Magazine Environment for Europeans
Getting the most out of recycling09/04/2018
Certain chemicals found in products and materials make it more difficult to reuse and recycle these products – creating a challenge to ‘closing the loop’ in the circular economy.
Ambitious new strategy to make plastic fantastic16/03/2018
Europe is tackling plastics waste head-on with an ambitious new strategy that proposes to make all plastic packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030.
EU invests EUR 98.2 million to improve citizens' quality of life09/03/2018
New LIFE Integrated Projects in eight Member States will help them apply environment and climate laws on the ground to tackle challenges such as water scarcity, climate change, circular economy and biodivers
Europe in the driver’s seat for global shift to clean transport05/03/2018
The Clean Mobility Package is the latest in a series of proposals aimed at reinforcing the European Union’s global leadership in sustainable transport. According to Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, “The global race to develop clean cars is on”.
Environment poll: citizens trust the EU, but expect more25/01/2018
Europeans remain very concerned about the environment, with climate change, air pollution and mounting waste as their biggest worries. While they are increasingly committed to individual action, a new poll reveals they expect the EU and national governments to do more.
Environment for Europeans asked Matjaž Malgaj about the latest steps to improve Europe’s drinking water supply. He heads the DG Environment Unit that is responsible for the marine environment and water industry.
The Kigali Amendment to the United Nations’ Montreal Protocol, which aims to cut back the global use of harmful hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs), comes into force in January 2019. The EU has received a 2017 Ozone Award for its leading role in negotiating this international agreement.
Common European rules on environment matter in our daily lives – whether they improve air quality, ensure safe drinking water or take care that waste is managed properly. When they are not observed, this can cause considerable economic costs and harm human health and the environment. A new European Commission action plan will help public authorities to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with these rules – known as ‘environmental compliance assurance’.
The Netherlands’ oldest city, Nijmegen, is this year’s European Green Capital, with “a passionate, clear and persuasive vision”, according to the judges of this prestigious competition. Exemplary policies in climate adaptation, cycling, waste and water management, and deep citizen involvement make Nijmegen “a true ambassador for change”, says Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General of the Commission’s DG Environment.
Europe’s air quality has improved, but more progress is needed to reduce ammonia emissions, 95 % of which are caused by agriculture. To meet the targets set by the new National Emissions Ceilings Directive, the agricultural sector should use proven cost-effective ways of lowering ammonia emissions, especially on big industrial farms.
Eighteen months after adoption of the Circular Economy Package, delivery is on track. To bring all stakeholders together, the new European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform will be a ‘network of networks’, supporting progress across sectors.
Noise is the second biggest environmental health threat in Europe, according to the World Health Organization. While current EU legislation is broadly ‘fit for purpose’, Member States are not doing enough to implement it. Noise reduction measures are cost-effective, but awareness of the problem and implementing solutions to it remain a challenge.
The European institutions have decided to establish a new Innovation Fund for the period post-2020, to be financed through the EU's emissions trading system. Ahead of a public consultation, over 250 industry experts have given their views on how this fund could support innovative low-carbon energy solutions.
In July, the European Commission stepped up its fight against ivory trafficking and elephant poaching, with new, tighter rules on the export of raw ivory from Europe. It is now inviting individuals and organisations to submit their views on what more the EU should do to tackle ivory trafficking.
Environmental taxes can contribute to a healthier planet and healthier people, and encourage more responsible environmental behaviour among citizens. They also spur jobs and growth. Civil society organisations have a role to play in ensuring environmental taxes work, according to a new study commissioned by DG Environment.