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Health and environment

Interview with Giovanni La Via  

NGOs, experts and governments meet in Lima, in Peru, from 1 to 12 December to discuss the climate agreement for reducing global emissions after 2020. A Parliament delegation will attend from 8 to 12 December. We talked to Giovanni La Via, environment committee chair and head of the delegation, about the challenges facing his team in Lima. (Read more: La Via on climate talks: "We need a strong effort from many large players" )


COP20 Climate change talks: EP delegation to attend Lima summit

ENVI Environment04-12-2014 - 18:16
Official logo of the COP20, UN Climate Change Conference in Lima  

A 12-strong delegation of MEPs will take part in the UN climate conference in Lima, Peru, from Monday to Friday. The 20th Conference of Parties (COP20) aims to set out the structure of a global and binding climate agreement to be concluded in Paris in 2015. In a resolution voted last month, the European Parliament reiterated the EU commitment to getting on track for a below 2°C climate warming scenario, and pledged to step up European contributions to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). (Read more: COP20 Climate change talks: EP delegation to attend Lima summit )


New legislation to allow EU member states to restrict, or ban, the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their own territory, even if it is allowed at EU level, were agreed by Parliament and Council delegations on Wednesday night. (Read more: Deal reached on new rules allowing flexibility for EU countries to ban GMO crops )

World AIDS Day: 2.1 million people infected with HIV in 2013 Infographic - Public health01-12-2014 - 15:42

World AIDS Day, held annually on 1 December, is an opportunity for people across the world to unite in the combat against HIV. While there has been a 38% drop in new HIV infections since 2001, 2.1 million people were newly infected in 2013. Speaking ahead of World AIDS Day, EP President Martin Schulz warned: “We may see the beginning of the end of AIDS but the fight will not be over soon. We should keep our commitments at the same level.” (Read more: World AIDS Day: 2.1 million people infected with HIV in 2013 )

The logo of the ACP - EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly  

Africa’s development holds both great promise and great challenges. Economic growth has been solid in recent years but the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and terrorism concerns have threatened to unravel progress. MEPs will discuss these and other urgent issues at a meeting with parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries that formally opens in Strasbourg on 1 December. (Read more: MEPs discuss Ebola, terrorism with African, Caribbean and Pacific counterparts )


Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris

Plenary Session Environment26-11-2014 - 14:03
Iceberg melting down ©BELGA_AGEFOTOSTOCK  

Talks to be held in Lima next month should enable global partners to reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in 2015, so as to keep the world on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario, Parliament said in a resolution voted on Wednesday. MEPs reiterated the pledge by the EU and its member states to step up contributions to the UN Green Climate Fund. (Read more: Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris )


Draft plans to encourage food innovation via a new, simplified authorization procedure for novel foods were approved by the Environment Committee on Monday. MEPs nonetheless amended the text and proposed a moratorium on the use of nanomaterials in food, based on the precautionary principle. They also added provisions for compulsory labelling of cloned food products. (Read more: Novel foods: MEPs call for moratorium on nano-foods and labelling of cloned meat )


No more plastic bags polluting our environment

Others Environment24-11-2014 - 17:36
Guest photographer_Gábor Szellő / Nowadays_  

Life in plastic is not so fantastic after all. Plastic bags have been blamed for polluting the environment, especially aquatic ecosystems. Today the environment committee votes on a proposal negotiated by the Parliament and the Council to reduce the use of the commonest and most polluting plastic carrier bags. Under the new rules member states could either ban free plastic bags for shoppers by 2018 or else ensure that the average consumption of them does not exceed 90 a year per person by 2019. (Read more: No more plastic bags polluting our environment )


EU countries would have to reduce the use of the commonest and most polluting plastic carrier bags, under draft rules informally agreed between MEPs and the Italian Presidency of the Council on Monday and confirmed by the member states’ permanent representatives on Friday. Plastic carrier bag litter is a major environmental problem, as it is known to pollute bodies of water and aquatic eco-systems in particular. (Read more: Reducing use of plastic bags: MEPs strike deal with Council Presidency )


Debate: Ebola fact-finding mission to West Africa

Others Public health17-11-2014 - 14:09
An health worker wearing protective equipment gives to drink to an Ebola young patient at Kenama treatment center run by the Red cross Society on November 15, 2014. ©BELGA_AFP_F. LEONG  

Christos Stylianides, the commissioner for humanitarian aid, will today discuss the situation in Ebola-affected countries with the EP's development committee, following his fact-finding mission to West Africa. The meeting focuses on assessing progress and identifying what further measures are needed to tackle the outbreak. Ahead of the debate we asked Gilles Pargneaux, a French member of the S&D group, his thoughts about the situation. Follow the meeting live on our website from 17.00 CET. (Read more: Debate: Ebola fact-finding mission to West Africa )