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The certification can reduce overhead costs, bringing more retrofit projects to the market

'Investor-ready' green certification project rolled-out for district energy and street lighting

A green certification project aimed at standardising how building projects are measured and developed to accelerate investment opportunities has received backing from the Horizon 2020 programme to expand across Europe.

For heating products, the latest date on which the new label will be available to consumers will be around 2030

New energy labels for appliances seen as boon for consumers

The European Parliament approved on Tuesday (June 13) the introduction of new energy labels for household appliances, which MEPs and industry experts said should enable consumers to save money and cut energy consumption while helping the bloc reduce overall carbon emissions.

Around 70% of economic losses linked to infrastructure damage from natural disasters are uninsured

New data hub offers financial oasis against climate-related hazards

A new global data community aimed at expanding the climate risk adaption strategies for the insurance and investment markets has launched this week (5 June), to protect economic losses incurred through damages to infrastructure during natural disasters.

Middle-management and wider employees remain “disconnected from the narrative” of the SDGs

Middle-management 'disconnected' from Sustainable Development Goals, report finds

A "strong appetite" to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is being hindered by a lack of engagement and understanding in mid-management and employees, a new report described as the "wake-up call to the importance of working together" found.

Around 280 coal-fired plants in the EU produce nearly 25% of EU-generated electricity, but are also accountable for more than 70% of EU sulphur dioxide emissions

European Union enforces new air pollution limits

The European Union (EU) has today (29 April) approved new air pollution limits, which could save more than 20,000 lives each year by reducing pollution derived from coal-fired power plants.

Italy is among several countries languishing at the bottom of the table for alleged attempts to weaken the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR)

Vast majority of EU countries set to miss Paris Agreement goals, research finds

Only three European countries are on course to achieve the Paris Agreement targets, according to research which ranks the UK in fifth position on its progress towards the landmark climate treaty.

The document said that leaving the loophole open risked 133 million tonnes of unearned carbon credits falling into governments hands

Leaked paper exposes EU countries' abuse of climate loophole

European Union countries exploited loopholes in United Nations forestry rules to pocket carbon credits worth €600 million and the equivalent of global-warming emissions from 114 million cars.

The UK will be obliged to give effect to the Package for as long as it remains in the EU

Circular Economy Package: Everything you need to know

In light of the European Parliament's decision to reinforce more ambitious recycling targets within the long-awaited Circular Economy Package, edie takes a detailed look at how the proposed measures could affect businesses, especially in light of the UK's imminent departure from the European Union (EU).

The Package will only be finalised once both the Parliament and Council of Ministers agree on an identical text

Circular Economy Package: MEPs pledge to restore recycling targets in landmark vote

The European Parliament has voted to restore recycling and landfill targets that had been lowered by the European Commission in its re-tabled Circular Economy Package.

The European Parliament has backed resolutions demanding a 40% binding efficiency target and is likely to call for greater ambition in the bill

Member states move to weaken EU energy efficiency targets

European Union (EU) member states have moved to weaken the bloc's 2030 energy efficiency goals, setting up tough negotiations with the European Parliament, which backs stronger legislation.

Around 2,500 commercial flights have now taken place using some amount of biofuels

EU sees 'strategic advantage' of biofuels in aviation

In sectors like aviation where decarbonisation options are limited, there is a strategic advantage in encouraging the use of biofuels, a European Commission official has said.

Member states approve changes, including €12bn innovation fund, to emissions plan for cleaner technology and pollution cuts

Reform of EU carbon trading scheme agreed

An overhaul of the EU's flagship trading scheme for cutting carbon emissions by European industries has been approved by the member states.

Downtown Warsaw. Optimally-designed smart buildings allow flexible connectivity to energy systems through efficient energy consumption, production and storage

Report: EU nations struggling to foster smart city transition

The majority of European Union (EU) members are showing "little progress" in developing smart built environment policies that encourage the uptake of energy storage or demand response initiatives, a new report has found.

