<Report> Investment potential in EMENA: mapping investment potential in renewable energy, resource efficiency, and water in emerging Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa
, November, 2013
This report presents an assessment of the climate-smart investment opportunities in a vast region that is both a contributor to and victim of climate change: Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa (EMENA). Within this region, which spans 49 countries, there has been unprecedented increases in energy demand, population growth and urbanisation as well as an acute need for improved infrastructure for more efficient industry, transport, and utilities.
The report specifically soughts private sector investment opportunities related to climate change mitigation and adaptation. This includes questions such as where these opportunities are and whether they will deliver healthy returns, which are important questions as over-stretched governments need private sector help to meet climate business goals in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Link to 'Investment potential in EMENA: mapping investment potential in renewable energy, resource efficiency, and water in emerging Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa'
<Report> Environmental indicator report 2013: natural resources and human well-being in a green economy
European Environment Agency, November 2013
In 2010, The European environment — state and outlook 2010: synthesis (EEA, 2010) emphasised the increasingly systemic nature of environmental challenges and highlighted the need for greening the economy. It argued that further resource efficiency gains have to be realised to ensure resilient ecosystems that can deliver the natural resources and ecosystem services that we depend on.
In 2012 the EEA initiated a series of annual environmental indicator reports aimed at analysing selected issues in more depth and preparing the ground for the next SOER, due in 2015. The indicator reports share a common format and they use — to the extent possible — established environmental indicators hosted by the EEA. The first report in the series, the Environmental indicator report 2012, measured progress towards the green economy, focusing on two key aspects of the transition: resource efficiency and ecosystem resilience. Based on analysis of six environmental themes, it concluded that European environment policies appear to have had a clearer impact on improving resource efficiency than on maintaining ecosystem resilience. While improving resource efficiency remains necessary, it may not be sufficient to conserve the natural environment and the essential services it provides in support of economic prosperity and cohesion.
This Environmental indicator report 2013 extends the analysis of the green economy, focusing on the environmental pressures associated with resource use patterns and their impact on human health and well-being. Mapping the diverse connections between environmental change and human health impacts involves considerable conceptual complexities, and relies on a relatively fragmented evidence base.
Link to 'Environmental indicator report 2013: natural resources and human well-being in a green economy'
<Proposal> Living well, within the limits of our planet
European Commission, November 2012
Environment Action Programmes (EAP) have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early 1970s. In line with the Treaty, EAPs are adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure. The 6th EAP expired in July 2012; the European Commission, in response to demand from stakeholders, including the Council and the European Parliament, is proposing a successor programme.
The context of this proposal is fourfold. First, despite progress in some areas, major environmental challenges remain, as well as opportunities to make the environment more resilient to systemic risks and change. Second, the EU has adopted the Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, which guides policy development for the period up to 2020. Third, while many Member States are struggling to cope with the economic crisis, the need for structural reforms offers new opportunities for the EU to move towards an inclusive green economy. Finally, Rio+20 highlighted the importance of the global dimension. This EAP aims to step up the contribution of environment policy to the transition towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy in which natural capital is protected and enhanced, and the health and well-being of citizens is safeguarded. The programme provides an overarching framework for environment policy to 2020, identifying nine priority objectives for the EU and its Member States to attain.
Responsibility for achieving environment and climate-related goals and objectives is shared by the EU and its Member States. The programme should be implemented at the appropriate level, in line with the principle of subsidiarity.
Link to 'Living well, within the limits of our planet'
<Report> Steps towards greening in the EU: monitoring Member States’ achievements in selected environmental policy areas
IEEP, July 2013
A key objective outlined in the EU’s current economic strategy – the Europe 2020 Strategy is for Europe to become a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy. Various Roadmaps and other strategies have been adopted that support this over-arching objective – including on resource efficiency, a low carbon economy, transport, energy, and biodiversity – providing specific details in some areas and short-medium term steps in others. National reform programmes (NRPs), together with stability/convergence programmes translate the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy into national targets and “growth-enhancing” policies in Member States. Implementation of the Strategy has been supported since 2011 through the creation of an annual cycle of economic policy coordination known as the “European Semester”. Resource efficiency is one of the areas addressed through the European Semester, and to date has focused on the provisional headline indicator of resource productivity, through thematic indicators such as municipal waste management and environmental taxation, and other resource
areas such as water and air quality.
This latest Environmental Policy Review covering 2011-2012 examines a select number of areas of immediate priority to the transition agenda set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy. In particular, it focuses on economic, fiscal and financial aspects (i.e. budgetary issues, market-based instruments, environmentally harmful subsidies and state aids), waste management, support to SMEs and air quality. These are seen as areas that can more immediately enhance growth and job creation and/or contribute to fiscal consolidation in addition to being environmentally beneficial. While other areas are also relevant to the transition to a resource efficient economy, they are beyond the scope of this study.
