Issue 56

Newsflash
November 2017

Pierre Moscovici, the French Commissioner, speaking on behalf of the EU executive, at the closing session of the Paris Clean Air Forum said that Member States inaction is a key brake on efforts to improve air quality.  In particular, he criticised Member States for not having been bold enough to introduce green taxes.  Whilst some Member States were seeking to modernise their tax systems as a means to decarbonise their economies and comply with the recently agreed climate targets, not enough was been done across the Member States and in particular no immediate plans for fiscal reforms that

Last week, at the Paris Clean Air Forum, attended by Bruno Weinzaepfel from AFITE, the European Commission and the European Environment Agency launched their new Air Quality Index and an Air Quality Atlas.The Air Quality Index has a user-friendly interactive map that shows the local air quality situation, based on five key pollutants that harm people's health and the environment: particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), ground-level ozone(O3),nitrogen dioxide(N

The 21st European Forum on Eco-innovation will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 5-6 February 2018. The Forum will examine eco-innovative solutions for improving air quality. It will bring together companies and public authorities that have already succeeded in developing and deploying effective new technologies, or innovative business and governance models, with those who are looking for such solutions and practices.

The European Parliament and Council have today reached a provisional agreement to revise the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for the period after 2020. This revision will contribute to put the EU on track to achieving a significant part of its commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030.  The EU Emissions Trading Scheme puts a cap on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by more than 11,000 installations in the power sector and energy intensive industry through a market-based cap and trade system. The deal includes:-

With the first of the two-year cycles of the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) published in February 2017, MEPs have given their verdict (in the form of a resolution) on this first cycle and outlined their expectations for future rounds. The EIR identifies widespread compliance problems in a wide variety of environmental legislation due to financial capacity of the environment ministries or their access to key competencies.

More than half of the EU’s Member States are failing to share crucial information about highly-polluting activities effectively online.  Many are failing to meet even the minimum requirements for transparency required by EU law. In research published recently by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) looked into 26 EU Member States, Norway and a number of regional authorities and has found a huge divergence in the quality and quantity of information available.

The licence to renew Glyphosate has been approved for 5 years following a late night vote on 27th November in the European Council that saw 19 member states (including Germany fresh from its coalition talks in Berlin) voting in favour of the licence’s renewal. France, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Austria voted against.

Food systems have to be aligned with environmental sustainability and the circular economy with the focus being shifted from downstream recovery to cutting oversupply.  That is the view of a new Italian environment agency study published last week.  The study defines food waste as that which ‘exceeds dietary requirements and ecological capacities.  Under this definition, it is estimated to represent 60% of food energy in Italy, and 63% in Europe. Food waste has emerged recently as one of the major environmental and socio-economic issues that humanity faces.

The 2018 European Commission work programme (ECWP2018) was published on the 24th October and confirms the Commission’s intention to push three overarching themes for the environment next year Sustainable Development, Circular Economy implementation and an initiative on Sustainable Finance.

Last week, during a marathon meeting running into the early hours, the EU institutions reached an agreement on the 2018 EU budget for the European Union directing money to where the needs are. The biggest part of the EU budget will go to stimulate the creation of jobs, especially for young people, and to boost growth, strategic investments and convergence. The EU will also continue supporting the efforts to effectively deal with the migration challenge, both inside and outside of the EU.

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