Environment

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...

More recycling in the EU

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According to Eurostat, in 2011, there was a significant rise of 13% in recycling or composting of municipal waste in the EU 27, compared to 2001. In particular, in 2011, 40% of treated municipal...

EU welcomes UN Environment Assembly

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Europe welcomes the establishment of a United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) The 27th session of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC27/GMEF) was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 18-22 February 2013. The...

Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany increased

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German greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2012. German greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2012 due to more coal and gas usage, while the country tries to develop its renewable energy sources, officials said Monday. The German...

Commissioner Potocnik will sing for fewer cars

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Europe's Environment Commissioner, Janez Potocnik has pledged to sing in front of an audience of at least 1,000 people if the same number agree to give up using their cars for a week. The Commissioner...

EP: Delay CO2 taxes on intercontinental flights

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On 26 February, the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament announced its proposal for temporarily suspend the EU CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for intercontinental flights. The MEPs asked for the delay so as...

Industry body calls for end to anti-dumping levies

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  A study commissioned by AFASE (Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy) shows that levies on Chinese technology could lead to job losses in European industry. The study called “The Impact of Anti-Dumping and / or Countervailing...

UNEP enjoys banquet of food waste

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  Delegates to the UN Environmental Program‘s Governing Council and Global Ministerial Forum (GC-GMF), held in Nairobi, Kenya, were treated to a special feast; food wasted by UK supermarket‘s demands. Campaigners say that 40 tonnes of...

Europe’s green recovery

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BRUSSELS – The need for clean energy has returned to the top of the global economic agenda. China’s new leadership now seems to recognize that the thick, hazardous smog that has come to define...

Directive not imposing water privatization

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European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik and European Commissioner responsible for internal market and services, Michel Barnier today published a joint statement clarifying that the Commission remains neutral regarding the matter of public...

Challenges of post 2015 framework

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European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik spoke yesterday at the 27th Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme held in Nairobi, Kenya and addressed the critical issues of poverty and sustainability of prosperity....

MEPs delay auctions of pollution allowances to promote green investments

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Environment Committee MEPs today voted a draft legislation allowing a freeze in the auction of some pollution allowances with a view to help boost green investments. In specific, the increasing surplus of pollution allowances...

Developing world must be encouraged to ‘mainstream’ climate change

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Developing countries “must be serious” about mainstreaming climate change issues into their national development strategies, the European Commissioner for Climate Action has said. Speaking in the European Parliament in Brussels on 19 February, Connie Hedegaard...

EU a resource efficient economy

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 “Europe should become more active in eliminating barriers and obstacles that prevent investments into resource efficiency” said Commissioner Potočnik following the Resource Efficiency Finance Roundtable. “Finance is an essential factor in the transition to a...

EU launches contest on green initiatives

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EU is launching a low-carbon contest, theWorld You Like Challenge, with a view to promote green initiative. All projects coming from individuals or organizations based in an EU Member State are eligible to take...

Hollande: Paris aims high for UN climate talks

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STRASBOURG – Paris, which will host one of the UN climate negotiation process talks in the near future, wants to make sure that Europe leads by example in the fight against climate change, French President Francois...

Stop poaching of endangered animals

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MEPs adopted yesterday, 6 February 2013, a non-legislative resolution on the responsibility to protect the endangered animals. “The EU should lead international support to stop poaching of elephants and rhinos and call on the...

Traffic noise should be reduced in Europe

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On 6 February, the European Parliament supported EU law to tone down harmful traffic noise. However, the MEPs underlined the need for the regulation to take a more holistic approach to the traffic noise...

REACH review ‘no surprise’

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The European Commission’s review of the REACH directive proves to be “no big surprise” according to one expert. The commission launched today (5 February) an review of the legislation, which covers the registration of chemical...

Choose the European Tree of the Year

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Tomorrow, the first of February, public voting opens in one of the continent's more unusual and fascinating competitions, the European Tree of the Year, from sis finalists. You don't need to be an expert, because...

ECA report shows that municipal waste management infrastructures have limited effectiveness

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The European Court of Auditors (ECA) today published a report, showing that the effectiveness of EU structural measures funding for municipal waste management infrastructures was limited. In particular, the report entitled “Is Structural measures...

Member States with poor air quality must take action

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The Commission has decided to take action against 17 States with on-going problems of poor air quality, since EU countries are obliged to ensure good air quality for citizens. In particular, the problem concerns...

New report urges a more thorough approach to scientific research

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Scientific research should apply greater use of the precautionary principle in order to reduce the potential hazards for new and untried technologies and chemicals, a new report has urged. The report, Late Lessons form Early...

EU called to give bees a chance

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The Greens/European Free Alliance (EFA) group at the European Parliament launched on 22 January a new campaign on bees. At a press conference, the Greens gave official start of the ‘Give Bees a Chance’ campaign...

The European Commission welcomed a new Mercury Treaty

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The European Commission welcomed a new global environmental agreement to tackle mercury. “The new Treaty is a forceful driver towards a comprehensive mercury phase-out, and we are proud to see that many EU concepts...

Environmental groups urge EU not to use biofuels for the decarbonization of the transport...

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The Dutch research institute CE Delft released a report highlighting that Europe can effectively replace oil with renewable energy in transport without using harmful biofuels. The report, entitled “Sustainable Alternatives for Land-based Biofuels in...

MEPs adopt resolution to stop biopiracy

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MEPs adopted a resolution today regarding "biopiracy" with the purpose of stopping multinationals that exploit plants with medicinal properties and traditional remedies originating from developing countries but fail to share the profits with indigenous...

Europeans suggest a stricter EU air quality policy

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Europeans believe that EU should take additional measures to minimize air pollution. That was the final conclusion of theEurobarometer survey on air quality. Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, said "Citizens want us to...

EU to enhance monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions

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The Permanent Representatives Committee endorsed today the Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament’s proposal regarding the regulation on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information...

Council and European Parliament reach a provisional agreement on the accounting rules for the...

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Council and European Parliament reach a provisional agreement on the accounting rules for the land use, land use change and forestry sector. The informal text was negotiated by the Council - represented by the...

Interpol: €2 million by the Commission to fight wildlife crime

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On 21 December, the European Commission announced that is going to contribute €2 million to Interpol to enhance organisation’s fight against wildlife crimes. European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik commented, “few people witness environmental crime,...

European Court of Justice fined Ireland for environmental breaches

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The European Court of Justice imposed a number of financial penalties on Ireland yesterday for failure to comply with two previous judgments of the Court concerning the environment.  A €3.5 million fine was imposed on...