The European Network of the Heads of Environment Protection Agencies (EPA Network) held its 32nd plenary meeting in Oslo, Norway 21-22 February 2019, hosted by the Norwegian Environment Agency. 60 participants representing ca. 30 environmental organisations from across Europe took part, in addition to representatives from the European Commission. Prof. Dimitris Dermatas as Chair of IMPEL was invited to attend and represented IMPEL in this meeting.
Ellen Hambro, Director General of the Norwegian Environment Agency and the Agency’s Director of Communications, Kjetil Hillestad, opened the meeting with a presentation of the environmental developments and challenges of Norway, underlining the importance of the hydropower and oil sectors, debates on predators, monitoring of hazardous substances, the development of Carbon Capture and Storage technology, zero emissions vehicles, the importance of the EU emissions trading system and Norway’s relationship to EU regulation as a non-EU member.
The European environmental policy update was given by Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General of the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Environment. Looking beyond 2019, the EC emphasised the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), evaluation of the 7th Environmental Action Programme (7th EAP) and discussions on a possible 8th EAP.
An update on European Environmental Agency (EEA) activities and priorities was presented by Prof. Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the EEA, highlighting The European environment – State and Outlook 2020 (SOER 2020) report, the 2018 report “Unequal exposure and unequal impacts” and the annual indicator report for 2018 in support of monitoring the implementation of the 7th EAP. EPAs discussed new technologies and Copernicus in environmental monitoring and reporting, local climate change mitigation and several emerging issues and scientific advances, i.e. human biomonitoring, environmental economics, sustainable infrastructure and research and innovation.
Next EPA Network Plenary will take place on 26-27 September 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia.