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MEPs and ministers moved a step closer on Tuesday to an agreement on plans to cap the production of traditional biofuels and accelerate the shift to alternative sources, such as certain types of waste and residues and new sources such as seaweed, with the environment committee's vote backing a deal struck by legislators. The plan aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions caused by the growing use of farm land for biofuel crops.

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Environment MEPs put forward a number of possible measures to cut the EU 88 million tonnes per year food waste by half by 2030 on Tuesday. MEPs called on the European Commission to lift existing restrictions on food donations and stressed a solution is needed for the confusion created for many consumers by the “best before” and “use by” labelling.

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Draft plans to tighten up official controls from farm to fork were informally agreed by food safety MEPs and the Dutch Presidency of the Council on Wednesday. It aims to guarantee that the food consumers buy and eat in Europe is safe and wholesome, hence improving consumer’s health and preventing food crises.

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The share of waste to be recycled should be raised to 70% by 2030, from 44% today, while landfilling, which has a big environmental impact, should be limited to 5%, said Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday, as they amended the draft EU “waste package” legislation. They also advocate a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.

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Draft legislation agreed with the Council of Ministers to make tobacco products less attractive to young people was endorsed by Public Health Committee MEPs on Wednesday. This legislation, updating the EU Tobacco Directive, would require all packs to carry a health warning covering 65% of their surface. E-cigarettes would be regulated, either as medicinal products, if they make quit claims, or as tobacco products.

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As the geopolitical importance of the Arctic region is growing, with climate change effects and competition for natural resources bringing new environmental and security risks for the region and for the world, the EU should speak with one voice and push to keep the Arctic an area of cooperation, says a resolution adopted by the Foreign Affairs and Environment committees on Tuesday.

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All of the EP’s 20 standing committees and two subcommittees held their constitutive meetings on Wednesday to elect their chair and vice-chairs.

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A draft law to reform the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), by reducing the surplus of carbon credits available for trading into order to support the price, was informally agreed upon by MEPs and the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers on Tuesday. The surplus reserve would start operating in 2019.

       
 

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