UPDATED – Agenda: Foreign Affairs Council (14 October 2019)

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Meeting of the Technical subgroup on Underwater Noise (TG Noise) (15 & 16 October 2019)

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Meeting of the Commission Expert Group on Strategic Coordination for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) (main group) (5 & 6 November 2019)

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UPDATED – Agenda: General Affairs Council (15 October 2019)

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Map of the week – Beach Litter – Cigarettes

Every year, millions of tonnes of litter make their way to our beaches, seas and ocean. It is estimated that 80% of this litter comes from land-based sources like beach littering, land-fills and street litter carried to the sea by untreated municipal sewage, rivers and flood water. It is thus no surprise that the top three litter items found on our beaches are drink bottles and caps, cigarette butts and cotton bud sticks. The map of the week shows the average number of cigarette related litter items along 100 metre segments of the European beaches.

Study on EU implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the area of access to justice in environmental matters

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Event: Biohorizon Final Conference (Brussels, 21 November 2019)

BioHorizon is a project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. Its purpose is to align and enhance the services that National Contact Points (NCPs) for “Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy” (Societal Challenge 2), as well as for the Key Enabling Technology (KET)-Biotechnology provide to potential beneficiaries of European funding in those areas across Europe and worldwide.

Report on European Union implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the area of access to justice in environmental matters

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Public Consultation: Environmental crime – reviewing the EU rules

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Press Release: Integrated projects and Natura 2000 – large scale solutions for Europe

Natura 2000 is a transnational network of sites for threatened species and habitats which covers almost a fifth of the EU’s landmass and seas. At such scale, it needs to be managed at national level. Large integrated projects from LIFE are powerful tools to deliver the necessary funding and coordination.

Agenda: Friends of the Presidency Group – Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) (16 October 2019)

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UPDATED – Draft Council conclusions on space solutions for a sustainable Arctic

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Press Release: Mussel study determines risk posed by rare earth metals to marine environments

Rare earth elements (REEs) are used increasingly often in innovative technologies, causing these elements to enter the natural environment. They can be sourced via deep-sea mining, raising concerns about marine exposure to mining processes and waste products. This study examined how two REEs, lanthanum and yttrium, affected and stressed marine ecosystems, using young marine mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) as indicators of water quality. The researchers determine a parameter known as the ‘predicted no effect concentration’ (PNEC) for La and Y — the maximum environmental level of each of the two elements at which no effect is seen on the most sensitive organisms and which is, therefore, deemed safe for the environment.

Press Release: Executive Director meets Danish Crown Prince and Energy Minister

Dr Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director, delivered a speech at a meeting today in which high-level participants – including Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Dan Jørgensen, the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities – discussed the role of renewable power in decarbonising the energy sector.

Press Release: Can the Oceans Turn the Tide on the Climate Crisis?

As we pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world is warming at an alarming rate, with devastating consequences. While our vast oceans are helping to take the heat out of climate change, new research shows that they are absorbing a lot more atmospheric carbon dioxide than previously thought – but these positives may be outweighed by the downsides.

Press Relelase: Commissioner Arias Cañete in Costa Rica for ministerial dialogue ahead of UN climate conference

Ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP25) to be held in Santiago de Chile on 2-13 December 2019, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete will take part in a ministerial dialogue on climate change known as ‘pre-COP’ in Costa Rica on 8-10 October.

Press Release: #EUArcticForum: Bringing the Arctic to the EU and the EU to the Arctic

In recent years, the Arctic has increasingly become a geopolitical hotbed and a window on amplified effects of climate change. Amidst this rapidly evolving context, on 3-4 October the European Commission (DG MARE) organised the EU Arctic Forum, jointly with the EU’s External Action Service (EEAS) and the Swedish Government, to debate the wider strategic agenda facing the Arctic and EU’s approach to the region.

Speech: Farewell of Commissioner Vella to the Environment Council

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‘I/A’ Item Note: List of commitments proposed for presentation by the EU at the ‘Our Ocean Conference’ (Oslo, 23-24 October 2019) = approval

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Draft Council conclusions on the updated Bioeconomy Strategy “A sustainable Bioeconomy for Europe: stenghtening the connection between economy, society and the environment

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