Issue 51

September - October 2016

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his 2016 State of the Union address, before the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 14th September where he took stock of achievements of the past year and presented his priorities for the year ahead. He outlined how the Commission will address the most pressing challenges the European Union is facing. Among his key messages were: -

Europe at a critical juncture

The Commission Work Programme for 2017 was presented to MEPs on 25th October in Strasbourg. Next year the focus will be squarely on delivery of the 10 priorities that address the biggest challenges which Europe faces today. The Work Programme informs the public and the co-legislators of our political commitments to present new initiatives, withdraw pending proposals and review existing EU legislation.

Morocco is hosting this year's conference from 7th to 18th November in Bab Ighli, Marrakech. It will be the UNFCCC's 22nd 'Conference of the Parties' (COP 22) and the Kyoto Protocol's 12th 'Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties' (CMP 12).  Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol meet once a year at high level to discuss how to advance international action to combat climate change.

Following the result of the EU referendum in June, for the UK to leave the European Union, environmental professionals met in London to press for the UK Government to maintain and enhance environmental protections and continues to play a leading role in environmental issues on the world stage. With the recent announcement by Prime Minister, Teresa May that all previous European laws will be transposed into British law to be curated and refined later, the importance of utilising environmental professionals to collate sound and evidence based advice for this process is greater than ever.

The UK’s devolved regions should follow the EU’s lead when developing environmental policies after Brexit, is the advice of a recent think tank report. The Think Tank report, UK in a Changing Europe could affect the devolution agreements whereby the Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland play a key role in developing their own distinctive environment and agricultural policies. They currently play an important role in transposing EU legislation directly in these policy fields.

The European Commission has launched its first research partnership on solutions for sustainable water management and food production around the Mediterranean. PRIMA is the first partnership of its kind pooling knowledge and money to bring more clean water and food to the people, boost local economies and create jobs. PRIMA already includes Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia.

Two new reports from EU Green Capitals and the Green Leaf award to showcase best practices to share across Europe. The good practices of applicant cities and the benchmarking their environmental performances represent stories that are worth sharing in Europe and beyond.  The reports are aimed at you the environmental professionals throughout Europe who work and advise cities throughout Europe.

The EwasteR Consortium is composed of 13 organisations from four different countries – Cyprus, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom – and is supported by the Directive 2012/19/EE on WEEE. The Consortium is funded under the Erasmus+ sector skills alliances and over the next three years will:-

Climate reporting emerges as an area that is frequently in the spotlight when it comes to an organisation’s environmental performance. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) first established in 2001 is the most widely used international accounting tool for quantifying and measuring greenhouse gas emissions. When using this tool an organisation lists all greenhouse gas emissions resulting from its activities as well as information on the management’s approach to reduce them.