Issue 50

July - August 2016

Slovakia took on the six month rotating Presidency of the European Union on the 1st July.  For one of the newest Member States to the bloc, this will be one of its greatest challenges as it has to address the continuing fall-out form the Brexit vote.

The UK’s environmental sector has reacted with shock to the referendum result, which will take Britain out of the EU.  The challenge now for the new UK Government and Prime Minister Theresa May will be to tackle the BREIXT plan within the two years permitted under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.  An interesting perspective how this Article 50 negotiation might unfold has been debated in a recent podcast published by the

European society faces a range of health and social issues that merit urgent attention. The EU health sector represents 15% of public expenditure and health care costs are expected to increase.

The European Commission has selected 28 proposals for funding under Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials".

The new projects will receive an EU contribution of about € 119.5 million. They were chosen from among 141 proposals which had been submitted by 8 March 2016 in reply to three Horizon 2020 calls for proposals (one stage).

Panels of independent experts evaluated the proposals and recommended funding:

189 projects funded by the European Commission between 2008 and 2011 through the Eco-innovation Initiative, brought significant environmental benefits as well as the creation of jobs in Europe. Overall, the estimated environmental savings reach an annual €1.2 billion two years after the projects’ closure. Even though not being a dedicated job-creation programme, the eco-innovation projects supported by the initiative also generated employment. The analysis shows that an average of 9 full time equivalent jobs has been generated per project.

The 20th European Forum on Eco-innovation will be held in Tallinn, Estonia, on 26-28 October 2016. The Forum will examine financing opportunities for eco-innovative SMEs and will showcase successful companies who have succeeded in attracting investors and growing their business. It will explore the enabling factors and challenges of transitioning to a circular business model and will address these through the lens of business, finance and public sector. The Forum will also provide an opportunity for participants from across Europe to:

Water is the most important resource on this planet, and a significant proportion of global investment and infrastructure is concerned with ensuring its supply, management, quality, and transportation.  Every €1 invested in clean water can yield €4–€13 in economic returns, but when its use becomes unsustainable and its supply limited, polluted, or even too abundant during flood events, our society and its infrastructure can fail.  All forms of development interact with water at a physical, policy, regulatory, social, or cultural level.  In the face of future climate change adaptation and mi

The first two of the three Blue Growth calls for proposals funded from the EMFF this year have generated very high interest from applicants, resulting in some 80 applications to the Blue Careers call and around 50 to the Blue Labs call.  Competition will be very tough indeed: we expect a success rate of around 10 to 12%. As a reminder, the Blue Careers call has a budget of €3.452m to support up to 7 projects bringing together educational establishments and business that will develop concrete actions to address the skills gap in the blue economy.

With the European Commission (EC) calling for case studies to highlight technically feasible options and improve the potential of Waste-to-Energy operations in the EU. One of these options is co-processing of waste in the cement industry. Co-processing is the simultaneous recovery of energy and the recycling of mineral resources when alternative fuels are used to replace primary fossil fuels in cement/clinker kilns.

New statutory guidance, under the Industrial Emissions Directive, for non ferous metals has been published by the European Commission through the so called Seville process.  The best available techniques (BAT) concerns the production of the whole range of non-ferrous metals including copper, lead, tin, cadmium, precious metals, and cobalt and sets standards for the issuing of environmental permits. New standards for the production of carbon and graphite are also included due to their use in aluminum smelting.