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Amazon deforestation and EU-Mercosur deal

29-10-2020

After coming to a political agreement on the trade pillar of the three-pronged EU-Mercosur association agreement in June 2019, the EU and the four founding members of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) reached agreement on the political dialogue and cooperation parts in July 2020. However, as environmental deregulation and deforestation continue unabated in Brazil, opposition to the deal is growing. It is unlikely to be submitted to the European Parliament for consent in its current ...

After coming to a political agreement on the trade pillar of the three-pronged EU-Mercosur association agreement in June 2019, the EU and the four founding members of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) reached agreement on the political dialogue and cooperation parts in July 2020. However, as environmental deregulation and deforestation continue unabated in Brazil, opposition to the deal is growing. It is unlikely to be submitted to the European Parliament for consent in its current form. A study of the trade pillar's provisions concludes that, taking the risk of deforestation into account, the deal's environmental costs are likely to exceed its economic gains. This raises doubts as to whether Brazil's compliance with its climate change commitments can realistically be achieved based on provisions devoid of an effective enforcement mechanism.

Information Package for the Committee of Inquiry on the protection of animals during transport (ANIT)

27-10-2020

This note aims to provide the Members of the ANIT Committee with a state of play on existing literature and data sources on live animal transport through links to key information sources and existing reports and studies.

This note aims to provide the Members of the ANIT Committee with a state of play on existing literature and data sources on live animal transport through links to key information sources and existing reports and studies.

Improving the quality of public spending in Europe - Budgetary 'waste rates' in EU Member States

27-10-2020

This EPRS study looks at whether, and under what conditions, greater effectiveness could be achieved in overall public spending at all levels of the European Union through greater pooling of resources at European level. It suggests that added value can be realised in public spending, through efficiency gains and lower administrative costs, delivered by and through the EU budget, usually with corresponding savings to national budgets. The study provides a methodology for assessing the ‘waste rate’ ...

This EPRS study looks at whether, and under what conditions, greater effectiveness could be achieved in overall public spending at all levels of the European Union through greater pooling of resources at European level. It suggests that added value can be realised in public spending, through efficiency gains and lower administrative costs, delivered by and through the EU budget, usually with corresponding savings to national budgets. The study provides a methodology for assessing the ‘waste rate’ in overlapping national spending and analyses four policy areas, with the potential to realise gains of around €180 billion.

European climate pact - Pre-legislative synthesis of national, regional and local positions on the European Commission's initiative

26-10-2020

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multi-level governance. Based on EPRS analysis ...

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multi-level governance. Based on EPRS analysis, partner organisations at European, national, regional and local levels point to the following main considerations that they consider should shape discussion of the forthcoming European climate pact: * In the area of energy-efficient building, the climate pact would offer added value in better coordinating the roles and responsibilities of different governmental levels, so as to increase the return on investment that would be felt by citizens. This could, for instance, be achieved by focusing investment on the largest energy consumers, such as public hospitals, schools and social housing. * In terms of low-carbon mobility, the climate pact would provide a platform to exchange ideas regarding the appropriate level of taxation for carbon-intensive means of transport, further tax reforms in the EU Member States to remove fossil fuel subsidies, and a shift of the tax burden towards polluters. * When it comes to working together on climate change, the climate pact would facilitate multi-level cooperation to ensure that the shared goals of climate neutrality translate into concrete action at the local and regional levels, which will eventually be responsible for implementing them, by 2050. This would in particular require improved integration of existing consultation strategies and developing new tools, including comparable geographical maps online. The overall input received indicates that the EU level is expected to set the standards in climate policy through 'shared leadership'. At the same time, each level of governance, from small isolated communities to large cities, and from regional governments and national parliaments to EU institutions, has generated concrete ways to contribute in this process, often by providing examples of good practice and lessons learnt, which could be applied and adapted across the EU.