The EU's Emissions Trading System is the world’s biggest scheme for trading emissions allowances

European Parliament adopts draft reform of carbon market

The European Parliament on Wednesday (15 February) adopted draft reforms of the EU's carbon market post-2020 that aim to balance greater cuts in greenhouse gases with protection for energy-intensive industries.

Air pollution is linked to the early deaths of about 40,000 people a year in the UK

European Commission issues 'final warning' to UK over air pollution breaches

The European Commission has sent a "final warning" to the UK for failing to address repeated breaches of legal air pollution limits in 16 areas including London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Glasgow.

Lord Teverson claims that trade deals with United Nations members could see the environmental performance of policies and products downsized

UK must play 'careful game' to balance green policy and new trade deals

EXCLUSIVE: In its pursuit of new trade deals post-Brexit, the UK must be careful that product and resource standards don't handicap businesses from exporting back into Europe, the chair of the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has warned.

One of the main concerns listed in the report was the Government’s “worryingly complacent” attitude towards the loss of the enforcement regime

Report: Enforcement mechanisms 'critical' for post-Brexit environmental prosperity

Introducing and transposing key environmental legislation that enforces political stability once the UK leaves the European Union (EU) will be "critical" to ensuring investor confidence, a new report from a House of Lords Committee has claimed.

Despite Europe’s installed wind power capacity now standing at 153.7GW, it is still a relatively small fraction of the region’s 918.8GW of total power capacity

Almost 90% of new power in Europe from renewable sources in 2016

Renewable energy sources made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe's electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent's rapid shift away from fossil fuels.

Industrial emissions in the harbor of Ijmuiden, The Netherlands

23 EU countries are breaking European air quality laws

European air quality laws are being flaunted in more than 130 cities across 23 of the 28 EU member states, the European Commission said yesterday (6 February).

The UK’s apparent inability to hit the EU’s RED targets is likely to incense campaigners, many of which are of the belief that the 20% targets aren’t ambitious enough

UK 'falling behind' on EU renewable energy targets

The European Union (EU) is on track to hit a 20% renewable goal for 2020, despite nations such as the UK, Ireland and Luxembourg struggling to increase the share of renewables in transport and heat sectors, a new European Commission (EC) report has found.

MEPs in Brussels voted to restore the lowered targets to the level of the original proposal

MEPs bolster EU recycling and landfill targets

Members of the European Parliament's Environment Committee yesterday (24 January) moved to increase draft EU recycling and landfill targets that had been lowered by the European Commission in its re-tabled Circular Economy Package.

The industry claims that ethanol produced in Europe has 64% greenhouse gas (GHG) higher savings compared to petrol, which is equivalent to the annual GHG emissions of 4 million cars

EU risks missing climate goals without 'sustainable' biofuels, experts warn

The European Commission's proposal to gradually phase out "sustainable" first generation biofuels will prevent the EU from meeting its 2030 climate goals, experts claim.

The EU has two main pieces of climate legislation aimed at keeping the promise made in Paris. The Emissions Trading System (ETS), which is currently under revision, and the Effort-Sharing Regulation (ESR)

Europe urged to cut all transport emissions to keep climate pledge

Germany's Öko-Institut warned the EU must cut global warming transport emissions by 94% by 2050 to stop the planet's temperature rising above the two degree limit agreed by world leaders at the Paris climate summit in December 2015.

Wind turbines near a canal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. At present, the EU's energy system remains centralised and dominated by large power plants

Europe eyes 'big bang' in power savings from industry and SMEs

While standards for toasters, fridges, and TV sets have so far grabbed the most attention, the biggest potential for power savings actually lies in integrating industries and small businesses to the electricity system, a senior EU official has said.

The decision has been met with scepticism among green campaigners concerned about how the UK Government will enforce the legislation post-Brexit

UK agrees to new EU air pollution laws, raising 'awkward' Brexit questions

The UK has agreed to adopt new European Union (EU) legislation on air quality, which sets stricter national limits for the emission of some of the most dangerous air pollutants.

