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Environment action programme: Living well, within the limits of our planet

11-12-2018

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, under the premise that economic prosperity and environmental protection are interdependent. Successive environment action programmes have set the framework for EU environmental policy. The seventh environment action programme, a binding decision adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2013, covers the period from 2014 to 2020. Bearing the title 'Living well, within the limits of our planet', it seeks to achieve ...

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, under the premise that economic prosperity and environmental protection are interdependent. Successive environment action programmes have set the framework for EU environmental policy. The seventh environment action programme, a binding decision adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2013, covers the period from 2014 to 2020. Bearing the title 'Living well, within the limits of our planet', it seeks to achieve a 2050 vision for sustainability. The seventh environment action programme sets nine priority objectives: three 'thematic' objectives (on natural capital; on a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy; and on health and well-being), four 'enabling' objectives (on implementation of EU law; on the knowledge and evidence base; on investments and externalities; and on policy coherence), and two 'horizontal' objectives (on cities; and on the international dimension). The three thematic objectives are linked to a large number of initiatives, legislative acts and international agreements. A 2017 report by the European Environment Agency sums up progress towards meeting the three thematic objectives as follows: on natural capital, the EU is not on track to meet the 2020 objectives; on a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy, and on health and well-being, the 2020 outlook is mixed. The European Parliament is supportive of the action programme. In 2018, it urged the Commission and the Member States to step up its implementation. The European Commission is expected to publish its evaluation of the seventh environment action programme by mid-2019, and could subsequently put forward a proposal for an eighth environment action programme.

Land use in the EU 2030 climate and energy framework

19-07-2018

On 20 July 2016, the European Commission proposed a regulation regarding the inclusion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from land use and forestry in the EU 2030 climate and energy framework. This would be the first time that the land-use sector is formally included in EU climate policy. The regulation would require Member States to balance emissions and removals from the land-use sector over two five-year periods between 2021 and 2030. It sets out accounting rules and allows for certain ...

On 20 July 2016, the European Commission proposed a regulation regarding the inclusion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from land use and forestry in the EU 2030 climate and energy framework. This would be the first time that the land-use sector is formally included in EU climate policy. The regulation would require Member States to balance emissions and removals from the land-use sector over two five-year periods between 2021 and 2030. It sets out accounting rules and allows for certain flexibilities. The new regulation is part of the EU’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. This target was set by the European Council in October 2014, and is also the EU’s international commitment under the Paris Agreement on climate change. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 30 May 2018. The regulation entered into force on 9 July 2018. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Effort sharing regulation, 2021-2030: Limiting Member States' carbon emissions

19-07-2018

In July 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation to limit post-2020 national emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in sectors not covered by the EU emissions trading system (ETS). These include transport, buildings and agriculture. The proposed regulation would be the successor of the Effort Sharing Decision that sets annual national GHG emission limits for the period 2013-2020. The proposed regulation is part of the EU’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by at least 40% ...

In July 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation to limit post-2020 national emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in sectors not covered by the EU emissions trading system (ETS). These include transport, buildings and agriculture. The proposed regulation would be the successor of the Effort Sharing Decision that sets annual national GHG emission limits for the period 2013-2020. The proposed regulation is part of the EU’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. This target was set by the European Council in October 2014, and also constitutes the EU’s international commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 30 May 2018. The Regulation entered into force on 9 July 2018. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Air quality: Pollution sources and impacts, EU legislation and international agreements

10-07-2018

Outdoor air pollution is caused by the emission of harmful substances from natural sources and human activities. It has a number of adverse effects on human health and the environment, and subsequently on society and the economy. Air pollution can be transported or formed over long distances and can affect large areas. Effective air quality policies require action and cooperation beyond the local and national levels, on a European and global scale. This publication presents key air pollutants, lists ...

Outdoor air pollution is caused by the emission of harmful substances from natural sources and human activities. It has a number of adverse effects on human health and the environment, and subsequently on society and the economy. Air pollution can be transported or formed over long distances and can affect large areas. Effective air quality policies require action and cooperation beyond the local and national levels, on a European and global scale. This publication presents key air pollutants, lists natural sources of air pollution, and details emissions from human activities by sector. It describes adverse effects on human health, the environment and the climate, as well as socio-economic impacts. In addition, it provides an overview of international agreements and European Union legislation setting air quality standards, lowering national emissions of pollutants, and reducing emissions of pollutants at specific sources. Furthermore, this publication briefly describes the state of implementation of key EU legislation related to air quality. Finally, it reflects the position of the European Parliament and stakeholders on the policy area.

Economic Aspects of the Regulatory Framework in the Area of Fertilizers

14-04-2017

This study discusses economic implications of the proposed EU regulation on the market of CE marked fertilizers. Depending on the design of the regulation, the costs can be substantial. The expected additional costs of introducing mandatory or voluntary maximum threshold levels for cadmium in inorganic fertilizer are larger than the expected benefits. Measuring cadmium concentration in food in combination with food consumption information seems to be a more cost-effective strategy. Harmonizing the ...

