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  • “Blue Angel” cooperating with eco-labels in China and Japan

    The Blue Angel, Germany’s oldest and most well-known eco-label, is now entering the international stage. In future it will cooperate with eco-labels in China and Japan. This has been laid down in agreements signed between the holders of the eco-labels today in Berlin in the margins of an international conference on the role of eco-labels on global markets. The goal of the agreements is to achieve broad harmonisation of award criteria for the respective national labels and to support manufacturers in making applications.

  • Environmental protection provides employment for 2 million

    Nearly two million workers owed their jobs to environmental protection in 2010, which is 4.8 per cent of the workforce in Germany. This makes environmental protection a key factor for the labour market. Employment in this sector increased slightly over 2008, by 18,000 workers. But this increase is almost exclusively due to rising demand from abroad. "The number of people employed in environmental protection is stagnant although at a high level. Luckily, there is room for improvement, namely in the energy upgrading of buildings sector. If the Federal Government achieves its objective of doubling the rate of energy upgrading, from its current annual rate of less than 1 per cent to two per cent, this would boost the number of jobs significantly. The construction materials and the skilled trades in particular would benefit", said Maria Krautzberger, President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The Climate Protection Action Programme which the Federal Government wants to adopt in early December 2014 could provide the necessary momentum.

  • Hazardous substance in marinas

    The water in some of Germany's marinas is very polluted and poses a threat to the natural aquatic flora and fauna. The concentrations of so-called antifouling agents are noticeably high. In a random sampling done by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the levels of these pollutants were many times higher than that of the environmental quality standard in the EU Water Framework Directive. The antifouling agents are mainly in the protective coatings used on recreational craft to prevent the growth of small organisms and algae on boat hulls. The substances can migrate from the boat hull into the water, from where they impact aquatic plants and animals. The Federal Environment Agency advises against the use of protective coatings with antifouling agents if at all possible, in particular in freshwater bodies of water. For several years already, recreational craft with antifouling coatings have been banned at Ratzeburger See. The investigations by the Federal Environment Agency represent a first-ever overview of all the (sports) marinas in Germany.

  • Wind energy: Too great a distance to residential areas would significantly brake the Energiewende

    Germany has great potential for onshore wind energy. About 13.8 per cent of its land area could in principle be used to install wind turbines. This would enable an installed wind energy capacity of up to 1,200 gigawatts (GW). An across-the-board distance of two kilometres to residential building areas would strongly shrink this potential, leaving the country with a capacity – in purely mathematical terms – of only 36 gigawatts. These are the findings of a new study done by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). In practice, this loss would be even greater as many other factors which involve the approval procedure for wind farms also play a role. These issues include the protection of individual species when a certain land area is to be designated as area for wind energy plants.

  1. “Blue Angel” cooperating with eco-labels in China and Japan
  2. Environmental protection provides employment for 2 million
  3. Hazardous substance in marinas
  4. Wind energy: Too great a distance to residential areas would significantly brake the Energiewende

Hendricks and Krautzberger honour winners of Federal Ecodesign Award 2014

Logo: Bundespreis ecodesign

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks und President of the Federal Environment Agency Maria Krautzberger presented the awards to the winners of the Federal Ecodesign Award 2014 in Berlin today. In total, 13 projects were selected in the award categories Product, Concept, Service and Newcomer. They include energy saving electronic devices that can be repaired, innovative urban transport systems, a sustainable fashion label, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes in the leather, spectacle lenses and textile industry as well as an online game on CO2 reduction in everyday life. read more

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Workshop "Monograph system for active pharmaceutical substances"

cows

Information on fate and effects of pharmaceutical substances in the environment should preferably be collated in monographs. Although monographs are one of the most promising measures to harmonize the environmental risk assessment and to tackle the issue of the ‘existing’ substances, this measure was not considered in the proposal of the commission for a new Regulation on Veterin. Med. Products. read more

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Festival events for the international year of soil 2015

Logo International Year of Soil

On 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly declared 5 December “Day of Soils” and 2015 “International Year of Soils”. In honour of this occasion the “Soil of the Year 2015” will be presented and the “International Year of Soils 2015 be launched in the premises of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection, Building and Nuclear Safety in Berlin. read more

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Ammonia emissions from intensive rearing of pigs at high levels

rearing pig

Extensive emissions of Ammonia into the air remain a well-known problem for years. This has resulted in oversupply with nutrients, processes of acid deposition and the loss of biological diversity in ecosystems. The largest part of ammonia emissions in Germany is generated in the agriculture sector (95 %), with 52 % stemming from cattle farming and 20 % from intensive rearing of pigs. read more

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First Blue Angel eco-label for 'mobility cards'

three man holding a document with the "Blue Angel" edolabel, in the background a bus

The Greater Hannover Transport Association (GVH) has become the first transport operator to receive the Blue Angel ecolabel for its 'HANNOVERmobile' mobility card. Mobility cards combine the classic monthly pass for buses and trains but also offer its users at least two other forms of mobility – for example access to car sharing, rent-a-bikes, or a rail discount card (BahnCard) for regional and mainline services. Further possibilities include discounts on taxi fares or free storage of shopping purchases or luggage near a train station. The purpose of the mobility cards is to make a switch to public means of transport easier and travel more comfortable. It is easy to check online how to combine a bus or train journey with a carsharing vehicle or rent-a-bike. read more

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Noise: not for the ears of small children

comic drawing: a head of a child, sourrounded by noisy things, like an ambulance, a radio and a loud speaker

Sleep disorders, increased blood pressure or even ringing in the ears (tinnitus) – noise can make people ill, even as early as childhood. Past studies by the Federal Environment Agency of a group of 1,000 children showed that one in every eight suffered some degree of hearing impairment. "We must be very aware that children have less control over their acoustic environment than adults", said Maria Krautzberger, President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). "This is why they are sometimes exposed to noise and have no means of defence", continued UBA's President. A new interactive brochure from the UBA teaches third and fourth-year pupils about acoustics and noise in a playful way and aims to raise awareness of the problem of noise. The brochure can be downloaded free of charge from the UBA website. read more

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