66

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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Environmental protection

28-06-2019

Through its environmental policy, the European Union (EU) has been improving Europeans' well-being since 1972. Today, the aim of EU environmental policy is to ensure that by 2050 we are living well, within the limits of the planet. To reach this goal, the EU is striving to move towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy, to safeguard biodiversity and to protect human health through legislation on air quality, chemicals, climate, nature, waste and water. Although this policy is delivering concrete ...

Through its environmental policy, the European Union (EU) has been improving Europeans' well-being since 1972. Today, the aim of EU environmental policy is to ensure that by 2050 we are living well, within the limits of the planet. To reach this goal, the EU is striving to move towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy, to safeguard biodiversity and to protect human health through legislation on air quality, chemicals, climate, nature, waste and water. Although this policy is delivering concrete benefits (such as a wide network of Natura 2000 protected areas, lower greenhouse gas emissions, increased resource recycling, and cleaner air and water), the outlook for the European environment 20 years from now shows a bleaker picture. Yet transitioning to sustainability could deliver a number of benefits beyond environmental protection, from jobs and economic activity to well-being and health. In a recent poll conducted for the European Parliament, three quarters of EU citizens expressed support for increased EU action on environmental protection. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including waste management (for example new recycling targets, restrictions on plastic carrier bags, action on plastics, measures to tackle marine litter); climate (for example the 2030 greenhouse gas emission targets, and measures to decarbonise the transport sector); nature (primarily to improve the way EU rules on biodiversity protection are implemented); and air quality (new rules on maximum amounts of five key air pollutants that EU countries can emit into the atmosphere). The European Parliament has advocated ambitious policies in many of these areas. In the future, EU environment and climate spending is expected to rise. The Commission is proposing to boost the share of EU spending contributing to climate objectives from 20 % to 25 %, while Parliament has called for this share to be set at 30 %. In the coming years, policies are expected to focus on climate action, nature protection, air quality, the circular economy and pesticides. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

CO2 standards for new cars and vans

28-05-2019

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on reducing CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (vans). The proposed measures and targets are aligned with the 2030 climate and energy framework and with the energy union strategy, which envisages a reduction in transport emissions and energy consumption. The Commission sets new targets for the EU fleetwide average CO2 emissions of new passenger cars and vans. Average CO2 emissions from new ...

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on reducing CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (vans). The proposed measures and targets are aligned with the 2030 climate and energy framework and with the energy union strategy, which envisages a reduction in transport emissions and energy consumption. The Commission sets new targets for the EU fleetwide average CO2 emissions of new passenger cars and vans. Average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans registered in the EU would have to be 15 % lower in 2025, and 30 % lower in 2030, compared to their respective limits in 2021. The proposal includes a dedicated incentive mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles, in order to accelerate their market uptake. Interinstitutional trilogue negotiations concluded in December with an agreement setting a 37.5 % CO2 reduction target for new cars by 2030, and a 31 % target for new vans. Parliament approved the agreed text on 27 March 2019. The regulation was published in the Official Journal on 25 April 2019. It entered into force on 15 May 2019 and will apply from 1 January 2020. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Combined transport directive review: Getting more goods off EU roads

15-04-2019

The European Union's efforts to reduce the negative impacts of transport include promoting a shift from road freight transport to lower-emission transport modes. This also includes combined transport operations, which consist of at least one road leg for initial or final haulage and one non road leg, on rail or water. The 1992 Combined Transport Directive set out measures that were meant to increase the competitiveness of combined transport against road-only transport. In 2017, the Commission proposed ...

The European Union's efforts to reduce the negative impacts of transport include promoting a shift from road freight transport to lower-emission transport modes. This also includes combined transport operations, which consist of at least one road leg for initial or final haulage and one non road leg, on rail or water. The 1992 Combined Transport Directive set out measures that were meant to increase the competitiveness of combined transport against road-only transport. In 2017, the Commission proposed to simplify the existing rules and make combined transport more attractive by means of economic incentives. The European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism adopted its report in July 2018, and the Transport Council meeting of 3 December 2018 agreed a general approach. However, as trilogue negotiations had not made progress on reaching a compromise, Parliament adopted a legislative resolution at first reading on 27 March 2019, in advance of the European elections. Negotiations could restart in the new parliamentary term. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Review of the Clean Vehicles Directive

10-04-2019

In November 2017, the European Commission proposed a revision of Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (the Clean Vehicles Directive), after an evaluation showed that the directive had yielded limited results. The proposed directive aims to promote clean mobility solutions in public procurement tenders and thereby raise the demand for, and the further deployment of, clean vehicles. The proposal provides a definition for clean light-duty vehicles ...

