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Health and environment

 

Environment MEPs vote to curb off-road engine pollution

ENVI Environment15-09-2015 - 20:27
Ship with smoke emission and air pollution from the chimney ©AP Images/EP  

Draft rules to cut emissions of major air pollutants from non-road mobile machinery (NRMM), ranging from lawn mowers to bulldozers, tractors and inland waterway vessels, were backed by Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday. NRMM engines account for about 15% of all NOx and 5% of particulate emissions in the EU. (Read more: Environment MEPs vote to curb off-road engine pollution )

 

Rozière: Protecting traditional products could boost demand and create jobs

Others Consumers / Food safety14-09-2015 - 15:38
Interview with Virginie Rozière  

Traditional products from Calais lace to Scottish tartans could soon enjoy extra protection in the form of geographical indications, reassuring consumers about their origin and quality. This already exists for food products, but on Tuesday the EP's legal affairs committee votes on a proposal to extend this to non-agricultural products as well. We spoke to French S&D member Virginie Rozière, who is in charge of steering the plans through Parliament, about why the new rules are needed. (Read more: Rozière: Protecting traditional products could boost demand and create jobs )

 

Right2water citizens’ initiative: Commission must act, say MEPs

Plenary Session Environment08-09-2015 - 14:07
Water drop illustration_
©CC/Flickr/Luis  

The European Commission’s response to the first EU citizens’ initiative (ECI) petition, on the “Right2Water”, lacks ambition and failed to meet the demands of the organizers, said MEPs in a resolution voted on Tuesday. ECIs enable citizens to ask the Commission to propose laws in areas within its competence, if they can muster at least one million signatures from at least a quarter of EU member states. (Read more: Right2water citizens’ initiative: Commission must act, say MEPs )

 

EP wants animal cloning ban extended to offspring and imports

Plenary Session Agriculture / Public health08-09-2015 - 12:37
Cloned sheeps? ©CC/Flickr/Linh_Nguyen  

Parliament beefed up the Commission’s initial proposal to ban animal cloning to include the cloning of all farm animals, their descendants and products derived from them, including imports into the EU, in a vote on Tuesday. (Read more: EP wants animal cloning ban extended to offspring and imports )

 

MEPs toughen EU ban on the sale of seal products

Plenary Session Environment08-09-2015 - 12:11
Common seal  

Fewer seals could be hunted for their fur thanks to a stronger EU ban on the trade in seal product, approved in plenary on Tuesday (631 MEPs in favour, 31 against, 33 abstentions). The new rules will extend the ban to products resulting from hunts to protect fishing stocks, although Inuit and other indigenous communities will continue to be exempt from the ban. These changes, already agreed with EU governments, are needed to bring EU regulation in line with World Trade Organization rules. (Read more: MEPs toughen EU ban on the sale of seal products )

 

A draft EU law that would enable any member state to restrict or prohibit the use of EU-approved GMO food or feed on its territory was strongly opposed by MEPs from all political groups in a debate on Wednesday. Members were concerned that the draft did not include an impact assessment, that member state measures might not be compatible with single market or WTO rules and that the proposal might prove unworkable. (Read more: GMO imports: MEPs object to draft law allowing national bans, call for plan B )

 

Air quality: Environment MEPs call for tougher new national caps on pollutants

ENVI Environment / Public health15-07-2015 - 16:46
A view of London city from ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, Britain.  

As air pollution is responsible for around 400,000 premature deaths in the EU yearly, Environment MEPs on Wednesday tightened up Commission plans and called for more ambitious national caps on emissions of six main pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in order to cut emissions by 70% across the EU and save €40bn in air pollution costs by 2030. MEPs also want to include emissions reduction ceilings on mercury, and a midpoint target for most caps of 2025. (Read more: Air quality: Environment MEPs call for tougher new national caps on pollutants )

 
Computer equipment recycling centre. Cages and pallets of old computer monitors waiting to be recycled at a recycling centre.  

The EU needs to use natural resources more efficiently - a 30% increase in resource productivity by 2030 could boost its GDP by nearly 1% and create an extra 2 million sustainable jobs, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. But to achieve this growth, it needs binding waste-reduction targets, revamped ecodesign laws and measures to uncouple growth from resource use, they add, calling on the European Commission to table legislation by the end of 2015. (Read more: Circular economy: MEPs call for “systemic change” to address resource scarcity )

 

Parliament adopts CO2 market stability reserve

Plenary Session Environment08-07-2015 - 16:13

A reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), informally agreed with the Latvian Presidency of the Council, was endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The reform is intended to reduce the surplus of carbon credits available for trading in order to support the price of the emission rights. The scheme will start operating in 2019. (Read more: Parliament adopts CO2 market stability reserve )

 

ETS reform: everything you need to know in a nutshell

Others Environment06-07-2015 - 16:17
The EP’s environmental committee backs the reform of the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). © BELGA_AGEFOTOSTOCK  

The EU's emissions trading scheme (ETS) was set up to reduce gas emissions and fight climate change, but it is not working as efficiently as it could be. MEPs discuss on 7 July an informal deal with member states to reform the scheme and will then vote on it the following day. The legislation would tackle the imbalances of supply and demand of emission allowances, which is holding back investment in green technologies. Read on to find out what the reform is all about. (Read more: ETS reform: everything you need to know in a nutshell )