Environment

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...

Council adopts Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources

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The 3211Environment Council meeting was held yesterday, 17 December 2012, in Brussels. The Council of the European Union adopted a set of conclusions on “A Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources” in response to...

EESC: Europe needs a more integrated and cost-effective renewable strategy

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The European Economic and Social Committee suggests the need for a more integrated and cost-effective renewable strategy. The EESC during its plenary session on 17 December said that in order to achieve the EU’s...

Towards Resource Efficient Europe

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On 17 December, the European Commission issued a Manifesto for a resource efficient Europe. The main tool for the implementation of the appropriate policies will be the European Resource Efficiency platform which main purpose...

New “Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment”

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A new "Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment" was launched on 5 December to support Europe's local authorities in delivering 7th Environment Action Programme. The Technical Platform is a new permanent forum set up...

Doha Climate Conference paves the way for new global climate agreement

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The European Union welcomed the outcome of the Doha Climate Conference that promotes international action against climate change, paves the way for a new global climate agreement to be finalized in 2015 and enables...

Europe towards the development of socially accepted and environmentally sound grids

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European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik spoke yesterday at 2nd European Grid Conference with the theme “Towards socially accepted and environmentally sound grids – Practical experiences across Europe”, addressing the issue of developing grids...

Potočnik: Environment and economy goes hand-in-hand

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The Institute for European Environment Policy (IEEP) organized on 4 December, in Brussels, a high level conference on ‘Stepping up action for Europe’s environment’. Representatives from Member States, EU institutions, business, civil society, and...

Nantes: European Green Capital for 2013

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Nantes, France took over the title of European Green Capital from Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain during a ceremony held last night in Brussels. Nantes will be European Green Capital 2013 and will play a vital...

Eco-Management and Audit Schemes awards announced

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On 30 November, the European Commission announced the winners of 2012 Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Awards. Three companies from the private sector and two from the public one have been awarded for their...

Three chemicals added to the EU surface water risk list

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The Environment Committee of the MEPs voted yesterday in favour of adding three pharmaceutical substances to the EU surface water risk list for the first time. MEPs also agreed on a "watch list" of...

What is the FREE Choices campaign?

The FREE Choices Campaign aims to raise awareness among stakeholders about currently available energy solutions which are lower carbon, energy efficient, commercially available and affordable. In order to truly roll-out these solutions, policy barriers...

Watch the FREE Choices Launch Video

  Want to know more about FREE?  Watch the FREE Choices Launch Video 

235 sites of invaluable natural expanse added to the Natura 2000 network

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The Commission has approved member states' proposals to recognise nine more regions as "Sites of Community Importance". 235 sites of invaluable natural expanse have been added to the Natura 2000 network. 20 member states chose...