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EMBARGO 13:30 CET: Speech by Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič at the Industry Days Forum on the Industry-led initiative on batteries / the EU Battery Alliance

Energy - 4 hours 10 min ago
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 23 February 2018 UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 13:30 CET   It is a great pleasure to open this Panel on the EU Batteries Alliance. Our objective for the Alliance is simple, but the challenge is immense.

Speech by Commissioner Carlos Moedas at European Industry Day - A New Ecosystem for Science, Start-ups and Industry

Research and Innovation - 5 hours 1 min ago
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Speech Brussels, 23 February 2018 @ European Commission 2018   Ladies and gentlemen, Good afternoon. I'm very happy to be at the European Industry Days again this year. Industry is at the heart of the story of Europe.
Categories: Environment news

Silver nanoparticles can have complex and toxic effects on wheat roots

DG ENV - Thu, 22/02/2018 - 19:29
A new study has examined the toxic effects of silver nanoparticles on plants. Using a range of spectroscopic and imaging techniques, the researchers demonstrate how silver nanoparticles can reduce the growth of wheat, as well as interfere with genes that help the plant deal with pathogens and stress.
Categories: Environment news

‘Cooling-off effect’ causes public perception of novel environmental technology to improve over time

DG ENV - Thu, 22/02/2018 - 19:29
Researchers have published a paper providing evidence that a ‘cooling-off effect’ can lead to increased public acceptance of new environmental technologies over time. The scientists analysed survey results from over 1 000 respondents in Germany, using solar radiation management (SRM), a controversial climate-engineering technique, as a test case. They found that, following a cooling-off period of either one month, 12 months, or 18 months, acceptance of SRM increased significantly — and that the longer the cooling-off period, the larger the increase. These findings have far-reaching implications, both for the deployment of SRM and for climate policymakers seeking to more accurately measure the public acceptability of novel interventions.
Categories: Environment news

Sustainable urban drainage systems: green roofs and permeable paving compared in southern Italy

DG ENV - Thu, 22/02/2018 - 19:29
A new study has looked at the potential of green infrastructure to compensate for the effects of soil sealing generated by urban development. It investigates how green roofs and permeable paving could contribute to flood mitigation in southern Italy. Using a hydraulic model technique, the researchers found that, in this particular urban case, green roofs were more effective than permeable paving. Policies to promote the adoption of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) by the private sector could thus prove more effective under certain circumstances, and policymakers should look at ways to promote SUDS where suitable.
Categories: Environment news

Processing London’s local food waste in an anaerobic digester avoids 3.9 tonnes of GHG emissions

DG ENV - Thu, 22/02/2018 - 19:29
Analysis of the operation of a novel, micro-scale anaerobic digester has shown that this technology could provide a useful means of processing food waste in urban areas. The study found that the digester, located in London and fed mainly with local food waste, avoided 3.9 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, while providing biogas for cooking, heat and power. Anaerobic digestion on this scale could play a part in reducing the amount of food waste that goes to landfill1 and contribute to the circular economy.
Categories: Environment news

Speech by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the opening plenary session of the Ideas Lab 2018 ''Europe – Back on Track'' of the Centre for European Policy Studies

Presidency - Thu, 22/02/2018 - 14:38
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Speech Brussels, 22 February 2018   Dear Joaquín, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a great pleasure to be with you today for your annual conference. I had the pleasure to know and to work with Joaquín for almost as long as...
Categories: Environment news

Statement by Commissioner Vestager on Commission decision to fine seven companies for participating in four cartels

Competition - Wed, 21/02/2018 - 12:21
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 21 February 2018   *Please check against delivery*   The Commission has today fined seven companies a total of 546 million euros for taking part in four different cartels relating to cars.

Antitrust: Commission fines maritime car carriers and car parts suppliers a total of €546 million in three separate cartel settlements

Competition - Wed, 21/02/2018 - 11:20
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 21 February 2018 In three separate decisions, the European Commission has fined four maritime car carriers €395 million, two suppliers of spark plugs €76 million, and two suppliers of braking systems €75 million, for taking part in cartels, in breach of EU antitrust rules.

