Environment news

More European sites meet excellent bathing water quality standards than ever before

Environment - Tue, 23/05/2017 - 12:04
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 23 May 2017 More than 85% of bathing water sites monitored across Europe in 2016 met the most stringent ‘excellent' quality standards — meaning they were mostly free from pollutants harmful to human health and the environment, according to the annual bathing water quality...
Categories: Environment news

Statement by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker following the attack in Manchester

Presidency - Tue, 23/05/2017 - 09:08
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 23 May 2017 "It was with great sadness and profound shock that I learnt of the brutal attack that struck Manchester. It breaks my heart to think that, once again, terrorism has sought to instil fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young...
Categories: Environment news

29 May - 2 June: EU Green Week 2017 - Green jobs for a greener future

Environment - Fri, 19/05/2017 - 09:40
European Commission - Upcoming events The news: EU Green Week 2017 will take place from 29 May to 2 June with the theme of 'Green jobs for a greener future'. It will focus on how EU environmental policies are creating green jobs and contributing to economic, sustainable and socially responsible...
Categories: Environment news

EU protects citizens from toxic mercury, paves the way for global action

Environment - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 16:53
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 18 May 2017 Today at the UN headquarters in New York, the European Union has triggered the entry into force of the global treaty aimed at reducing exposure to mercury. The ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, confirms Europe's leading role to protect...
Categories: Environment news

Questions and answers: EU mercury policy and the ratification of the Minamata Convention

Environment - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 16:52
European Commission - Fact Sheet Brussels, 18 May 2017 Questions and answers: EU mercury policy and the ratification of the Minamata Convention Why is mercury a problem? Mercury and most of its compounds are highly toxic to humans and the environment.
Categories: Environment news

Environmental hazards due to climate change set to increase in Europe — with regional differences

DG ENV - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 15:59
Researchers have modelled the exposure to multiple hazards across different regions of Europe in relation to heat, cold, drought, wildfire, flooding and wind. The study indicated that, over the next century, environmental hazards are likely to increase, particularly along coastlines and on floodplains, and that south-western Europe is likely to be the worst-hit region.
Categories: Environment news

Environmental DNA survey technique for deepwater fish can complement trawl surveys

DG ENV - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 15:59
A survey of deepwater fisheries off the coast of Greenland which used traces of fish DNA has produced similar results to trawl surveys and fishing catches. The ‘environmental DNA’ (eDNA) technique can therefore complement trawl data, the researchers say. It may be particularly useful for surveying large species — which can often avoid bottom trawls — or cryptic species1 in inaccessible ocean areas.
Categories: Environment news

The economic impact of climate change on European agriculture

DG ENV - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 15:59
A new study has estimated how changes to climate might affect the value of European farmland. Based on data for over 41 000 farms, the results suggest that their economic value could drop by up to 32%, depending on the climate scenario considered. Farms in southern Europe are particularly sensitive to climate change and could suffer value losses of up to 9% per 1 °C rise. The researchers say policy, on water and land use, for example, will be crucial to help farmers adapt to climate change and mitigate economic losses.
Categories: Environment news

Nanoparticle release from self-cleaning cement: new study considers how much escapes into the environment, and how

DG ENV - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 15:59
New figures on how much titanium dioxide nanomaterial (TiO2-NM) could be released into the environment from photocatalytic cement — a new type of self-cleaning cement — are presented in a recent study. Based on experimental test results, the researchers estimate that between 0.015% and 0.033% of photocatalytic cement’s TiO2-NM content could potentially escape over several years of cement use, depending on the level of cement porosity. The study could help inform environmental risk assessment of TiO2-NM, as well as safer design of nano-products (i.e. commercialised products incorporating nanomaterials).
Categories: Environment news

26-27 May: The EU at the G7 summit in Taormina

Presidency - Thu, 18/05/2017 - 12:12
European Commission - Upcoming events The news: The 43rd edition of the G7 will take place from 26 to 27 May in the Sicilian city of Taormina (Italy), under Italian presidency. The European Union, who is a full member of the G7 (and the G20), will be jointly represented by...
Categories: Environment news

Infringements: Waste: Commission refers Italy to Court over failure to rehabilitate or close down 44 landfills

