Cross-European Initiative: Connect Green Politicians on Fundamental Environmental Issues

Overview

Cross-European InitiativeEnvironmental issues and challenges do not know boundaries. Addressing environmental challenges has always been a priority area across Europe. It is an issue that calls for cooperation since no European country or politician can address it single handedly. Therefore, for an efficient fight against environmental degradation, European countries and politicians have decided to work together through a combined initiative.

In 2004

Back in 2004, a European neighborhood policy highlighted the important nature of the challenge. Environmental degradation does not know any boundaries, and the best way to address it is through combined international and regional efforts. With a cross-European initiative, there is enhanced environmental protection. Citizens receive benefits of living a pollution free environment.

Ten years on, the cross-European initiative has grown stronger. It has recently been translated into far reaching cooperation of green politicians who believe in the same agenda of environmental protection. To achieve the objectives of this initiative, action plans have been adopted. These promote good environmental practices among the countries which are represented by the green politicians.

Cross-European InitiativePromoting good environmental governance translates to good human health. Health conditions that occur as a result of environmental pollution will be greatly reduced. There will better and efficient use of natural resources. Priorities for the cross-European initiative on fundamental environmental issues include waste management, water quality, climate change, natural disaster prevention, and preparedness.

In a report produced by the European commission in 2012, environmental cooperation was proceeding well among the countries represented by the green politicians. The green politicians have also taken major steps to improve legislation related to environmental issues. Green politicians have urged their countries to strengthen environmental cooperation through developing consistent environmental impact assessments and ensure public participation.

The fight against environmental degradation can only be won if improvement in environmental governance is undertaken across the region. This will ensure that environmental laws are enforced and fully complied with.

Green politicians in the European Union have had a longstanding legal commitment to tackle environmental dimensions through cross-cutting policies. The importance of cross-cutting environmental efforts cannot be under-estimated. A number of projects have already been funded by member countries and well wishers geared towards a green Europe.

Reducing environmental risks and degradation and promotion of sustainable natural resource use are key pillars of the cross-European initiative. Green politicians share a range of regional and global efforts towards fighting pollution. Key challenges being addressed include water and air quality, nature conservation, waste management, land use, energy use, and dealing with excessive pollution.

As such, the cross-European initiative has taken several measures to ensure that multilateral environment agreements and environmental legislation have been fully implemented. This is meant to provide support for prioritization and strategic planning to deal with scarce resources and ease the burden of human activities on the environment.

The initiative has also supported establishment of Environmental Protection Centers. These are meant to enhance a cross-cutting cooperation among the green politicians and their countries. There has also been technical assistance provided to individuals or groups who share the same vision of addressing fundamental environmental issues.

Conclusion

The fight against pollution and environmental degradation cannot be won by an individual. Cooperation is required for the exchange of ideas and pooling financial resources. It is on this premise that the cross-European initiative operates.

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025?

Overview

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025European countries have recognized that there is an urgent need to create policy that ensures that there is minimal greenhouse gas emission and that there is sustainable development. The fact is that European states can achieve a decarbonized economy and still retain the employment. Unfortunately, history shows that the rate of emissions is directly proportional to economic growth. In this light, some would argue that it is unrealistic to expect economic growth while cutting down emissions. However, the truth is that it is possible to strike a healthy balance between the two.

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025?

European countries should employ the use of new technologies if they are to realize the objectives of having a 2025 green Europe. For example, the use of smart grids play a critical role in solving the electricity needs of a population while at the same time taking care of the issue of the environment. Thus, a paradigm shift in the technological policy will go a long way in helping Europe achieve green Europe goals by 2025.

Second, Europe should be ready to pay the cost of achieving a green Europe. For example, Eco-friendly systems are cheap in the long run. However, laying the infrastructure for a low carbon system requires high capital. Similarly, the transition from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions may translate to a major disruption of the status quo. Such major and drastic disruptions can be expensive and time-consuming.

