Displaying items by tag: Environment

The report was published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission and covers assessments conducted in 2019. It is published yearly and provides information to citizens on the quality of bathing water sites in Europe. Over 20,000 bathing water sites were monitored across EU, the UK, Albania and Switzerland. Bathing water quality in Europe remains at a high level with the minimum water quality standards met at 95 % of sites.

The share of sites rated ‘excellent’ stands at 84.6 % across Europe and 84.8 % in EU countries. The quality of coastal sites is generally better than that of inland sites. 87.4 %, of coastal bathing sites were classified as of excellent quality compared to 79.1 % of inland sites in the EU. The share of poor-quality sites has dropped since 2013. In 2019, poor bathing waters constituted 1.3 % of all sites in the EU, compared to 2 % in 2013.

The full report can be found here. A map with bathing water quality per country and site can be found here.

Published in Newsletter June 2020
Tuesday, 02 June 2020 07:30

Improvement of the sustainability of coatings

Deadline: 3 September 2020
Funded under: Horizon 2020

The specific challenge is to substitute fossil-based compounds in coatings with bio-based alternatives, while ensuring that the performance of the coating is at least identical to the traditional coating. Coatings are widely used in many applications, such as in glass, concrete, metal and furniture. Depending on the specific performance required by the intended applications, coatings must serve different purposes. These purposes include preventing reflectivity, self-cleaning, protection, waterproofing, fire resistance, anti-corrosion, insulation and anti-fouling. Because of this diverse and expanding range of requirements, people increasingly demand sustainable coatings. As part of this development, producers are introducing bio-based alternatives in coating formulations, replacing fossil-based compounds.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

Published in Newsletter May 2020

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The 2020 calls for proposal were now issued for the environment and climate action sub-programmes. Specific measures were taken to take into account the COVID-19 outbreak, including a one-month extension of deadlines. For the full information and application information, please click here.

Published in Newsletter May 2020

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The 2020 calls for proposal were now issued for the environment and climate action sub-programmes. Specific measures were taken to take into account the COVID-19 outbreak, including a one-month extension of deadlines. For the full information and application information, please click here.

Published in Newsletter April 2020
Tuesday, 31 March 2020 14:18

Publication of European Climate Law

The Commission’s proposal for the European Climate Law was published. It aims to legislate for the climate-neutrality goal set out in the European Green Deal. This means achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions for EU countries through cutting emissions, investing in green technologies and protecting the natural environment. The law aims to ensure that all EU policies contribute to this goal and that all sectors of the economy and society are involved. It includes measures to keep track of progress and adjust actions. The Climate Law also includes several actions to achieve the 2050 target:

  • New EU target for 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions
  • All relevant policy instruments that can deliver additional emissions reductions will be reviewed by June 2021, following which the Commission may propose new legislation
  • Adoption of a 2030-2050 EU-wide trajectory for greenhouse gas emission reductions, to measure progress and give predictability to public authorities, businesses and citizens
  • Issuing of recommendations to Member States whose actions are inconsistent with the climate-neutrality objective that they will be obliged to take into account
  • Member States will be required to develop and implement adaptation strategies to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change

The full proposal can be found here.

Published in Newsletter March 2020

EBI SDGsEBI partnered with the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, thus strengthening its action for environmental and economic sustainability and its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As a partner to the high-level initiative, EBI leads the environmental engagement of the European recreational boating industry.

The United Nations has proclaimed 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development to draw attention to the role of ocean health and bring together stakeholders for sustainable development. “EBI is a strong supporter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and we are delighted to now be a partner of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Engagement with the various branches of ocean science is key to develop policy at European level that is geared towards sustainability”, EBI President Jean-Pierre Goudant declared.

The EBI Council committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among which “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” and “Life Below Water” are key areas for the recreational boating industry. “Our industry promotes clean and healthy oceans and we are engaged to achieve economic and environmental sustainability. It is a transition that requires strong support by policy-makers at European, regional and national level. We look forward to working together for these goals within the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”, commented Philip Easthill, Secretary General of EBI.

More about the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development can be found here.

Navigating a Changing Climate PartnershipPIANC Navigating a Changing Climate

EBI also became an official supporter of PIANC’s Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership. Participants have committed to work together to support the inland and maritime navigation infrastructure sector in their response to climate change. Activities aim at furthering understanding, providing technical support, and capacity building to 1) Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shift to low carbon maritime and inland navigation infrastructure and 2) strengthen resilience and improve preparedness to adapt to the changing climate.

EBI will be participating to support the further development of environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation policy in the European recreational boating sector.

PIANC is the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure. PIANC members include Governments, corporate members, public and private sector organisations and, individuals from 65 countries around the world.

More about the partnership can be found here.

Following the European Commission’s presentation of the European Green Deal, the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan was presented. Its aim is to mobilise public investment and unlock private funds through EU financial instruments. This should have an overall value of at least €1 trillion. It is based on three dimensions:

  1. Financing: A greater share of spending on climate and environmental action from the EU budget to encourage private funding, which will be led by the European Investment Bank
  2. Enabling: providing incentives to unlock and redirect public and private investment through sustainable finance rules
  3. Practical support: The Commission will provide support to public authorities and project promoters in planning, designing and executing sustainable projects

The full proposal on the Sustainable Investment Plan can be found here. EBI will be working with the EU institutions to ensure that the recreational boating industry is supported in its transition towards sustainability and inform the sector about funding opportunities.

