Issue 53

January - February 2017

Representatives from ENEP met with William Neale, Member of Cabinet to Karmenu Veila, the European Commissioner for Environment and Maritime Affairs on Monday 6th February, to discuss the future environmental policy agenda in 2017.The visit conincided with the launch of a major initiative of the European Commission the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) that seeks to target the causes of poor implementation, facilitate capacity building,

The European Commission adopted the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) on the 3rd February 2017. It is a new process allowing the European Commission to help Member States with the implementation of EU environmental laws. The benefits of the implementation will directly affect citizens, administrations and the economy in a positive way. The Environmental Implementation Review will focus on the reasons for the existing issues in the implementation process.

On 21st January, the town of Essen, Germany was awarded the title of European Green Capital 2017.Being the European Green Capital creates more incentive for cities around Europe to become more sustainable and to raise environmental awareness within the community.Additionally, the title has proven to improve the cities’ tourism and aggregate population, because more people are attracted to the city  if it is

A critical topic of discussion today in the UK is the negative fiscal effect that losing the current Circular Economy Package will have on British businesses if Britain leaves the EU. If the UK Government cannot create a policy to replace the EU’s Circular Economy Package, Brexit mayl cause British businesses to lose billions of euros in ‘lost efficiency savings.’The Circular Economy Package was initially created to increase recycling throughout the EU and implement more rules on incineration and landfill.

The EU Emissions’ trading system (ETS) determines the price for global warming emissions. The European Parliament is currently discussing improvements to the scheme including raising the price for using coal in as an energy source so there is less incentive for companies to use it. To add perspective with numbers, the surplus of emissions allowances has dramatically risen since 2015. This year, it is 3 billion while in 2015 it was 1.8 billion.

Air pollution, being the largest cause of premature death in urban Europe, is bringing massive concern to not only European Commission professionals but also for EU citizens. Transport has continuously been the main source of this air pollution, and it is high on the agenda for environmental reforms. In 2013, 68,000 premature deaths were caused by nitrogen dioxide, which was mostly produced by traffic. In the same year, small particulate matter killed 436,000 people. Burning fossil fuels causes this matter; which then enter the bloodstream and lungs.

On 26th January, the EU announced that there are improvements being made within the circular economy of the EU. These improvements include, but are not limited, to the first steps being taken toward legislation on the burning of waste for energy. Also, the EU Executive expressed that in order to encourage financial backing for projects that strive to shift to a circular economy; it would collaborate with the European Investment Bank.

There are major changes being made in the French energy sector with the goal to not only improve the existing policies, but to also boost social progress. The project will work off of the goals set by the Paris Agreement to create new jobs, with the ambitious aim of using €100 billion to create 1 million jobs. Although this was recently launched in France, the idea was actually created seven years ago in the UK and has since been implemented and appreciated in Norway, South Africa, and Portugal.

This year’s 19th International Conference on Biodiversity (ICB) will be held in Paris from 23rd to 24th February. This event is produced by the World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology, and allows scientists to communicate about research and discuss current environmental policies. It is a time for scientists to share past experiences and studies on Biodiversity. There is also an event for research presentations.

The National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive was signed by the European Parliament and the Council on 14th December 2016. It was enforced on 31 December. This new system is the most essential part of the Clean Air Programme for Europe that was implemented by the Commission on 18 December 2013. The NEC Directive is intended to set more stringent limits on the five main pollutants in Europe, which are: fine particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, and ammonia.