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Currently, there is no EU-wide legislation specifically on soil, although many policy instruments relevant to soil protection are in place. Under the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission presented a new EU soil strategy for 2030, with the aim of having all EU soil ecosystems in a healthy condition by 2050. To achieve this objective, on 5 July 2023 it tabled a proposal for a soil monitoring and resilience directive, laying down measures for monitoring ...

Revision of the Ozone Regulation

Briefing 16-04-2024

Stratospheric ozone absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the sun and reduces the overall amount of radiation reaching the Earth's surface. Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are human-made chemicals that, once emitted, reach the upper atmosphere and destroy the protective ozone layer, causing what is known as the ozone hole. They have significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment and are also greenhouse gases with high global warming potential. Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 on substances ...

Since mid-November 2023, the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which controls large parts of Yemen, has attacked numerous Western commercial ships near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea. In response, major shipping companies have temporarily suspended Suez transits and diverted their trade. This diversion coincides with decreasing freight in another maritime chokepoint, the Panama Canal, provoked by lowered water levels. Rounding South Africa via the Cape of Good Hope is the shortest alternative ...

The Iran-backed Houthi militia, which controls large parts of Yemen, has attacked numerous commercial ships in the Red Sea since mid-November 2023 'in solidarity with the Palestinians'. This poses a significant threat to the global economy, and has led to an escalation of tensions in the Middle East. The United States has launched an international operation in the Red Sea to protect commercial vessels and keep this vital shipping route open. The EU launched its own 'purely defensive' mission, EUNAVFOR ...

Road transport is a major contributor to climate change. CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) have grown steadily, and account for over a quarter of road transport CO2 emissions. On 14 February 2023, the European Commission tabled a legislative proposal to revise Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 setting CO2 emission standards for new HDVs in the EU. The proposed revision would expand the scope of the regulation to include urban buses, coaches, trailers and additional types of lorries. The average ...

Nature restoration regulation

At a Glance 21-02-2024

During its February II plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the provisional agreement reached in trilogue on the 'nature restoration law', which aims to bring degraded ecosystems back to health across the EU. The agreement, endorsed by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on 29 November 2023, substantially amends the text originally proposed by the European Commission.

This At a glance note summarises the study 'Increasing selectivity in EU fisheries – State of play and best practices'. The note highlights the main findings of the study, in particular as regards the existing technical and tactical selectivity measures to reduce unwanted catches, the best practices identified from projects that have successfully improved selectivity, and the analysis of the use of EU funding for promoting selectivity developments. The note also provides policy recommendations on ...

As announced in the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, on 22 June 2022 the European Commission tabled a proposal for a nature restoration regulation. The proposed regulation would set multiple binding restoration targets and obligations across a broad range of ecosystems, from forests and agricultural land to urban areas, rivers and marine habitats, complementing other existing legal instruments. Altogether, these nature restoration measures should cover at least 20 % of the EU's land and sea areas ...

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is an intergovernmental fisheries management organisation responsible for tuna and tuna-like fish stocks in the Atlantic Ocean. During the February I plenary session, the European Parliament is due to vote on an agreement with the Council of the EU to transpose a number of binding ICCAT measures into EU law.

On 9 January 2024, the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) endorsed the government's proposal to allow exploration for the possible extraction of seabed minerals on the Norwegian continental shelf. Extraction licences for businesses will require further parliamentary approval. The aim is to mine important critical raw materials that are increasingly needed for the green and digital transitions, and the defence and aerospace sector. However, these developments have raised concerns in the country and ...