International negotiations are under way, to draft a global agreement governing action against climate change in the period after 2012, when key provisions of the Kyoto Protocol will expire. This agreement is due to be concluded at the UN Climate Change Conference, which will take place in Copenhagen on 7-18 December 2009. Reaching a deal that is global, comprehensive and ambitious is a top priority for the EU, which has long been in the vanguard of international action to combat climate change. The countries of the European Union are currently developing and applying solutions in various sectors, in order to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, and increase the use of renewable energy. To illustrate this event, the Audiovisual Service of the EC has produced a series of stockshots on green economy, and the third stockshots of this series entitled: "Green economy: products and transport", contains the following images of: - European Solar Test Installation (ESTI); - Vehicle Emission Laboratory (VELA); - Hydrogen Sensor Testing facility (SenTeF); - High Pressure Gas Tank Testing Facility (GasTeF); - Hydrogen cars being fueled at a tank station; - Hydrogen cars driving on the streets; - Manufacturing of electric cars; - Manufacturing of on-street recharging stations for electric cars; - Electric cars being charged; - MINT (Minimum CO2 Emission on Terminal Manoeuvring Area) demonstration flight; - Production of ecological paint; - Production of bituminous waterproofing membranes (to be used as isolators on roofs) from recycled membranes; - Recycling centre for metal pieces; - Recycling centre for plastic bottles; - and bags and accessories made from recycled fireman hoses.
EU ministers will be discussing the EU’s Baltic Sea Strategy in a 2-day conference held in Stockholm on 18-19 September 2009, ahead of the October 2009 EU Summit in Brussels, where the Strategy should be adopted by EU Heads of state or government. The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region covers eight EU countries : Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany. In recent years, Europe’s largest inland sea has been badly affected by increased euthrophication, poiseonous algae bloom and overfishing. The rapid increase in maritime traffic overall poses a security and environmental threat. On 10/06/2009, the European Commission presented its proposal for a Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, which promotes cooperation in 15 priority areas. The Strategy aims to reduce environmental pollution of the Baltic Sea, to promote maritime safety, and to improve the region’s economic attractiveness and accessibility, by better transport and energy links. EU institutions have been working with the Baltic countries, and relevant interest groups, on developing the strategy, which is the first programme to promote macro-regional cooperation in the EU.It is a priority for the Swedish Presidency of the EU. The Strategy will be financed by existing EU funds in the area, such as the Baltic Sea Region Programme.
Although chemicals are very useful, and indeed necessary, many chemical products are extremely dangerous for the people who come into contact with them and for the environment. The EU’s REACH Regulation aims to ensure a high level of protection for humans and their environment, and to promote better understanding and control of chemical substances.