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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Environemental challenges for 2009

Environmental challenges for 2009

Dr J D Bapat

Tackling climate change and its consequences, reforming the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, improving air quality and reducing the environmental impact of biofuels will top the bloc's environmental policy debates in the coming year, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA). Looking at the issues, it appears that they remain same for rest of the world.

The EEA snapshot of key environmental policy debates in 2009 singles out "global diplomacy and the search for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol" as the main topic to be discussed, followed by adapting to climate change and water management issues.

As for upcoming reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), it is argued that current distribution of CAP funds is not very effective from the perspective of achieving EU environmental objectives, in particular on nature protection. It suggests that the review should consider widening access to financial support to farmland, particularly rich in habitats and species of conservation concern and particularly to high nature value farmland.

Intensive farms do not support biodiversity and are not all that dependent on CAP payments. Regarding biofuels, it is noted that the switch from oil to bioenergy is not risk free and a move towards large-scale bioenergy production would carry considerable environmental risk, particularly in terms of land-use change.

The EEA thus believes that Europe should progress further by beginning to research advanced second-generation biofuels seriously to account for their effects on soil, water, biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.

Other hot topics in 2009 include marine management and international waste imports and exports.

The greenhouse gas emissions are just one symptom of a much deeper issue: our inability to live sustainably.

Source: EurActiv.com, 13 January 2009

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