Commissioners Timmermans and Vella were tasked with overseeing the 'fitness check' of the nature directives. Photo: European Commission

EU decides against tinkering with flagship nature directives

After undergoing a much-criticised European Commission-helmed 'fitness check', the EU's main nature directives have been ruled fit for purpose and will not be rewritten or weakened, in a huge win for environmentalists.

Volkswagen was forced to recall nearly half a million cars from the US market last year over the scandal

Dieselgate: EC begins legal action against UK and other EU nations

The European commission has started legal action against the UK and six other EU states for failing to act against car emissions cheating in the wake of the "dieselgate" scandal.

While things look good for the EU in the short-term, the report warns that raised efforts were a necessity in reaching longer-term goals

European Union 2020 energy targets 'well within reach'

European Union (EU) Member States are collectively on course to meet 2020 targets for renewables, energy efficiency and emissions reductions, although a new report has warned that long-term objectives are at risk of falling short.

The document sets out the EU's planned transition to an energy efficient and low-carbon economy

EU winter package met with mixed green business reception

As the European Commission (EC) today (30 November) unveils its energy winter package aimed at helping to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, edie analyses the major talking points of the document's key proposals.

The absence of a common framework is viewed by European business leaders as likely to discourage investment in the transition to renewable energy

European businesses fear 'lost decade' for renewables ahead of EU proposals

As the European Commission (EC) prepares to present its energy package for 2030 on Wednesday (30 November), a coalition of multinational businesses including BT, Philips Lighting and Kingfisher has called for more ambitious energy legislation to replace the current renewables directive.

T&E noted that because these biofuels would count as “zero-emission fuels”, they would make the EU's transport emissions look 478 million tonnes lower than they actually are

Leaked biofuel plan set to increase European transport emissions

A leaked draft of the European Commission's (EC) Renewable Energy Directive (RED) has revealed that a promised phase-out of food-based biodiesels will not be met, with new proposals set to increase European transport emissions by 219 million tonnes by 2030.

Against the backdrop of the COP22 in Marrakesh, businesses have united for the first time to support recommendations on the forthcoming European package

Private sector pushes for better EU renewable energy legislation

After leaked documents revealing renewable energy will no longer be a top priority in the EU's new winter package, major corporations including Google, Unilever and IKEA have backed a call for improvements to the forthcoming package.

The European Commission building in Brussels. The Commission has targeted 20% renewables in the EU’s energy mix by 2020

Leaked EU energy package subsidises fossil fuels, undermines renewables

The EU claims to be promoting an ambitious agenda at the Marrakesh climate conference, but its latest piece of energy legislation could subsidise new coal capacity and undermine market access for renewables.

Most EU member states support raising the EU’s pollution standard 50% above the legal limit set down in the Euro 6 regulation

Petrol cars allowed to exceed pollution limits by 50% under draft EU laws

New European cars with petrol engines will be allowed to overshoot a limit on toxic particulates emissions by 50% under a draft EU regulation backed by the UK and most other EU states.

InfluenceMap highlights BusinessEurope's strong opposition to the carbon tax in the 1990s and present day efforts to water down the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)

'Way behind the curve': EU climate policy 'obstructed' by trade body BusinessEurope

Trade association BusinessEurope's "strong opposition" to more ambitious European Union (EU) climate legislation represents a "clear detachment" from the position of the European business community, according to a new report from UK research group InfluenceMap.

The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified

EU fast-tracks deal to ratify Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is close to entering into force, after European Union (EU) Ministers approved to fast-track the ratification process at an Environment Council extraordinary meeting in Brussels today (30 September).

Although sales and the use of electric vehicles are increasing, they still only make up 0.15% of Europe’s car fleet and only 1.2% of total passenger car sales in the EU

Surge in electric cars could strain energy grid, warns EU agency

The large scale roll-out of electric cars on EU roads will help fight climate change but more electricity will have to be generated to power the vehicles which, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has warned, could have its own impact on global warming.

