1. On 16 April 2013, the European Union Parliamentarians rejected a scheme conceived by the European Commission 2012 that would have frozen a large portion of the bloc's carbon emission credits. There were 334 votes against the proposal and 315 votes for. Sixty-three EU parliamentarians abstained.

  2. On 16 April 2013, the European Parliament backed the European Commission's "stop the clock" proposal to temporarily suspend enforcement of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to airlines flying to and from destinations outside the EU. The proposal was approved by a wide majority, with 577 MEPs voting in favour, 114 against and 21 abstentions.

  3. The goal of more intensive cooperation brought together 25 experts from four European marine World Heritage Sites to the National Park Administration, Tönning, on 15 and 17 April 2013. The meeting was commonly organized by the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat and the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park Administration in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Center in Paris in the framework of the Interreg IVB project PROWAD.

  4. On 15 April 2013, the Zeppelin NT started once again on a mission for climate research. The destination is Hyytiälä in Finland. Jülich scientists are starting the second part of their measurement campaign within the pan-EU project PEGASOS, which involves 26 partners from a total of 14 European countries and Israel, and aims to investigate relationships between atmospheric chemistry and climate change.

  5. On 11 April 2013, eight European bison (one male, five females and two calves) were released into the wild in the Bad Berleburg region of Germany, after 300 years of absence since the species became extinct in that region.

  6. On 10 April 2013 ConocoPhillips announced it will put its 2014 Alaska Chukchi Sea exploration drilling plans on hold given the uncertainties of evolving federal regulatory requirements and operational permitting standards. The company has determined it would not be prudent at this time to make the significant monetary commitments needed to preserve the option to drill in 2014.

  7. The International Conference on Prevention and Management of Marine Litter in European Seas took place in Berlin, Germany, from 10 to 12 April, 2013. The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the European Commission DG Environment were co-organizers of the conference.

  8. On 10 April 2013, 217 civil society groups wrote an open letter to EU Fisheries Ministers urging them to support the European Parliament’s aim to restore fish stocks by 2020 and end overfishing by 2015. "...As negotiations on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are entering the final and decisive stage we, the undersigned organisations, are writing to you to urge you to support the European Parliament’s aim to restore fish stocks by 2020 and end overfishing by 2015."

  9. On 15 April 2013 four young people on a mission with Greenpeace planted a flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole. The flag is attached to a glass and titanium time capsule containing the names of 2.7 million people who joined the Greenpeace campaign to Save the Arctic. They came to the Pole to say this special area of the Arctic belongs to no person and no nation, that it is the common heritage of everyone on Earth.

  10. On 29 March 2013, the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline, which brings Canadian crude oil from Illinois to Texas, ruptured in Mayflower, Arkansas, about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock. Approximately 5,000 barrels of oil spilled into the town of Mayflower.

  11. Google released images taken by its Street View service from the town of Namie, Japan, inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.

  12. Glyphosate is the world's best-selling weed killer and one of the most widely used herbicides in Europe. Now tests have shown that glyphosate is present in the human body. Friends of the Earth Europe commissioned an independent laboratory in Germany to test urine samples from people in 18 countries for glyphosate. The results showed that traces of the chemical were found in samples from all countries, with 44 per cent of samples found to contain glyphosate on average. The analytical phase of the study was started on March 28, 2013 and was completed June 6, 2013.

  13. On 27 March 2013, the European Commission adopted a Green Paper on "A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies".

  14. On 25 March 2013, Peru's government declared an environmental state of emergency in a remote Amazon jungle region it says has been affected by years of contamination at the country's most productive oil fields, which are currently operated by Pluspetrol. In declaring the emergency, Peru's Environment Ministry said the contamination included high levels of lead, barium and chromium as well as petroleum-related compounds. The 90-day emergency orders immediate action to reduce the risk of contamination to the local population. It published on 25 March 2013, for the first time, environmental quality standards setting acceptable limits for contaminants in soil.

