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EU Environment Policy

Latest news on the environment policies of the European Union.

EU firefighting fleet launched for next forest fire season
To prepare for the risk of forest fires during the upcoming summer, the Commission is launching today the first fleet of firefighting aircraft under the new rescEU system to tackle natural disasters.

EU approves unprecedented cuts to single-use plastics
EU ministers gave final approval Tuesday to new laws to tackle marine litter coming from single-use plastic products found on European beaches, as well as abandoned fishing gear and oxo-degradable plastics.

EU launches citizens' initiative to save the bees
The European Commission decided Wednesday to register a European Citizens' Initiative entitled ‘Save the bees! Protection of biodiversity and improvement of habitats for insects in Europe'.

UN Partnership Forum and the 2030 Agenda – Deputy Secretary-General says "The Clock is Ticking"
The day provided an opportunity for multiple stakeholders to gather and discuss the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Participants shared opinions on how best to achieve the targets of the 2030 Agenda, in particular, through accounts regarding collaborations between different spheres, from public, private, and civil society.

European Electric Vehicle Batteries Summit
Following the success of its inaugural event, the European Electric Vehicle Batteries Summit will be taking place in Berlin, Germany on 18th-19th June 2019.

EU maps out road to climate neutrality by 2050
The EU Commission reported progress on the Energy Union Tuesday, particularly its action plan on batteries, and setting out a path to more efficient and democratic decision making in EU energy and climate policy.

German energy law did not involve state aid: EU Court
A German law that gave support to businesses producing electricity from renewable energy sources did not involve state aid, the EU Court said Thursday in a ruling annulling the Commission decision.

EU seals deal to ban single-use plastics
The EU Parliament gave its green light Wednesday to measures to tackle marine litter, targeting 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches, as well as abandoned fishing gear.

EU to invest EUR 421m in smart, green transport projects
The EU Commission is proposing investment of EUR 421 million in projects promoting digitalisation and fostering intelligent, safe and sustainable finance transport infrastructure projects in Europe.

EU ecodesign and energy labels under auditors' scrutiny
The European Court of Auditors said Wednesday it is assessing the contribution EU measures for ecodesign and the energy labelling of products make to EU energy efficiency and environmental objectives.

Sustainability criteria for biofuels specified
The European Commission adopted on 13 March a delegated act on sustainability criteria for biofuels as requested by the European Parliament and Member States.

Supervision of organic imports needs to be improved: EU auditors
While the control system for organic products in the EU has improved in recent years, action is needed on the supervision of imports as well as on product traceability, says a European Court of Auditors report.

Special report no 04/2019: The control system for organic products has improved, but some challenges remain
Since 1991, the EU has had a control system governing the production, processing, distribution and import of organic products. It aims to give consumers the confidence that organic rules are applied at every stage of the supply chain. The EU organic sector has developed rapidly over recent years. Following up on our Special Report No 9/2012 published in June 2012, we found that the control system had improved. Our recommendations had generally been implemented, but some challenges remained. We make recommendations to address the remaining weaknesses we identified in the Member States for EU products, to improve the supervision of imported organic products through better cooperation as well as to carry out more complete traceability checks.

Strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment
The European Commission adopted on 11 March a Communication outlining a set of actions addressing the multifaceted challenges that the release of pharmaceuticals poses to the environment.

European water quality set for EU upgrade
The EU Council adopted its position Tuesday on a proposal to revise the drinking water directive, a result of the first-ever successful European citizens' initiative, launched to ensure that water remains a public service and a public good.

Recycling rates and use of recycled materials in the EU
The recycling rates and use of recycled materials in the in the European Union (EU) are steadily growing. Overall, the EU recycled around 55% of all waste excluding major mineral waste in 2016 (compared with 53% in 2010). The rate for recovering construction and demolition waste reached 89% (2016), the recycling rate of packaging waste exceeded 67% (2016, compared with 64% in 2010) while the rate of plastic packaging was over 42% (2016, compared with 24% in 2005). The recycling rate for municipal waste stood at 46% (2017, compared with 35% in 2007) and for the waste of electrical and electronic equipment such as computers, televisions, fridges and mobile phones, which include valuable materials which can be recovered (e-waste) in the EU reached 41% (2016, compared with 28% in 2010).

Circular Economy Package Report
The European Commission adopted a Report on 4 March on its 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan to stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy which aimed at boosting global competitiveness, fostering sustainable economic growth and generating new jobs.

EU on the right track towards a circular economy: report
The European Union is making good progress on the road to a climate-neutral, competitive circular economy, the EU Commission declared Monday as it published a report on implementation of its 'Circular Economy Action Plan'.

Innovation Fund Delegated Regulation
The Commission announced on 26 February an investment programme worth over €10 billion for low-carbon technologies in several sectors to boost their global competitiveness.

Commission report on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (assessment of the second River Basin Management Plans) and the Floods Directive (first Flood Risk Management Plans)
The European Commission published on 26 February its assessment of how EU Member States have implemented EU water legislation, highlighting successes and shortcomings. The six-yearly implementation report evaluates both Member States' River Basin Management Plans and Flood Risk Management Plans for the period 2015 to 2021.

Convenient Truths - Mapping climate agendas of right-wing populist parties in Europe
Right-wing and Eurosceptic parties are expected to win more than 150 seats in the European Parliament in the 2019 European elections (up to 25 percent). Right-wing populists already hold seats in seven national governments of EU member states. This increases the influence of right-wing populists in the European Union and their ability to torpedo climate and energy policy. Publication by adelphi, a leading independent think tank and public policy consultancy on climate, environment and development.

New EU low-carbon benchmarks boost for sustainable investment
The EU Council and Parliament reached a preliminary agreement Monday on a proposal for new financial benchmarks aimed at giving greater information on an investment portfolio's carbon footprint.

Brussels mulls new guidelines for company reporting on climate info
As part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan, the EU Commission launched Thursday a consultation with the objective to finalise new guidelines for company reporting on climate-related information.

Europe to set first-ever CO2 emission reduction targets for trucks
The EU is set to reduce CO2 emissions of lorries, following a provisional deal between MEPs and the EU Council on new rules which set binding CO2 emission reduction targets for heavy-duty vehicles.

Share of renewable energy in the EU 2017
Today's Eurostat report shows that the EU is on track for reaching its renewable energy target for 2020. In 2017, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the EU, reached 17.5%, up from 17.0% in 2016 and more than double the share as in 2004 (8.5), the first year for which the data are available.