Environment news

“Scaling-up finance for climate action” – Speech by Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete

Climate Action - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:30
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Paris, 12 December 2017 Monsieur le Premier Ministre Bainimarama,  Monsieur le Ministre Le Drian,  Madame la Secrétaire exécutive Espinosa,  Monsieur le Ministere Kishida,  J'aimerais saisir cette occasion pour remercier  l'engagement exemplaire du gouvernement français dans la lutte contre le changement climatique et...
Categories: Environment news

European Commission welcomes first operational steps towards a European Defence Union *

Presidency - Mon, 11/12/2017 - 12:03
- Press release European Commission Brussels, 11 December 2017 The European Commission welcomes the decision adopted today by the Council formally establishing Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the plans presented by 25 EU Member States to work together on a first set of 17 collaborative defence projects.
Categories: Environment news

New hazard index tool to aid risk assessment of exposure to multiple chemicals

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
Evaluating the level of danger to human health from exposure to multiple chemicals in contaminated sites is a complex task. To address this difficulty, researchers have developed a new screening tool that can be incorporated into public health risk assessment, which may include polluted former industrial plants, waste dumps, or even land where pesticides have been used. This ‘hazard index’ approach indicates when risk to health is high, which organs are most affected, and where further evaluation should be conducted in the context of environmental or occupational exposure at such sites.
Categories: Environment news

Risk model suggests nanomaterials could reach toxic levels in San Francisco Bay area

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
Although nanomaterials are already in widespread use, their risk to the environment is not completely understood. Researchers in the US have developed a next-generation risk-assessment model to better understand nanomaterials’ environmental impact. Applied to the San Francisco Bay area, the model predicted that even soluble nanomaterials could accumulate at toxic levels.
Categories: Environment news

Insights for urban planning — constructed wetlands sited near industry exposed to high levels of pollution

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
Constructed wetlands serve as a cost-effective and multi-purpose option for storm-water treatment in urban landscapes, offering flood protection as well as wildlife habitat. However, a new study shows that when nearby land use includes industry, wetlands can accumulate high levels of pollution and potentially become toxic to wildlife. This new piece of research offers important insights for the planning and management of wetlands.
Categories: Environment news

UV water treatment may increase antimicrobial activity of linezolid antibiotic

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
UV treatment does not always turn hazardous water pollutants into harmless substances. Recent lab tests suggest that the toxicity of the antibiotic linezolid to microorganisms appeared to increase post-treatment. This research did find, however, that UV treatment successfully reduced the antimicrobial activity of four other antibiotics tested, plus four artificial sweeteners.
Categories: Environment news

Data gathered by the public on UK butterfly populations could be useful for conservation

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
Researchers have compared the findings of a citizen-science project and a long-running butterfly monitoring scheme in the UK to gain insights into the reliability of data gathering by the public. They found that — contrary to the scepticism with which such projects are sometimes viewed — much of the citizen-recorded data agreed with the findings of more formal monitoring, particularly for species often found in gardens. This indicates that mass-participation sampling not only provides a valuable tool for public engagement, but, in this case, could also provide valid data to inform butterfly conservation.
Categories: Environment news

Nordic countries demonstrate the potential of low-carbon energy policies

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
How are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden moving towards renewable and lower-carbon energy use? A recent study suggests the key areas for progress, to ensure Nordic countries meet low carbon goals, include more renewable and decentralised electricity supply, the development of low-carbon transport systems, improved energy efficiency in building design and industrial use of carbon capture and storage.
Categories: Environment news

GM risk assessments: the importance of in planta studies in the sustainable management of GM plants

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
Assessments of the effects on organisms likely to come into contact with genetically modified (GM) plants have been reviewed in a recent study. The researchers say such assessments help to understand the potential ecological impacts within the environment and are an important part of the risk assessments for GM plants.
Categories: Environment news

Microbes and enzymes: the future for bioremediation of PAH-contaminated soils?

