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Decarbonising maritime transport: The EU perspective

21-10-2020

International maritime transport is the backbone of the global economy. However, vessels release emissions that pollute the air and contribute significantly to global warming. As shipping is forecast to grow, reducing these emissions is urgent, in order not to undermine emissions-reducing efforts in other areas, to keep humans healthy, preserve the environment and limit climate change. Although international shipping was not explicitly mentioned in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, efforts to make ...

International maritime transport is the backbone of the global economy. However, vessels release emissions that pollute the air and contribute significantly to global warming. As shipping is forecast to grow, reducing these emissions is urgent, in order not to undermine emissions-reducing efforts in other areas, to keep humans healthy, preserve the environment and limit climate change. Although international shipping was not explicitly mentioned in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, efforts to make shipping cleaner and greener have since progressed. International rules to reduce air-polluting emissions from ships have been agreed in the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Their impact, in particular the application of stricter limits for sulphur content in marine fuels since 1 January 2020, is yet to be evaluated. Parallel efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from maritime shipping have resulted in the setting of rules on collecting data on fuel oil consumption and the first collected data becoming available. In 2018, the IMO adopted an initial strategy for reducing GHG emissions, aimed at cutting shipping GHG emissions by at least 50 % by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. While concrete steps are yet to be agreed, achieving this goal will require both short-term emission-reducing measures and longer-term measures to make shipping switch to alternative fuels. Short-term guidance from the IMO is expected in 2020. On the EU front, the European Commission announced in the European Green Deal that GHG from EU transport should be cut by 90 % by 2050 and outlined how this would involve shipping. Initial measures are to be proposed by the end of 2020. This briefing reviews the existing international and EU rules on shipping emissions and their application, looks into the short-term measures under discussion and maps the landscape of marine fuels and technologies that could help decarbonise shipping in the long term.

Sustainable consumption: Helping consumers make eco-friendly choices

21-10-2020

Household consumption in the EU has major environmental impacts, which in a number of cases exceed planetary boundaries. Two thirds of consumers in the EU realise that their consumption habits have negative effects on the environment, and the solution that they mention most often is to change consumption habits and production patterns. However, a number of studies have shown a gap between consumers' good intentions and their actual behaviour. This happens because sustainability is not the only thing ...

Household consumption in the EU has major environmental impacts, which in a number of cases exceed planetary boundaries. Two thirds of consumers in the EU realise that their consumption habits have negative effects on the environment, and the solution that they mention most often is to change consumption habits and production patterns. However, a number of studies have shown a gap between consumers' good intentions and their actual behaviour. This happens because sustainability is not the only thing consumers consider when choosing what to buy; they are also influenced by price, availability and convenience, habits, values, social norms and peer pressure, emotional appeal, and the feeling of making a difference. Consumers also use their consumption patterns to communicate who they are to themselves and to others. Studies on the impacts of consumption show that these are influenced mainly by people's income. The European Union has a number of policies that are relevant for consumers' sustainable choices. These include environmental product requirements, information and labelling requirements, rules on product guarantees, climate legislation that attempts to build the price of CO2 emissions into production expenses, and waste legislation that makes it easier to recycle. The European Commission now plans to add a legislative initiative to empower consumers for the green transition. The European Parliament has long been a supporter of making consumption in the EU more sustainable, and has recently called for measures to ensure that consumers are provided with transparent, comparable and harmonised product information, especially when it comes to the durability and reparability of products and their environmental footprint.

RESEARCH FOR PECH COMMITTEE: Impact of the use of offshore wind and other marine renewables on European fisheries

20-10-2020

The study provides an overview of general impacts of the development of offshore wind farms and other marine renewables on the European fishing sector. It further highlights pathways for possible co-existence solutions of both sectors, a description of best practice examples and lessons learnt, the identification of research gaps and last but not least the presentation of policy recommendations.

The study provides an overview of general impacts of the development of offshore wind farms and other marine renewables on the European fishing sector. It further highlights pathways for possible co-existence solutions of both sectors, a description of best practice examples and lessons learnt, the identification of research gaps and last but not least the presentation of policy recommendations.

Autor externo

Vanessa STELZENMÜLLER, Antje GIMPEL, Jonas LETSCHERT, Casper KRAAN, Ralf DÖRING

How can international trade contribute to sustainable forestry and the preservation of the world’s forests through the Green Deal?

19-10-2020

High deforestation rates, particularly in tropical areas, remain a pressing concern for the international community, given their impacts on the global climate and the loss of biodiversity. The EU has committed to promoting sustainable forest management both domestically and internationally. However, efforts so far have concentrated on promoting the legality of trade in timber and timber products, via policy instruments such as FLEGT and the EU Timber Regulation. EU trade policy could be employed ...

High deforestation rates, particularly in tropical areas, remain a pressing concern for the international community, given their impacts on the global climate and the loss of biodiversity. The EU has committed to promoting sustainable forest management both domestically and internationally. However, efforts so far have concentrated on promoting the legality of trade in timber and timber products, via policy instruments such as FLEGT and the EU Timber Regulation. EU trade policy could be employed more systematically to promote sustainable forestry and deforestation-free value chains. The report proposes eleven measures to this end, both at the unilateral, bilateral and multilateral level, that inter alia combine market access incentives on the part of consumer markets such as the EU with obligations to promote principles of sustainable production on the part of producer countries.