Wind Europe stress that the EU’s “modest” 2030 target of 27% renewables in total energy consumption must rise to 30% if the continent wishes to remain a wind industry leader

Research predicts European wind rush by 2025

New research has anticipated that more than 140GW of new wind power capacity will be deployed in Europe by 2025 despite deep regulatory reform, in the same week that Wind Europe called on the European Union (EU) to ramp up political commitments to make the continent the best choice for renewables investment.

Sources said that Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria support Berlin’s idea, while the UK, Italy, Finland and Greece, are open to considering it

Germany wants to scrap EU recycling targets

Germany, the EU's most influential country and its leading recycler, has called for recycling targets in the European Commission's Circular Economy package of green laws to be scrapped.

The initiative, which started this month (September), will run for three years and engage with 33 London boroughs with the help of housebuilders and hospitality and food service businesses

European Commission funds WRAP's £2.7m London-wide food waste reduction plan

WRAP has launched a new London-wide behaviour change initiative that aims to prevent food waste in the capital as well as promoting best practice measures for recycling unavoidable food waste.

One potential method to reduce emissions from shipping is the use of biofuels. The Sustainable Shipping Initiative is already exploring how biofuels could be used as an energy source

European Commission urged to revamp bioenergy and shipping policies

The European Commission has been greeted with across-the-board support from MEPs to include emissions from shipping in the European Union's 2030 emissions reduction target, while non-profits are also calling for improved bioenergy policies.

According to plans currently under consideration, the global market-based system would be fully up and running in 2027 only, six years later than the initial 2021 deadline

MEPs shocked by 'secretive' ICAO plan to cut aviation emissions

A six-year delay, exemptions for poor nations, and a gradual phase-in system for participating countries are all being considered as part of talks to curb aviation pollution at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), MEPs discovered at a hearing in Parliament today (1 September).

In total, the EU reduced final energy consumption by 6.35% between 2000 and 2014, which equates to cutting 72 mtoe from the Union’s energy demand

UK plays leading role as European Union hits energy efficiency target six years early

A 15% reduction in energy consumption in the UK has spearheaded a continental movement which has seen the European Union (EU) surpass a key energy efficiency target six years early, a new report has revealed.

The pledge from the Government to future proof funding streams will ensure the UK can still innovate, even if it loses access to the €80bn Horizon 2020 pot

Treasury to underwrite Horizon 2020 projects beyond EU membership

The UK's innovation agency has vowed to ensure that science and research plays a "central role in a progressive industrial strategy", after Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed that the Treasury will underwrite business and academic funding for approved Horizon 2020 projects.

New legislation includes emission standards for cars, vans and - for the first time in Europe - trucks

Vehicle emissions standard forms 'centrepiece' of EU's low-carbon vision

A new legislative proposal from the European Union (EU) that creates binding targets for Member States to reduce emissions in the transport, buildings, agriculture, waste, land-use and forestry sectors will hinge on the ability to accelerate low-carbon technology and fuels in the automotive industry.

Non-ETS sectors must cut emissions if the EU is to keep the climate commitments it made at the COP21 in Paris

EU Member States offered climate target flexibility in bid to cut emissions

EU member states will be able to bank annual emissions savings from sectors such as agriculture and transport, and use them in later years to meet their climate targets, under EU legislation set to be put forward today (20 July).

The EC has called on Member States to accelerate Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) deployment

European Commission set to establish post-2020 transport efficiency standards

Plans outlined in a leaked draft document from the European Commission (EC) to introduce efficiency standards for new cars, vans and trucks by the mid-2020s has been lauded as a "step in the right direction" by Transport & Environment (T&E).

The study found that the counties whose climate commitments would be most affected by the UK’s departure were Portugal, Slovenia, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Italy

Brexit will force EU countries 'to make deeper, costlier carbon cuts'

Brexit will force the European Union's remaining 27 countries to spend billions of Euros on cutting carbon emissions deeper to compensate for the UK leaving, according to experts.