In November 2017, the European Commission proposed a revision of Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (the Clean Vehicles Directive), after an evaluation showed that the directive had yielded limited results. The proposed directive aims to promote clean mobility solutions in public procurement tenders and thereby raise the demand for, and the further deployment of, clean vehicles. The proposal provides a definition for clean light-duty vehicles based on a combined CO2 and air-pollutant emissions threshold; for heavy-duty vehicles, it gives a definition based on alternative fuels. The proposal is in line with the European Commission’s energy union package, which plans action on the further decarbonisation of road transport in line with the 2030 climate and energy targets. The proposal was referred to the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The committee adopted its report on 10 October 2018. The Parliament then voted on the report during the October II 2018 plenary session. A trilogue agreement was reached on 11 February 2019. The Parliament is expected to vote on the agreed text during the April II session. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Global Trends to 2035 - Economy and Society

20-11-2018

This study maps and analyses current and future global trends in the fields of economics and society, covering the period to 2035. Drawing on and complementing existing literature, it summarises and analyses the findings of relevant foresight studies in relation to such global trends. It traces recent changes in the perceived trajectory of already-identified trends and identifies significant new or emerging trends. It also addresses potential policy implications of such trends for the EU.

This study maps and analyses current and future global trends in the fields of economics and society, covering the period to 2035. Drawing on and complementing existing literature, it summarises and analyses the findings of relevant foresight studies in relation to such global trends. It traces recent changes in the perceived trajectory of already-identified trends and identifies significant new or emerging trends. It also addresses potential policy implications of such trends for the EU.

Ekstern forfatter

EPRS, DG

Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

16-11-2018

World leaders are preparing for the ‘COP 24’ summit on tackling climate change in Katowice, Poland, in December, which is meant to debate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, a United Nations report has called for more measures to cut emissions of greenhouse gases: On 8 October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest findings, which indicate that limiting global warming to the 1.5˚C increase agreed in Paris would require rapid, far-reaching and ...

World leaders are preparing for the ‘COP 24’ summit on tackling climate change in Katowice, Poland, in December, which is meant to debate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, a United Nations report has called for more measures to cut emissions of greenhouse gases: On 8 October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest findings, which indicate that limiting global warming to the 1.5˚C increase agreed in Paris would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on climate talks and wider issues relating to climate change. Earlier publications on the issue can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in November 2017.

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.

Ekstern forfatter

Lina Li and Sean Healy

Air Quality and urban traffic in the EU: best practices and possible solutions

05-10-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, aims at gaining deeper insights into air quality problems of cities and regions, which are often caused by traffic. Five cities and regions are analysed in more detail. General best practice examples and policy options are provided for transport, but also for domestic heating, construction work and integrated approaches.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, aims at gaining deeper insights into air quality problems of cities and regions, which are often caused by traffic. Five cities and regions are analysed in more detail. General best practice examples and policy options are provided for transport, but also for domestic heating, construction work and integrated approaches.

Ekstern forfatter

Mr. Christian NAGL, Ms. Iris BUXBAUM, Mr. Siegmund BÖHMER, Mr. Nikolaus IBESICH, Mr. Hugo RIVERA MENDOZA, Umweltbundesamt (Austria)

The Global Action Climate Summit (GCAS), San Francisco, 12-14 September 2018

16-08-2018

The briefing is for the ENVI Committee delegation to the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, which will take place in San Francisco from the 12th until the 14th of September. The Summit will enable a range of different stakeholders (i.e. state and local governments, business and citizens) to publicize the climate actions currently being implemented ‘on the ground’ to help inspire further efforts to support and build upon the commitments pledged in the Paris Agreement.

The briefing is for the ENVI Committee delegation to the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, which will take place in San Francisco from the 12th until the 14th of September. The Summit will enable a range of different stakeholders (i.e. state and local governments, business and citizens) to publicize the climate actions currently being implemented ‘on the ground’ to help inspire further efforts to support and build upon the commitments pledged in the Paris Agreement.

Ekstern forfatter

Sean Healy

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.

Kommende begivenheder

01-10-2019
Health threats from climate change: Scientific evidence for policy-making
Anden begivenhed -
EPRS

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