Daniel Calleja Crespo, Simona Bonafè, Dr Monica Verbeek, and Daniele Ferrari debate the question: “How far can the circular economy package take Europe?”
Sonja van Renssen, leading Energy and Environment journalist, is joined by Daniel Calleja Crespo, the Director-General for DG Environment, Simona Bonafè MEP, S&D Group, Dr Monica Verbeek, Seas at Risk, and Daniele Ferrari, CEO of Versalis, Vice-President of PlasticsEurope, to debate the question: “How far can the circular economy package take Europe?”
This highlight video presents the core discussions and conclusion of the live debate held on Thursday 29 September 2016. You can find the complete debate video here.
Elina Bardram, Miriam Dalli MEP, Rosalind Cook and Charlotte Wolff-Bye debate the question: “COP21: What opportunities does the Paris agreement bring for Europe?”
Emily Waterfield, Chief Correspondent – Energy for MLex, is joined by Elina Bardram, Head of Unit for International & Inter-Institutional Relations, European Commission, Miriam Dalli MEP, S&D Group, Rosalind Cook, Senior Policy Advisor working on EU climate and energy policy in E3G’s Brussels office and Charlotte Wolff-Bye, Vice-President Sustainability, Statoil, to debate the question: “COP21: What opportunities does the Paris agreement bring for Europe?”
This highlight video presents the core discussions and conclusions of the live debate held on Monday 22 February 2016, you can find the complete debate video here.
A quick look at what is happening in the EU environment world in February 2016 with leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen.
The big dossier of the month is the VW scandal. On 3rd February, MEPs decided, after a very tight vote, not to veto a new set of car emissions testing rules proposed by the Commission. They have also welcomed a new Commission proposal to increase EU oversight for car approvals and testing. On 29th January, the Commission unveiled the first-ever European Aviation Environmental Report — key findings suggest, inter alia, that the sector is unlikely to meet its 2020 target to produce two million tonnes of sustainable biofuels for civil aviation. In other news, a new report on Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) report is far from being published, experts say, while a separate study on biomass suggests that burning wood is not carbon-neutral. Additionally, the Commission plans to propose a new limit on the use of endocrine disruptor bisphenol A and a definition of endocrine disruptors. Finally the Parliament’s ITRE Committee has failed to win exclusive competence over any parts of the EU Carbon Market Reform dossier. Sonja van Renssen, leading environment journalist, has the story.
Sonja van Renssen unveils the top Envi-related issues for the month of December 2015.
COP21 has just kicked off and while its final outcomes are not yet clearly defined, one thing is certain: it will not be a second Kyoto protocol. At this stage, the most likely outcome is a binding monitoring and 5-year review mechanism. In the meantime, the Commission has just released its long-awaited circular economy package. Whilst most EU stakeholders consider it ‘comprehensive and constructive‘, NGOs condemned it, arguing that its legally binding targets have been watered down. The Parliament has put emphasis on the fact that recycling cannot come at the expense of human health, calling on the Commission and the Council to forbid the use of the chemical DEHP in recycled PVC. Finally, the Parliament’s ENVI Committee is set to veto controversial new rules for “real world” air pollution tests for cars proposed in the wake of the VW scandal. Sonja van Renssen, leading environment journalist, has the story.
This Brussels Briefing on Environment provides an overview of the latest EU environment policy developments for November 2015.
EU environment stakeholders have been busy in October with the final round of talks for COP21 and the first formal debate on the EU ETS reform. Also on the menu: the latest news on car emissions standards in the wake of the Volkswagen Scandal and a vote on the NEC Directive in the European Parliament.
November will be as busy, with a debate by MEPs to discuss the Commission’s mid-term biodiversity strategy review (9 November) and an ECOFIN Council, during which EU Finance ministers will decide on Europe’s contribution to climate finance (13 November). Last but not least, the long-awaited Circular Economy Package is due on 2 December, and – good news for stricter chemical legislation – 8 EU countries and Norway have formed a coalition called REACH UP. More details to come, next month, with environment journalist, Sonja van Renssen.
After the Volkswagen Scandal exploded, MEPs debated the issue of manipulated car emissions tests at a larger scale and discussed the lessons to be learnt from it. A more European answer must be agreed on since tests are currently carried out only on a national level. There is also a crucial need for stricter protocol tests that actually reflect real-life emissions of cars, explains Richard More O’Ferrall, Greens group spokesperson, all of that is up for debate in Strasbourg today.
Enormous progress has been made on the MDGs and the Global Goals will now finish the job and ensure that no one is left behind.
he Global Goals build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. Enormous progress has been made on the MDGs, showing the value of a unifying agenda underpinned by goals and targets. Yet despite this success, the indignity of poverty has not been ended for all. The Global Goals will now finish the job of the MDGs, and ensure that no one is left behind.
