Radioactive waste from Europe's 143 nuclear reactors must in future be buried in secure bunkers, ministers from EU member states agreed on Tuesday.

The new rules force national nuclear authorities to draw up disposal plans by 2015, which will be vetted by Europe's energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

"After years of inaction, the EU for the very first time commits itself to a final dispos


The fuel efficiency of European cars advanced last year, with exhaust carbon emissions falling 3.7 percent, provisional European Union data showed on Wednesday.

The EU, home to 500 million people, has set a target for cutting average emissions from new cars to 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2015.

Last year's improvements bring the average emissions of new cars to 140 grams, putting the EU

The European Union can still deepen planned cuts to greenhouse gases beyond 20 percent, but the task is complex and has not been helped by controversy over nuclear power, the EU's climate chief said on Wednesday.

Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard is planning to reveal new research in July on the costs and benefits of deepening carbon emissions cuts to 30 percent by the end of this decade, f

Cash-strapped European governments can press ahead with charging trucks for the damage they do to infrastructure, air quality and human health, the European Parliament agreed on Tuesday.

Lawmakers agreed EU rules for charging hauliers for fumes and noise under controversial "Eurovignette" laws, but they did not try to make tariffs mandatory on all the EU's 30,000 km (18,600 miles) of motorways.

The European Union has a right to impose legislation to cut emissions from aviation and showing weakness would encourage further challenges to EU policies, the EU's climate chief told airlines Monday.

Global airlines have attacked the European Union at their annual meeting over its plan to force them into the region's carbon market.

From January 1 next year, the EU will require all airlines

EU ministers voted on Friday to exempt solar panels from a ban on toxic substances in electrical goods, enabling leading maker First Solar to keep selling its products in the industry's biggest market.

The revised European Union law generally bans the use of six hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, including cadmium, which is used by U.S.-based First Solar -- the world's

Europe's fisheries chief sought on Wednesday to clamp down on overfishing by preventing fishermen from taking advantage of poor data on dwindling stocks.

Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki proposed tightening fishing limits for stocks where fishermen have not given scientists data needed to decide annual catch limits.

"Sufficient scientific data is still missing for the majority of the st

Europe's fisheries chief called on Wednesday for close monitoring of the trade in bluefin tuna caught in Libyan waters, fearing illegal catches could push the endangered fish closer to extinction amid the chaos of war.

Atlantic bluefin fetch more than $100,000 each in markets such as Japan, but stocks have plunged by more than 80 percent since the 1970s due to overfishing, many scientists say.

A divisive European debate over the green credentials of biofuels has stalled investment, but the stalemate may soon be over for advanced biofuels and some types of bioethanol.

The debate over biodiesel, however, looks set to rage on.

After a two-year investigation, the European Commission has decided that the complex issue of "indirect land use change" (ILUC) can lessen carbon savings from