Link to 'Steps towards greening in the EU: monitoring Member States’ achievements in selected environmental policy areas'
<Video> Plastic bags – ending our addiction
European Commission, November 2013
A short and informative video detailing the growing problem that plastic litter poses to marine life and, increasingly, to human health. Some innovative and effective European Member State initiatives to address this issue, such as a levy on the use of plastic shopping bags in Ireland, are explained.
Link to 'Plastic bags – ending our addiction'
<Report> Sharing smart solutions in water
The Water Partnership Programme (part of the World Bank), July 2013
The World Bank’s Water Partnership Program (WPP) is a platform that brings the best knowledge, science, skills, and solutions to match the challenges at hand. The WPP is a trust fund supported by the governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Denmark. The Program supports poverty reduction by bolstering the World Bank’s operational and analytical work through the mainstreaming of pragmatic approaches for water resources management and improvements in water supply and sanitation service delivery. By sharing smart solutions among developed and developing countries alike, the WPP helps countries to leapfrog on proven approaches and tools and customize these to local needs and capacity to get better results for less money and time.
Over the course of Phase I, the WPP has enhanced the Bank’s capacity to provide its member countries ever-more innovative, practical, and effective approaches across the water-food-energy nexus. Over the second, four year phase, the WPP will commit more resources to building partnerships that can reach the core of water security, produce the evidence that spurs ideas into action, and reinforce sound project design and implementation toward improved climate resilience.
This Annual Report showcases the major impact of WPP Phase I (2009 – 2012) in each of the Bank’s six regions as well as its global impact on knowledge and innovation. WPP Phase I enabled Bank teams to better respond to changing client demands within the project cycle, and to integrate hard (infrastructure) and soft (institutional, policy, management) solutions that yield more sustainable outcomes.
Link to 'Sharing smart solutions in water'
<Report> Estimates of waste in the food and drink supply chain
WRAP, October 2013
The production of food and drink results in significant benefits to the UK economy (£80bn Gross Value Added (GVA), around 7% of the UK total) as well as providing many jobs. It also uses significant quantities of resources and its impacts include 170Mt of CO2e emissions (21% of UK’s territorial emissions) and the consumption of around 70 billion m3 of water or roughly 70% of the UK’s water footprint.
Households spent some £101bn on food and drink in the UK in 2011. Some of the food and drink that is produced by manufacturers is not sold directly to intended customers (grocery retailers and wholesalers) or consumers (households) but managed in other ways, which can result in waste. This report contains estimates for the amount of waste in the UK supply chain of food and drink. Estimates for 2011 are presented for food and drink manufacturing, grocery retail and wholesale, including waste food and drink and waste packaging.
Link to 'Estimates of waste in the food and drink supply chain'
<Report> Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2008–2011
European Commission, October 2013
The Nitrates Directive (1991) aims to protect water quality across Europe by preventing nitrates from agricultural sources polluting ground and surface waters and by promoting the use of good farming practices. It forms an integral part of the Water Framework Directive and is one of the key instruments in the protection of waters against agricultural pressures.
This report represents a progress report on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive, which is based on submitted Member State reports. In particular, it contains information pertaining to codes of good agricultural practice, designated nitrate vulnerable zones, results of water monitoring, and a summary of the relevant aspects of action programmes drawn up for nitrate vulnerable zones.
It is accompanied is accompanied by a Staff Working Document (SEC(2013)xxx), which includes maps and tables on indicators of nutrient pressures from agricultural sources, water quality and designated nitrate vulnerable zones, both at EU level and per each Member State.
Link to 'Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2008–2011'
Link to 'http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-nitrates/pdf/swd_2013_405_en.pdf'
<Awareness campaign> Generation Awake
Your choices make a world of difference.
Do you want to live life to the full while respecting nature? Then Generation Awake is for you. It’s all about opening our eyes to our consumer choices and the consequences they have on the earth’s natural resources. When you’re part of Generation Awake, you’re aware that your choices not only change your world, but also the planet.
How? As life is all about choices, making smart day-to-day decisions that consider the environment also make a world of difference to your life and that of your family and friends. Firstly, it will help you save money and improve your lifestyle – and help the economy too. On top of that, smarter consumer choices make your city, your country, Europe and the planet healthier and more sustainable.
Take a look at initiatives taken by the European Union to learn how your choices make a difference to your personal wellbeing, and that of the planet.
Link to 'Generation Awake'
Link to 'http://www.generationawake.eu/guide/3306_Guide%20EN.pdf'