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Environment action programme: Living well, within the limits of our planet

11-12-2018

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, under the premise that economic prosperity and environmental protection are interdependent. Successive environment action programmes have set the framework for EU environmental policy. The seventh environment action programme, a binding decision adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2013, covers the period from 2014 to 2020. Bearing the title 'Living well, within the limits of our planet', it seeks to achieve ...

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, under the premise that economic prosperity and environmental protection are interdependent. Successive environment action programmes have set the framework for EU environmental policy. The seventh environment action programme, a binding decision adopted by the European Parliament and Council in 2013, covers the period from 2014 to 2020. Bearing the title 'Living well, within the limits of our planet', it seeks to achieve a 2050 vision for sustainability. The seventh environment action programme sets nine priority objectives: three 'thematic' objectives (on natural capital; on a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy; and on health and well-being), four 'enabling' objectives (on implementation of EU law; on the knowledge and evidence base; on investments and externalities; and on policy coherence), and two 'horizontal' objectives (on cities; and on the international dimension). The three thematic objectives are linked to a large number of initiatives, legislative acts and international agreements. A 2017 report by the European Environment Agency sums up progress towards meeting the three thematic objectives as follows: on natural capital, the EU is not on track to meet the 2020 objectives; on a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy, and on health and well-being, the 2020 outlook is mixed. The European Parliament is supportive of the action programme. In 2018, it urged the Commission and the Member States to step up its implementation. The European Commission is expected to publish its evaluation of the seventh environment action programme by mid-2019, and could subsequently put forward a proposal for an eighth environment action programme.

Establishing a programme for the environment and climate action (LIFE)

22-11-2018

The Commission proposed to continue the current LIFE programme and increase its budget and scope. The supporting impact assessment is largely in line with the requirements of the Better Regulation Guidelines in terms of the range of options, the assessment of impacts, the quality of data and the analysis it provides. However, consultation activities, subsidiarity and proportionality assessment, the specific objectives and operational goals and their link to the proposed monitoring and evaluation ...

The Commission proposed to continue the current LIFE programme and increase its budget and scope. The supporting impact assessment is largely in line with the requirements of the Better Regulation Guidelines in terms of the range of options, the assessment of impacts, the quality of data and the analysis it provides. However, consultation activities, subsidiarity and proportionality assessment, the specific objectives and operational goals and their link to the proposed monitoring and evaluation framework fall short of the Better Regulation Guidelines.

Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

16-11-2018

World leaders are preparing for the ‘COP 24’ summit on tackling climate change in Katowice, Poland, in December, which is meant to debate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, a United Nations report has called for more measures to cut emissions of greenhouse gases: On 8 October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest findings, which indicate that limiting global warming to the 1.5˚C increase agreed in Paris would require rapid, far-reaching and ...

World leaders are preparing for the ‘COP 24’ summit on tackling climate change in Katowice, Poland, in December, which is meant to debate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, a United Nations report has called for more measures to cut emissions of greenhouse gases: On 8 October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest findings, which indicate that limiting global warming to the 1.5˚C increase agreed in Paris would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on climate talks and wider issues relating to climate change. Earlier publications on the issue can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in November 2017.

LIFE programme for 2021-2027: Financing environmental and climate objectives

09-11-2018

Launched in 1992, the LIFE programme is the only EU fund entirely dedicated to environmental and climate objectives. It supports the implementation of relevant EU legislation and the development of key policy priorities, by co-financing projects with European added value. To date, LIFE has co financed more than 4 500 projects. In June 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal on a regulation establishing a new LIFE programme for 2021-2027. The programme would support projects in the areas ...

