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Single-use plastics and fishing gear: Reducing marine litter

17-06-2019

Most of the plastic in our oceans originates from land-based sources. On European beaches, plastics make up 80-85 % of marine litter, which is considered a major threat to marine and coastal biodiversity. Marine litter also costs the European Union economy an estimated €259 million to €695 million per year. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal seeking to address the issue of marine litter from plastics. The proposal would introduce a series of measures regarding ...

Most of the plastic in our oceans originates from land-based sources. On European beaches, plastics make up 80-85 % of marine litter, which is considered a major threat to marine and coastal biodiversity. Marine litter also costs the European Union economy an estimated €259 million to €695 million per year. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal seeking to address the issue of marine litter from plastics. The proposal would introduce a series of measures regarding the top 10 single-use plastics found on European beaches, as well as fishing gear, with a view to reducing their impact on the environment and ensuring a functional internal market. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed by the presidents of the co-legislators (European Parliament and Council) on 5 June 2019, and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 12 June 2019. Member States have two years (i.e. until 3 July 2021) to transpose the new directive into national law. Fourth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Environmental impact of the textile and clothing industry: What consumers need to know

17-01-2019

The amount of clothes bought in the EU per person has increased by 40 % in just a few decades, driven by a fall in prices and the increased speed with which fashion is delivered to consumers. Clothing accounts for between 2 % and 10 % of the environmental impact of EU consumption. This impact is often felt in third countries, as most production takes place abroad. The production of raw materials, spinning them into fibres, weaving fabrics and dyeing require enormous amounts of water and chemicals ...

The amount of clothes bought in the EU per person has increased by 40 % in just a few decades, driven by a fall in prices and the increased speed with which fashion is delivered to consumers. Clothing accounts for between 2 % and 10 % of the environmental impact of EU consumption. This impact is often felt in third countries, as most production takes place abroad. The production of raw materials, spinning them into fibres, weaving fabrics and dyeing require enormous amounts of water and chemicals, including pesticides for growing raw materials such as cotton. Consumer use also has a large environmental footprint due to the water, energy and chemicals used in washing, tumble drying and ironing, as well as to microplastics shed into the environment. Less than half of used clothes are collected for reuse or recycling when they are no longer needed, and only 1 % are recycled into new clothes, since technologies that would enable recycling clothes into virgin fibres are only starting to emerge. Various ways to address these issues have been proposed, including developing new business models for clothing rental, designing products in a way that would make re-use and recycling easier (circular fashion), convincing consumers to buy fewer clothes of better quality (slow fashion), and generally steering consumer behaviour towards choosing more sustainable options. In 2018, the EU adopted a circular economy package that will, at the insistence of the European Parliament, for the first time ensure that textiles are collected separately in all Member States, by 2025 at the latest. The European Parliament has for years advocated promoting the use of ecological and sustainable raw materials and the re-use and recycling of clothing.

Fact Finding visit to Italy ( Valledora-Piemonte) 17-18 December

17-12-2018

The aim of this briefing is to provide summarized information for the delegation of the Committee on Petitions which is to visit the above-mentioned Valledora area in the Piedmont Region of Italy from 17 to 18 December 2018.

The aim of this briefing is to provide summarized information for the delegation of the Committee on Petitions which is to visit the above-mentioned Valledora area in the Piedmont Region of Italy from 17 to 18 December 2018.

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.

Implementation of EIA Directive 2014/52/EUon the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment

26-11-2018

Proper implementation of EU law is essential to deliver the EU policy goals as defined in the Treaties and secondary legislation. This briefing aims to give an overview of the transposition and implementation of Directive 2014/52/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (the EIA Directive). It presents the key elements of this Directive. The amendments brought by Directive 2014/52/EU to the previous legal text aim to improve the quality of Environmental ...

Proper implementation of EU law is essential to deliver the EU policy goals as defined in the Treaties and secondary legislation. This briefing aims to give an overview of the transposition and implementation of Directive 2014/52/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (the EIA Directive). It presents the key elements of this Directive. The amendments brought by Directive 2014/52/EU to the previous legal text aim to improve the quality of Environmental Impact Asessment reports and the information gathered, as well as to reinforce environmental protection in the assessment of the impacts on the environment.

Awtur estern

Marta Ballesteros

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.

Marine litter: single-use plastics and fishing gear

09-07-2018

The Commission proposal aims to reduce the environmental harm from single-use plastics and fishing gear. The supporting impact assessment (IA) does not discuss the impacts on innovation, research and development or the feasibility for businesses to invest into alternative materials. The IA only briefly touches upon the implications for SMEs and does not explain why the open public consultation ran for 8 weeks instead of the 12 weeks. Finally, the proposal misses certain measures foreseen under the ...

The Commission proposal aims to reduce the environmental harm from single-use plastics and fishing gear. The supporting impact assessment (IA) does not discuss the impacts on innovation, research and development or the feasibility for businesses to invest into alternative materials. The IA only briefly touches upon the implications for SMEs and does not explain why the open public consultation ran for 8 weeks instead of the 12 weeks. Finally, the proposal misses certain measures foreseen under the preferred option and contains measures not foreseen in the IA.

Research for TRAN Committee - Charging infrastructure for electric road vehicles

20-06-2018

This study analyses the various challenges of the deployment of charging infrastructure within the EU. This includes existing technologies and standardisation issues, metering systems and pricing schemes, business and financing models, the impact of the charging infrastructure on the dissemination of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs), and the appropriateness of current technologies, business models, and public policies.

This study analyses the various challenges of the deployment of charging infrastructure within the EU. This includes existing technologies and standardisation issues, metering systems and pricing schemes, business and financing models, the impact of the charging infrastructure on the dissemination of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs), and the appropriateness of current technologies, business models, and public policies.

Awtur estern

Matthias Spöttle, Korinna Jörling, Matthias Schimmel, Maarten Staats, Logan Grizzel, Lisa Jerram, William Drier, John Gartner

The EU, a world leader in fighting climate change

29-05-2018

The European Union is at the forefront of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus safeguard the planet's climate. Greenhouse gases (GHG) – primarily carbon dioxide but also others, including methane and chlorofluorocarbons – trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to global warming. Higher temperatures then act on the climate, with varying effects. For example, dry regions might become drier while, at the poles, the ice caps are melting, causing higher sea levels. In 2016, ...

The European Union is at the forefront of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus safeguard the planet's climate. Greenhouse gases (GHG) – primarily carbon dioxide but also others, including methane and chlorofluorocarbons – trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to global warming. Higher temperatures then act on the climate, with varying effects. For example, dry regions might become drier while, at the poles, the ice caps are melting, causing higher sea levels. In 2016, the global average temperature was already 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels.

Awtur estern

Klugman, Cornelia;

Environmental Reporting Initiative: Implementation Appraisal

17-05-2018

Member States' success in implementing environmental legislation can be measured through the information they send to the European Commission (reporting), which is based on the control activities they carry out (monitoring). In its 2018 work programme, the European Commission announced its intention to streamline requirements in this area, as a follow-up to a Fitness Check on Environmental Monitoring and Reporting (finalised in June 2017).

Member States' success in implementing environmental legislation can be measured through the information they send to the European Commission (reporting), which is based on the control activities they carry out (monitoring). In its 2018 work programme, the European Commission announced its intention to streamline requirements in this area, as a follow-up to a Fitness Check on Environmental Monitoring and Reporting (finalised in June 2017).

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