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EU Environment Policy

Latest news on the environment policies of the European Union.

EU water law is 'fit for purpose', says Brussels
The EU Water Framework Directive is 'fit for purpose', the Commission declared Thursday in an evaluation of EU water legislation that shows improved protection for water bodies and flood risk management.

EU Water Legislation - Fitness Check
The fitness check is a comprehensive policy evaluation of: the Water Framework Directive (WFD); the Environmental Quality Standards Directive (EQSD); the Groundwater Directive (GWD); the Floods Directive (FD). It assesses whether the Directives are fit for purpose by examining their performance against 5 criteria set out in the Commission’s Better Regulation agenda: effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value.

The European Green Deal
The European Commission today presented The European Green Deal - a roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all.

New 'Green Deal' is EU's growth strategy, says Commission
The European Commission presented its long-awaited 'Green Deal' Wednesday, a package of measures to boost efficient use of resources, to turn climate challenges into opportunities across all policy areas.

Switzerland to join EU emissions trading system 1 January
Switzerland will become the first country to successfully link its greenhouse gas emissions trading system with the European Union emissions trading system (EU ETS) on 1 January 2020.

COP25 climate change conference
This year's UN Climate Conference brings together governments, businesses, local authorities and civil society in Madrid to express support for the Paris Agreement and for urgent climate action.

The European environment - state and outlook 2020: knowledge for transition to a sustainable Europe
Europe will not achieve its 2030 goals without urgent action during the next 10 years to address the alarming rate of biodiversity loss, increasing impacts of climate change and the overconsumption of natural resources. The European Environment Agency's (EEA) latest 'State of the Environment' report states that Europe faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency.

Unprecedented urgency of Europe's environmental challenge
A change of direction is urgently needed if Europe is to face climate challenges of 'unprecedented scale and urgency', the EU environment agency said in its 'State of the Environment' report, published Wednesday.

Euro-MPs call for reduction in pesticides to protect bees
Further reducing use of pesticides, more funds for research and better monitoring are urgently needed to save the EU’s bees, according to the European Parliament's Environment Committee Tuesday.

EU provisionally agrees requirements for water reuse
EU institutions provisionally agreed requirements for water reuse in farming Tuesday, setting out minimum water quality requirements for the safe reuse of treated urban wastewaters in agricultural irrigation.

EU Parliament declares global climate emergency
The EU must commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at an upcoming UN Conference, the European Parliament said Thursday as it approved a resolution declaring a climate emergency in Europe and globally.

Euro-Parliament pushes for CO2 neutrality by 2050
The EU should commit to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 at the UN Conference and step up its emissions' reduction ambition for 2030, the European Parliament's Environment Committee said on Wednesday.

EU cuts greenhouse gas emissions, more needed on renewables
The EU cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in 2018, according to preliminary estimates from the European Environment Agency, but progress on renewables is hampered by rising energy consumption.

Forest fires hit more European countries than ever before
Wildfires destroyed nearly 178,000 hectares of forests and land in Europe last year, the EU Commission reported Thursday in its Annual Report on Forest Fires in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

EU issues Ecuador with yellow card over illegal fishing
EU efforts to fight illegal fishing worldwide continue as Brussels notified Ecuador Wednesday that it must step up its actions (yellow card) in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and issues for Ecuador
The European Commission continues action to fight illegal fishing worldwide by notifying the Republic of Ecuador that it needs to step up its actions (yellow card) in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Brussels sets out quotas for Atlantic, North Sea fishing
Ahead of a 16-17 December Fisheries Council meeting, the European Commission on Thursday adopted its proposal for fishing opportunities in 2020 for 72 stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea.

MEPs block watering down of measures to protect bees
The European Parliament sent an EU regulation to protect bees from harmful pesticides back to the drawing board Wednesday, when MEPs blocked a move by EU Member States to water down the legislation.

EU states agree taxonomy for sustainable business
EU ambassadors gave a green light Wednesday to a proposal for a first EU-wide classification system, or 'taxonomy', to allow businesses to determine what economic activities can be termed sustainable.

No patents on naturally obtained plants and seeds, say MEPs
Fruit, vegetables or animals obtained from conventional breeding processes, such as crossing, must not become patentable, the European Parliament said in a non-legislative resolution on Thursday.

EU, UN and Smurfs help clean up world's beaches
EU staff joined hands with local communities, and the Smurfs, on beaches across Europe and the world on Thursday, as part of the #EUBeachCleanUp campaign to clean up marine litter.

EU Beach Clean Up 2019
Every year millions of tons of trash end up in the ocean. By 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. Therefore, the European Union, the United Nations and the Smurfs are teaming up. For clean oceans and clean beaches. EU and UN offices all across the world will organise beach cleanup events together with local organisations, schools, etc.

EU reaffirms ambition for climate neutrality by 2050
The European Commission reaffirmed the EU's commitment to accelerated climate ambition Wednesday, as it makes preparations for a long-term strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Von der Leyen's new Commission affirms green credentials
EU Member States accepted Tuesday the list of Commissioners until 31 October 2024 proposed by European Commission president-elect Ursula Von der Leyen, with climate policy put forward as a top priority.

Climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in Europe - EEA Report No 4/2019
Climate change affects agriculture in a number of ways. Changes in temperature and precipitation as well as weather and climate extremes are already influencing crop yields and livestock productivity in Europe. Weather and climate conditions also affect the availability of water needed for irrigation, livestock watering practices, processing of agricultural products, and transport and storage conditions. Climate change is projected to reduce crop productivity in parts of southern Europe and to improve the conditions for growing crops in northern Europe. Although northern regions may experience longer growing seasons and more suitable crop conditions in future, the number of extreme events negatively affecting agriculture in Europe is projected to increase.