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Didier Bourguignon

This tag is associated with 24 posts

Single-use plastics and fishing gear: Reducing marine litter [EU Legislation in Progress]

Most of the plastic in our oceans originates from land-based sources. On European beaches, plastics make up 80-85 % of marine litter, which is considered a major threat to marine and coastal biodiversity. Marine litter also costs the European Union economy an estimated €259 million to €695 million per year. Continue reading

Approval of glyphosate: Latest developments

Glyphosate, one of the world’s most widely used active substances in herbicides, has become the subject of controversy. Continue reading

CE marked fertilising products [EU Legislation in Progress]

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Continue reading

Motor vehicles: New approval and market surveillance rules [EU Legislation in Progress]

In September 2015, the Volkswagen (VW) case highlighted weaknesses in the implementation of type-approval rules for motor vehicles in the European Union, in particular as regards standards on emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide. Continue reading

Plastics and the circular economy [Policy Podcast]

Written by Didier Bourguignon, Plastics are everywhere in our daily life: they are used in packaging, buildings, cars, electronics, agriculture, and other sectors. Plastics production is now 20 times higher than in the 1960s, and is forecast to almost quadruple by 2050. Although there are thousands of types of plastics, 90 % of plastics are derived … Continue reading

Circular economy package: Four legislative proposals on waste [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (7th edition), Updated on 4.7.2018 Although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations between Member States. Improving waste manage­ment could deliver positive effects for the environment, climate, … Continue reading

Environmental protection: an opportunity for a better future

Written by Didier Bourguignon. Green Week, an annual event on European environment policy, takes place from 29 May to 2 June 2017. This year’s edition will focus on ‘Green jobs for a greener future’. The potential of green jobs According to a recent Eurobarometer survey for the European Parliament, the ‘fight against unemployment’ and ‘environmental protection’ rank in … Continue reading

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (6th edition), The United Nations’ Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to … Continue reading

Plastics in a circular economy: Opportunities and challenges

Written by Didier Bourguignon, Plastics pervade modern life; plastics production has been growing exponentially since the 1960s and is expected to double by 2036. Although there are over 1 000 types of plastic, 90 % of plastics are derived from virgin fossil fuels. In Europe, post-consumer plastic waste is either incinerated with energy recovery (39 %), landfilled (31 %) or … Continue reading

Circular economy: animated infographic

Written by Didier Bourguignon, Jana Valant, Christian Dietrich and Mitja Brus. In a circular economy, products and the materials they contain are highly valued. This contrasts with the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a ‘take-make-consume-throw away’ pattern. In practice, a circular economy minimises waste through reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials … Continue reading

Reducing air pollution: National emission ceilings for air pollutants [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (6th edition) Despite significant progress in recent decades, air pollution levels in the European Union still have adverse impacts on the environment and on health. The European Commission estimates that health-related costs of air pollution in the EU range from 390 to 940 billion euros per year. The proposed directive, which … Continue reading

National emission ceilings for air pollutants [Plenary Podcast]

Written by Didier Bourguignon, Despite improvements in recent decades, air pollution in Europe remains a concern. To address this, in 2013 the European Commission proposed to update and expand the National Emission Ceilings Directive. First-reading negotiations with the Council of the European Union delivered a compromise, which now awaits a vote in the European Parliament’s … Continue reading

Fertilisers in the EU: Uneven terrain

Written by Marc Hall in cooperation with Didier Bourguignon, European agriculture is in the midst of a crisis, with low prices and import bans by Russia putting farmers under pressure. The price of inputs is also increasing, among them fertilisers, organic or synthesised compounds that provide nutrients to plants. Fertilisers, particularly inorganic varieties, are widely … Continue reading

Chernobyl 30 years on: impact and response

Written by Didier Bourguignon, In the early hours of 26 April 1986, an incident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and subsequent explosions released nuclear radioactive material into the atmosphere. Some 600 000 people took part in the containment operations and around 350 000 people were displaced in the years following the accident. Radioactive material was scattered … Continue reading

Renewing authorisation for glyphosate

Written by Didier Bourguignon, A scientific controversy has recently erupted over diverging assessments of the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, one of the world’s most widely used active substances in herbicides. Against this backdrop, the European Commission has proposed to renew the authorisation of glyphosate for 15 years. A motion for a resolution adopted by the ENVI Committee … Continue reading

Closing the loop: New circular economy package

Written by Didier Bourguignon Unlike the traditional linear economic model based on a ‘take-make-consume-throw away’ pattern, a circular economy is based on sharing, leasing, reuse, repair, refurbishment and recycling, in an (almost) closed loop, where products and the materials they contain are highly valued. In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum. Moving towards … Continue reading

The faces behind the EPRS blog

Written by Richard Freedman, Have you ever wondered who drafts the content of the EPRS blog?  Who are the faces behind the words and images on the blog? Over this holiday period we thought it would be interesting to introduce you to some of the EPRS authors. Our authors write blog pieces based on EPRS … Continue reading

Understanding waste streams: Treatment of specific waste

Written by Didier Bourguignon Waste streams are flows of specific waste, from its source through to recovery, recycling or disposal. Together they make up the overall waste treated in the European Union (4.6 tonnes per capita in 2012). Waste streams can be divided into two broad types: streams made of materials (such as metals or … Continue reading

Our natural resources: focus on water

Written by Didier Bourguignon Green Week, the annual conference on European environment policy, takes place from 3 to 5 June 2015. This year’s edition, labelled ‘Nature – our health, our wealth’, has nature, biodiversity and natural resources as its main themes. The European Commission plans to carry out a major review of European Union legislation on nature in 2016, … Continue reading

Safeguarding biological diversity: EU policy and international agreements

Updated on 12 May 2016 Written by Didier Bourguignon, Biodiversity – the diversity of life on earth at all levels – is declining, mainly as a result of human-induced pressures such as over-exploitation of natural resources, loss of viable habitats, pollution, climate change or invasive alien species. Globally, the decline of habitats and species continues, … Continue reading

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