We were pleased to welcome Aneta Willems, Head of the Industrial Emissions and Safety Unit at DG ENV. The presentation touched on various topics surrounding EU Industrial Emissions, along with the implementation and evaluation of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). Particularly focusing on the Seville Process, the role played by member states and challenges faced by DG ENV.
The IED is composed of 7 directives, it is an integrated approach which focuses on the impact of emissions on air quality as well as quality of life. This directive is crucial as industrial emissions contribute 23% of air pollutants. In terms of legislation the directive is centred around the process of permitting the Best Available Technique (BAT), this is decided under at the Seville Process.The Seville Process is a model of collaborative governance, it encompasses a group of engineers built from member state experts, NGO experts and industry experts, it also involves members of the Commission from various Directorate-Generals. This process leads to the development of BAT; the directives requirement to the use of BAT creates a level playing field in the EU as it limits the possibility of going in different direction. Since the implementation of the directive in 2011, noticeable improvements to air quality have been made, this is apparent with the reduction of SO2 emissions from large combustion plants.
The IED does face challenges, for instance it is apparent that industries are not always happy with the IED, as they feel misinformed and are not up-to-date, thus it is important to increase transparency to make sure industries know more about the IED. This makes the IED a unique legislation, as it prepares businesses and allows them to take part in the formulation and implementation process of new polices. The EU actively reviews the IED and examines whether it is truly delivering in terms of reducing industrial emissions. The evaluation process of the IED is based on monitoring and the inspection of the implementation of policy. This is done through the assessment of stakeholders as well as working with contractors. This is followed by an impact assessment whereby the policy is subject to political validation. The report from the Parliament to the Council ensures the efficiency of the IED and that it can be fully materialised.
When looking at the alignment of the IED with the climate action it becomes clear that the IED needs to constantly adapt to maintain a certain degree of relevancy and effectively respond to new challenges. For this reason, cooperation is vital as DG CLIMA works closely with DG GROW particularly when looking at the use of energy. Innovation is also key in the case of BREF which catalyses the emergence of new techniques along with emission innovation. ETS have the possibility to provide innovation funds they want to finance, such as projects in the sector of decarbonisation. The focus is centred around the elimination of fuels. The key is to evaluate and then see if something new is required. It is evident that there is no time to waste as dealing with emissions and reducing their impact is urgent, especially with the Green Deal at the heart of the new Commission and the aim to achieve a clean Europe. For this reason, renewables are extremely important.
In terms of going forward and ensuring compliance of member states a peer to peer review is being put in place. If a member state does not comply to the IED a lateral formal notice is given out and if nothing changes then the member state goes to court with the possibility of being fined. Timmermans’ priorities provide evidence to suggest that the Commission has a good momentum to eliminate single use plastic in the EU, now the focus is on air quality.The impact assessment should be released in the 2nd quarter of 2020, this will be focused on hazardous chemicals, clean air as well as clean water.
Head of Unit C4 - Industrial Emissions and Safety, DG ENVI | European Commission
Aneta Willems is Head of the Industrial Emissions and Safety Unit in the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission since 2015. Previously, she worked as Head of the Internal Audit in the Directorates-General for the Environment and Climate Action. Before joining the European Commission in 2009, for a period of 10 years she worked at PwC Belgium where she held a function of a Director in Forensic Services Department and a Project Manager in Financial Advisory Services. Aneta Willems holds master diplomas of University of Economics in Krakow, Stockholm University, Solvay Business School and University of Antwerp Management School.