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Biodiversity protection: Where do we stand?

04-06-2021

Based on Member States' reporting under the Birds and Habitats Directives, the backbone of European Union (EU) nature conservation policy, the latest assessment on the state of nature by the European Environment Agency shows that despite some encouraging developments, the overall picture remains bleak. Only 15 % of habitats and around 27 % of species protected under EU legislation have a good conservation status. An EU-wide assessment of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems found that, overall ...

Based on Member States' reporting under the Birds and Habitats Directives, the backbone of European Union (EU) nature conservation policy, the latest assessment on the state of nature by the European Environment Agency shows that despite some encouraging developments, the overall picture remains bleak. Only 15 % of habitats and around 27 % of species protected under EU legislation have a good conservation status. An EU-wide assessment of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems found that, overall, the condition of ecosystems in the EU is unfavourable. Worldwide, most indicators of ecosystems and biodiversity show rapid decline. Targets set to tackle biodiversity loss by 2020, at both EU and global levels under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), have not been met. Under the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, part of the European Green Deal, the EU has therefore set itself new targets for the next decade. These include enlarging the current network of legally protected areas to cover at least 30 % of the EU's land area and 30 % of the EU's seas; and setting legally binding EU nature restoration targets to restore degraded ecosystems. The recent zero-pollution action plan for air, water and soil proposes additional commitments relevant to biodiversity protection. Parties to the CBD, including the EU, are due to meet on 11-24 October 2021 in China to agree on a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The EU intends to push for global 2030 targets in line with the commitments set out in its biodiversity strategy and for a much stronger implementation, monitoring and review process. The issue of resource mobilisation will be an important one, especially in the context of the coronavirus crisis, affecting the funding available for biodiversity. On 28 May 2021, Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted an own-initiative report with recommendations to strengthen the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030. The vote in plenary is scheduled for the June I plenary session.

Access to justice in environmental matters

12-05-2021

During the May plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on a report adopted by its Environment Committee, on a proposal aimed at ensuring EU compliance with its obligations as a party to the 1998 Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.

During the May plenary session, Parliament is due to vote on a report adopted by its Environment Committee, on a proposal aimed at ensuring EU compliance with its obligations as a party to the 1998 Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters.

Access to justice in environmental matters: Amending the Aarhus Regulation

12-05-2021

The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of ...

The European Union is party to the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Regulation applies the Convention's provisions to EU institutions and bodies. In 2017, the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, reviewing implementation by the parties, found that the EU fails to comply with its obligations under Article 9, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the convention concerning access to justice by members of the public. To address this non-compliance issue, on 14 October 2020 the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal to amend the Aarhus Regulation, triggering mixed reactions from stakeholders. The Council reached a general approach on the file on 17 December 2020. Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted its report on 23 April 2021. The report is now scheduled for a vote during the May 2021 plenary session. This vote would set Parliament’s position for negotiations with the Council. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Union Civil Protection Mechanism 2021-2027

21-04-2021

In June 2020, the European Commission presented a proposal to reinforce the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), the main instrument to coordinate the EU's response to disasters. At its April 2021 plenary session, Parliament is expected to debate and vote on the compromise text resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.

In June 2020, the European Commission presented a proposal to reinforce the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), the main instrument to coordinate the EU's response to disasters. At its April 2021 plenary session, Parliament is expected to debate and vote on the compromise text resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.

EU climate action policy: Responding to the global emergency

18-03-2021

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050, a target supported by all EU institutions. With this objective, the EU takes a leading role in addressing the global climate emergency. Achieving the climate-neutrality goal requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of the economy. This study explains the physical basis of climate change and highlights its expected impacts on the EU. To give an overview of EU and international climate ...

The European Green Deal aims to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050, a target supported by all EU institutions. With this objective, the EU takes a leading role in addressing the global climate emergency. Achieving the climate-neutrality goal requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of the economy. This study explains the physical basis of climate change and highlights its expected impacts on the EU. To give an overview of EU and international climate policies, it outlines international climate agreements, EU climate action and the climate policies of major economies. It assesses the coherence of EU climate policy with other policy areas, and presents the financing of EU climate action through the EU budget and other instruments. To assess the implications of the climate neutrality objective, the study analysis the challenges and opportunities for the EU economy and its impacts on issues such as international relations, migration, trade, consumers and health . The final chapter addresses the issues facing European decision-makers and the outlook for European and global climate action in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

New EU regulatory framework for batteries: Setting sustainability requirements

23-02-2021

Given the important role they play in the rollout of zero-emission mobility and the storage of intermittent renewable energy, batteries are a crucial element in the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. Global battery demand is expected to increase 14-fold by 2030, making this market an increasingly strategic one. The proposal presented by the European Commission is designed to modernise the EU's regulatory framework for batteries in order to secure the sustainability and competitiveness ...

Given the important role they play in the rollout of zero-emission mobility and the storage of intermittent renewable energy, batteries are a crucial element in the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. Global battery demand is expected to increase 14-fold by 2030, making this market an increasingly strategic one. The proposal presented by the European Commission is designed to modernise the EU's regulatory framework for batteries in order to secure the sustainability and competitiveness of battery value chains. It would introduce mandatory requirements on sustainability (such as carbon footprint rules, minimum recycled content, performance and durability criteria), safety and labelling for the marketing and putting into service of batteries, and requirements for end-of-life management. The proposal also includes due diligence obligations for economic operators as regards the sourcing of raw materials. The legislative process is in its early stages. In the Council, the proposal is being examined by the Working Party on the Environment. In Parliament, the file has been referred to the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, which appointed Antonius Manders as rapporteur.

