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European Green Deal – Climate-neutral continent

On Wednesday 11 December von der Leyen’s Commission has released its plan for the green future of the European Union. In various statements, von der Leyen and Frans Timmermans, the responsible Vice-President in this matter, pointed out that huge efforts need to be made to turn Europe into a climate-neutral continent.

“Our goal is to reconcile the economy with our planet. To reconcile the way we produce, the way we consume, with our planet. And to make it work for our people. […] We do not have all the answers yet. Today is the start of a journey. But this is Europe’s ‘man on the moon’ moment”, Ursula von der Leyen said in the press conference.

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New EU-Commission has been approved and started to work

The European Parliament approved on 27 November 2019 the new European Commission headed by Ursula von der Leyen (461 to 157 vote of confidence, 89 abstained). Von der Leyen only needed a simple majority to secure confirmation as commission president. On 1 December, the new Commission started working. The new legislative period from 2019-2024 is already announced to bring perceptible changes into European Politics.

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Second stakeholder consultation meeting at DG Grow

The aim of the preparatory study is to analyse the hand dryers product group for the creation of EU sustainable product measures namely Ecodesign and Energy Labelling. The study will investigate the potential for the environmental improvement of hand dryers, including aspects relevant to the circular economy. During this process, there were forseen two stakeholder consultations. The first took place in January this year.

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Green Taxonomy

The European Commission is currently finalising a proposal – to be published by the end of 2019 – for a so-called „Green taxonomy“. Once developed, the taxonomy will be used by national and EU regulators to shape the requirements regarding financial products traded as “green”. Actors of financial markets will use the taxonomy to disclose how the environmental sustainability of investment was defined. To qualify as green, investments will need to contribute substantively to at least one of the six EU environmental objectives and will need to fulfill a catalogue of requirements.

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Global Handwashing Day

October 15th is Global Handwashing Day: This year’s theme is “Clean Hands for All.” It follows the push to leave no one behind in the Sustainable Development Agenda. Inequalities in handwashing facilities and effective handwashing promotion programs can put individuals at higher risk for diseases that impact their health, education, and economic outcomes (https://globalhandwashing.org).

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The European Green Deal

Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen promised to deliver a European Green Deal in her first 100 days, including a continent-wide “Climate Law” to enshrine the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 into law, in order to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Her plan is not only quite ambitious and urgent at the same time, but it also has the potential to grow the EU’s economy in the long run. The hand dryer market will benefit from new investments in innovation and research as well as from an update of EU’s industrial policy.

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EU Commission Designated 2019 – 2024

On 10 September, Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has introduced her new team of commissioners. She tryed to balance out experience, poltical backgrounds, age, gender and last but not least, each member state needs a commissioner – size doesn`t matter. The org chart already indicates what becomes important: The New Green Deal will be addressed by Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans (Netherlands). Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) will also represent an important portfolio: Making Europe Fit for Digital Age.

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Implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan

The European Commission continously pushes the Circular Economy. In 2016 an Action Plan was adopeted. It has been fully completed in early 2019.  The work will continue beyond 2019. In the long run, CE is also important for the electric hand drying business. Threrefore, we will update this topic frequently to also bring in eHA-know-how wherever necessary.

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2nd Stakeholder Meeting Brussels in November

By conducting the preparatory study with regard to electric hand drying within the eco design framework, there were two stakeholder consultation meetings scheduled by ICF. The purpose of the meetings is to share draft reports and analysis and to collect feedback from stakeholders directly. Please register for the meeting on the 20th of November:

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