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At least 700,000 tons of abandoned fishing gear enter the oceans each year. Pixabay

In an ambitious effort to stop ocean pollution, the European Commission on Monday proposed banning the 10 most common single-use plastic products as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.

The European Union's executive arm targeted the products that are most often found on the continent's beaches and seas, which together account for 70 percent of its marine litter.

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A French lavender farmer is part of the group suing the EU for more ambitious emissions targets, saying climate change threatens his crop. Iamhao / CC BY-SA 3.0

Ten families from Fiji, Kenya and countries across Europe who are already suffering the effects of climate change filed a case against the EU Wednesday in a bid to force the body to increase its commitments under the Paris agreement, AFP reported.

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With one foot out the Brexit door, the UK is secretly trying to weaken EU commitments to the Paris agreement in a move branded "rude" by one member of European parliament (MEP), The Guardian reported Wednesday.

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Greenpeace EU / Twitter

European governments approved Friday a proposal to widen a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides that studies have found are harmful to bees and other pollinators.

The move completely bans the outdoor uses of three neonicotinoids, or neonics, across the European Union. They include Bayer CropScience's imidacloprid, Syngenta's thiamethoxam and clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience.

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Azaaz / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Green groups and public health advocates on Monday denounced the European Commission's vote in favor of extending the license of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup pesticide which scientists have labeled as a "likely carcinogen."

Eighteen member states of the European Union approved of the use of the weed-killer's use for the next five years, with nine voting against the extension and Portugal abstaining. Sixteen votes were needed for the extension to pass; Germany swung the vote after having been on the fence in recent weeks.

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Street-side charging stations in Oslo, Norway. Carlos Bryant / Flickr

The European Union unveiled proposals Wednesday to cut car and truck emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The plans also include fines for exceeding CO2 limits and financial incentives for automakers to produce more electric vehicles.

The European car makers' lobby called the 30 percent target "overly challenging," while some environmental groups criticized the proposals' lack of quotas for electric vehicles. European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete defended the absence of quotas, saying the proposals are designed to "let carmakers decide" on the best new technologies.

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Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup. Flickr

Dr. Christopher Portier, a toxicologist and former director of the U.S. National Center for Environmental Health, has criticized the conclusions of European Union agencies which found that glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto's widely used weedkiller Roundup—is not carcinogenic to humans.

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Amid questions over whether the executive order would end U.S. involvement in the Paris agreement—and with no firm indication from the White House about staying in the agreement—top European Union climate official Miguel Arias Cañete expressed "regret" over Trump's policies Tuesday, promising that the European Union "will stand by Paris, we will defend Paris and we will implement Paris."

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Member states of the European Union voted in favor of a European Commission proposal that limits the use of glyphosate during the herbicide's 18-month extension granted by the commission last month.

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