This Brussels Briefing on Transport provides an overview of the latest EU transport policy developments for June 2015.
In this Brussels Briefing on Transport, leading journalist David Keating provides an overview of the latest EU transport policy developments:
German minimum wage: a conference, held on the 4 June, allowed the Commission toclarify recent decisions affecting transport workers, including its probe on Germany’s application of its minimum wage to truck drivers passing through the country.Opposition is growing toward the Commission’s proposals to liberalise services in portsin the TEN-T transport network.Package Travel Directive: MEPs and Member States finally reached an agreement last month,extending the EU passenger rights to the combination of a flight plus hotel or car rental.The Commission is to give another push to an attempted update of the EU passenger rights directive by this summer.The Commission is also looking into setting a legal framework for the civilian use of drones.Single Sky Directive: Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc will continue her predecessor’s efforts to put pressure on member states over their failure to combine their 28 national airspaces, including possible infringement procedures.Fourth Railway Package: MEPs remain divided over whether to split the political and the technical pillars.Parliament recently adopted a report calling for the EU to implement multimodal ticketing, which would allow travellers to buy one ticket for multiple rail, plane and bus journeys with different operators.
This Brussels Briefing on Environment provides an overview of the latest EU environment policy developments for June 2015.
In this Brussels Briefing on Environment, leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen provides an overview of the latest EU environment policy developments:
On the occasion of the 2015 edition of Green Week, stakeholders will discuss nature protection and biodiversity (3-5 June, Brussels)Ongoing: world governments meet for the latest round of UN climate talks in Bonn, to work on the negotiating text for COP21 in Paris (1-11 June, Bonn).EU ETS: a new survey by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) shows that market players expect the EU carbon price to more than double in the next decade.The Commission’s circular economy consultation has been launched: respondents have until the 20th of August to answer.Greening transport: on the 18th of June, in the context of EU Sustainable Energy Week, the Commission will kick off debate on a 2030 climate and energy policy for transport.Also in June, an EU technical working group is due to decide on new air pollution rules for large combustion plants from 2020.
Featuring statements from Kaspars Gerhard, Minister for Environmental protection and Regional Development of Latvia, Elina Bardram, Head of the International and Inter-institutional’s Unit at the European Commission, and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union.
Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP, discusses the challenge of reaching a global climate deal in Paris later this year.
Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), meets with environment journalist Sonja van Renssen to talk about the challenge of reaching a global climate deal in Paris later this year.
Steiner hails Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) as an encouraging sign that the international community is ready to face up to the climate challenge and that the sacred principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDR) is evolving. It’s not UNEP’s role to compare individual country pledges however, he warns, emphasising that the conference’s overall goal is to unify the world around a shared commitment. Adaptation and mitigation must be addressed together, Steiner says.
Achim Steiner of UNEP talks about the development goals, targets and indicators that are to frame United Nations member states' policies over next 15 years.
Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP), talks to leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen about his great expectations for the United Nations September Summit that will decide on the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be attained by 2030.
The way in which the environment will be integrated in the Sustainable Development Goals is “a significant evolution, a big step forward” according to Steiner. UNEP’s Executive Director stresses that this summit, which will be held from 25 to 27 September 2015 in New York, will be the occasion to agree on a critical set of rules: a universal set of sustainable development goals and the need for an integrated approach to development. He underlines thattargets, indicators and monitoring tools will have to take into account each country’s capacity and resources availability. A great deal of work on a key part of the plan is currently being done, that is on the global partnership for financing for development in the next 15 years, states Steiner.
EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella talks about agriculture & the environment and outlines what to expect from the next Circular Economy Package.
In an exclusive interview with viEUws, Karmenu Vella – EU Environment & Fisheries Commissioner - talks to AGRA FACTS journalist Rose O’Donovan about the interrelation between agriculture and the environment and outlines what to expect from the next Circular Economy Package.
Vella emphasizes the importance of a sustainable approach to agriculture and claims that the protection of the environment can only be achieved through a global solution. He considers that there is room to improve the current Common Agricultural Policy in order to deliver on the 2030 sustainable environmental goals.
He announces that the Commission is currently working on a more ambitious Circular Economy Package, due to be issued this autumn, which will take into consideration both sides of the issue: consumption and production. It is crucial to address food waste and food scarcity at a global level, says the Environment Commissioner. Vella advocates more active global cooperation in the redistribution of food resources and considers that priority should be given to avoiding waste in the first place rather than looking into how to recycle it.
