Brussels Daily
26 Feb 2019


Brussels Daily

Towards a climate neutral Europe: the EU invests more than € 10 billion in innovative and clean technologies

The European Commission today announces an investment program of more than € 10 billion for low carbon technologies in several sectors to strengthen their global competitiveness. Innovative climate action has many benefits for the health and prosperity of Europeans, with an immediate and tangible impact on the lives of citizens – from creating green, locally-based jobs to growth, to energy efficient homes. and with a reduced energy bill, clean air, efficient public transport systems in cities and secure supplies of energy and other resources. Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Less than three months after we adopted our strategic vision for a climate neutral Europe by 2050, we let’s make the money available. Our goal is to continue to build an economy that meets the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which is modern, competitive and socially equitable for all Europeans. To do this, we will need to deploy innovative and clean technologies on an industrial scale. That’s why we are investing in bringing highly innovative technologies to market in energy-intensive industries, in carbon capture, storage and utilization, in the renewable energy sector and in energy storage. energy. We now support the rapid deployment of technological solutions in all Member States and we are accelerating our transition to a modern, climate neutral society in Europe. A press release and a MEMO are available online. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel .: +32 229 56186, Lynn Rietdorf – Tel .: +32 229 74959)

Sustainable finance: Commission welcomes agreement on a new generation of low-carbon benchmarks

The Commission welcomes the agreement reached by the European Parliament and Member States on a new generation of low-carbon benchmarks needed to help boost investment in sustainable projects and assets. The European Parliament and Council still have to formally approve the rules. This agreement creates two new categories of low-carbon benchmarks: a climate-transition benchmark and a specialised benchmark which brings investment portfolios in line with the Paris Agreement goal to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5˚above pre-industrial levels. First proposed by the Commission in May 2018, the rules agreed today support the goals of the Capital Market Union (CMU) to connect finance with needs of the economy and the EU’s agenda for sustainable development. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “With this agreement, investors will benefit from two reliable benchmarks to pursue their ambitious climate strategies. This is a milestone of the Commission action plan on financing sustainable growth, participating in reorienting capital flows towards sustainable investment”. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “I welcome the agreement which demonstrates that our Sustainable Finance agenda and goals to build a stronger Capital Market Union can work hand in hand. The EU is sticking to its ambitions to make Europe a more attractive place for investors by setting high disclosure standards and paving the way for long-term sustainable investment policies.” Benchmarks have an important impact on investment flows. Many investors rely on them for the creation of investment products, for the measurement of performance of investment products and for asset allocation strategies. A press release is online. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958)

African Swine Fever: eradication in Czechia confirmed

Less than two years after it has been hit by African swine fever (ASF), and following massive efforts to eradicate the disease, Czechia received today the support of the Member States to lift all the restrictions in the country. Following the discovery of the disease in a wild board in June 2017, in the district of Zlín, the Commission had deployed its EU Veterinary Emergency team of experts and started working very closely with the national and regional authorities to adopt veterinary measures to control the disease. This type of targeted measures has also been implemented in recent months in Belgium, the latest Member State concerned by the disease. Since no more cases of African swine fever had been identified in Czechia as of April 2018, the Commission proposed today to the Member States to lift all the restrictions. This proposal has been endorsed by a vote in a Standing Committee. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, welcomed this vote, stressing that “the example of Czechia demonstrates that, when the tools and strategies developed in the EU are properly applied, the disease can be controlled and even eradicated. It shows that our policies are effective and there is no place for unjustified trade restrictions. This is a small reward, yet we cannot afford to relax our efforts since the fight against African swine fever is still ongoing”. The Commission will formally adopt the Decision in the coming weeks. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

Commission’s report on water quality and flood risk management – improvements are there, but more needs to be done

The Commission published today its assessment of how Member States have implemented EU water legislation, highlighting successes and shortcomings. The six-yearly implementation report evaluates both Member States’ River Basin Management Plans and Flood Risk Management Plans for the period 2015 to 2021. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “EU water law is a considerable success, but there is still much to do. Most of Europe’s 130 000 water bodies are falling short of the high standards we need. I am calling on Member States to step up their efforts and ensure we deliver the quality that citizens need and nature requires, as soon as possible.” Today’s findings show that although in a number of Member States the right policy measures were taken and a number of financial investments made, in many, river basins improvements in water quality will still take some time. The path towards full compliance with the objectives of EU water legislation before the final 2027 deadline is thus still challenging. On the issue of flood management, the report confirms that all Member States have fundamentally embraced the concept of flood risk management, although the quality of the results varies. Achieving the key objective of reducing the potential adverse consequences from significant flooding will require greater efforts from Member States in subsequent cycles. More information is available here. The report and Annex to it with recommendations to Member States are available here(For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Daniela Stoycheva – Tel.: +32 229 53664)

Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here

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