Plenary round-up – October II 2020

26-10-2020

During the second October 2020 plenary session – the first at which Members were able to speak remotely, and not only vote, from the Member States – the European Commission presented its 2021 work programme, which Members largely welcomed. Members also discussed the conclusions of the 15 16 October 2020 European Council meeting, EU measures to mitigate the social and economic impact of Covid 19, police brutality within the EU, the sale of EU passports and visas to criminals, the State of the Energy ...

During the second October 2020 plenary session – the first at which Members were able to speak remotely, and not only vote, from the Member States – the European Commission presented its 2021 work programme, which Members largely welcomed. Members also discussed the conclusions of the 15 16 October 2020 European Council meeting, EU measures to mitigate the social and economic impact of Covid 19, police brutality within the EU, the sale of EU passports and visas to criminals, the State of the Energy Union and aligning the Energy Charter Treaty with the European Green Deal. Parliament announced that its 2020 Sakharov Prize will be awarded on 16 December to the Belarusian opposition, in particular the Coordinating Council, for 'an initiative launched by courageous women'.

Environemtnal damage. For an implementation of the companies' liability. Remedial perspectives

26-10-2020

Environemtnal damage. For an implementation of the companies' liability. Remedial perspectives

Environemtnal damage. For an implementation of the companies' liability. Remedial perspectives

Externý autor

Roberta Landi

Environmental liability of companies’ Selected Possible Amendments of the ELD

26-10-2020

This in depth analysis explores different possibilities of updating the ELD directive in relation to the environmental responsibility of companies and seeks to highlight the basic policy choices and options in order to ensure a high protection of the environment

This in depth analysis explores different possibilities of updating the ELD directive in relation to the environmental responsibility of companies and seeks to highlight the basic policy choices and options in order to ensure a high protection of the environment

Externý autor

Lucas BERGKAMP

Monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport

22-10-2020

In February 2019, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, in order to align it with the global data collection system introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The existing EU system requires ships above 5 000 gross tonnes using European ports to monitor and report fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per voyage and on an annual basis, starting with the year 2018. The system entered ...

In February 2019, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, in order to align it with the global data collection system introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The existing EU system requires ships above 5 000 gross tonnes using European ports to monitor and report fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per voyage and on an annual basis, starting with the year 2018. The system entered into force on 1 March 2018, and reporting starts with the year 2019. The proposed revision aims to facilitate the simultaneous application of the two systems, while preserving the objectives of the current EU legislation. The Council’s mandate for negotiations with the Parliament was adopted on 25 October 2019. In the European Parliament, the ENVI committee has appointed Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA, Germany) as rapporteur for the file. On 16 September 2020, the Parliament adopted its position and gave ENVI the mandate to start trilogue negotiations. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The environmental impacts of plastics and micro-plastics use, waste and pollution: EU and national measures

22-10-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions (PETI), focuses on the pervasive use of plastics and reviews the rising consensus on the potential eco-toxicological impacts of these materials, in particular of smaller plastic particles, dubbed microplastics. It discusses possible mitigation strategies aimed at curtailing the prevalence of (micro)plastics, as well as emerging alternatives ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions (PETI), focuses on the pervasive use of plastics and reviews the rising consensus on the potential eco-toxicological impacts of these materials, in particular of smaller plastic particles, dubbed microplastics. It discusses possible mitigation strategies aimed at curtailing the prevalence of (micro)plastics, as well as emerging alternatives and their environmental adequacy. Propelled by increasing awareness of the impacts of plastics and by public opinion, in recent years a multitude of norms, regulations, laws and recommendations have been proposed and/or implemented. These vary greatly across local, national, regional and international levels, and it is not clear what the beneficial impacts of these tools are. This study assesses these existing instruments, analyses whether they are based on sound scientific data, and discusses foreseeable challenges that could restrain the relevance and suitability of existing and future legislative proposals.

Externý autor

João PINTO DA COSTA (lead author), Teresa ROCHA-SANTOS, Armando C. DUARTE, Department of Chemistry and CESAM, University of Aveiro, Portugal

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.

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