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
Microbes and biocatalytic enzymes could offer useful tools for cleaning soils polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), suggests a new review of remediation approaches. However, risk assessments and further work are needed before their use can be extended beyond the lab to realworld situations. This comprehensive overview of available and novel methods indicates their constraints and potential for future development and research.
Categories: Environment news

Chinese supply of critical raw materials could pose long-term risks to European wind- and solar-energy industries

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
A recent study has analysed risks to European renewable industries from the Chinese supply of critical raw materials. The offshore wind sector was found to be the most vulnerable of the renewable industries to supply risks. EU and industry strategies should be able to deal with these supply risks in the short term, but there are potential long-term risks to solar and wind sectors. The development of alternative technologies less reliant on these raw materials, and methods to recycle these materials is, therefore, a priority.
Categories: Environment news

Noise abatement approaches

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
As the sources and severity of noise pollution continue to grow, there is a need for new approaches to reduce exposure. This Future Brief looks at the complex and pervasive problem of noise pollution: a problem with no single solution, requiring a combination of short-, medium- and long-term approaches and careful consideration of the nature of the noise source.
Categories: Environment news

Livestock worming treatments can reduce seed germination of grassland species

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
A common anti-parasitic drug used to control gastrointestinal worms in livestock has been shown to inhibit seed germination of three common grassland species. This recent study is the first to show that anthelmintics may negatively affect plant regeneration. The researchers say that treatments should be carefully timed in order to avoid the strongest impact of the drugs on germination and the consequential negative affect on grassland regeneration.
Categories: Environment news

Responding to floods in Europe: new framework assesses effectiveness of Flood Emergency Management Systems

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
A new framework has been developed to assess how effective Flood Emergency Management Systems (FEMS) are in Europe. Examining FEMS in five European countries, this study highlights the strengths and weaknesses of existing systems and makes recommendations for improving their effectiveness, particularly in relation to institutional learning, community preparedness and recovery.
Categories: Environment news

Ocean acidification puts Norwegian fishing industry at risk

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
Fishing in most of Norway’s counties is at ‘moderate’ to ‘high’ risk from ocean acidification, concludes a new study. The researchers reached this conclusion with the use of an integrated risk-assessment method that accounts for environmental, economic and social factors within the 19 counties. They call for immediate action to protect the fishing industry against the effects of ocean acidification.
Categories: Environment news

Rapid and significant sea-level rise expected if global warming exceeds 2°C, with global variation

DG ENV - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 11:44
The world could experience the highest ever global sea-level rise in the history of human civilisation if global temperature rises exceed 2 °C, predicts a new study. Under current carbon-emission rates, this temperature rise will occur around the middle of this century, with damaging effects on coastal businesses and ecosystems, while also triggering major human migration from low-lying areas. Global sea-level rise will not be uniform, and will differ for different points of the globe.
Categories: Environment news

Remarks by President Juncker at the joint press conference with Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Presidency - Fri, 08/12/2017 - 08:35
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 8 December 2017   Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, This morning, Prime Minister May and I had a meeting to take stock of progress since we met on Monday.
Categories: Environment news

Commission welcomes landmark deal modernising the EU's trade defence

Presidency - Tue, 05/12/2017 - 20:16
European - Press release Commission Brussels, 5 December 2017 Today a political agreement was reached between the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament on the modernisation of the EU's trade defence instruments.
Categories: Environment news

Taking stock: progress in natural capital accounting – November 2017

DG ENV - Thu, 30/11/2017 - 14:35
The growing human population and a shift to more resource-intensive habits and behaviours are increasing the demands on global ecosystems. Natural capital is a way to describe Earth’s natural assets, including soil, air, water, and living things, existing as complex ecosystems, which provide a range of services to humans. Depleting and degrading these reserves may irreversibly reduce the availability of benefits to future generations. This In-Depth Report presents an overview of ideas, debates and progress so far in natural capital accounting, in particular in accounting for ecosystems and their services.
Categories: Environment news

Remarks by President Juncker at the press conference following the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit

Presidency - Fri, 24/11/2017 - 18:00
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 24 November 2017 President, Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, And for most of you, dear friends, The Eastern Partnership is first and foremost a partnership of people. It is about bringing our societies closer together.
Categories: Environment news

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