>> Water scarcity: taking action in transboundary basins and addressing health impacts
>> Plastic Waste: a European strategy to protect the planet, defend our citizens and empower our industries
>> European Electricity Industry Pledges to Deliver on Paris Agreement
>> Bamako Convention: Preventing Africa from becoming a dumping ground for toxic wastes
Water scarcity: taking action in
transboundary basins and addressing health impacts
Water scarcity and droughts are occurring more and more frequently and with
increased magnitude, even in previously water-rich countries. Major causes
include population growth and increasing water extraction, with climate change
further exacerbating the situation. OECD and the Global Water Partnership
estimated in 2015 that water insecurity costs the global economy $500 billion
annually – today, this figure could be higher still.
This has far-reaching impacts on health. Water scarcity can negatively affect
water supply and sanitation services. Inadequate supplies of safe drinking water
can compromise hygiene behaviours and increase the risk of diarrhoeal and other
Water scarcity may also limit economic growth due to a decline in agricultural
production, affect the environment and biodiversity by reducing environmental
flow needed to sustain ecosystems, lead to conflicts within and across countries
and act as a migration push factor. According to existing climate change
scenarios, water scarcity in some arid and semi-arid places may displace between
24 and 700 million people by 2030.
Read more at:
Plastic Waste: a European strategy
to protect the planet, defend our citizens and empower our industries
The first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics is a part of the transition
towards a more circular economy.
It will protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth
and innovation, turning a challenge into a positive agenda for the Future of
Europe. There is a strong business case for transforming the way products are
designed, produced, used, and recycled in the EU and by taking the lead in this
transition, we will create new investment opportunities and jobs. Under the new
plans, all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable by 2030, the
consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of
microplastics will be restricted.
Every year, Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, but less than
30% is collected for recycling. Across the world, plastics make up 85% of beach
litter. And plastics are even reaching citizens' lungs and dinner tables, with
microplastics in air, water and food having an unknown impact on their health.
Building on the Commission's past work, the new EU-wide strategy on plastics
will tackle the issue head on.
Today's plastic strategy will transform the way products are designed, produced,
used, and recycled in the EU. Too often the way plastics are currently produced,
used and discarded fail to capture the economic benefits of a more circular
approach. It harms the environment. The goal is to protect the environment
whilst at the same time lay foundations to a new plastic economy, where the
design and production fully respect reuse, repair and recycling needs and more
sustainable materials are developed.
Read more at:
European Electricity Industry Pl
European Electricity Industry
Pledges to Deliver on Paris Agreement
EURELECTRIC, the association representing the interests of the electricity
industry in Europe, has said the region’s power companies intend to be both part
of a competitive European economy and reliably powered by clean, carbon-neutral
In a letter to UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa,
EURELECTRIC commits to play a central role in the shift to a more sustainable
energy production. “We recognise our responsibility and are fully engaged to
playing our part in order to accelerate the clean energy transition. We look
forward to leading this fascinating journey”, says Kristian Ruby, Secretary
General of EURELECTRIC.
In the light of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the European Union aims to
reach a share of 20% of renewable energy in the total consumption by 2020. “In
order to meet the EU’s targets, the energy sector is required to contribute with
at least 35% of renewable energy production. We need to step up our efforts to
make sure Europe delivers on the Paris Agreement”, says the head of EURELECTRIC.
Read more at:
Bamako Convention: Preventing
Africa from becoming a dumping ground for toxic wastes
African nations have long been at the center of incidents involving hazardous
waste dumping. From the leaking barrels of toxic waste in Koko, Nigeria in 1988
and the Probo Koala scandal in Cote d’Ivoire in 2006, to the current piles of
e-waste threatening the health of West African communities; the continent
continues to be disproportionally affected by the dumping of harmful chemical
In an effort to prevent incidents such as ‘Koko’ and ‘Probo Koala’ from
happening again, and to reinforce existing international treaties surrounding
the shipment and disposal of hazardous waste – as established in the Basel
Convention and Bamako Convention – African States will come together for the
second Conference of the Parties (COP2) to the Bamako Convention.
The conference will be held from 30 January to 01 February 2018 in Abidjan, Cote
d’Ivoire. While pursuing the objectives of the Convention, COP 2 will be a
platform to discuss ways and means of ensuring that the continent rids itself of
hazardous wastes and contribute to the achievement of a pollution-free planet.
"We have a collective responsibility to safeguard communities from the
environmental and health consequences of hazardous waste dumping," said Ibrahim
Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of UN Environment. "The creation of regional
Public-Private Partnerships could lead to the creation of adequate facilities to
manage hazardous waste internally generated in Africa. Previous experiences have
led us to establish these international treaties around chemical waste, and
together we must ensure they continue to be adhered to.”
Read more at:
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