Environment - Wed, 17/05/2017 - 12:54
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 17 May 2017 The European Commission is taking Italy to the Court of Justice of the EU for its failure to rehabilitate or close down 44 landfills, which represent a serious risk for human health and the environment.
Categories: Environment news

Speech by President Juncker at the European Parliament Plenary session on the conclusions of the Special European Council (Article 50) of 29 April 2017

Presidency - Wed, 17/05/2017 - 10:01
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Speech Strasbourg, 17 May 2017 Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Président du Conseil européen, Chers collègues, As is customary whenever I address this House, I will speak in all three of our important working languages.
Categories: Environment news

Commission introduces new measures to fight poaching and to end trade in raw ivory

Environment - Tue, 16/05/2017 - 15:07
European - Fact Sheet Commission Brussels, 16 May 2017 Commission introduces new measures to fight poaching and to end trade in raw ivory Is the Commission banning ivory exports? The export of raw ivory is banned. The Commission guidance document recommends that EU Member States cease issuing export documents for...
Categories: Environment news

Commission introduces new measures to fight poaching and to end trade in raw ivory

Environment - Tue, 16/05/2017 - 15:06
European - Press release Commission Brussels, 16 May 2017 The European Commission is moving to end the export of old raw ivory as of 1 July, with the adoption of new guidance on the EU rules governing ivory trade. Today's decision, foreseen in the EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking,...
Categories: Environment news

Opening remarks of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Vice-President Jyrki Katainen on the Reflection Paper on Harnessing Globalisation

Presidency - Wed, 10/05/2017 - 15:02
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 10 May 2017 First Vice-President Timmermans It's my pleasure to be here with Jyrki to talk to you about globalisation. We are in the middle of tectonic changes as we now see the effects of the 4th industrial revolution and people...
Categories: Environment news

Nature-based flood management needs joined-up policy approach to manage benefits and trade-offs

DG ENV - Thu, 04/05/2017 - 18:42
Natural water-retention measures, which ‘keep the rain where it falls’, have great potential to be used as part of flood-risk management plans. But their benefits for downstream urban areas can bring costs to the upstream agricultural areas where they are installed, a recent analysis explains. The researchers behind this analysis suggest that we need new and/or improved policies and institutions to oversee the trade-offs and benefits for agriculture and flood management, and a better scientific understanding of the measures’ likely impact on urban flood risk.
Categories: Environment news

Farmland abandonment risk highlighted in new UK study

DG ENV - Thu, 04/05/2017 - 18:42
Traditional, high-nature-value (HNV) grasslands are at risk of being abandoned by farmers in the future — in turn, risking the wildlife they support, warns a new UK study. Farmers interviewed by the researchers had weak motivations to protect grasslands, as they felt that financial incentives for conservation are low and that traditional management practices are inconvenient. More dialogue between farmers and conservationists could be part of the solution, the study suggests.
Categories: Environment news

New light-based method for detecting and monitoring algal blooms

DG ENV - Thu, 04/05/2017 - 18:42
Algal blooms in inland and marine waters could be detected and monitored more accurately in future, thanks to a new assessment method. Scientists have developed a new algorithm for sensors which identify emerging blooms of cyanobacteria based on the behaviour of light reflected by the algae’s pigment. Importantly, the algorithm may reduce uncertainty in estimations of algal concentrations by distinguishing between two different types of pigment.
Categories: Environment news

Which new low-carbon technologies can be developed and commercialised quickly? New research offers analysis

DG ENV - Thu, 04/05/2017 - 18:42
A new study provides clues as to which innovative low-carbon technologies will successfully get onto the market quickly. The historical analysis of 16 energy technologies — from steam engines to wind power — found that the average length of a product’s ‘formative phase’ is 22 years. This important period of innovation in a technology’s development is shorter for products which do not need extensive new infrastructure or changes to user behaviour. The findings could help policymakers identify new technologies that can be deployed more rapidly to meet short-term environmental targets.
Categories: Environment news

Remarks by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the joint press point with Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, and Vice-President Andrus Ansip upon the visit of the Estonian government to the European Commission

Presidency - Wed, 03/05/2017 - 15:48
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 3 May 2017 Ladies and Gentlemen, The Vice-President and myself, we are delighted to welcome Jüri and his government here today to lay the foundations for the first ever Estonian Presidency.
Categories: Environment news

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