EU issues ‘minimum principles’ for fracking

The European Commission has backed away from EU-wide legislation on fracking and has instead issued “minimum principles” for member states. It had been considering binding rules covering environmental damage and safety for fracking however pro-shale gas nations such as the UK and Poland warned that adding more red tape would prevent the EU from taking […]

EU initiative to reduce waste kicks in

A drive to increase awareness about reducing waste across Europe kicked off this week. The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) scheme runs between the 16th to the 24th of November and encourages businesses, schools and individual citizens to change their habits in managing the 2.5 billion tonnes of waste generated by the EU every […]

EU kicks off sustainable urban transport campaign

The European Union has launched its annual campaign on sustainable urban mobility in a bid to encourage green daily transport and tackle air pollution. The 12th edition of the European Mobility Week kicked off yesterday and runs until Sunday under the slogan ‘Clean air – It’s your move!’ With urban traffic a growing source of […]

EU boosts funding to €3.45bn for environmental projects

The European Commission has agreed to provide €3.45 billion (£2.97bn) worth of funding for a programme involved in financing climate and environmental projects. Called LIFE, the programme – launched in 1992 – is the EU’s financial instrument for climate protection projects. The increased funding will be made available from 2014 to 2020, with €2.59 billion […]

EU proposes stronger regulations to tackle illegal waste exports

Stronger legislation on national inspections of waste shipments to crack down on waste being exported illegally has been launched in the EU. The European Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) bans all exports of hazardous waste to non-OECD countries and all exports of waste for disposal outside the EU. The European Commission, however, said around 25% of […]

Stronger link found between air pollution and health risk

Dodgy air quality is an even bigger health risk than we thought, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). New research released by the body yesterday shows long-term exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) – commonly found in WHAT – can prompt childhood diseases like asthma as well as atherosclerosis and even trigger adverse birth outcomes. […]

Stronger EU air quality policy needed

A majority of Europeans believe the quality of air has deteriorated in the last decade and are calling for stronger EU air quality policy. According to the European Commission’s new research, as many as 81% of people in Italy and 70-75% of those in Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Spain all agreed that air […]

UK in eighth place in EU waste management table

The UK has come in eighth place in the European Union’s table for waste management. A new report unveiled yesterday graded the member states against 18 criteria such as total waste recycled and pricing of waste disposal, with the UK receiving a red flag for its failure to restrict biodegradable waste going to landfill. Environment […]

EU environment chief: Rio+20 was better than nothing

The EU’s environment chief has effectively admitted the Rio+20 summit last month was disappointing but stressed the agreement was better than nothing. In a speech in Brussels on Wednesday Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for Environment said: “Together with my colleagues in the Commission, I have been clear that we would have wanted more. For […]

EU extends protected natural areas

The EU is widening the natural areas under its environmental protection scheme. More than 18,000 km sq in countries including the UK, France, Greece and Italy are to be included in Natura 2000, the EU’s network of conservation areas designed to preserve biodiversity and safeguard ecosystems. This includes a major swathe of marine areas covering […]