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The uncertain health impacts of climate change - a new study in the Netherlands


A new study commissioned by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and carried out by the Copernicus Institute at Utrecht University assesses the potential impacts of climate change on human health in the Netherlands. The researchers asked health experts to rate the level of uncertainty attached to different health impacts of climate change. As a result, heat-related deaths and vector-borne diseases were indicated as particularly relevant to climate change adaptation. What was the (...)
18/02/2013

Preventing global non-communicable diseases through low carbon development


Both non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and climate change are enormous threats to global health - synergies attempting to tackle these major health threats have received limited attention to date. The increasing burden of NCDs poses an enormous threat to populations and health systems across the globe. At the same time, the impacts of climate change are predicted to have profound public health effects and there is an urgent need for transition to low-carbon economies. Although important (...)
12/02/2013

One million signatures for Water as a Human Right!


On February 10, the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) ‘Water is a Human Right’ campaign made history by becoming the first ECI to have collected over 1 million signatures. Ever since the campaign was started last September by the European Federation of Public Service Unions, EPHA and its member organisations have been one of the leading organisation promoting this campaign across Europe. “Reaching this important milestone, with one Million EU citizens agreeing that water (...)
12/02/2013

EU Commission regulation proposal on sound level of motor vehicles- the relevance of EP Plenary vote


In December 2011, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation aimed at tightening noise emissions standards for cars, vans, lorries and buses. Although the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament has voted for tighter future noise limits for vehicles, the rapporteur disappointingly announced he would repeat the vote in a full Parliament Plenary. The Plenary vote took place on 6th February 2013. What’s the problem? More than 200 million European (...)
12/02/2013

[EPT] Car noise pollution - new EU regulation - sound level of motor vehicles


Sound level of motor vehicles In December 2011, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation aimed at tightening noise emissions standards for cars, vans, lorries and buses. To become law, the regulation now needs approval by the Parliament and member states. Vehicle noise standards were last updated in 1996, so were long overdue. More than 200 million European citizens (one in three) are regularly exposed to traffic noise levels that put their health at risk. One in (...)
07/02/2013

Governments should act in the best interest of stateless children


Citizenship is the “right to have rights”. Without citizenship, one lacks not only political rights, but often social and economic rights as well. On a symbolic level, citizenship implies being a full member of a national community, and even further, of humanity. On his statement Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights argues in favour of the protection of stateless children. Key messages The best interest of the child is to have citizenship There should be no (...)
06/02/2013

[Seminar report] Tackling Health Inequalities through Investing in Housing


The event ’Tackling Health Inequalities through Investing in Housing’ focused on the connection between health inequalities and affordable housing. It emphasised that investment in good quality housing can bring returns in health and environmental outcomes. Evidence shows that decent housing is an important social and environmental determinant of health These determinants lie outside of the health sector . Nevertheless, neither health professionals nor health policymakers (...)
31/01/2013

Attitudes of Europeans Towards Air Quality


Air quality is a major concern for European citizens and is an area in which the EU has been particularly active over the last 30 years. As part of continuing efforts to improve air quality and air pollution, the European Commission is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of EU air policy, with a view to revising the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution and associated legislation in 2013. The EU’s key objective in relation to air quality is "to achieve levels of air quality (...)
16/01/2013

Children and Their Connection with Nature


The working group meeting hosted by MEP Judith Merkies (S&D, NL) and Gerald Häfner (Greens, DE) examined why children’s connection with nature is important and how can it be stimulated. During the Meeting, Tim Gill, British author and public speaker, presented the outcomes of the ’Sowing the Seeds’ project. Previous research has suggested that a child’s contact with nature is particularly important. Natural environments are said to have restorative qualities (...)
14/01/2013

Public Consultation on ensuring sustainable development globally: EU follow-up to Rio+20.


The Rio+20 World Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in June this year and followed previous related UN summits - Stockholm (1972), Rio de Janeiro (1992) and Johannesburg (2002). The aim of Rio+20 was to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development by assessing progress to date, identifying remaining gaps in the implementation of past commitments, and addressing new and emerging challenges. Background The Summit’s focus was on two intertwined themes: "a Green (...)
21/12/2012