This study discusses economic implications of the proposed EU regulation on the market of CE marked fertilizers. Depending on the design of the regulation, the costs can be substantial. The expected additional costs of introducing mandatory or voluntary maximum threshold levels for cadmium in inorganic fertilizer are larger than the expected benefits. Measuring cadmium concentration in food in combination with food consumption information seems to be a more cost-effective strategy. Harmonizing the standards for new fertilizing products entering the EU market can increase their supply, support the development of the bio-economy and hence should be enforced. This document was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Údar seachtarach

Justus Wesseler and Dušan Drabik

Reducing air pollution - National emission ceilings for air pollutants

20-01-2017

Despite significant progress in recent decades, air pollution levels in the European Union still have adverse impacts on the environment and on health. The European Commission estimates that health-related costs of air pollution in the EU range from 390 to 940 billion euros per year. The proposed directive, which would replace the current National Emission Ceilings Directive, sets binding national reduction objectives for six air pollutants (SO2, NOx, NMVOCs, NH3, PM2.5 and CH4) to be met by 2020 ...

Despite significant progress in recent decades, air pollution levels in the European Union still have adverse impacts on the environment and on health. The European Commission estimates that health-related costs of air pollution in the EU range from 390 to 940 billion euros per year. The proposed directive, which would replace the current National Emission Ceilings Directive, sets binding national reduction objectives for six air pollutants (SO2, NOx, NMVOCs, NH3, PM2.5 and CH4) to be met by 2020 and 2030. It will also implement the Gothenburg Protocol as amended in 2012. The European Commission estimates that implementation costs would range from 2.2 to 3.3 billion euros per year. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 14 December 2016. Member States are required to transpose the new directive into national law by 1 July 2018. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of 6 October 2016: PE 589.821.

Measuring on-road air pollution from cars

11-01-2016

Although emissions of air pollutants from transport have fallen considerably in recent decades, current levels still have adverse effects on health and the environment. In an implementing regulation on new tests that better reflect real on-road emissions, the Commission sets higher limits than current standards, but below current levels of emissions. A motion for a resolution blocking the Commission draft is due to be submitted to the plenary in January.

Although emissions of air pollutants from transport have fallen considerably in recent decades, current levels still have adverse effects on health and the environment. In an implementing regulation on new tests that better reflect real on-road emissions, the Commission sets higher limits than current standards, but below current levels of emissions. A motion for a resolution blocking the Commission draft is due to be submitted to the plenary in January.

Monitoring CO2 emissions in maritime transport

20-04-2015

International maritime shipping remains the only means of transport not included in the EU's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2013, the European Commission outlined an EU approach to these issues and, as a first step, presented proposals to create a system for collecting and publishing verified annual data on CO2 emissions from large ships using EU ports. This will indirectly support EU action on climate change and can contribute to the ongoing international debate on cutting ...

International maritime shipping remains the only means of transport not included in the EU's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2013, the European Commission outlined an EU approach to these issues and, as a first step, presented proposals to create a system for collecting and publishing verified annual data on CO2 emissions from large ships using EU ports. This will indirectly support EU action on climate change and can contribute to the ongoing international debate on cutting emissions from shipping at global level.

Kazakhstan: Selected Trade and Economic Issues

25-09-2013

In a number of ways, Kazakhstan has performed best among the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Benefitting from rich natural resources, the country recovered from the collapse of the Soviet plan economy and posted very good results for most of the last decade. With a relatively open and market-oriented economy, Kazakhstan has increasingly integrated into the world trading system, although with some serious distortions, particularly in key economic sectors such as mining and oil. Kazakhstan ...

In a number of ways, Kazakhstan has performed best among the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Benefitting from rich natural resources, the country recovered from the collapse of the Soviet plan economy and posted very good results for most of the last decade. With a relatively open and market-oriented economy, Kazakhstan has increasingly integrated into the world trading system, although with some serious distortions, particularly in key economic sectors such as mining and oil. Kazakhstan is currently an upper-medium income country, and one viewed – thanks to its hydrocarbon reserves – as a strategic economic (and often political) partner by most of its neighbours, the EU and the US. Trade with Europe is on the rise, and the EU is the country's first trading partner. Increased revenues have helped improve infrastructure and social services, and the country has experienced significant progress in terms of human development and the fight against poverty. Social and regional disparities have not been entirely erased, however, and the country still faces serious economic, environmental and social challenges.

EU Subsidies for Polluting and Unsustainable Practices

15-02-2011

The report provides an overview of the environmental relevance of the largest fields of expenditure within the EU budget. Based on existing methodologies, it assesses the sustainability level of key budget items in the EU sectoral policies. It also provides recommendations in the context of a potential reform of subsidies that would contribute to the alignment of the EU budget towards a more sustainable growth as called in the EU2020 Strategy.

The report provides an overview of the environmental relevance of the largest fields of expenditure within the EU budget. Based on existing methodologies, it assesses the sustainability level of key budget items in the EU sectoral policies. It also provides recommendations in the context of a potential reform of subsidies that would contribute to the alignment of the EU budget towards a more sustainable growth as called in the EU2020 Strategy.

Údar seachtarach

Arkaitz USUBIAGA (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy), Philipp SCHEPELMANN (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy), Bettina BAHN-WALKOWIAK (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy), Matthias ALTMANN (Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH), Ruta LANDGREBE (Ecologic Institute) and Ralph PIOTROWSKI (Ecologic Institute)

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