Environment news

Climate change: European Commission and Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy launch €100 million clean energy investment fund

Research and Innovation - Wed, 17/10/2018 - 14:37
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 17 October 2018 Today the European Commission and Breakthrough Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish Breakthrough Energy Europe (BEE) – a joint investment fund to help innovative European companies develop and bring radically new clean energy technologies to the market.
Categories: Environment news

EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement

Presidency - Wed, 17/10/2018 - 12:14
European Commission - Fact Sheet Brussels, 17 October 2018 Creating economic opportunities – defending values. Eliminating customs duties The EU-Vietnam trade agreement willeliminate over 99% of all tariffs, and partly remove the rest through limited zero-duty quotas, known as Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs).
Categories: Environment news

Commission presents EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements for signature and conclusion

Presidency - Wed, 17/10/2018 - 12:13
European - Press release Commission Brussels, 17 October 2018 The European Commission today adopted the EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements, paving the way for their signature and conclusion. Through this adoption, the Commission is demonstrating its commitment to putting these agreements in place as soon as possible.
Categories: Environment news

EU fuel labelling: clearer information for consumers and operators

Climate Action - Fri, 12/10/2018 - 12:00
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 12 October 2018 Today, a new harmonised set of fuel labels will appear across Europe. They will give drivers better information on the suitability of fuels for their vehicles wherever they travel in the EU, helping them avoid misfuelling and informing on the environmental...
Categories: Environment news

New EU fuel marking: questions and answers

Climate Action - Fri, 12/10/2018 - 12:00
European Commission - Fact Sheet Brussels, 12 October 2018 New EU fuel marking: questions and answers 1. What are the new EU fuel labels and what do they mean? What changes on 12 October? As of 12 October 2018, throughout all 28 European Union member states, the EEA countries (Iceland,...
Categories: Environment news

A new bioeconomy strategy for a sustainable Europe

Research and Innovation - Thu, 11/10/2018 - 12:00
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 11 October 2018 Today the Commission has put forward an action plan to develop a sustainable and circular bioeconomy that serves Europe's society, environment and economy. As announced by President Juncker and First Vice-President Timmermans in their letter of intent accompanying President Juncker's 2018...
Categories: Environment news

Statement by President Juncker following the arrest of a suspect in the investigation of journalist Victoria Marinova's murder

Presidency - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 11:00
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 10 October 2018 President Juncker welcomes the swift and intensive efforts by Prime Minister Borissov and the Bulgarian authorities who in close cooperation with law enforcement agencies from other EU Member States successfully arrested the suspected murderer of journalist Victoria Marinova.
Categories: Environment news

Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete and Carlos Moedas welcome the UN climate change report on 1.5° C global warming limit

Research and Innovation - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 10:50
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 8 October 2018 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has today issued its Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.
Categories: Environment news

Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete and Carlos Moedas welcome the UN climate change report on 1.5° C global warming limit

Climate Action - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 10:50
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 8 October 2018 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has today issued its Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.
Categories: Environment news

Statement by President Juncker following the provisional release of Diane Rwigara

Presidency - Fri, 05/10/2018 - 15:59
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 5 October 2018 I strongly welcome the provisional release of Diane Rwigara and her mother Adeline Rwigara by the Kimihurura High Court in Rwanda. This is a positive development and part of a wider process that can only be commended.
Categories: Environment news

How big a threat do invasive alien species pose to European biodiversity? A ranking of species for urgent risk assessment

DG ENV - Wed, 03/10/2018 - 15:31
Invasive alien species (IAS) pose a threat to native European biodiversity and cost the EU annual damages worth EUR 12 billion as a result of IAS effects on human health, damaged infrastructure, and agricultural losses. IAS are the focus of Target 9 of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and Target 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy: ‘By 2020, IAS and their pathways are identified and prioritised… pathways are managed to prevent the introduction and establishment of new IAS.’ The EU framework for action against IAS is set out in a Regulation adopted in 2014. This provides for the adoption of a list of IAS of Union concern that will be subject to restrictions across the EU. The first step in order to consider a species for listing is to undertake a risk assessment.
Categories: Environment news

Knowledge alone is ‘not enough’ to prepare for future climate risks: the case of Swedish forestry

DG ENV - Wed, 03/10/2018 - 15:31
Understanding the social context of Swedish forestry is key to understanding how the sector could be persuaded to move beyond ‘business-as-usual’ practices, to prepare for future climate risks, argues a new study. Using an approach that provides insights for future behavioural change more widely, the researchers explore the influences on forest managers’ behaviour, and highlight certification schemes as one important driver of actions which make forests better adapted to climate change. Knowledge on climate change risks and actions in itself is not enough to change behaviour, the study finds. For many environmentalists it may seem ‘logical’ for forestry to adapt now to future climate change: it epitomises an industry where actions taken today will determine long-term development, given that trees will not be harvested until 70–90 years after planting. However, the sector has taken limited actions to adapt, despite an abundance of available information on the impacts of climate change — such as storms, drought and changes in insect population.
Categories: Environment news