Despite the political willingness, talks could drag on until the very last hour given the technical complexity of the deal

Aviation industry preparing for 'eleventh hour' deal on emission trading

An agreement on curbing emissions from international flights will be reached at the ICAO general assembly this autumn, according to industry sources, while biofuels continue to struggle to emerge as a long-term solution for greening the sector.

Campaigners fear that this could tip the balance in future policy debates and setback efforts to tackle climate change

Leaked TTIP energy proposal could 'sabotage' EU climate policy

The latest draft version of the TTIP agreement could sabotage European efforts to save energy and switch to clean power, according to MEPs.

These initiatives prove that other countries - both in and out of the EU - aren’t completely dependent on the far-reaching arms of the Union

Beyond borders: 10 amazing European sustainability success stories

With the UK nervously awaiting the results of a defining European Union (EU) referendum, edie has rounded up some of the ways other Member States have been rolling out their own ambitious green initiatives to drive the low-carbon transition outside of the collaborative clutches of the EU.

The deputy mayor of Paris said that despite talk of rivalry between his city and London, “Paris is a city that supports Britain’s place in the EU”

UN boss: Brexit would mean rewriting Paris Agreement on climate change

A vote for Brexit in tomorrow's UK referendum on EU membership (23 June) would mean that the COP21 agreement would have to be rewritten, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said on Wednesday (22 June) in Brussels.

VW has yet to face any legal consequences for its use of defeat devices in Europe, despite ongoing proceedings in the US

European Commission warned of car emissions test cheating, five years before VW scandal

The European commission was warned by its own experts that a car maker was suspected of cheating emissions tests five years before the VW emissions scandal.

Initial discussions over the merger took pace during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris last December

Bloomberg Taskforce and European Commission form new climate change alliance

Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, will be in the driving seat of a new global alliance of cities to tackle climate change, despite the EU having pioneered the idea of coordinating mayors to fight global warming.

The EU, representing around 10% of global emissions, wants to lead the global fight to tackle climate change

"The EU is doing its homework": Commission makes landmark proposal to ratify Paris Agreement

The European Commission has today (10 June) presented its plans for the European Union (EU) to ratify the historic Paris Agreement, calling for a swift process of enshrining the global climate deal into European law.

The leave camp says that, in the event of a Brexit vote, £2bn would be earmarked for conservation spending out of the money it expects to recoup from payments to Brussels

Brexit would free UK from 'spirit-crushing' green directives, says minister

The UK could develop a more flexible approach to environmental protection free of "spirit-crushing" Brussels directives if it votes to leave the EU, the farming minister, George Eustice, has said.

Data obtained by green group Transport & Environment (T&E) revealed that cars and trucks burned almost half of all palm oil used in Europe in 2014

Biodieselgate? British industry leads EU on elimination of palm oil biofuels, says REA

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has revealed that UK importation and consumption of palm oil-based biodiesel for use as a feedstock for vehicles still stands at 'zero' for 2015/16, in light of new data which shows that cars and trucks were responsible for almost half of all of the palm oil used across Europe in 2014.

The Pact of Amsterdam is also proposing measures to introduce the circular economy into European cities – with an aim to increase resource productivity by 30% by 2030

Will the Pact of Amsterdam strengthen the UK's air quality regulations?

With Britain's crucial European Union (EU) referendum just weeks away, a major new EU-wide initiative has been launched to introduce more ambitious measures to improve air quality and implement closed-loop business processes, in an effort to create smarter, greener cities within EU Member States.

The coalition highlights that the EU’s 2030 climate targets those of the Paris climate deal can only be met if fuel economy standards are issued for heavy-goods vehicles

Global brands urge EC President to propose heavy-goods efficiency standards

Global brands such as IKEA, Nestlé and Philips have urged the President of the European Commission (EC) to propose post-2020 CO2 reductions for heavy-goods vehicles in Europe, raising issues over the impact that European transport legislation would have on the UK if the country were to leave the European Union (EU).