Tom van Ierland, Jonathan Gaventa and Eirik Wærness debate the question: “Did Paris deliver the low-carbon investment signal Europe needs?”.
Sonja van Renssen, leading Energy and Environment journalist, is joined by Tom van Ierland, Deputy and Acting Head of Unit C1. Strategy and Economic Assessment DG Climate Action, Jonathan Gaventa, Director, Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G) and Eirik Wærness, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Statoil to debate the question: “Did Paris deliver the low-carbon investment signal Europe needs?”. This highlight video presents the core discussions and conclusions of the live debate “Did Paris deliver the low-carbon investment signal Europe needs?” held on Wednesday 22 June 2016, you can find the complete debate video here.
Doru Frantescu, policy director at Votewatch Europe, provides a detailed analysis of the vote on car emissions, while Ellie Mears fills us in on the background.
The European Parliament has accepted a compromise deal aiming to reduce harmful emissions from cars and toughen the testing procedure for new vehicles. However, it has failed to close a loophole that allows diesel engines to spew out twice the legal limit of nitrogen oxides (NOx). Under the new rules, car makers will be allowed to overshoot NOx emissions by twice the EU’s limit of 80 mg per km between 2019 and 2021, and by 50% more thereafter.
In October, the Commission proposed the new limits in a package of measures aimed at cleaning up the European car industry, whose reputation has been severely tarnished following revelations that Volkswagen serially cheated on emissions tests. The Parliament’s ENVI Committee rejected the new rules, saying they were too lax, and in January MEPs debated whether to veto the Commission proposal.
However, on 3rd February 2016, MEPs rejected that veto by 323 votes to 317, allowing the Commission to push ahead with its plans – despite the Parliament’s JURI Committee deeming the new exceptions unlawful.
Doru Frantescu, policy director at Votewatch Europe, provides a detailed analysis of the vote while Ellie Mears fills us in on the background.
Overview of the Top 5 Environment priorities that will be discussed by the European institutions under the Dutch EU Presidency.
In this special briefing, environment journalist, Sonja van Renssen provides an overview of the Top 5 Environment priorities for the Dutch EU Presidency:
COP21 follow-up: The “Energy Union, climate and transport” is one of the Dutch presidency’s five strategic priorities.Circular economy: The Netherlands hopes to agree with the Council conclusions on the non-legislative action plan and kick off debate on definitions and targets for recycling.NEC directive: MEPs and member states will start negotiations to agree new national air pollution targets for 2030.Car emissions tests & Volkswagen Scandal: The European Parliament is due to approve or reject new car emission tests at its next plenary.Better regulation: The Netherlands may raise hackles among environmentalists with its “Make it Work” initiative to cut red tape in environmental law.
This Brussels Briefing on Transport provides an overview of the latest EU transport policy developments.
In the light of COP21 the EU Transport scene is actively seeking to find solutions to limit carbon emissions, especially since now shipping and aviation emissions are part of the final draft agenda for COP21. The TRAN Committee will meet on 3 December to discuss new categories for serious road infringement and aviation safety. Mid-December, the Transport Council will convene its last meeting of 2015 – rumour has it that leaders might retreat on their controversial stance on vehicle emissions. Finally, the trialogue negotiations on the 4th Railway package are ongoing, but it is highly unlikely that an agreement will be reached by the end of 2015. Dave Keating has the story.
This Brussels Briefing on Environment provides an overview of the latest EU environment policy developments for October 2015.
COP21 is fast approaching and the last formal meeting ahead of it, to be held in Bonn, Germany, on 19 – 23 October, will be the occasion for EU policy-makers to have their say on the controversial latest draft text. Meanwhile, the head-spinning Volkswagen emission cheating scandal is at the heart of Brussels environment discussions, as the European Parliament accuses the Commission of leaving it behind in deciding the details of new, real world emissions tests. Finally, the Commission says Europe is not on track to halting biodiversity loss by 2020, in a mid-term review of the EU’s biodiversity strategy. Other issues to look out for this autumn include nanomaterials, endocrine disruptors and glyphosate.
The UN committed set Global Goals to achieve extraordinary things within 15 years. The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done.
On September 25th 2015, 193 world leaders committed to 17 Global Goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change. The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people.
If the goals are going to work, everyone needs to know about them. You can’t fight for your rights if you don’t know what they are. You can’t convince world leaders to do what needs to be done if you don’t know what you’re convincing them to do. If the goals are famous, they won’t be forgotten.
We can be the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequality, and the last generation to be threatened by climate change.
Overview of the top 5 environment issues that will be discussed by the EU institutions under the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Council.