How can risks from nanotechnology be managed? Researchers recommend global framework

DG ENV - Wed, 03/10/2018 - 15:31
Currently laws and regulations governing nanotechnology are fragmented and do not take account of the unique properties of nanomaterials, the effect of which on humans and the environment are not yet fully understood, argue researchers in a new study. In the study, a network of European researchers propose a new universal regulatory framework that deals specifically with nanomaterials. The framework should help policymakers, organisations and researchers evaluate the risks of any existing materials and new nanomaterials entering the market. It should also help SMEs and large companies use safer products and processes, limit the potential adverse effects of nanomaterials on workers and consumers, reduce the cost of insurance and reduce the risk of governments having to pay out money in the future due to unforeseen accidents or diseases.
Categories: Environment news

Identifying valid surrogates for amphibians and reptiles in pesticide toxicity assessment

DG ENV - Wed, 03/10/2018 - 15:31
Environmental pollution is putting amphibians and reptiles at risk, yet these animals are not included in regulations regarding the environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides. The extent to which other species already used in pesticide toxicity assessment (including fish, birds and mammals) can serve as effective surrogates is currently under debate. This study conducts a systematic review of the available literature. The results reveal a positive correlation between toxicity recorded on fish and aquatic amphibians, but indicate that birds and mammals are generally not good surrogates for reptiles and terrestrial amphibians. Moreover, some chemical-dependent trends were detected, with a number of insecticides found to be more toxic to amphibians or reptiles than to potential surrogates. These findings highlight an urgent need for further research to reduce uncertainties and contribute to future policymaking regarding the protection of amphibians and reptiles from potentially harmful pesticides.
Categories: Environment news

Disinfection by-products in drinking water: new detector may meet need for monitoring and detection of broader range of DBP classes, Sweden

DG ENV - Wed, 03/10/2018 - 15:31
The presence of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water is an emerging health concern. DBPs come in many classes and are chemically diverse, making them challenging to monitor. Swedish researchers have evaluated a new method for the simultaneous determination of a broader range of DBPs than typically possible using other available techniques. The method uses gas chromatography (a laboratory technique that separates and analyses vaporisable compounds in a mixture), together with a halogen-specific detector (XSD). Having been tested in real water samples from two municipal waterworks in Sweden, the method has been optimised for the simultaneous determination of a wide range of neutral DBPs.
Categories: Environment news

Towards the Battery of the Future

DG ENV - Fri, 28/09/2018 - 12:22
High-quality and innovative batteries are imperative for the EU in the context of its move towards a low-carbon, climate-friendly and more circular economy. However, manufacturing and using batteries, as well as the way they are treated at the end of their life, also has environmental impacts. This Future Brief from Science for Environment Policy provides an overview of technical aspects of battery design and production which enable the environmental footprint of batteries to be lowered. It also highlights how battery technologies are evolving to deliver better performance.
Categories: Environment news

Joint EU - UN Press Statement

Presidency - Sun, 23/09/2018 - 23:01
European Commission - Statement New York, 23 September 2018 The United Nations Secretary-General, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission, met in New York for their annual meeting in the margins of the...
Categories: Environment news

U.S. is now the EU's main supplier of soya beans with a share of 52%

Presidency - Thu, 20/09/2018 - 12:03
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 20 September 2018 Today the European Commission has published the latest figures on EU imports of soya beans, showing that the U.S. has become Europe's main supplier of this commodity, reaching a 52% share compared to 25% in the same period last year.
Categories: Environment news

PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER'S State of the Union Address 2018

Presidency - Tue, 18/09/2018 - 10:30
European Commission - Speech Strasbourg, 12 September 2018   INTRODUCTION: A PERPETUAL RESPONSIBILITY   Mr President, Madam President of the Council, Honourable Members of the European Parliament, At times, history moves forward only haltingly but it is always quick to pass us by.
Categories: Environment news

How to prevent alien plant invasions in the global ornamental horticulture trade?

DG ENV - Wed, 12/09/2018 - 14:49
Alien plant invasions can have significant environmental, ecosystem and economic implications. Since ornamental horticulture is the primary pathway for invasive alien plant introductions, it is a suitable focus for prevention policies. A recent review of published evidence has examined the effectiveness of four major instruments: pre-border import restrictions, post-border sales bans, industry codes of conduct, and consumer education. The study highlights that, while each instrument has the potential to contribute to a reduction in plant invasion risk, none is sufficient to achieve this goal alone. The researchers, therefore, describe how the four instruments can be integrated along the ornamental horticulture industry supply chain to reduce risk more effectively, and outlines the role that government, industry and other stakeholders must play to achieve this goal.
Categories: Environment news

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