selection

environment

This tag is associated with 144 posts

Material use in the European Union: Towards a circular approach

Global material use has tripled during the past four decades, in particular as a result of increasing living standards. The use of materials, which need to be extracted from our environment, can pose environmental challenges. It can also be threatened by resource scarcity and price volatility. Continue reading

Revision of the Drinking Water Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens’ Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water, improving and streamlining the information provided to consumers, harmonising the standards for products in contact with drinking water, and imposing obligations to improve access to water. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) considered the draft report on 7 June 2018; the vote in committee is planned for 10 September 2018. Continue reading

Water reuse: Setting minimum requirements [EU Legislation in Progress]

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. Continue reading

People living in mountainous regions [What Europe does for you]

Mountains cover nearly 30 % of EU territory. Highly valued for their rich natural resources, their fresh, bracing air and their beautiful landscapes, mountain areas are attractive places to live. Continue reading

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

Combined transport directive review: Getting more goods off EU roads [EU Legislation in Progress]

The European Union’s efforts to reduce the negative impacts of transport include promoting a shift from road freight transport to lower-emission transport modes. This also includes combined transport operations, which consist of at least one road leg for initial or final haulage and one non‑road leg on rail or water. Continue reading

Beekeepers [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for beekeepers. Continue reading

COP 23 climate change conference: Outcomes

This year’s COP 23 climate change conference was held from 6 to 17 November in Bonn, Germany, under the presidency of Fiji. Continue reading

Benefits of EU environmental and climate action

EU environmental action aims to preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment. It contributes to protecting human health and ensures the sustainable utilisation of natural resources. Continue reading

Financing clean energy: High-level conference in the European Parliament today

Leading personalities from politics, finance and business get together in the European Parliament hemicycle to discuss the financing of clean energy in Europe. Continue reading

Implementing the Aarhus Convention, Access to justice in environmental matters [Policy Podcast]

The Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters is an international agreement that gives the public a number of rights with regard to the environment. Continue reading

Turning waste into a resource

Around 476 kilograms per person of municipal waste (1 300 grams per person per day) were generated in the EU in 2015, with a significant portion — around one-third of all municipal waste in 2012 — still being disposed of in landfills. Continue reading

Land use in the EU 2030 climate and energy framework [EU Legislation in Progress]

On 20 July 2016, the European Commission proposed a regulation regarding the inclusion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from land use and forestry in the EU 2030 climate and energy framework. This would be the first time that the land-use sector is formally included in EU climate policy. The proposed regulation would require Member States to balance emissions and removals from the land-use sector over two five-year periods between 2021 and 2030. It sets out accounting rules and allows for certain flexibilities. Continue reading

Drinking Water Directive

Written by Ivana Kiendl Kristo, The Drinking Water Directive (DWD) sets quality standards for drinking water and requires that Member States ensure monitoring and compliance with these standards. By and large, it has been successful, best exemplified by the high, and increasing, levels of compliance across the European Union (EU) with the microbiological, chemical and … Continue reading

Effort sharing regulation, 2021-2030: Limiting Member States’ carbon emissions [EU Legislation in Progress]

In July 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation to limit post-2020 national emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in sectors not covered by the EU emissions trading system (ETS). These include transport, buildings and agriculture. 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

Post-2020 reform of the EU Emissions Trading System [EU Legislation in Progress]

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the period 2021-2030, following the guidance set by the October 2014 European Council. Continue reading

What if intensification of farming could enhance biodiversity? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural … 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

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