All European laws regarding the environment have 4 main purposes:
The strategy called emission trading
The protection of biodiversity
The preservation of health of all populations
The sustainable development
the emissions trading system rewards companies that reduce their CO2 emissions and penalises those that exceed limits.
Introduced in 2005, the scheme takes in about 12,000 factories and plants responsible for about half the EU’s emissions of CO2
EU governments set limits on the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by energy-intensive industries like power generation and steel and cement makers. If these businesses want to emit more CO2 than their quota, they have to buy spare permits from more efficient companies
In the future, more industries will be subject to quotas, including airlines and petrochemical companies
The EU has committed to stopping the decline of endangered species and habitats in the EU by 2010
EU wants to expand Natura 2000, a set of areas where plant and animal species and their habitats must be protected
It already includes more than 26,000 sites across the EU.
Enviroment and health
Noise, swimming water, rare species and emergency response –these are just some of the areas covered under the extensive body of environmental legislation that the EU has established
Under the laws, EU countries are required to monitor many different pollutants and to take action if levels exceed safe limits.
For example,the EU moved in 2008 to set binding limits on emissions of fine particles known as PM2.5,microscopic particles that can cause respiratory diseases.
Sustainable development has long been one of the overarching objectives of EU policy
EU leaders launched the first EU sustainable development strategy in 2001 and updated it in 2006 to take account of new challenges.
the revised plan stresses the importance of education, research and public funding to achieve sustainable production
Now the focus is on putting policy into practice. In 2009, the commission proposed a package of measures to promote eco-friendly products, including greater use of energy efficiency labels like those found on wash machines .
The greenhouse effect
The greenhouse effect is absolutely vital to allowing life, as we know it to survive on earth. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth would be a cold planet, with a mean surface temperature well below freezing
If there weren’t the atmosphere the average temperature would be 33°C degrees lower than the one on the Earth nowadays
The Global Warming
The global warming is an abnormal change of world climate
This phenomenon has begun about thirty years ago and continues still now
Since the scientists have been recording data about world average temperature in the middle of XX century, ten of the eleven hottest years are after 1980.
Global warming is mainly caused by human activities
Consequences on Earth
Glaciers in Antarctica, Arctic and on mountains all over the world have been melting because of the increase of temperature on Earth
The sea level has rised of more than 25 cm in only a century
Atmospheric phenomena have become more and more violent
EU CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY
Europe decided to reduce greenhouse gas emission:
by 2013 to 2019, a Member State may carry forward from the following year a quantity of up to 5 % of its annual emission allocation. The unused part of the quota may be carried over to subsequent years. It is also possible to transfer a part of this allocation to other Member States;
Forests are under threat from deforestation:
The action proposed by the European Union (EU) aims to halt global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and to reduce tropical deforestation by at least 50 % by 2020 compared to current levels;
Measure for energy efficiency in the building sector:
The European Commission proposes that the 1000 m2 threshold for existing buildings when they undergo major renovation is eliminated and that the requirements concerning energy performance be applied to a larger number of buildings;
Making renewable energy a genuine and affordable alternative:
A total of 20% of European energy consumption to be met from renewable sources by 2020: this is the target the EU set itself in 2007. To achieve this objective the EU has adopted measures aimed at promoting renewable energy sources and developing the markets in the biomass and biofuel sectors, among others;
Reconciling road and air transport with the environment:
The EU has adopted a wide range of measures to reduce the impact of road and air transport, including measures reducing levels of polluting emissions, traffic management measures and tax measures. Promoting transport by rail and waterways and intermodality;
The EU has set up a raft of direct and indirect financial assistance packages, particularly to support innovative projects and technological development. The actions proposed fall into three main areas according to their effect:
getting environmental technologies from research laboratories to markets;
improving market conditions to promote the adoption of environmental technologies;
promoting environmental technologies at global level.
As regarding climate change, EU wants to achieve the following objectives: consuming less-polluting energy more efficiently, creating cleaner and more balanced transport options, making companies more environmentally responsible without compromising their competitiveness, developing environmentally friendly land-use planning and agriculture and creating conditions conducive to research and innovation. Climate Changes
extension of action against climate change to all the polluting countries (with common but differentiated responsibilities) and sectors involved (all modes of transport, deforestation etc.);
enhanced innovation, which includes the application of existing technologies and the development of new technologies.
use and development of market-based instruments (such as the emissions trading system introduced by the EU);
realization of preventive and remedial efforts to adapt to climate change based on the most affected regions and economic sectors .
These objectives could be reached in these ways:
meet the target of the 8% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (compared with 1990 levels) agreed in the Kyoto Protocol. The measures concerned include measures to promote climate-friendly technologies, such as the ecotechnologies;
increased public awareness to encourage people to change their mind and behaviour, through the launching of an EU-wide awareness campaign;
more and better focussed research to further improve knowledge on climate change and its global and regional impact and to develop climate change mitigation strategies (in particular in the energy and transport sectors, but also in agriculture and industry);
draw up climate-friendly development policies and strengthen the adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable countries. The EU should therefore maintain its role of a driving force in international negotiations in this area;
determine new measures to be taken in synergy with the Lisbon strategy, particularly in relation to energy efficiency, renewable energy, the transport sector and carbon capture and storage.
All the countries must follow these european laws but the most important role is acted by all the EU citizens!