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025Third, the agreements made concerning the environment should be binding. Persons who hold office should be ready to enforce such agreements despite the opposition from dissident voices. Howe3ver, this does not mean imposing such an agreement on the people. On the contrary, leaders should put forward their rationale to the people and consequently win the hearts and minds of the people concerning the environmental cause.

Lastly, Europe must be willing to accept that there is a shard difference between the economic status of countries. On one hand, Western Europe has made great steps in building s strong economy that can cater for the needs of its citizens and residents, jobs for instance. By implication, such countries have the capacity, resources, and skills to invest in a green economy. On the other hand, Eastern Europe may not have the luxury of comfortably meeting the needs of its citizens. By implication, such countries may not perceive the environment as the first priority.

The European Capital Award

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025European countries can learn a lot from the winners of the The European Green Capital Award. This award was launched in 2008 in order to recognize a European city that has an outstanding record in the area of the environment. The first winner of the award was Stockholm which secured the award in 2010. The perception of the reward is that the city in question has had a comprehensive approach in environmental policy and implementation.

The criteria for giving the award is based on the following:

  • Consistency in following the prescribed environmental standards.
  • Willingness to roll out ambitious environmental goals
  • Commitment to sustainable development
  • The European Green Capital Award

Conclusion

The value of a green environment cannot be underestimated. However, it requires a lot of planning and being faithful to its implementation. Perhaps, following the footsteps of the European Green Capital Award Winners is not a bad way to steps.

Water Usage and Environment

Overview

Water Usage and EnvironmentUse of water is essential in all organizations, businesses and other human activities. However, wasting water can have serious implications on the environment. Wasting water can lead to over exploitation of existing sources which might result to scarcity locally, nationally and globally.

The scarcity of water can contribute to far reaching consequences. Not only will drinking water be affected but also the production of food. Landscapes can also degrade and be altered when there is insufficient water. Over-extraction of underground water reserves can also have negative implications. Water tables can fall below levels where rain water cannot recharge them.

Emissions

In the UK, there are systems which are already in place to remove toxins which can be harmful to water. This is mainly happening at the water supply sites. Cleaning and pumping of water requires energy. Most of the energy used in water cleaning is derived from fossil fuels. These fossil fuels are also getting depleted with time. There is also emission of additional greenhouses which is creating further damage to the environment.

In the United States, the water sector is among the sectors that consume a lot of energy. The same scenario is also observed in the United Kingdom. According to a study done to assess the sustainability of water indicators, the water industry consumed more than 8650GWh of energy. This is enough energy required to run more than 5.5 million television sets nonstop for a whole year. For businesses and homes that run hot water systems, the emissions of carbon are even much higher. This is because the energy used during water heating must be taken into consideration.

Pollution effects

Water Usage and EnvironmentUse of water affects the local water quality. What this means is that the process purifying and cleaning water is difficult and requires high amounts of energy. There exist clear guidelines regarding the discharge of water. Most countries release sewage to the sea. This can lead to diseases and sewer material damaging the beaches. There also exist a big problem with regard to disposing of non-sewage items such as nappies, sanitary towels, oils, medical equipment, and fats. Such items can lead to blockage in sewers, damaging infrastructure and causing human health problems. There are more extreme cases which involve disposal of chemicals into water sources. Such activities can destroy biodiversity making the water purification harder and more energy intensive.

Biodiversity

The pollution of water can create serious effects on aquatic animals such as fish, invertebrates, and mammals. High concentrations of pollution agents can lead to the extinction of certain water animals. Lower levels of pollution can also damage aquatic life. Low levels of contaminants down the food chain can accumulate high up in the food chain and affect animals such as birds, fish and mammals. These pollutants can also affect humans after consuming aquatic animals such as fish.

Water use and conservation

In New York State alone, more than 8.9 billion gallons of water are withdrawn daily from estuaries, streams, rivers, and lakes. Water is extracted to be used for public supply, agriculture, thermo electric and other uses. This is just an indicator how much water goes into human activities alone.

Conclusion

Although human beings cannot live without water, it is important to use it properly and to cut down on wastage. Water sources must also be protected from pollution and over extraction.