New circular economy action plan

04-02-2021

Moving to a circular economy is key for achieving EU climate action, nature protection and sustainability ambitions, and also delivering benefits for innovation, growth and jobs. During the February session, Parliament is expected to vote on an own-initiative report on the Commission's proposed plan for more circularity.

Moving to a circular economy is key for achieving EU climate action, nature protection and sustainability ambitions, and also delivering benefits for innovation, growth and jobs. During the February session, Parliament is expected to vote on an own-initiative report on the Commission's proposed plan for more circularity.

Forest fires: Environmental stakes

19-11-2020

Covering nearly one third of the land surface of the globe, forests make a wide range of direct and indirect contributions to human well-being. Home to most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity, they also play an essential role in climate change mitigation, removing about a quarter of the CO2 that human activities add to the atmosphere. Worldwide, millions of hectares (ha) of forests and other types of vegetation burn every year. Fire dynamics are shaped by a complex set of factors, including ...

Covering nearly one third of the land surface of the globe, forests make a wide range of direct and indirect contributions to human well-being. Home to most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity, they also play an essential role in climate change mitigation, removing about a quarter of the CO2 that human activities add to the atmosphere. Worldwide, millions of hectares (ha) of forests and other types of vegetation burn every year. Fire dynamics are shaped by a complex set of factors, including human activity and climate. While a warming and drying climate increases the risk of fires, fires, by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contribute in turn to global warming. Forest fires that are not balanced by vegetation regrowth, i.e. fires used in the deforestation process, and fires burning on carbon-rich peatlands are of particular concern. Fires also emit air pollutants, including particulate matter, with adverse impacts on human health. Beyond emissions of particles and gases, forest fires can also affect biodiversity and ecosystem conditions, and damage soils. The European Union (EU) has committed to protecting the world's forests under several international agreements and initiatives, including the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity and the Paris Agreement on climate change. At EU level, funding is available to support forest fire prevention and restorative measures, as well as research into fire risk management. The Union civil protection mechanism can be called upon for help by any country in the world when national response capacities to fight fires are overwhelmed. Under the European Green Deal, legislative and non-legislative measures are expected in the near future to strengthen forest protection within and outside the EU. The European Parliament recently asked the European Commission to propose an EU legal framework to tackle EU-driven global deforestation, based on mandatory due diligence for companies placing forest- and ecosystem-risk commodities and derived products on the EU market, with penalties in the event of non-compliance.

An EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU driven global deforestation

14-10-2020

EU consumption plays a significant part in global deforestation, which continues unabated and contributes considerably to climate change and biodiversity loss. During the October II session, Parliament is due to vote on a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to take regulatory action on this matter, and propose an EU legal framework based on mandatory due diligence for companies placing products on the EU market.

EU consumption plays a significant part in global deforestation, which continues unabated and contributes considerably to climate change and biodiversity loss. During the October II session, Parliament is due to vote on a legislative-initiative report calling on the Commission to take regulatory action on this matter, and propose an EU legal framework based on mandatory due diligence for companies placing products on the EU market.

Coronavirus and the trade in wildlife

04-05-2020

Nearly three quarters of emerging infectious diseases in humans are caused by zoonotic pathogens. The majority of them originate in wildlife. Human activities, such as trade in wildlife, increase opportunities for animal–human interactions and facilitate zoonotic disease transmission. Several significant diseases, including Ebola and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, have been traced, in part, to substantial animal-human contact along the trade chain. Current information suggests ...

Nearly three quarters of emerging infectious diseases in humans are caused by zoonotic pathogens. The majority of them originate in wildlife. Human activities, such as trade in wildlife, increase opportunities for animal–human interactions and facilitate zoonotic disease transmission. Several significant diseases, including Ebola and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, have been traced, in part, to substantial animal-human contact along the trade chain. Current information suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic may have started from a local Chinese wildlife market. Wildlife trade, though difficult to quantify, is one of the most lucrative trades in the world. It is regulated under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), an international agreement to which the European Union (EU) and its Member States are parties. Through a permit system, CITES aims to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable. Curbing illegal trade, however, remains a challenge. In 2016, the EU adopted an action plan on wildlife trafficking, which runs until 2020 and is currently under evaluation. The European Parliament supports its renewal and the strengthening of its provisions. The coronavirus crisis has thrown into sharp focus the threat of disease transmission posed by trade in and consumption of wild animal species, prompting calls for bans on wildlife trade and closure of wildlife markets. Others advocate better regulation, including enhanced health and safety and sanitation measures. With matters relating to zoonotic diseases outside CITES' mandate, some have suggested the development of a new international convention to address the issue. To reduce the risks of future outbreaks, many recommend an integrated approach, which would notably also cover nature preservation and restoration.

Evenimente viitoare

17-06-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Peace and security in the world today [...]
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EPRS
17-06-2021
Bridging the gender gap in digital, research and industry: what is the way forward?
Atelier -
ITRE
21-06-2021
Ensuring effective protection of European consumers in the digital economy
Audiere -
IMCO

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