Magazine Environment for Europeans
Sharm El Sheikh and Katowice – two sides of a single coin22/01/2019
This autumn has seen two dramatic wake-up calls from scientists about the future of our planet.
Major budget boost for EU’s LIFE programme18/01/2019
On 25 October, the European Commission approved a major funding package for the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.
The global circular economy: ‘our aim is transformation’18/01/2019
Since 2016, the Directorate-General for the Environment has carried out a series of Circular Economy Missions: high-level political and business meetings in third countries to communicate and promote sustainable and resource-efficient policies.
European Parliament votes for single-use plastics ban18/01/2019
On 24 October, Members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of earlier proposals from the European Commission to cut plastics waste, targeting in particular single-use plastic litter polluting Europe's beaches and seas.
Making cities more breathable24/05/2018
This year, the European Commission’s Green Week, the biggest annual event on environment in Europe, is all about greening our cities.
Environment for Europeans spoke to Professor George Papatheodorou, leader of the Greek LIFE DEBAG project. Against a backdrop of legislative change, his team are using an awareness-raising campaign to help stop plastic carrier bags ending up as marine litter.
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. The European Commission plans to tackle this now by focusing on the interaction between chemicals, products and waste legislation.
Europe is tackling plastics waste head-on with an ambitious new strategy that proposes to make all plastic packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030. Part of the transition towards a more circular economy, the goal is to reduce pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation – “a true win-win”, according to Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President.
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 biodiversity loss. LIFE funding will mobilise additional investments totalling EUR 2 billion, enabling Member States to use other EU funds as well as national funds and private-sector investment.
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 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.
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.
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.