DG Environment

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, will receive the coveted United Nations Champions of the Earth prize for his policy leadership and work to promote resource efficiency and combat food waste. The prize - the UN's highest environmental accolade - is awarded to leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have had a significant and positive impact on the environment.

As reported in recent Newsflash’s, the EU’s seventh environment action programme (7EAP) the Eus legislative environmental plan for the period up to 2020 has been on the table between European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. In the last week of the Irish Presidency, a deal was secured on a shared text that allows the 7th EAP to set out priority objectives for EU environment policy in a range of areas including waste management, chemicals and biodiversity up to 2020.

Following a vote in the EP environment committee this month, shale gas, shale oil and coal-bed methane exploration projects should be subject to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). The vote upholds rapporteur Andrea Zanoni MEP’s view that the exploration, evaluation and extraction of the fuels be covered by the revised EIA Directive, which is currently being debated between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

A Call for Proposals to fund the setting-up of Verification Bodies under the EU Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) pilot programme will be published before the end of July 2013. All documents will be accessible on through DG ENVIRONMENT’s dedicated grants page for 2013 The ETV pilot programme has been set up to provide third-party verification, on a voluntary basis, of the performance claims made by technology manufacturers in business-to-business relations.

The European Commission launched a consultation on how to use phosphorus in a more sustainable way. Phosphorus is widely used in agriculture and is an essential component in fertilizer and feed, but it is a non-renewable resource. Supplies are limited and much phosphorus is currently wasted, creating concerns about future supplies in the EU and worldwide. The consultation asks how to ensure that reserves are available for future generations, and about ways to minimise the undesirable side effects phosphorus use can have on the environment.