  15. The 2013 World Meteorological Day theme is “Watching the weather to protect life and property,” with the subtitle “Celebrating 50 Years of the World Weather Watch.” It also pays tribute to the World Weather Watch, a foundation programme of the WMO that marks its fiftieth anniversary in 2013. To predict the weather, modern meteorology depends upon near instantaneous exchange of weather information across the entire globe. Established in 1963, the World Weather Watch - the core of the WMO Programmes- combines observing systems, telecommunication facilities, and data-processing and forecasting centres - operated by Members - to make available meteorological and related environmental information needed to provide efficient services in all countries.

  16. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said on 18 March 2013, a problem with electric power has occurred at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, leading to the suspension of the system to cool spent fuel pools of the Nos. 1, 3 and 4 units. According to the NRA, Tepco reported to regulators that electricity went out at the plant’s accident response center at about 6:57 p.m. Monday.

  17. On 11 March 2013,the last deadline to phase out animal testing for cosmetic products in Europe entered into force. Directive 2003/15/EC introduced provisions in relation into animal testing into the Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC. Accordingly, animal testing in the Union is already prohibited since 2004 for cosmetic products and since 2009 for cosmetic ingredients ('testing ban'). As from March 2009, it is also prohibited to market in the Union cosmetic products containing ingredients which have been tested on animals ('marketing ban'). For the most complex human health effects (repeated-dose toxicity, including skin sensitisation and carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics) the deadline for the marketing ban was extended to 11 March 2013.

  18. The 178 signatory nations to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species voted on 11 March 2013, to protect five species of shark threatened with extinction through fishing.

  19. Poachers in Chad have slaughtered 86 elephants, including 33 pregnant females, in less than a week. The elephants were killed close to the Chad border with Cameroon and their ivory hacked out.

  20. On 6 March 2013, the vessel Nikolay Bauman sank in the Black Sea near the Danube Delta between Romania and Ukraine coastlines. The vessel carrying 2,700 tons of plaster was covering a route from Turkey to the Ukrainian city of Kherson when water began entering the ship through a hole in the bow and almost immediately flooded its front compartments. As reported, a large oil spill was discovered near the coastline in Ukraine’s Odesa region. The area of the oil spill is about 5.3 square kilometers.

  21. The European Commission has announced the winners of the 2012 European Mobility Week Award and of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans Award. The cities were presented with their awards by European Commissioners at a joint award ceremony in Brussels, Belgium on 6 March 2013. European Mobility Week 2012 award winner Zagreb (Croatia) won the award for its well-organised campaign to promote the week, a strong link with the 2012 theme and 62 separate activities involving more than 150 000 citizens. Aberdeen’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan addresses social, integration, safety, environmental and economic objectives and includes a focus on sustainable transport. The Plan is being developed in close consultation with citizens and stakeholders and features open workshops, surveys, a promotional campaign and an innovative social media/online presence.

  22. On 5 March 2013, ChemSec presented information about which companies put some of the most hazardous chemicals on the EU. This information has recently been made publicly available by the European Chemicals Agency following a ChemSec and ClientEarth lawsuit. ChemSec presented compiled information about the companies that have registered production or imports of the chemicals on the SIN List. Information about producers of SIN List chemicals, and in which countries they operate, has been added to the publicly available SIN List database.

  23. On 5 March 2013, Vodacom unveiled the largest solar array of panels on a single building in Africa at its offices in Century City, Cape Town. The solar array is expected to provide up to 75% of all electricity power required by the building during peak production.

  24. On 3 March 2013, new legislation came into effect to counter the trade in illegal timber. The new EU Timber regulation will affect everyone in the wood trade. It prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber on the European market in an effort to tackle the problem of illegal logging across the world. The new law affects both imported and domestically produced timber and timber products, and it covers an extensive range of products, from paper and pulp to solid wood and flooring.

  25. The 3 March 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of the adoption of CITES.

  26. Bulgaria's outgoing parliament confirmed on 27 February an earlier decision abandoning plans for a new nuclear power plant, after a referendum forced a review of the issue. MPs voted with 114 in favour and 40 against to uphold a decision from March 2012 that officially ended the Belene project. The results of the referendum in January 2013 were not legally binding because of the low turnover.

  27. The world has suffered from severe regional weather extremes in recent years. Behind devastating individual events there is a common physical cause, propose scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The study was published on 20 March 2013, in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and suggests that man-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns of atmospheric flow around the globe's Northern hemisphere through a subtle resonance mechanism.

