Environment

Eco-innovation investments produce gains

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According to an Eco-innovation report, green investments in SMEs produce above average returns and contribute in job creation. On 31 May, the European Commission (EC) announced that according to the report, “Analysing and reporting the...

CO2 emissions decreased in the EU

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Eurostat announced today that CO2 emissions from energy use in the EU are expected to have decreased by 2.1 per cent compared with 2011. However, in 2011 the decline was bigger as it was...

EU, US, Canada join forces to study the Atlantic Ocean

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An Atlantic Ocean research alliance has been launched today (24 May) by the European Union, the United States and Canada, to align ocean observation efforts and promote the sustainable management of its resources. The agreement,...

Commission adopts pesticides’ restriction

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The European Commission today adopted a restriction on the use of three pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoid family that were identified as being harmful to Europe’s bee population. This restriction targets pesticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid...

Offshore drilling legislation approved by the Parliament

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On 21 May, the European Parliament approved the new EU offshore drilling legislation. According to the new directive, the new rules will require oil and gas firms to prove their ability to perform such...

Europe’s bathing waters quality improves, says report

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The majority of the bathing sites in the European Union, concretely 94%, meet minimum standards for water quality, according to the European Environment Agency's (EEA) annual report. The results affirm that almost 2% more...

Climate policies must break free from Big Oil

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  It seems an odd time for environment policy wonks to throw a party.  The level of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is higher than it has been in three million years, according to...

Commission will grant €31.5 million to eco-innovation projects

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On 17 May, the Commission announced that it will grant €31.5 million to the best 45 eco-innovation projects proposed. Commission’s proposal deadline is set on 5 September, 2013. According to the press release, the eco-innovation...

Commission starts public debate on climate action

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On 14 May, the European Commission announced that it will launch a public debate regarding climate action, in Southern and Eastern Europe. European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard will hold talks with citizens, companies...

EU experts discuss pesticide ban

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A committee of EU experts met today in order to discuss a potential two-year ban on pesticides that are believed to have been responsible for a decrease in bee populations. According to AFP, talks...

Bulgarian Ministry of Environment inactive against business

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Emil Georgiev has come to Brussels with a mission, to have his voice heard and help hundreds of Bulgarians who are at risk and have already been put at risk by environmental hazards in...

EU cars to reduce CO2 emissions

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The Environmental Committee approved on Wednesday a draft law setting out rules for reducing the CO2 emissions of new cars sold in the EU to 95g/km by 2020, from 130g today. To encourage clean-car...

EU contributes to Arctic cooperation

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Europe is one of the largest sponsors of Arctic research. Over the last decade has spent 20 million euro per year for research funding. Additionally, it has put over one billion euros into economic...

Improving the regeneration of brownfield sites

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The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has called on the Commission to improve the regeneration process of the so-called “brownfield” sites, meaning the former industrial and military areas which are often derelict and contaminated. As...

Agreement on Priority Substances in water

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The Irish Presidency and the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council today reached an agreement regarding the amendment of the Priority Substances in Water Directive with a view to improve water quality in Europe. More...

EP rejects backloading proposal

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On 16 April, the MEPs voted against the Commission’s backloading proposal, which included freezing auctions of a portion of CO2 emission quotas, so as to boost the price of EU polluter's permits. The proposal was...

EU wants greener trucks, but rules out end to gigaliners

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The European Commission has today (15 April) presented proposals on how to encourage  road haulage manufacturers to develop more environmentally-friendly vehicles, but has refused, one again, to definitely ban massive gigaliners. Gigaliners, heavy goods vehicles...

EU needs to minimize waste

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European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik spoke today at the International Conference on “Prevention and Management of Marine Litter in European Seas" stressing the need to minimize waste and stop wasting resources. As Commissioner Potočnik...

Germany starts search for new nuclear waste site

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Federal and state governments in Germany reached yesterday an important deal on nuclear waste storage. Following a debate that lasted 10 years, German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier, from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party...

It’s not easy being green

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It is becoming increasingly difficult to provide environmentally-sound business solutions to consumers in the European Union, according to EU Environment Commissioner, Janez Potočnik. Speaking at the launch of a programme to encourage companies to take-up...

Green maze confuses EU citizens

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48 per cent of the European citizens are confused by the numerous environmental information they receive every day. The European Commission announced today EU-wide methods to help the citizens as well as companies to...

EU set to tackle ship pollution

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The European Commission is planning to contribute €160.5 million to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) for the next seven years in order for the agency to continue action to combat pollution caused by...

Second call for investment in green technologies

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The European Commission today launched the second call for proposals under the NER300 programme with a view to tackle climate change and promote green growth and jobs in the energy sector. The NER300 programme...

OPINION: Be very careful when privatising rescue operations

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The decision to take search and rescue operations from the Royal Air Force and pay a Texan company, Bristow to provide the vital service from 2016 has caused concern. The company says that it...

EU to revise biofuels policy and its social impacts

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Too little attention has been given to the social impacts of biofuels mandates and targets across the world’s poorest communities, according to a report released by ActionAid, which comes ahead of a European Commission...

Towards cleaner scrapping of ships

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A draft regulation for the scrapping of ships was proposed by the Environment Committee of the European Parliament. According to the Committee, the regulation aims to reduce the adverse effects of careless scrapping of ships....

EU needs energy policy ‘of tomorrow’

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The European Union needs to formalise its long-term energy strategy on a pan-European level if it is to remain a global leader in climate policies, the European Commissioner for Energy has said. Speaking at the...

Energy efficiency in cities and regions

FREE had the chance to ask some questions of Brian Meaney, draftsman of a recent opinion document from the EU’s Committee of the Regions (CoR) on ‘Energy efficiency in cities and regions — a...

Court of Justice rules green vetting mandatory for many projects

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The Court of Justice of the European Union today ruled that “Member States are required to make all projects which could have significant effects on the environment subject to such an assessment.” In addition,...

European Seminar on waste management

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A high level seminar on policy instruments to improve municipal waste management took place in Brussels on 19 March. The aim of this seminar is to help the Member states to optimize their waste...

Technology sector to measure carbon footprint

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The European Commission is working with 27 leading tech companies and associations, including HP, Huawei, Lenovo and Telefónica, in an attempt to measure the carbon footprint it's being generated from production, transport and sales...

Time for the EU to Raise its Game on Improving Air Quality

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  In 1273, the first recorded piece of environmental legislation was adopted. King Edward I banned the use of sea coal in London by passing the Clean Air Act. The reason for this was that...

CITES voted to protect five shark species

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The 16th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties is taking place in Bangkok (Thailand), from 3 to 14 March. CITES conservation body voted yesterday to protect five shark species. Commissioners Potočnik and Damanaki...

EU to ensure the sustainable use of phosphorous

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The 1st European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference took place in Brussels on 6 and 7 March 2013. Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment spoke at the opening of the second day of the conference about the...

“Trashed” gathers support

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Trashed, the documentary which highlights the huge impact of plastic waste to the environment was the main issue of discussion between the internationally known actor Jeremy Irons and the European Commissioner for Culture Androula...

Aberdeen and Zagreb won sustainable mobility awards

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Sustainable mobility awards were presented at a joint award ceremony in Théâtre du Vaudeville in Brussels. Aberdeen and Zaghreb won the 2012 European mobility Week Awards. At the ceremony, European Commissioner responsible for Transport Siim...