Launched in 1992, the LIFE programme is the only EU fund entirely dedicated to environmental and climate objectives. It supports the implementation of relevant EU legislation and the development of key policy priorities, by co-financing projects with European added value. To date, LIFE has co financed more than 4 500 projects. In June 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal on a regulation establishing a new LIFE programme for 2021-2027. The programme would support projects in the areas of nature and biodiversity, circular economy and quality of life, clean energy transition, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. A total of €4.83 billion in 2018 prices (€5.45 billion in current prices) would be earmarked to the new programme. In the European Parliament, the proposal has been referred to the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The Environment Council considered the information provided by the Commission on the proposal in a public session on 25 June 2018. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The Global Action Climate Summit (GCAS), San Francisco, 12-14 September 2018

16-08-2018

The briefing is for the ENVI Committee delegation to the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, which will take place in San Francisco from the 12th until the 14th of September. The Summit will enable a range of different stakeholders (i.e. state and local governments, business and citizens) to publicize the climate actions currently being implemented ‘on the ground’ to help inspire further efforts to support and build upon the commitments pledged in the Paris Agreement.

The briefing is for the ENVI Committee delegation to the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, which will take place in San Francisco from the 12th until the 14th of September. The Summit will enable a range of different stakeholders (i.e. state and local governments, business and citizens) to publicize the climate actions currently being implemented ‘on the ground’ to help inspire further efforts to support and build upon the commitments pledged in the Paris Agreement.

The future of the EU's sheep and goat sector

30-04-2018

Sheep and goat sector production constitutes just a small share of the output of the EU livestock sector as a whole, but this farming activity's importance is much broader in terms of its social and economic contribution to remote rural areas, not to mention the environmental contribution it makes through the provision of public goods such as landscape and biodiversity conservation. Economic and structural difficulties do not help the sector's growth and this means that the EU is not self-sufficient ...

Sheep and goat sector production constitutes just a small share of the output of the EU livestock sector as a whole, but this farming activity's importance is much broader in terms of its social and economic contribution to remote rural areas, not to mention the environmental contribution it makes through the provision of public goods such as landscape and biodiversity conservation. Economic and structural difficulties do not help the sector's growth and this means that the EU is not self-sufficient but relies on imports to top up supply to its market for sheep and goats. The sector's traditional and emerging needs and the need for policy measures to address them are at the core of an own-initiative report due to be voted during the May I plenary session.

Nature-based solutions: Concept, opportunities and challenges

27-10-2017

Nature-based solutions are actions inspired by, supported by or copied from nature that aim to help societies address a variety of environmental, social and economic challenges in sustainable ways. Most nature-based solutions do not have a single objective, but aim to bring multiple co-benefits. The concept emerged in the 2000s to promote nature as a source of solutions to challenges associated with climate change. It has been supported and broadened by the International Union for the Conservation ...

Nature-based solutions are actions inspired by, supported by or copied from nature that aim to help societies address a variety of environmental, social and economic challenges in sustainable ways. Most nature-based solutions do not have a single objective, but aim to bring multiple co-benefits. The concept emerged in the 2000s to promote nature as a source of solutions to challenges associated with climate change. It has been supported and broadened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and later by the European Commission. In European Union (EU) policy, nature-based solutions are primarily addressed through the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation, which allocated approximately €185 million to the topic between 2014 and 2020. Other EU funds, estimated at €915 million per year, are also allocated to support green infrastructure projects. Other relevant policy initiatives include the 7th environment action programme, the biodiversity strategy, and the communication on green infrastructure. Nature-based solutions can provide a number of opportunities, including: delivering multiple benefits; reducing and/or avoiding costs; contributing to job creation and the green economy; and positioning the EU as a world leader in the area. However, nature-based solutions can also pose a number of challenges, including: tackling knowledge gaps; managing trade-offs; implementing successful actions; dealing with natural elements; and financing projects. The European Parliament has expressed support for nature-based solutions and urged Member States and the European Commission to establish a coherent network of blue-green infrastructure in rural and urban areas across the EU.

First results of the LIFE Programme 2014-2020

16-10-2017

The LIFE workshop aims to inform the Members of the ENVI Committee and all participants on the implementation of LIFE programme 2014-2020 and the first results of its integrated projects. The workshop will answer the question on how the new edition of LIFE is contributing to the achievement of environmental protection and climate change targets in the most effective way. Future funding opportunities and environmental topics to be covered by the LIFE Programme up to 2020 will be also presented.