The new law limits to 7% the use of harmful biofuels which compete with crops grown on agricultural land

Green transport target will be scrapped post-2020, EU confirms

EU laws requiring member states to use "at least 10%" renewable energy in transport will be scrapped after 2020, the European Commission confirmed, hoping to set aside a protracted controversy surrounding the environmental damage caused by biofuels.

A pilot scheme in Belgium could potentially capture more than 95% of the process CO2 emissions from both industries without significant energy input

'Breakthrough' CCS technology paves way for sustainable construction industry

A technological innovation that will enable Europe's cement and lime industries to significantly reduce their environmental footprint through carbon capture and storage (CCS) has received €12m backing from the European Union.

The study reads, “In general, market-based competitive procedures are more likely to offer efficient tools to address generation adequacy problems than alternatives”

Commission draws fire over support for British fossil fuel subsidies

New European Commission research has highlighted failings in the different state subsidies offered to electricity utilities across the EU, while giving qualified support to the 'market-based' model used in the United Kingdom.

The Two Degrees of Change group will face a major task, as women are still poorly represented in politics and in most major international forums

UN launches campaign to enlist women in boardrooms to take up climate issue

Women working in financial services are opening a new front in the battle against climate change, with the launch of a UN-backed initiative to take global warming concerns into business boardrooms.

As climate change disrupts weather systems, flooding will become more common in coastal cities

EU pushed towards 'climate disclosure' regime for investors

Pressure is building on global regulators and the European Commission to "stress-test" portfolios of large institutional investors against long-term objectives to reduce climate change, in a move that could shift billions in investment away from fossil fuels.

The rules, subject to approval by the Parliament and the Council of Ministers, are a first step to adapting the economy to a future of finite resources and a booming population

EU vows tough enforcement of circular economy package

The circular economy package of waste and recycling laws will be backed by tougher European Commission enforcement than seen under previous administrations, an official yesterday (5 April) told plastic industry delegates.

The road to the Paris climate change conference last December, which set an aspirational goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. Photo: UNclimatechange/Flickr

Climate change off the table at next week's EU summit

European Union leaders are unlikely to discuss how the bloc will build on the Paris agreement to cap global warming at their summit next week, it has emerged.

The Falkirk Wheel, connecting Scotland's Forth and Clyde canals. The Circular Economy Investment Fund will help the nation's manufacturers develop new technologies, business models and infrastructure

Circular economy boon for Scotland with £70m Investment Fund

A new centre of excellence and an innovative new strategy for manufacturing form part of a major new investment aimed at revolutionising Scotland's circular economy.

Collaboration for a closed-loop value chain: Transferable learning points from the REALCAR project

Creating a space to collaborate, reflect, learn and share lessons from the REALCAR (REcycled ALuminium CAR) closed-loop project.

Diesel is particularly associated with emissions of nitrogen oxide linked to lung disease and premature deaths

European lawmakers back limited reduction in car emissions

European lawmakers on Wednesday (3 February) backed a compromise deal to reduce car emissions that will still allow vehicles to exceed official pollution limits, defying calls for more radical reform following Volkswagen's emissions-test cheating scandal.

One of the main issues that the report flags is that member states have 'radically different' ideas of what an EU energy governance framework should entail

Cross-border energy markets 'vital' for EU renewables target

The European wide 2030 renewables target will not be delivered unless cross-border market mechanisms and continuous monitoring are introduced, a new report from the House of Lords EU Committee has found.

Formula E is seen as a fertile breeding ground for innovation and technology development, as teams are given relative carte blanche to try out new ideas

Jaguar to enter world of electric motorsport

Jaguar has announced that it will contest the next season of Formula E, as the race to develop more efficient and affordable electric cars gears up.

Funding applications have broadened and now apply to higher-risk, yet innovative sustainable business models

European Commission opens up €24bn circular economy funding for businesses

The European Commission has announced modifications to credit access that opens up a €24bn financial funding tool for businesses looking to transition to a circular economy model.

