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Electronic freight transport information

16-04-2019

The movement of goods in the European Union has increased by almost 25 % over the last 20 years, and this growth is projected to continue. A large amount of information accompanies this movement, exchanged mostly in paper format. Yet the digitalisation of information exchange could make the transport of goods much more efficient and reliable, and yield significant savings. As one way to speed up the digitalisation of freight transport, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on ...

The movement of goods in the European Union has increased by almost 25 % over the last 20 years, and this growth is projected to continue. A large amount of information accompanies this movement, exchanged mostly in paper format. Yet the digitalisation of information exchange could make the transport of goods much more efficient and reliable, and yield significant savings. As one way to speed up the digitalisation of freight transport, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on electronic freight transport information on 17 May 2018. The aim of this regulation is to provide for a fully digital and harmonised environment for information exchanges between transport operators and authorities. The legislative proposal is part of the Commission's third 'Europe on the Move' package, which is designed to complete its agenda for the modernisation of mobility. The European Parliament adopted its position on the proposal on 12 March 2019. However, interinstitutional negotiations cannot begin until the Council reaches a common position on the file.

The concept of 'climate refugee': Towards a possible definition

29-01-2019

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent ...

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent decades has been on the rise. Many find refuge within their own country, but some are forced to go abroad. With climate change, the number of 'climate refugees' will rise in the future. So far, the national and international response to this challenge has been limited, and protection for the people affected remains inadequate. What adds further to the gap in the protection of such people – who are often described as 'climate refugees' – is that there is neither a clear definition for this category of people, nor are they covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention. The latter extends only to people who have a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and are unable or unwilling to seek protection from their home countries. While the EU has so far not recognised climate refugees formally, it has expressed growing concern and has taken action to support and develop resilience in the countries potentially affected by climate-related stress. This briefing is an update of an earlier one of May 2018.

Child labour: A priority for EU human rights action

15-01-2019

Despite a comprehensive normative international framework that prohibits child labour, it persists in many areas of the world, particularly in developing countries. In sub-Saharan-Africa, it has even increased in recent years. More efforts are therefore needed to combat child labour. However, not all work performed by children is harmful to their health and development. The first task is therefore to distinguish child labour – which entails harmful forms of work – from other forms of children's involvement ...

Despite a comprehensive normative international framework that prohibits child labour, it persists in many areas of the world, particularly in developing countries. In sub-Saharan-Africa, it has even increased in recent years. More efforts are therefore needed to combat child labour. However, not all work performed by children is harmful to their health and development. The first task is therefore to distinguish child labour – which entails harmful forms of work – from other forms of children's involvement with work that are acceptable and have an educational component. While international conventions provide a broad definition of child labour, they leave the task of defining more precise criteria, such as the acceptable number of working hours per week or what constitutes hazardous work, to national legislation. Child labour is a complex phenomenon that has a multiplicity of causes, among which poverty usually features first. It requires a comprehensive approach to fight it, including awareness-raising among families and local communities, due diligence by companies involved in global supply chains, and action by governments, international organisations and civil society. The European Union protects children's rights through both its internal and external policies. It has deployed measures to fight child labour through cooperation with international organisations and has funded development projects whose aim is to counter it. The human rights conditionality enshrined in the EU's trade arrangements provides another path for tackling child labour. Nevertheless, there are numerous calls from civil society and the European Parliament to impose binding legal obligations on EU-based companies, to make sure their imports of goods from developing countries are free of child labour.

China’s climate policies with an emphasis on carbon trading markets

10-10-2018

China has emerged as an important actor on the global stage with regards to the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations. China played a vital role in the successful entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement (PA) and has continued to show commitment to its implementation. The country has adopted a range of climate policies in order to fulfil its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments by accelerating efforts to both improve levels of energy efficiency and to encourage a shift away from ...

China has emerged as an important actor on the global stage with regards to the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations. China played a vital role in the successful entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement (PA) and has continued to show commitment to its implementation. The country has adopted a range of climate policies in order to fulfil its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments by accelerating efforts to both improve levels of energy efficiency and to encourage a shift away from coal energy to low-carbon alternatives. In the UN climate negotiations China continues to advocate that developed countries need to enhance their mitigation efforts and provision of financial support for developing countries. While the carbon and energy intensity targets for 2020, outlined in the 13th Five Year Plan (FYP), appear to be within reach, the recent increase in coal consumption in China has led to concerns regarding the achievement of the 2030 targets. Transforming such a vast economy and its energy system is in any case a long-term task that requires continuous political commitment and a wide range of well functioning policies across different levels and sectors. If the national Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is implemented successfully (learning from the experiences of the regional ETS pilots), a strong CO2 price signal (along with market reforms to the power sector) should ensure that CO2 emissions in China peak by 2030.

Zunanji avtor

Lina Li and Sean Healy

2018 Update of the Study on the protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of t