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Landfill taxes – Dedicated green taxes to reduce waste sent to landfill

Landfill taxes are already widely spread fiscal measures across Europe. They help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and mitigate harmful environmental effects. Additionally, landfill taxes provide incentives to use more sustainable solutions of waste management, such as waste reduction and prevention, recovery or recycling. The instrument can bring about large tax revenues and lead to a significant decrease in the number of landfill sites a country has – for instance in the UK by two thirds in eight years.

Nordic Ecolabel – a Nordic Swan representing environmentally sound products and services

The Nordic Ecolabel, or Nordic Swan, is a voluntary labelling scheme that contributes to sustainable consumption. It takes into account a product’s whole life-cycle and evaluates its environmental impacts. The Ecolabel is predominant in DenmarkFinlandIcelandNorway and Sweden; it pertains to 63 different product groups and services.

Decreasing environmental emissions in commercial shipping by introducing fuel cell technology

Converting energy via chemical reaction into electricity – fuel cells – is a technology to produce energy at reduced emissions. Especially when it comes to reduction of emissions from shipping, fuel cells have been shown to be effective. This was successfully done by the Joint Industry Project FellowSHIP coordinated by the Norwegian Det Norske Veritas (DNV). 

Renovate buildings in order to improve energy efficiency

TES EnergyFacade is an international research project which has developed a method for renovating and modernizing buildings, improving the energy efficiency in buildings envelope, by using wood-framed prefabricated facade elements.

ARCRISK

The Arctic has characteristic conditions for analyzing climate change and pollution effects. The area is relatively clean, but it receives long-range transported contaminants from long distances, primarily in the northern hemisphere. Furthermore, low temperatures alter common pollutant transportation mechanisms; for example, air pollutants can be deposited on ice through snow and retained for years until melting. The Arctic also has unique food chains; many species gather fat reserves for energy storage and insulation where pollutants are accumulated. The singular diet of autochthonous populations is based in these species and, as a consequence, Arctic populations suffer an inimitable situation: they live in relatively clean environments, but are strongly exposed to pollutants impact. 

POLICYMIX

A study was initiated in 2007, following a meeting of the environment ministries of the G8 countries. This study has intended to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services and to facilitate the development of cost-effective policy responses and better informed decisions: 'The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity’ (TEEB) is globally evaluating the costs of the loss of biodiversity and the associated decline in ecosystem services, and comparing them with the costs of effective conservation and sustainable use. 

SoilCAM - Polares

The SoilCAM (Soil Contamination: Advanced integrated characterization and time-lapse Monitoring) project is a four-year initiative funded by the Seventh Framework Programme, FP7, a grant funding programme, and will end during 2012. It aims to develop integrated strategies to detect temporal and spatial change of chemical and physical properties of the subsoil that can be related to sustainable environmental recovery of polluted sites.

SoilCAM

Contamination of soil and ground water from diffuse and point sources is a serious problem. The most frequent local soil contaminants are mineral oil and heavy metals and for ground water, mineral oil and chlorinated hydrocarbons. However, the development of certain damage-reducing techniques can provide solutions to these challenges. The SoilCAM (Soil Contamination: Advanced integrated characterization and time-lapse Monitoring) project is a four-year initiative, part of the research cluster “Soil Technology Research” funded by the European Commission. This particular project was funded by the Seventh Framework Programme, FP7, a grant funding programme, and will end during 2012.

CARBOCHANGE

Absorbing large amounts of atmospheric CO2, the oceans are large and important buffering zones in the Earth system. A correct quantification of the present uptake is not only vital to map the current patterns, but also to ensure relevant estimates of how large the future marine uptake of CO2 will be and how these patterns will change. The needs for relevant data have been noted by the European Commission, funding two subsequent projects on the subject of marine carbon uptake coordinated by the University of Bergen in Norway.

ENVIRISK

Environmental issues related to public or environmental health are a main determinant of quality of life. ENVIRISK is one of the projects that have been working towards better understanding of these issues, and towards finding practical ways how the safeguarding of environmental health can become an essential part of all social and economic activities.