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Health and environment

 

Plenary highlights: Turkey, Lux Prize, defence, air pollution

Plenary Session External relations / Security and defence / Public health25-11-2016 - 11:54
 

The EU should freeze accession negotiations with Turkey in light of the country's vast crackdown that followed the failed July coup, said MEPs in a resolution adopted this week. Also during this week's plenary session MEPs called on EU countries to step up cooperation on defence. On Wednesday Parliament awarded its annual Lux Film Prize to dark comedy Toni Erdmann by German director Maren Ade. (Read more: Plenary highlights: Turkey, Lux Prize, defence, air pollution )

 

MEPs call for ivory trade ban, penalties against wildlife trafficking

Plenary Session Environment24-11-2016 - 12:33
Elephants  

MEPs advocate a full and immediate EU-wide ban on ivory and rhinoceros horn trade, and call for common sanctions at EU level against wildlife trafficking, in a resolution voted on Thursday. Wildlife trafficking is worth an estimated €20 billion annually. It has grown in recent years, becoming one of the biggest and most profitable forms of organised cross-border crime. (Read more: MEPs call for ivory trade ban, penalties against wildlife trafficking )

 

Progress in deciding how the Paris climate agreement is to be applied by its 197 signatory countries and the “Marrakesh Action Proclamation”, approved last week at the UN climate change conference (COP22) in Morocco, was debated on Wednesday morning with EU climate action and energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and with Slovak State Secretary Ivan Korčok, representing the Council Presidency. (Read more: Climate change: debate on Marrakesh conference outcome with Commissioner Cañete )

 

Bentazone herbicide: MEPs object to Commission plans to renew EU authorisation

Plenary Session Environment / Public health23-11-2016 - 13:42

The EU authorisation for Bentazone herbicide, which expires on 30 June 2017, should not be renewed as its safety has yet to be confirmed, says a non-binding resolution voted on Wednesday. MEPs point out that Bentazone can easily leak directly into groundwater and is suspected of interfering with human reproduction. (Read more: Bentazone herbicide: MEPs object to Commission plans to renew EU authorisation )

 

Air quality: MEPs back new national caps on pollutants

Plenary Session Public health23-11-2016 - 13:10
Hazy suburbs view in Budapest, Hungary  

Plans for more ambitious national caps on emissions of key pollutants by 2030, including NOx, particulates and sulphur dioxide, won the support of MEPs on Wednesday. They had already been informally agreed with the Dutch Presidency of the Council. Air pollution causes about 400,000 premature deaths in the EU per year. (Read more: Air quality: MEPs back new national caps on pollutants )

 

Cleaner air: MEPs vote on tougher emission limits for key air pollutants

Plenary Session Environment / Public health23-11-2016 - 10:33
 

Close to half a million Europeans die every year from diseases linked to the millions of tons of gases and particulates human activity releases into the atmosphere. These range from sulphur dioxide that contributes to the acid rain that damages buildings and kills plants, to tiny particulate matter that can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. On Wednesday 23 November, MEPs vote to set tougher emission limits for key air pollutants. Learn more about where they come from in our chart. (Read more: Cleaner air: MEPs vote on tougher emission limits for key air pollutants )

 
infographic illustration  

Ever heard of pangolins? Chances are you will never have a chance to see them up close. These mammals are the most trafficked worldwide and like rhinos and elephants are now on the brink of extinction. It's another example of wildlife trafficking poses a serious threat to the survival of our ecosystems. MEPs debate a report by Catherine Bearder on how EU and its members states should step up their efforts to combat wildlife trafficking on Wednesday 23 November, followed by a vote the next day. (Read more: Making a killing: how to stop the lethal practice of wildlife trafficking )

 
Q&A from COP 22 in Marrakesh  

World leaders gathered at the COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh for the last two weeks to negotiate how to implement the priorities of the Paris agreement. Today nearly 200 countries have backed a proclamation declaring implementing them an "urgent duty". The European Parliament was present at the conference with a delegation composed of 12 MEPs. We asked delegation head Giovanni La Via, an Italian member of the EPP group, about the next steps and the Parliament’s role. (Read more: COP22 in Marrakesh: "EU will deliver on commitments whatever happens" )

 

Wildlife trafficking: “It is easier to smuggle rhino horn than drugs”

Plenary Session Environment17-11-2016 - 11:23
Interview with Catherine Bearder  

Wildlife trafficking is the world's fourth largest criminal activity with rhino horn now being worth more than gold. On Monday 21 November MEPs debate a report calling for common sanction at EU levels to help fight wildlife tracking and vote on it the following day. We talked to report author Catherine Bearder, a UK member of the ALDE group, about wildlife trafficking and what is fuelling demand for it. (Read more: Wildlife trafficking: “It is easier to smuggle rhino horn than drugs” )

 
Logo COP 22 in Marrakesh  

Less than one year after adopting the Paris climate agreement, world leaders and negotiators are meeting for talks in Marrakesh. The COP22 conference on 7-18 November focuses on ways of implementing the first universally binding global deal on climate change, a matter of huge urgency for the planet. Parliament is represented at the talks by a delegation of 12 MEPs led by Italian EPP member Giovanni La Via. (Read more: From agreement to action: what is at stake at the climate talks in Marrakesh? )