Environment

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...

EP: member states have right to decide energy mix

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The European Parliament has maintained that the exploration of shale gas should be a matter for individual member states. The parliament voted on two separate reports on 21 November, prepared by the environmental and industry...

Climate change to have further impact across Europe

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In a new report, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) said that the observed climate change has already led to a wide range of impacts on environmental systems and the society. The report ‘Climate change, impacts...

EU budget: steps towards a sustainable future?

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Wrangling between EU member states over the budget is weakening Europe at a time when it needs strength to compete in a globalised world, campaigners are warning. EU heads of state and government gather on...

Potočnik: We must reverse land degradation

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The Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission launched a conference on 'Land and soil degradation post Rio+20' in Brussels on 16 November 2012. The objective of this conference was to discuss the results of...

Commission presented a new European strategy on the protection of Europe’s water resources

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The European Commission has launched the Blueprint a new European Strategy on the protection of Europe’s water resources. Blueprint’s main objective is to ensure good quality water for European citizens, environment and economy. Environment Commissioner...

EU to “stop clock” on ETS, aviation emissions

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After the last week's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council, the EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard stated that EU will “stop the clock” on the implementation of its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)...

EU to promote green growth and resource efficiency

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European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik delivered a speech at the European Resource Efficiency Forum "Vision 2020 – the role of resource efficiency for Europe's future", held today in Berlin, Germany, explaining green growth’s...

EU celebrates Montreal Protocol’s 25th anniversary and calls for reduction of HFCs emissions

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European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, spoke today during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol that took place in Geneva, Switzerland. In her speech, she expressed her satisfaction over...

Commission urges for climate action

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The European Commission proposed yesterday a new Regulationto replace the existing one on fluorinated greenhouse gases (Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006). The proposed...

EU launches €5 million programme for the protection of the Mediterranean from disasters

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The European Commission announced today the adoption of a new civil protection programme in the Mediterranean region, based on the previously successful Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and...

European Council promotes use of cleaner marine fuels

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The Council of the European Union announced today the amendment of the directive regarding the sulphur content of marine fuels. The new directive aims to reduce emissions from shipping that increase air pollution due to...

Commission launches public consultation on sustainable development

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The European Commission launched a public consultation with the purpose of gathering views and ideas in order to achieve the full implementation of sustainable development both on global and EU level. The consultation is...

Commission updates environmental impact assessment procedures

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The European Commission published today a series of proposals for law amendments in order to improve environmental impact assessments. The proposals aim to lift administrative burdens and facilitate access to potential impacts of major...

EU tackles Biodiversity loss

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The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) was held in Hyderabad, India, from 8 to 19 October 2012. It was organized during the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB) as declared by...

Eight candidate cities for the European Green Capital Award 2015

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Eight cities will compete for the European Green Capital Award 2015, according to today’s announcement. These cities are: Bristol (UK),Brussels (Belgium),Bydgoszcz (Poland), Dublin (Ireland),Glasgow (UK), Kaunas (Lithuania), Kutahya (Turkey) and Ljubljana (Slovenia). As EU Environment...

New guidelines on inland navigation and nature protection

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The Commission is preparing new guidelines on inland navigation and nature protection. The new guidelines will be structured in a way to be compatible with the EU environmental and natural legislation. The guidelines presented...

A sustainable future for development?

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Several days after the European Union received the Nobel peace prize, to much congratulation, self-congratulation and bafflement, its worthiness was still being debated. At the European Development Days conference, which took place in Brussels...

AOA report urges protection of East Antarctic marine environment

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In the context of the upcoming Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting focusing on marine protection, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) has published today a report regarding the need...

Primates on the verge of extinction

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A report of the world’s 25 most endangered primates has been published today during the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity COP11. The report entitled “Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates, 2012–2014”...

Vulnerability to natural disasters quantified

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Countries most vulnerable to natural disasters are not necessarily the ones facing the most environmental degradation, a new report finds. According to WorldRiskReport 2012, prepared by the UN University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security...

Plant based biofuels back in the spotlight

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Last September the European Commission admitted that it needs to revise its policy regarding biofuels since their use may involve certain risks. Plant based biofuels seem to have an impact on food prices at...

EU approves lukewarm directive on offshore drilling rules

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On 9 October, the European Parliament’s Energy Committee approved a draft law under which energy firms would have to submit major hazard reports and emergency response plans before getting a license to drill offshore...

Kick-starting the economy through green policies

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If the last round of global climate talks are considered a failure, then Europe should have the courage to step up and fill the gap left between international positions, taking like-minded partners with it,...