Environment

EU’s climate ambitions ‘lagging’

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Several European Union member states are failing to implement the kind of policies that will enable the EU to meet its climate goals, according to a new report. The latest edition of the EU Climate...

Commission proposes financing observation system to mitigate climate change

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The European Commission has proposed to finance the GMES programme (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) for Earth observation for the period 2014-2020 outside the EU financial framework, for which an estimated budget of...

Agreement reached regarding CAR wood imports

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Thanks to legislation passed by the European Commission on 28 November, all wood imports into Europe via the Central Africa Republic (CAR) will be required to have a license denoting their legal origin, which...

Single European Sky flying high

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Decision-makers and business leaders from across Europe met in Warsaw on 28 November to discuss implementation of the Single European Sky (SES). It has been estimated that the current fragmentation of European airspace costs the...

Covenant of Mayors promotes sustainable policies

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A day after climate negotiations are expected to start in Durban, the 3rd Covenant of Mayors Ceremony will hold its annual meeting in Brussels on 29 November at the European Parliament, with the theme...

Water legislation in Ireland not flowing smoothly

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The European Commission is concerned that Ireland has incorrectly implemented the concept of water services as described in EU water legislation – leading to inappropriate water pricing. The Water Framework Directive is Europe's key tool...

EU-US Summit to address key issues

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The EU-US Summit will take place in Washington D.C. on 28 November. The EU will be represented by the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the Commission President José Manuel Barroso. The EU...

Wind-farm venture cleared by the Commission

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The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control of a newly-created joint venture by German company Hochtief Solutions AG and private equity fund Ventizz Capital Fund....

EIB supports world’s largest offshore wind farm

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €175 million for the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm. With 100 wind turbines, each with a generating capacity of 300MW this is the largest offshore wind...

Commission to penalise Italy over bird protection

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The European Commission has demanded that Italy comply with three court rulings on a number of failures to provide adequate protection for wild birds, which are protected in Europe under the Birds Directive and...

Commission slams Spain over buildings’ energy efficiency

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The Commission decided on 24 November to refer Spain to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failure to fully comply with the Directive on the energy performance of buildings. Buildings are responsible for around...

Hedegaard promises to fight for Durban agreement

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The UN Climate Change Conference, which starts on 28 November in Durban, South Africa, should agree on a roadmap and deadline for finalising a comprehensive and legally binding global framework for climate action. The...

Commission to request ECJ fines Poland over lack of environmental legislation complience

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The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), asking for financial penalties to be imposed for two failures to transpose EU legislation into national law. Poland has...

Commission warns Slovenia over eco-legislation transposition

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EU ecodesign rules provide for the least-efficient devices to be progressively banned from the EU market and replaced by products with equal or better functionalities and better environmental performance. Republic of Slovenia failed to inform...

New hope on global warming

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MANILA – In 1997, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Kyoto Protocol – an agreement among signatory states to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. In 2012, however, the Clean Development Mechanism, a...

Commission slams France and Czech Republic over renewable energy

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The EU's key objective in environment policy is the increase of renewable energy share to 20% by 2020 in the overall energy consumption. However, the effectiveness depends to a large extent on the commitment...

EU set to lose to China in climate action

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Europe will lose its global lead in the fight against climate change to China unless it reaffirms its once-strong credentials at the upcoming climate summit in Durban, MEPs are warning. “China is set to take...

Little Blue Penguins released back into wild in New Zealand

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More than a month has passed since the unfortunate accident of the cargo ship, Rena, which ran onto a reef off the coast of New Zealand, and started leaking oil in the Bay of...

Commissioner reinforces rules on monitoring greenhouse-gas emissions

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The European Commission proposed legislation to significantly enhance the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in particular to meet new requirements arising from the package of EU climate and energy laws for...

European flora and fauna ‘in danger’

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The European Red List, a part of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, in its report published on 22 November assessed that a considerable portion of Europe’s native fauna and flora now fall...

EU must ‘adapt expectations’ for Durban

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As international players prepare to gather in Durban for crucial climate talks, the European Union should not continue to be naïve in its current negotiating tactics, campaigners are warning. The talks (known as COP 17),...

Commission enlarges Natura 2000

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Natura 2000, the EU's network of protected areas and the centerpiece to battle against biodiversity loss and safeguard ecosystem services, has undergone a significant expansion. Nearly 18,800 square kilometres have been added, including a...

Commissioners urge climate-change action

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Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and International Co-operation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis response Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva have addressed the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report: Managing the risks of...

EMAS honours six eco-management leaders

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The European Commission has announced this year's six winners of the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Awards on a ceremony in Krakow on 17 November. The winning organisations demonstrated excellence in respecting and...

Electric car regulations get new spark

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The EU, the US and Japan pushed strongly for an international agreement which should further boost the introduction of electrical cars. The agreement was signed on 17 November in Geneva, Switzerland. The partners agreed to...

MEPs set guidelines for EU-US summit

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On 17 November, the European Parliament passed a resolution urging the EU and US to step up their cooperation in pushing for a resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians and supporting emerging...

For the people, by the people

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Those splendid folks at Recyclart have been busy putting on events in Brussels for some time now and they’ve plenty going on in the next few weeks, too. Check out a free ‘Living Brussels’ event...

MEPs ask for EU extension to Kyoto Protocol

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Since the First Commitment Period outlined in the greenhouse-gas reducing Kyoto Protocol, companies and nations alike have complied with the demands of world leaders to reduce greenhouse emissions. However, with the first period set to...

Hedegaard’s last push before Durban

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Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard will attend the Major Economies Forum in Washington DC from 16-18 November. As the last meeting at ministerial level the Forum will serve as the final preparatory platform before...

EU prioritises plant health

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The European Union earmarked today €19 million to co-finance programmes in seven member states aiming to combat organisms harmful to plants and to prevent them from spreading further in the Union and thus from...

Seeming green

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COPENHAGEN – When Denmark’s new government ministers presented themselves to Queen Margrethe II last month, the incoming development minister established his green credentials by rolling up to the palace in a tiny, three-wheeled, electric-powered...

Top 27 EU-funded projects enter competition

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Small sums of money can make a big difference if used in the right places. The EU budget was around €140 billion in 2011. More than 94% of the European budget goes to citizens,...

‘RIP’ aims to stub out cigarette-related fires

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Cigarettes left unattended are one of the leading causes of fatal fires in Europe. Evidence shows that the number of fatalities can be reduced by over 40% with the introduction of 'Reduced Ignition Propensity'...

EIB brings wind of change for LEAF

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to support production of Nissan’s first electric car to be built in Europe and its first European production of electric vehicle batteries with €220 million. The 100%...

Money matters for climate challenges

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Despite financial constraints, member states have advanced their contributions to fighting climate change in 2011, said the Economic and Financial Affairs Council in preparation for the next United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change...

Proposed acquisition passes Commission’s sanitation test

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The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Nalco Holding Company, a US water chemical treatment company, by Ecolab, another US chemical company. The proposed transaction allows Ecolab to broaden its core competencies...

Commission provides support for Swedish wave energy

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The European Commission has authorised Swedish plans to grant around € 15 million to Seabased Industry AB in order to develop a wave energy production demonstration plant. This will further the development of energy production from...