Analysis of farmers’ social networks identifies important stakeholders for biodiversity conservation
Stakeholder support is essential to the success of environmental policies. A recent study has identified stakeholders that can promote biodiversity in European agricultural landscapes. The researchers found farmers were the most influential group of stakeholders, as they make the final decisions on land use. In turn, farmers are influenced in their decisions by a number of actors whose influence is perceived differently on a local and regional level.
A rough total of 1 455 tonnes of floating plastic is present across the Mediterranean, estimates a new study. Researchers gathered floating plastics using trawl nets and found that microplastics with a surface area of around 1 square milimetre (mm2) were the most abundant size of plastic particles found.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas and atmospheric pollutant. A new study proposes tackling both problems by removing N2O from the atmosphere using a combination of two innovative technologies — photocatalytic breakdown of the N2O to nitrogen and oxygen, and this within a solar chimney power plant that generates renewable electricity. Although some way off from commercial development, the researchers say this approach is feasible, and they outline how these two technologies can be integrated to reduce the climate impact and polluting effects of N2O emissions.
A method for developing more cost-effective agri-environment schemes is outlined in a recent study. The procedure can be used over large areas, accounts for hundreds of management regimes and several different endangered species. The model is one of the first to account for the timing of measures and, when applied to Saxony in Germany, proposed savings of over €3 million, while also improving some conservation outcomes.
No cities are yet fully car-free, but many have managed or plan to restrict access to city centres for privately owned combustion-engine passenger cars. Health benefits will come from reduced traffic-related air pollution, less noise and lower levels of heat emitted from vehicles. The greatest health benefit, however, is likely to come from increased physical activity as people walk, cycle and move to catch public transport, according to a review of the potential health benefits of car-free cities.
Green public procurement (GPP) – authorities considering environmental criteria when allocating contracts to private suppliers – is becoming increasingly popular as an environmental policy instrument. This study analysed data from Swedish cleaning service procurements, finding a ‘weak’ effect on supplier behaviour in this situation. The researchers say that, for GPP to be an effective policy instrument, it is important to consider suppliers’ decisions to participate in procurement and to screen them against mandatory green criteria.
Climate change will have major consequences for transport networks, especially those located on coastlines. This study assessed the impact of projected sea-level rise on a vulnerable stretch of railway line on the coast of South West England. The authors say their semi-empirical modelling method could provide guidance to policymakers worldwide.
Invasive alien species pose a threat to biodiversity, human health and the economy. This study describes six alien species indicators for Europe, showing that the scale and impact of biological invasions are increasing across all indicators. The societal response has also increased in recent years. The researchers say their framework could serve as a basis for monitoring the efficacy of recent EU legislation.
Subway stations with platform sliding doors and good ventilation reduce passengers’ exposure to PM2.5
Underground trains are among the most widely used public transport systems in cities worldwide. A study investigating the chemical composition and source of particles in Barcelona subway stations found that a new station design, with sliding doors that separate the platform from the tunnel and good ventilation, reduced the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by over 50% compared with older station designs.
There is a large potential to improve the global efficiency of energy, land and phosphorus use, finds new research which modelled the effects of four worldwide scenarios between 2010 and 2050. An ‘ambitious resource strategy’ could moderate the increases in energy use (+25% globally instead of +80% in the baseline scenario), phosphorus use (+9% instead of +40%) and arable land (-9% globally, instead of + 4%).
Research has found evidence for recent contamination of Lake Como, northern Italy, with chemicals banned in the EU since the 1970s. Levels of DDT and PCBs in sediment, aquatic microorganisms and fish were examined. The results suggest glacial meltwater as a source for renewed DDT contamination and show recent contamination of fish above safe levels. The findings demonstrate the need for continued monitoring of persistent organic pollutants in European waters.
Informelles Arbeitstreffen in Brüssel zum Thema Migration und Asyl / Informal working meeting on migration and asylum issues / Réunion de travail informelle sur les sujets des migrations et de l'asile
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 20 June 2018 Kommissionspräsident Juncker hat für Sonntag ein informelles Arbeitstreffen in Brüssel zum Thema Migration und Asyl einberufen, um mit einer Gruppe von Staats- und Regierungschefs interessierter Mitgliedstaaten im Vorfeld des anstehenden Europäischen Rates an europäischen Lösungen zu arbeiten.
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Speech Brussels, 13 June 2018 Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to welcome you all to this conference on the EU's contribution to the Talanoa Dialogue. The Talanoa Dialogue is the first political opportunity after Paris to collectively look at...
Speech by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans at the European Parliament plenary session on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 28 and 29 June 2018
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Speech Strasbourg, 12 June 2018 Thank you Mr President, Honourable Members, I would be amiss if I would not start with what passed in Charlevoix. I am not one to declare that the rules-based international system, so carefully built up...
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 7 June 2018 The new trade defence rules will become effective as of tomorrow, 8 June. All new investigations initiated on or after this date will be subject to the modernised anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules.
European - Press release Commission Brussels, 7 June 2018 The European Commission decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice over waste management plans. Today, the European Commission decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to establish and, where applicable revise, waste...
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 7 June 2018 For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing €100 billion for research and innovation. A new programme – Horizon Europe – will build on the achievements and success of the previous research and innovation programme (Horizon 2020) and...
EU Budget: Commission proposes increased funding to invest in connecting Europeans with high-performance infrastructure
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 6 June 2018 As part of the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the European Commission is today proposing to renew the 'Connecting Europe Facility', with €42.3 billion to support investments in the European infrastructure networks for transport (€30.6 billion), energy (€8.7 billion) and digital...
7th annual Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa Lecture by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Brussels Economic Forum: "Protection, prosperity, progress: A stronger euro for a stronger Europe"
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 5 June 2018 Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends, It is a real honour indeed to be invited to give this year's Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa Lecture. I knew of Tommaso even before I met him in the late 1980s.
Introductory remarks to the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2018 by Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 5 June 2018 Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a pleasure to be here this morning. Welcome to Brussels. And welcome to this year's EU Sustainable Energy Week. It is already the thirteenth edition organised by the European Commission.