The LIFE workshop aims to inform the Members of the ENVI Committee and all participants on the implementation of LIFE programme 2014-2020 and the first results of its integrated projects. The workshop will answer the question on how the new edition of LIFE is contributing to the achievement of environmental protection and climate change targets in the most effective way. Future funding opportunities and environmental topics to be covered by the LIFE Programme up to 2020 will be also presented.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Mr Jean-Claude MERCIOL, European Commission, DG ENV Mr Angelo SALSI, European Commission, EASME Ms Isabel LICO, Portuguese Environmental Agency Mr James RANAIVOSON, European Investment Bank Ms Germana DI FALCO, expert in URBACT Prof Peter HECK, LIFE-IP ZENAPA, Institute for Applied Material Flow Management - IfaS Mr Tomasz PIETRUSIAK, LIFE-IP MALOPOLSKA, Malopolska region Mr Rolf JOHNSEN, LIFE-IP C2CCC, Central Denmark Region Ms Elisabetta Maria ROSSI, LIFE-IP GESTIRE2020, Lombardy region

Transparent and Accountable Management of Natural Resources in Developing Countries: The Case of Forests

31-05-2017

This study reviewed the state of transparency and accountability in the forestry sector in developing countries focusing on contributions of EU actions and provisions on the same. The study was based on review of literature, policies and reports on forest governance, using three FLEGT-VPA case study countries, namely Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania. More than 200 million Euros have been invested into FLEGT-VPA and related activities around Africa with positive impacts on transparency, accountability ...

This study reviewed the state of transparency and accountability in the forestry sector in developing countries focusing on contributions of EU actions and provisions on the same. The study was based on review of literature, policies and reports on forest governance, using three FLEGT-VPA case study countries, namely Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania. More than 200 million Euros have been invested into FLEGT-VPA and related activities around Africa with positive impacts on transparency, accountability and overall governance. Less impact is elicited regarding benefits to local people and FLEGT interactions with other mechanisms such as REDD+. More importantly, little evidence exists on direct evidence of FLEGT-VPA processes incentivizing sustainable forest management even though there is some evidence of growth in legal timber export numbers. Recommendations for improving FLEGT –VPA include, expanding the definition of “legality” to include safeguards that ensure community rights and benefits; strengthening EU-China FLEGT-VPA initiatives to enable comparable standards for African timber; including small scale and agroforestry-based domestic timber into the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR); increasing capacity building and synergy with other mechanisms such as REDD+. Opportunities for new EU policies and actions include FLEGT-type monitoring for forest-related SDGs and incentives for actions in the New York Declaration on Forests.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

- Peter MINANG, Principal Scientist, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and ASB Partnership for The Tropical Forest Margins), Kenya; - Lalisa DUGUMA, Scientist, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and ASB Partnership for The Tropical Forest Margins), Kenya; - Florence BERNARD, Associate scientist, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya and - Judith NZYOKA, Assistant Scientist, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and ASB Partnership for The Tropical Forest Margins), Kenya

Research for AGRI Committee - Preserving agricultural soils in the EU

15-03-2017

This study explains how threats to soils and soil services are linked to agricultural soil management, how threats can be mitigated, and which barriers complicate this. It highlights trade-offs and synergies that exist between different interests affected by soil management, such as climate change mitigation, water and air quality, biodiversity, food security and farm income. Conservation of peatland and extensive agro-forestry systems, and protecting soils against sealing, erosion and compaction ...

This study explains how threats to soils and soil services are linked to agricultural soil management, how threats can be mitigated, and which barriers complicate this. It highlights trade-offs and synergies that exist between different interests affected by soil management, such as climate change mitigation, water and air quality, biodiversity, food security and farm income. Conservation of peatland and extensive agro-forestry systems, and protecting soils against sealing, erosion and compaction are ranked as highest priorities. Potential policy elements are suggested.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

H.F.M. ten Berge, J.J. Schröder, J.E. Olesen, J.-V. Giraldez Cervera

Προσεχείς εκδηλώσεις

09-01-2020
Europe's challenges in 2020: Ten issues to watch
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