Main menu (press 'Enter')
Access to page content (press 'Enter')
Direct access to list of other websites (press 'Enter')

Newsroom

Health and environment

 

March plenary: safe food, melting ice caps and a prejudice that won’t go away

Plenary Session External/international trade / Environment / Food safety17-03-2017 - 11:03
 

Modern threats and ancient prejudices dominated Parliament’s March 2017 plenary session. The need to ensure that our food is safe was debated as were the threats and opportunities of melting polar ice. At the same time, the inequality still facing women in the workplace was underlined and an MEP who berated women punished, while most MEPs called on Europe to step in and replace the funds the United States is withdrawing from NGOs offering abortions in developing countries. (Read more: March plenary: safe food, melting ice caps and a prejudice that won’t go away )

 

Arctic: ban oil drilling and mitigate tensions, urge MEPs

Plenary Session External relations / Environment16-03-2017 - 12:44
Picture of iceland glacier lagoon bay  

Climate change is bringing new environmental and security challenges in the Arctic, as the melting ice cap opens up new navigation and fishing routes, and competition for its natural resources heats up, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. They call for measures to protect the vulnerable Arctic ecosystem, ban oil drilling there and keep it a low-tension and cooperation area. (Read more: Arctic: ban oil drilling and mitigate tensions, urge MEPs )

 

Arctic: MEPs debate strategy to prevent conflicts over polar region heating up

Plenary Session External relations / Environment15-03-2017 - 14:30
infographic illustration  

The melting of Arctic ice is unlocking new opportunities in the form of shipping routes and gas and oil stocks, but also increasing tensions and creating risks for the environment. A Parliament report calls for the protection of the Arctic's unique ecosystem and sets out ways to defuse possible tensions. "There is need to avoid the militarisation of the Arctic and respect for international law is essential,"said report co-author Urmas Paet. MEPs debate the report tonight and vote on it tomorrow. (Read more: Arctic: MEPs debate strategy to prevent conflicts over polar region heating up )

 

Waste: boost recycling, cut landfilling and curb food waste, Parliament says

Plenary Session Environment14-03-2017 - 13:47
Pile of waste garbage_  

The share of waste to be recycled would rise to 70% by 2030, from 44% today, under draft legislation adopted on Tuesday. MEPs also want the “waste package” plans to limit the share of landfilling, which has a big environmental impact, to 5% and to deliver a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030. Parliament will now negotiate with Council of Ministers. (Read more: Waste: boost recycling, cut landfilling and curb food waste, Parliament says )

 

Waste management: MEPs to vote on plans to boost recycling rates

Plenary Session Environment10-03-2017 - 09:58
infographic illustration on waste management in the EU  

MEPs vote Tuesday 14 March on four directives concerning waste management, mainly waste from households and small firms, representing 8% of total waste. These plans are a first step towards creating a circular economy where products are designed in order to facilitate reuse. One of the key issues is how ambitious targets should be for recycling rates and limiting landfilling, which is probably the most harmful way of getting rid of waste. (Read more: Waste management: MEPs to vote on plans to boost recycling rates )

 

Palm oil: the high cost of cultivating the cheap vegetable oil

Others Environment / Public health08-03-2017 - 13:56
 

Palm oil is extensively used in food, cosmetics and biofuels, however the unsustainable production of the cheap vegetable oil leads to deforestation, loss of nature habitats and greenhouse gas emissions. Czech GUE/NGL member Kateřina Konečná calls on the European Commission to take measure to promote the responsible cultivation of palm oil and phase out its use for biofuels. The environment committee votes on her report on 9 March. (Read more: Palm oil: the high cost of cultivating the cheap vegetable oil )

 

Pesticides: MEPs want to promote use of natural alternatives

Plenary Session Agriculture / Environment22-02-2017 - 09:00
 

Although fast and effective for plant growth, chemicals pesticides entail potential risks for human health, animals and the environment. About 45% of food we consume contains pesticide residues with 1.6% exceeding legal limits, according to the European Food Safety Authority. MEPs want to promote the use of more natural pesticides and to simplify and speed up the approval process. Check our video for more information. (Read more: Pesticides: MEPs want to promote use of natural alternatives )

 
Smoking chimneys at sunset  

Plans to boost greenhouse-gas emission curbs through the EU carbon market (EU ETS), so as to bring EU climate policy into line with the aims of the Paris agreement, were backed by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs supported the Commission proposal to reduce the number of “carbon credits” (emission allowances) by 2.2% each year, and want to double the capacity of the 2019 market stability reserve (MSR) to absorb the excess of allowances on the market. (Read more: MEPs back plans to cut carbon emission allowances and fund low-carbon innovation )

 

CO2 cuts: finding the right balance between trade and fighting climate change

Plenary Session Environment13-02-2017 - 14:25
Infographic illustration on TOP CO2 emitters  

MEPs vote this week on plans to reform the EU's emissions trading system (ETS), a scheme set up to help reduce greenhouse gases, which is not not working as expected. Although the EU is the world's third largest CO2 emitter, it also harbours the most ambitious climate target: to cut emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The plans voted on in Parliament this week should help achieve this target while maintaining Europe’s industrial competitiveness. (Read more: CO2 cuts: finding the right balance between trade and fighting climate change )

 

Emissions scandal: “The key is to make the rules as robust as possible”

Others Free movement of goods / Consumers / Environment09-02-2017 - 16:02
Interview with Daniel Dalton  

The Volkswagen scandal - involving the manipulation of emission tests - exposed the weakness of the current EU car certification system. On Thursday the internal market committee adopted proposals aimed at making this more difficult, including checks on cars already in circulation. The proposals will now need to be approved by all MEPs during an upcoming plenary session. We talked to UK ECR member Daniel Dalton, the MEP in charge of steering these plans through Parliament. (Read more: Emissions scandal: “The key is to make the rules as robust as possible” )