailed in a Sept. 11 World Climate Change Reportarticle, the legislation is part of the European Union’s “20-20-20” plan that calls for a 20 percent reduction in energy use via energy efficiency measures, a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, and a 20 percent renewable energy target, all by 2020.

If approved, the measure would have to be implemented into national legislation by EU countries within 18 months.

U.S.-Danish Green Partnership

The first event under a revamped U.S.-Danish green partnership program is scheduled Oct. 9-10 in Copenhagen. According to the State Department, the Green Partnership for Growth initiative was originally launched in 2010 and a revamped program was unveiled in May. During its unveiling, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Denmark leads the world in clean energy. She said the initiative will encourage Danish investment in the United States and create more opportunities for U.S. companies to export products and services to Denmark.

USGS Advisory Committee

A federal advisory committee led by the U.S. Geological Survey will hold a teleconference Oct. 12 on water resources and climate change adaptation.  

California Green Building Code

The California Energy Commission will hold a hearing Oct. 10 in Sacramento to consider revisions to the state’s green building code. The code, which went into effect in 2011, imposes limits on water consumption, construction waste, and pollutant-emitting materials for all new construction and sets operation and maintenance obligations for certain nonresidential buildings. New buildings meeting the code are referred to as CALGREEN-compliant.

EPA, Transportation Research Board, New York to Host Webinars

On Oct. 11, the Environmental Protection Agency will hold a webinar on “Estimating the Health Impacts of Climate Change and Clean Energy Programs.” According to the agency, climate change could affect public health via higher temperatures or extreme weather, potentially triggering climate-sensitive diseases and respiratory disorders, among other things.

Also on Oct. 11, EPA will hold a webinar on “Solar Energy for Water and Wastewater Utilities: Step-by-Step Project Implementation and Funding Approaches.” The webinar will cover the various types of solar technologies available; funding approaches, including those with no up-front capital requirements; and a case study of a solar installation at a small water utility in Grafton, Mass.

The Transportation Research Board will hold a webinar Oct. 10 on “Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Sustainable Construction Strategies at Airports.” The webinar will cover three reports released by TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program on how airports can reduce their environmental footprint. The board is a division of the National Research Council.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities program will hold a webinarOct. 11 on “Conducting a Vulnerability Assessment and Preparing a Climate Adaptation Plan.” The webinar will provide an overview of the climate adaptation planning process with ideas and resources to help communities conduct a vulnerability assessment and create a plan.

Other Climate, Energy Events

On Oct. 12, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the World Resources Institute will hold a briefing in Washington, D.C., on “Why China Is Acting on Clean Energy: Successes, Challenges, and Implications for U.S. Policies.” Speakers will discuss recent energy sector developments in China and bilateral relations, highlighting factors driving China's approach to clean energy and climate policy.

The American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources will hold its 20th Section Fall MeetingOct. 10-13 in Austin, Texas. One of the panel discussions will provide an update on EPA's regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and implementation of California's Global Warming Solutions Act (A.B. 32). Bloomberg BNA is a sponsor of the annual meeting.