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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 researchers pioneer portable biofuel facility
Aston University has developed new technology to convert waste and residues, such as babywipes, into biofuel.
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.
WEEE: Tackling the next big business challenge
The recast Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive has now been in place in the UK for 18 months. The UK Government believes that the new system has produced an estimated £18m cost reduction for producers. Here, Scott Butler from the European Recycling Platform (ERP) explains why there is much work still to do.
European Parliament backs circular economy resolution
MEPs have passed a European circular economy report calling for a 30% increase in resource productivity by 2030, which could add nearly two million green jobs.
Business leaders call on MEPs to support circular economy
Business and environmental leaders have today (3 July) called for MEPs to vote in favour of a report setting out the benefits of a circular economy in Europe.
UK and France 'may miss EU renewable energy target'
Britain, France, Netherlands, Malta and Luxembourg are projected to miss binding goal of getting 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020
Grantham Institute: Extend green subsidies to carbon capture
The UK and other EU countries should extend green subsidies, such as the Contracts for Difference scheme, to carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, an influential think-tank has claimed.
EWEA: Renewables laggards should pay into EU energy fund
EU members who are not contributing their fair share to the EU's 27% renewable energy pledge by 2030 should be forced to pay into a clean-energy fund, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has asserted.
EU launches new remanufacturing network
The European Commission has launched a new lobby group that aims to boost remanufacturing throughout the EU.
EU unveils ground-breaking circular economy metric
European companies can now measure how well their products and business models perform in the context of a circular economy thanks to a new tool developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.