European Commission reinforces its senior management to deliver strongly in 2018/2019 and beyond

Presidency - Wed, 21/02/2018 - 10:50
- Press release European Commission Brussels, 21 February 2018 Today the European Commission decided on a number of appointments concerning its top management level. Appointing the best people to the right positions will help the Juncker Commission deliver strongly in 2018/2019 and beyond.
Categories: Environment news

President Juncker reorganises his close team; European Commission appoints new Secretary-General

Presidency - Wed, 21/02/2018 - 10:49
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 21 February 2018 Following the wish of Secretary-General Alexander Italianer to retire, the European Commission appointed Martin Selmayr as its new Secretary-General, while President Juncker appointed Clara Martinez Alberola as his new Head of Cabinet and Richard Szostak as his new Deputy Head of...
Categories: Environment news

Opening Keynote Speech of Frans Timmermans at the Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference

Environment - Tue, 20/02/2018 - 11:12
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 20 February 2018 Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to be here today welcoming you to our annual Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference. As with the previous conferences, the number of those wishing to participate greatly exceeded the space we...
Categories: Environment news

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed merger between Praxair and Linde

Competition - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 12:00
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 16 February 2018 The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed merger between Praxair and Linde under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the merger may reduce competition in the supply of several crucial gases, like oxygen...

State aid: Commission approves Belgian certificates schemes for renewable electricity and high-efficiency cogeneration in Flanders

Energy - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 11:45
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 16 February 2018 The European Commission has concluded the certificates schemes for renewable electricity and high-efficiency cogeneration implemented in Flanders (Belgium) to be in line with EU State aid rules. The two schemes contribute to reaching EU energy and climate goals whilst preserving competition.

State aid: Commission approves Belgian certificates schemes for renewable electricity and high-efficiency cogeneration in Flanders

Competition - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 11:45
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 16 February 2018 The European Commission has concluded the certificates schemes for renewable electricity and high-efficiency cogeneration implemented in Flanders (Belgium) to be in line with EU State aid rules. The two schemes contribute to reaching EU energy and climate goals whilst preserving competition.

Antibiotic resistance genes traced from manure to soil and water on Finnish farms

DG ENV - Fri, 09/02/2018 - 16:06
A new study has investigated the movement of antibiotic resistance genes between farm animals, soil and water in Finland. The results show that many of these genes are spread from animals to the soil through manure application; however, these genes do not appear to persist in soil. The study suggests that practices that minimise the use of antibiotics, as used in Finland, may lead to lower levels of clinically relevant resistance genes in agricultural soils.
Categories: Environment news

Are concentrations of certain critical metals and metalloids increasing in the environment due to their use in new technologies?

DG ENV - Fri, 09/02/2018 - 16:06
A recent study has assessed the environmental impact of a group of technology-critical elements (TCEs) — niobium (Nb), tantalum (Ta), gallium (Ga), indium (In), germanium (Ge) and tellurium (Te) — that, to date, have been relatively under-researched. The researchers reviewed published concentrations of these elements in environmental archives and evaluated trends over time in surface waters. Overall, they found no evidence that the rising use of these elements in modern technologies is causing environmental concentrations to increase on a global level. These findings are relevant to future policy discussions regarding the source, usage and presence of less-studied TCEs, particularly in relation to critical raw metals.
Categories: Environment news

Italian cities make progress towards smart mobility

DG ENV - Fri, 09/02/2018 - 16:06
The move towards smart mobility systems in cities across Italy, specifically in relation to public transport systems (including cycle infrastructure, and cycle and car-sharing schemes) has been assessed in a new study. The researchers say significant progress has been made in light of new guidelines imposed by the European Union, which is often linked to financial investment, as well as the capacity of city planners to implement changes.
Categories: Environment news

Water management on farms assessed by new tool, Flanders

DG ENV - Fri, 09/02/2018 - 16:06
Researchers have developed a new model that highlights how agricultural practices impact on water availability in the wider landscape. The model, AquaCrop-Hydro, could be used to inform agricultural management decisions and policy related to water and land use, to ensure best allocation of water resources. Such tools are not only useful currently, but will be especially important in future in areas where climate change impacts on water availability and affects crop productivity.
Categories: Environment news

Effects of air pollution on Mediterranean plants could be studied with reflectance spectroscopy

DG ENV - Fri, 09/02/2018 - 16:06
A technique called reflectance spectroscopy is the subject of a new literature review focusing on the use of this tool to study the effects of air pollution on vegetation. In particular, the researchers suggest that the technique could be more widely applied in the Mediterranean region, to study the effects of climate change and air pollution, which will be detrimental to crop growth as well as other vegetation. It could also be used as a more general biomonitoring technique for assessing pollutant levels in the environment.
Categories: Environment news

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