Transitioning it to a more efficient circular economy model could reduce unemployment levels in London by 12.5%

London's circular economy could provide 40,000 job boost

An improved circular economy model in London could create 40,000 new jobs by 2030 as well as lowering unemployment and providing financial incentives, a new report released today (9 December) has found.

The scheme allows charities and foodbanks to publicise their food requirements through an online portal

New redistribution platform launched to tackle food waste crisis

A new social media platform that aims to facilitate food redistribution has been launched in the UK.

The new circular economy package aims to

New circular economy package: The reaction

The European Commission has launched an "ambitious" new circular economy package that it says will boost competitiveness, create jobs and generate sustainable growth. But what does the industry think?

European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans (centre) says the new circular economy package could bring net savings of €600bn a year

EU unveils new €6bn circular economy package

The European Commission has launched its much-anticipated circular economy package, including weakened recycling targets, tools to halve food waste by 2030, and measures to promote reparability in the design phase of products.

A pan-European transition to a circular economy could generate around €1.8trn of benefit for European economies every year

Will the new circular economy package be ambitious enough?

With the European Commission unveiling its long-awaited circular economy package on Wednesday (2 December), UK experts and green groups are keen to find out if it will contain the necessary ambition to drive resource efficiency.

The Bristol Method will cover a range of subjects including energy, resources, transport, food and nature

Bristol becomes beacon of best practice for sustainable cities at COP21

The UK's first and current European Green Capital, Bristol, is encouraging other cities across the continent to 'go green' as it shares an online toolkit at the Cities and Regions Pavilion within the COP21 climate conference.

Landfill will not be banned after all, according to leaked documents

New Circular Economy Package 'less ambitious' than axed predecessor

The European Commission's draft waste and incineration laws to replace the package it axed under its drive for "better regulation", has weaker targets for recycling and landfill than its predecessor.

Most diesel cars emit far more NOx on the road than in official tests

MPs call for diesel cars scrappage scheme to tackle air pollution

The government should consider a scrappage scheme for diesel cars to get polluting vehicles off the streets of England's cities, where they contribute to tens of thousands of premature deaths every year, according to an influential committee of MPs.

MEPs today called for three binding 2030 targets of at least 40% greenhouse gas emissions, at least 30% for renewables, and at least 40% for energy efficiency

MEPs fail to boost EU renewables, efficiency targets before COP21

The European Parliament's energy committee today (10 November) rejected a push by MEPs to increase the EU's 2030 climate and energy targets and to make them legally binding.

Building renovation has struggled to secure EU finance

EU plans scheme to boost energy efficiency investment in buildings

A new European Commission initiative, to be launched next year, will make it easier for smaller energy efficiency projects, such as building renovations, to get EU funding.

The European Commission agrees a circular economy is necessary in a world with finite resources and a booming population

New circular economy package takes shape

The European Commission's new circular economy package will include fresh legislation on waste, fertilisers, and water reuse, "strong commitments" on Eco-design, strategies for handling plastics and chemicals, and "major" funding for innovation.

New cars could still be emitting more than twice the legal emissions limits in 2017, under these latest proposals

Dieselgate: EU eases car emissions limit in spite of VW scandal

European Member States have this week reached a compromised deal on the introduction of "real-world" emissions tests which would essentially allow vehicles to continue emitting more than twice the agreed pollution limits.

The EU's Emissions Trading System is the world's biggest scheme for trading emissions allowances

Battle lines forming as EU holds first debate on ETS reform

France, the UK, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are backing a more targeted approach for heavy industries, at risk of closing down or relocating abroad, due to increased pressure to reduce global warming emissions.

Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete at today's press conference. Photo: European Commission

EU will beat 2020 emissions target but won't raise it without backing at COP21

The European Union is on track to beat its target reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 but any move to increase it from 20% to 30% will only be considered if matched by developed countries at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

The enquiry will examine the advantages and disadvantages of EU environmental policy in the UK

MPs to scrutinise EU green policies ahead of Brexit referendum

The cross-party Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has announced it will hold a public enquiry to assess the effectiveness of European environmental policy in the UK, ahead of the nation's planned in-out EU referendum.

The Covenant of Mayors 2013 ceremony. Photo: Griet Dekoninck

Cities reluctant to publish climate risk reports

Thousands of cities signing up to the new Covenant of Mayors today (15 October) will submit reports on their vulnerability to climate change to the European Commission every two years - but are under no obligation to make the information public.

The report points out that 88% of the studies on air quality around fracking sites have shown increased levels of on-site air pollutants

Report: EU fracking guidelines fail to protect environment & citizens

Non-binding EU guidelines on shale gas exploration are "weak" and fail to protect the environment and health of citizens, a new report has claimed today (8 October).

Samsung strongly denies that its TVs' 'motion lighting' feature is designed to fool official energy efficiency tests or that it constitutes a defeat device

Samsung TVs appear less energy efficient in real life than in tests

Independent lab tests have found that some Samsung TVs in Europe appear to use less energy during official testing conditions than they do during real-world use, raising questions about whether they are set up to game energy efficiency tests.

Vehicle emissions are currently responsible for 12% of Europe's carbon emissions

UK, France and Germany lobbied for flawed car emissions tests, documents reveal

The UK, France and Germany have been accused of hypocrisy for lobbying behind the scenes to keep outmoded car tests for carbon emissions, but later publicly calling for a European investigation into Volkswagen's rigging of car air pollution tests.

The company admitted the device may have been fitted to 11m of its vehicles worldwide

VW scandal caused nearly 1m tonnes of extra pollution, analysis shows

Volkswagen's rigging of emissions tests for 11m cars means they may be responsible for nearly 1m tonnes of air pollution every year, roughly the same as the UK's combined emissions for all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture, a Guardian analysis suggests.

The panel discussion explored how industry and Government have responded to the APSRG and APMG remanufacturing report

UK economy (still) missing out on remanufacturing revolution

The UK continues to lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to developing a remanufacturing industry, with a notable lack of cooperation between Government and industry stifling the transition to a more circular economy.

The EU closed its consultation on what the circular economy package should look like on the 20 August, and is expected to present the plan by the end of 2015

WRAP highlights three priorities for EU circular economy package

The Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP) has revealed its response to the EU's circular economy consultation, detailing three key targets for the forthcoming package.

Is it perfect policy timing for waste?

The United Nations, European Commission and UK Government have all recently announced key policy themes around waste and resources. The question is, will they complement each other?

Top of the list of priorities, according to the Green Alliance, is increasing repairability in the design phase

Green Alliance: Circular economy package must tackle product design flaws

The EU's forthcoming circular economy package must encourage manufacturers to design products to be longer-lasting and more repairable, according to the Green Alliance.

The new Teesside biomass plant will provide 299MW of capacity

Teesside set for world's largest combined heat and power biomass plant

Teesside is to be the site of the world's largest new power and steam biomass plant as part of a new £424m project.

Zero Waste Scotland believes investing in remanufacturing could add £620m to the Scottish economy

Scotland offers £100,000 to remanufacturing innovators

Zero Waste Scotland's chief executive Iain Gulland has today (28 July) announced the launch of a new fund to boost remanufacturing innovation.

Aston University has developed the portable facility which it says will make biofuel production easier for rural businesses. Photo: Aston University

Aston University researchers pioneer portable biofuel facility

Aston University has developed new technology to convert waste and residues, such as babywipes, into biofuel.

Representatives from WRAP, Viridor and the Environmental Industries Commission took part in a Parliamentary seminar on the circular economy

Circular economy package: Policy priorities for the UK

The European Commission's long-awaited circular economy package must take into consideration renewable and decentralised energy, economic growth and voluntary agreements as a means to minimise waste across the continent.


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