  28. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that dive will continue, reshaping daily life in the most populated areas of the planet as climate change intensifies. 
 By 2050, a combination of rising heat and humidity is likely to cut the world’s labor capacity to 80 percent during summer months — twice the effect observed today.

  29. Six underground storage tanks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state are leaking radioactive waste, but there is no immediate risk to human health, officials said on 22 February 2013.

  30. "Objections are raised to the notification by the Federal Republic of Germany of a postponement of the deadline for attaining the limit values for NO2 set out in Annex XI to Directive 2008/50/EC in zones 2, 3, 5-7, 9 (as regards the annual limit value), 10-14, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24 (as regards the annual limit value), 30-42, 44-46 and 56, as specified in the Annex to this Decision."

  31. The twenty-seventh session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC27/GMEF) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 18-22 February 2013 at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). The meeting was the first Universal Session of the GMEF following the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to strengthen and upgrade UNEP. Delegates adopted 14 decisions on, inter alia: IPBES; coordination across the UN system, including the EMG; oceans; sustainable consumption and production; green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; advancing justice, governance and law; state of the environment; and chemicals and wastes. The GC also adopted a decision on institutional arrangements that, inter alia, recommends the UN General Assembly rename the Council "UN Environment Assembly of UNEP," and provides that the UN Environment Assembly "will ensure" the active participation of all relevant stakeholders and explore new mechanisms for promoting the effective engagement of civil society in its work, by developing by 2014 a process for stakeholder accreditation and participation.

  32. An estimated 40,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. on 17 February 2013 for the Forward on Climate Rally on the National Mall. The rally preceded a march to the White House to urge President Barack Obama to take action against climate change and reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

  33. On 15 February 2013, the SIN List was updated to version 2.1, adding additional chemicals to the list of Substances of Very High Concern identified by ChemSec. There are now 626 Substances of Very High Concern on the SIN List, compared with 138 on the official REACH Candidate List.

  34. At the first meeting of the Federal government/Länder round table on the EEG reform on 14 February 2013, Federal Environment Minister Altmaier and Federal Economics Minister Rösler presented a joint proposal on curbing the costs of expanding renewable energies.

  35. On 12 February 2013, a 600-square-meter section of the roof over the turbine hall at the fourth power block collapsed at Chernobyl nuclear plant. The collapse was caused by heavy snowfall, emergency authorities said. Chernobyl plant spokeswoman Maya Rudenko said the affected area is about 50 meters away from the reactor.

  36. The International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 was officially launched on the occasion of a special kick-off event organized at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France on 11 February 2013. The official slogan for the Year was revealed during the ceremony: "Water, Water Everywhere, Only if We Share".

  37. A major reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which aims to cut fishing to sustainable stock levels, end dumping at sea, and base long-term planning on sound scientific data, was approved by Parliament on 6 February 2013. Overfishing is widely seen as the worst failure of the current CFP, dating from 2002. The new one is to take effect in 2014.

  38. Average sea ice extent for February 2013 was 14.66 million square kilometers (5.66 million square miles). This is 980,000 square kilometers (378,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average for the month.

  39. Long-term exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) can trigger atherosclerosis, adverse birth outcomes and childhood respiratory diseases, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) review released on 31 January 2013. REVIHAAP – the “Review of evidence on health aspects of air pollution” – also suggests a possible link with neurodevelopment, cognitive function and diabetes, and strengthens the causal link between PM2.5 and cardiovascular and respiratory deaths. The WHO review found new evidence for effects of long-term exposures to ozone (O3) on respiratory mortality and on deaths among persons with predisposing chronic conditions. An impact of ozone exposure on cognitive development and reproductive health, including preterm birth is also suggested. The research was carried out at the request of the European Commission in the framework of the 2013 review of the European Union’s air policy.

  40. On 28 January 2013, a new smartphone app was introduced by the Federal Environment Ministry together with Hellmann Process Management, which built the app. The free "eSchrott" app helps smartphone users find the nearest facility to drop off electronic waste ranging from hair dryers to laptops to old cellphones. The new app in Germany helps people easily find 3,370 communal collection centers for old electronic devices as well as 8,400 private collection centers for energy efficient lamps containing mercury.