Friday, 20 December 2019 07:59

European Commission publishes European Green Deal

The European Commission published the European Green Deal, which is the flagship initiative of the European Commission to tackle climate change and environmental challenges. It is a roadmap to make EU's economy sustainable and addressing climate and environmental challenges.

The European Green Deal provides a roadmap with actions to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and stop climate change, revert biodiversity loss and cut pollution. It also sets out the investments needed, as well as the tools to ensure a just and inclusive transition. It includes the outline of the future European Climate law, which will enshrine the ambition of being the world's first climate neutral continent by 2050. Other elements of the European Green Deal will also be presented by the Commission in the near future, such as the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the new Industrial Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan and proposals for pollution-free Europe.

While the exact impact and relevance for the recreational boating industry will become clearer in the coming months, some elements are foreseen that may be relevant

  • New EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, such as climate-proofing, building resilience and preparedness
  • Increasing uptake of the circular economy across sectors through circular design and increased use of recycled materials
  • Commercial application of new clean technologies, such as hydrogen, fuel cells and other alternative fuels
  • Promotion of inland waterways as means of transport
  • Increased engagement with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on climate change and environmental protection
  • Increasing coverage of sea areas by Natura 2000 network and support for more connected and well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs)
  • Support for a sustainable blue economy
  • Zero-pollution approach across all policy areasNew chemicals strategy aiming at sustainability, with protection against hazardous chemicals and promotion of alternatives
  • Financing through Sustainable European Investment Plan for additional funding needs

EBI will be engaging with the EU institutions to provide input to the actions laid out in the European Green Deal as a partner in tackling climate change and as a beneficiary of a clean environment and healthy oceans. The full European Green Deal can be found here.

A presentation of the European Green Deal from the European Commission will also take place at the International Breakfast Meeting (IBM) at boot Düsseldorf on 21 January. More information can be found here.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) released Europe’s state of the environment report for 2020. This is published by the EEA every five years since 1995 and is now in its 6th edition. The EEA is an official EU agency that provides independent information on the environment.

The 2020 report comes to the conclusion that European environment and climate policies have helped to improve the environment over recent decades, but progress is insufficient and the outlook for the environment in the coming decade is not positive. It analysed the achievement of meeting 2020 and 2030 policy targets, as well as longer term 2050 goals.

The report notes that Europe has already made significant progress over the past two decades in terms of climate change mitigation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Signs of progress are also evident in other areas, such as tackling air and water pollution and the introduction of new policies to tackle plastic waste and bolster climate change adaptation and the circular and bio-economy.

Overall environmental trends in Europe have however not improved since the last EEA state of the environment report in 2015. The assessment notes that while most of the 2020 targets will not be achieved, especially those on biodiversity, there is still a chance to meet the longer-term goals and objectives for 2030 and 2050. Recent trends highlight a slowing down of progress in areas such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, industrial emissions, waste generation, improving energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy. It concludes that the current rate of progress will not be enough to meet 2030 and 2050 climate and energy targets.

The report outlines seven key areas where bold action is needed to get Europe back on track to achieve its 2030 and 2050 goals and ambitions. These are:

  1. Realise potential of existing environmental policies through full implementation
  2. Embrace sustainability as the framework for policy making with binding targets
  3. Lead international action towards sustainability by using the EU’s diplomatic and economic influence to promote the adoption of ambitious international agreements
  4. Foster innovation throughout society
  5. Scale up investments and refocus the finance sector on sustainable projects and businesses
  6. Manage risks and ensure a socially fair transition to ensure sure no one is left behind
  7. Build more knowledge and know-how.

The full report can be found here, as well as the Executive Summary here.

A European Commission fitness check of the Water Framework Directive, the Floods Directive and the associated Directives concluded that they are fit for purpose with room for enhanced effectiveness. This means that no legislative changes are recommended, but focus will be on implementation. Despite improvements in the protection of water bodies, the evaluation points to insufficient level of implementation by Member States and by sectors with a heavy impact on water.

The results of the evaluation of the Water Framework Directive are mixed. On the one hand, it has been successful in setting up a governance framework for water management for water bodies in the EU, slowing down the deterioration of water status and reducing chemical pollution. On the other hand, implementation of the Directive has been significantly delayed. As a result, less than half of the EU’s water bodies are in good status, even though the deadline for achieving this was 2015.

The fact that the Directive’s objectives have not been fully reached is largely due to insufficient funding, slow implementation and insufficient integration of environmental objectives in sectoral policies, rather than deficiencies in the legislation. The insufficient level of implementation by Member States and by those sectors of the economy with an impact on water has come to the forefront across the evaluation and all Directives.

The fitness check also concluded that the Water Framework Directive is sufficiently flexible to accommodate emerging challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and pollutants of emerging concern (e.g. micro-plastics and pharmaceuticals). Chemicals is a key area where there is room to improve and to achieve better results.

The full fitness check can be found here and the Executive Summary here.

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