Autor externo

Werner RAZA, Bernhard TRÖSTER, Bernhard WOLFSLEHNER, Markus KRAJEWSKI.

Key issues in the European Council: State of play in October 2020

15-10-2020

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges ...

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

Un marco jurídico de la Unión para detener e invertir la deforestación mundial impulsado por la Unión

14-10-2020

El consumo de la Unión desempeña un papel importante en la deforestación mundial, que sigue sin disminuir y contribuye considerablemente al cambio climático y a la pérdida de biodiversidad. Durante el período parcial de sesiones de octubre II, el Parlamento debe someter a votación un informe de iniciativa legislativa en el que se pide a la Comisión que adopte medidas reglamentarias sobre esta cuestión y proponga un marco jurídico de la Unión basado en la diligencia debida obligatoria para las empresas ...

El consumo de la Unión desempeña un papel importante en la deforestación mundial, que sigue sin disminuir y contribuye considerablemente al cambio climático y a la pérdida de biodiversidad. Durante el período parcial de sesiones de octubre II, el Parlamento debe someter a votación un informe de iniciativa legislativa en el que se pide a la Comisión que adopte medidas reglamentarias sobre esta cuestión y proponga un marco jurídico de la Unión basado en la diligencia debida obligatoria para las empresas que comercializan productos en el mercado de la Unión.

A Just Transition Fund for climate-neutral EU regions

13-10-2020

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030, and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The transition to clean energy will be a challenge for those regions highly dependent on fossil fuels and high-emission industries, in particular regions with a high level of employment in the coal sector. The new Just Transition Fund, complementing the existing cohesion policy funds, will provide support to address the social, economic and environmental impacts of the transition in the most ...

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030, and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The transition to clean energy will be a challenge for those regions highly dependent on fossil fuels and high-emission industries, in particular regions with a high level of employment in the coal sector. The new Just Transition Fund, complementing the existing cohesion policy funds, will provide support to address the social, economic and environmental impacts of the transition in the most affected territories. This paper looks at the new fund and its allocation mechanism; it focuses on the EU coal industry and the potential for clean energy solutions in a selection of coal regions; and finally, it gives an overview of the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by NUTS2 region.

Foresight within the EU institutions: The ESPAS analysis so far

13-10-2020

Three ESPAS Global Trends Reports identify major shifts through the 2010s and the challenges they pose for the European Union. The reports tease out both risks and opportunities arising in geopolitics, the economy, technology, the environment and society. They underline the need for anticipatory governance and for the development of a strategic foresight culture within the EU institutions.

Three ESPAS Global Trends Reports identify major shifts through the 2010s and the challenges they pose for the European Union. The reports tease out both risks and opportunities arising in geopolitics, the economy, technology, the environment and society. They underline the need for anticipatory governance and for the development of a strategic foresight culture within the EU institutions.

Transport CO2 emissions in focus

07-10-2020

To limit global warming in line with the Paris Agreement, Europe aims to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To speed up this transition, the European Commission has proposed to raise the level of ambition, and reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55 % by 2030. On 7 October, in its position on the proposed European Climate Law, the European Parliament voted to raise the 2030 target to a 60 % reduction. This overview shows how transport activities resulted in about 29 ...

To limit global warming in line with the Paris Agreement, Europe aims to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. To speed up this transition, the European Commission has proposed to raise the level of ambition, and reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55 % by 2030. On 7 October, in its position on the proposed European Climate Law, the European Parliament voted to raise the 2030 target to a 60 % reduction. This overview shows how transport activities resulted in about 29 % of total EU CO2 emissions in 2018. The map below gives the share of transport emissions (from fuel combustion, not including indirect emissions from electricity use) in the total CO2 emissions of each Member State, and the volume contribution of different transport modes to the EU total. While the volumes of total CO2 emissions have decreased in most Member States between 1990 and 2018, those resulting from transport show increases, in some cases more than twofold.

Batteries Directive

01-10-2020

The EU should create a competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry. The EU needs, therefore, a regulatory framework fit for purpose. However, this briefing shows that the design and implementation of the Batteries Directive, which is the main legal act regulating batteries and accumulators at EU level, suffer from deficiencies that makes it impossible for this piece of EU law to adequately respond to new policy challenges. Some of the most pertinent shortcomings of the directive relate ...

The EU should create a competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry. The EU needs, therefore, a regulatory framework fit for purpose. However, this briefing shows that the design and implementation of the Batteries Directive, which is the main legal act regulating batteries and accumulators at EU level, suffer from deficiencies that makes it impossible for this piece of EU law to adequately respond to new policy challenges. Some of the most pertinent shortcomings of the directive relate to its incapacity to incorporate technical innovation, problems with certain definitions, the performance of Member States as regards the collection of waste batteries, as well as the insufficient recovery of materials from used batteries. Therefore, the Commission has scheduled a revision of the legal framework.

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26-10-2020
European Gender Equality Week - October 26-29, 2020
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Joint LIBE - FEMM Hearing on Trafficking in human beings
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Joint LIBE - FEMM Hearing on Trafficking in human beings
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