In this special briefing, environment journalist Sonja van Renssen identifies the top 5 environment issues that will be discussed by the European institutions under the Luxembourg EU Presidency:
Road to COP21 in Paris in December: the Luxembourg Presidency will focus on the need to channel the debate on climate finance, i.e. the money needed to reach the EU’s climate change targets as well as a review process to increase ambition every five years after 2020.The second big climate issue for the autumn is the reform of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) following the Commission’s proposals tabled on 15 July.The Commission’s circular economy proposals are due this Autumn and eagerly awaited by many.Air quality: the Presidency will be looking to impose the revised National Emission Ceilings (NEC) directive on reluctant Member States.Finally, the Luxembourg Presidency will prepare for the 25-27 September UN summit on post-2015 sustainable development goals.
Jos Delbeke (European Commission), Kathleen Van Brempt MEP (S&D) and Eirik Wærness (Statoil) debate the question: "can the EU retain its leadership role at COP21?"
Sonja van Renssen is joined by Jos Delbeke (Director General for Climate Action, European Commission), Kathleen Van Brempt MEP (Vice-president of the S&D Group) and Eirik Wærness(Chief Economist and Vice President, Statoil) to debate the question: “Road to Paris: can the EU retain its leadership role at COP21?”
This highlight video presents the core discussions and conclusions of the live debate on Wednesday 17 June 2015, you can find the complete debate video here.
Michael Cramer - chair of the European Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee - discusses the most pressing EU transport issues.
Michael Cramer MEP (Greens/EFA) – chair of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) – talks to leading transport policy journalist Dave Keating about themost pressing EU transport issues.
Cramer insists on the need for the transport sector to deal with CO2 emissions, underlying that ‘without a change in mobility, we can’t fight against climate change’. He also discusses the most pressing issues facing the TRAN Committee: Cramer stresses that the Transport and Tourism Committee is united in calling for an EU-wide multimodal ticketing system. With regard to theSingle European Sky regulation, he calls on the Commission to take action against Member States which have failed to deliver on their promises and to start infringement – now is not the time for a decision on whether or not to split the technical and political parts where necessary. Michael Cramer also talks about the ongoing negotiations with the Member States on the fourth Railway package. The TRAN chair argues that the informal trialogues should continue to focus on trying to finalize the technical pillar of the package.
Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc discusses the most pressing transport related issues on the European Commission's agenda.
In this exclusive interview with viEUws, EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc talks to leading journalist Dave Keating about the most pressing transport related issues on the Commission’s agenda:
The management of the cockpit and the pilot’s medical record following the GermanWings crash.The definition of EU rules relating to the use and development of drones to ensure safety, privacy and security of civilian users while promoting this new technology.The Fourth Railway Package: Bulc is confident that parties will reach an agreement on the technical pillar by the end of June, but she points out that there’s still work to be done on the political pillar which deals with the issue of liberalisation of railways in Europe. She calls for an agreement on the full package in October.EU passenger rights: Commissioner Bulc reveals that the Commission is planning to propose the EU passenger rights yet again to the European Parliament and Council. She hopes for a positive outcome this time. This proposal will be included in the comprehensive aviation package to be published later this year.European Single Sky policy: the Commission wants to put more pressure on the Member States and will therefore make it an integral part of the comprehensive aviation package.
This Brussels Briefing on Environment provides an overview of the latest EU environment policy developments for May 2015.
In this Brussels Briefing on Environment, leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen provides an overview of the latest EU environment policy developments:
EU ETS reform: Member States and Parliament agreed to bring forward the start date of a Market Stability Reserve to 1 January 2019. The Commission pledges to issue more proposals for ETS reform by the Summer.Parliament gave final approval to the Indirect Land-Use Change deal on 28 April; NGOs launched a fresh debate on bioenergy.Pollution from medium-sized combustion plants: Negotiations between Member States and the Parliament will begin after a vote in the Parliament’s environment (ENVI) Committee this week (Brussels, Wednesday 6 May).Birds and habitats directives: the Commission has launched a public consultation – open until 24 July 2015 – on the effectiveness, relevance and cost of EU nature protection laws.Circular economy: public consultation due in May, Commission announces.
Featuring statement from Nils Torvalds MEP (ALDE), the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC).
Karl Falkenberg (European Commission), Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy MEP and Andy Doran (Novelis) debate: "How can Europe capitalise on the Circular Economy?"
Leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen is joined by Karl Falkenberg (Director-General for Environment, European Commission), Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy MEP and Andy Doran(Novelis) to debate the question: “How can Europe capitalise on the Circular Economy?”.
This highlight video presents the core discussions and conclusions of the live debate on Thursday 16 April 2015, you can find the complete debate video here.
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