Tag: EU

European environmental groups push EU to act on climate

Civic groups brainstorm green policies at Vienna meeting

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What’s left of the glaciers around the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest peak, makes it clear why Europe must act on climate. @bberwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

European environmental leaders this week called on the EU adopt an innovative mindset for dealing with climate and energy issues. Europe stands to gain from adopting progressive policies that create economic opportunities for businesses and improve life for citizens.

“Innovation, research and development will be at the center of decarbonising,” said Angela Köppl, speaking at the Sept. 26 annual meeting of the European Environmental Bureau in Vienna.The EEB is an umbrella for about 150 NGOs, think tanks and other civic groups representing more than 15 million citizens. Continue reading “European environmental groups push EU to act on climate”

Will Europe deliver on its Paris climate promises?

EU presents detailed ‘next-steps’ assessment

Global warming map February 2016
As global temperatures surge to record highs, countries are trying to figure out how to implement the Paris climate agreement.

By Bob Berwyn

The global climate change agreement reached in Paris late last year may not be signed, sealed and delivered just yet, but the European Union is determined to maintain the momentum and goodwill generated at the summit. Earlier this month, the European Commission completed an assessment of the deal aimed at determining what the EU must do to implement the agreement.

“We have the deal. Now we need to make it real,” said EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. “For the EU, this means completing the 2030 climate and energy legislation without delay, signing and ratifying the agreement as soon as possible, and continuing our leadership in the global transition to a low-carbon future.” Continue reading “Will Europe deliver on its Paris climate promises?”

EU air quality regulations save thousands of lives each year

Cutting pollution improves public health

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Staff Report

People everywhere like to complain about excessive government regulation, and the European Union is no exception. But it’s clear, from a new University of Leeds study, that air quality rules in the EU have saved thousands of lives in recent decades.

The research, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that EU policies have led to a 35 percent reduction of fine particles in the atmosphere over the period 1970 to 2010, which has improved public health across Europe, preventing about 80,000 premature deaths each year. Continue reading “EU air quality regulations save thousands of lives each year”

EU Study shows huge costs of global warming inaction

‘No action is clearly the most expensive solution of all’

You have to look pretty hard for the tiny cool spots.
Global warming ramped up in May with a record-high average temperature worldwide.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Inaction on climate change is probably the costliest option for the European Union, which could not only see direct costs of €190 billion, but also a net loss of 1.8 percent of its current GDP. Premature mortality accounts for more than half of the overall welfare losses (€120 billion), followed by impacts on coasts (€42 billion) and agriculture (€18 billion).

“No action is clearly the most expensive solution of all. Why pay for the damages when we can invest in reducing our climate impacts and becoming a competitive low-carbon economy?” said Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action. “Taking action and taking a decision on the 2030 climate and energy framework in October, will bring us just there and make Europe ready for the fight against climate change,” she said. Continue reading “EU Study shows huge costs of global warming inaction”

Climate: Big greenhouse gas cuts possible in Europe

The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world, thanks in part to massive surface mines like this one in Wyoming. Photo courtesy BLM.
Continued use of coal will make it tough for Europe to meet emissions targets.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Europe could cuts it greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent at a moderate cost, using existing technologies, according to an international multi-model analysis by the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum.

The researchers shared their findings just as the European Commission prepares to announce whether it will scale up its efforts on emissions reduction in the next decade. Continue reading “Climate: Big greenhouse gas cuts possible in Europe”

EU ‘stops the clock’ on airline emissions regulations

The world community once again will try to find a way to limit airline greenhouse gas emissions.

Hopes are high for a global agreement

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — In a move that was emblematic of this congressional session’s futility, the House Tuesday passed an unprecedented bill that would give the executive branch the power to ban airlines from complying with recognized international law — the only problem is, the law that it’s aimed at has already been temporarily suspended for a year.

At issue are European Union regulations regarding airline carbon emissions. The EU rules are aimed at reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gases, but have been put on hold for flights to and from the EU pending the outcome of talks aimed at developing a global plan for the airline industry, which, for the most part, has been kicking and screaming all the way to the table.

The EU rules added a few dollars to the cost of a transatlantic flight, hardly a financial burden, but U.S. airlines whined and lobbied Congress for relief rather than working proactively to address the problem. The EU announced its decision in this press conference (video), saying it wanted to contribute to “positive climate” surrounding the new international talks. Continue reading “EU ‘stops the clock’ on airline emissions regulations”

Environment: Pesticide pollution common in European rivers

The Elbe River.

Ibuprofen and chemicals from personal care products found in surprising concentrations as part of EU water quality research

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — After a major in-depth analysis of organic pollutants in four major European river basins, scientists concluded that pesticides are an even bigger problem than previously assumed. At least 38 percent of the substances studied are present in concentrations high enough to affect aquatic organisms.

Most of the substances classified as a risk to the environment in the study were pesticides and the majority of these are not on the European list of priority substances which have to be monitored regularly. As a result, the scientists said there is an urgent need to update the EU water framework directive. The study, published last week in the  journal Science of the Total Environment, clearly shows that contamination by organic chemicals is a problem throughout Europe. Continue reading “Environment: Pesticide pollution common in European rivers”