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Health and environment

 

COP 21: environment MEPs adopt mandate for Paris climate talks

ENVI Environment23-09-2015 - 17:30

The environment committee said on Wednesday that Parliament's delegation to the COP 21 climate talks in Paris must call for a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, a 40% energy-efficiency target and a binding 30% target for renewable energy. (Read more: COP 21: environment MEPs adopt mandate for Paris climate talks )

 

During a first debate the state of play on Volkswagen's emission "defeat devices" with the European Commission in the Environment Committee, many MEPs highlighted the need to speed up the introduction of automotive test procedures that better reflect vehicle emissions in real driving conditions, while others compared the EU's decentralized “type-approval” system unfavourably with the US one. (Read more: MEPs discuss Volkswagen emission "defeat devices" with EU Commission )

 

"Goals focus minds": Linda McAvan on Sustainable Development Goals

Plenary Session Environment16-09-2015 - 15:50
Interview with Linda McAvan  

Countries will this year shape and adopt the development agenda that will build on the Millennium Development Goals. A Parliament delegation will take part in the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York where countries will approve the new goals. Ahead of the plenary debate on Wednesday 16 September, we spoke with development committee chair Linda McAvan, a UK member of the S&D group, about future goals and what has been achieved so far. Watch the debate live from 16.30 CET. (Read more: "Goals focus minds": Linda McAvan on Sustainable Development Goals )

 

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 )