Environment

Commission to continue ‘freebies’ under EU ETS

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The European Commission authorised requests from Cyprus, Estonia and Lithuania for a continued free allocation of EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) allowances to their power sectors beyond this year. The Commission has taken...

Jane Goodall brings hope to the European Parliament

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As the doomsayers circle the Council and their deliberations over Greece, something a little different was happening in the parliament. Dr Jane Goodall was honouring schoolkids who had undertaken a wide range of projects,...

Fracking reaches point-of-no-return for EU legislators

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The European Parliament, specifically the Industry Research and Energy Committee, has launched a debate on the industrial and energy aspects of shale gas. It has been recorded that Poland views shale gas as an...

Council to improve biocidal legislation

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The Council of the EU adopted on 10 May a regulation concerning the placing on the market and use of biocidal products, such as insecticides, disinfectants and repellents, but not medicines or agricultural pesticides. The...

Wanted: a Marshall plan

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While many are concerned about climate change, Tony de Brum, Minister-in-Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands has reason to be a worried man. With the islands being only 2 metres above sea...

New agreement to reduce pollution

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The Danish EU Presidency and Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcomed the new international agreement aimed at tackling air pollution, reached on 7 May. The agreement updated the Gothenburg Protocol, setting more ambitious targets to reduce...

EU President visits Bulgaria and Romania on 7th anniversary of accession treaties

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The President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, was on a one-day visit to Romania and Bulgaria. In Romania, Rompuy met the President Traian Băsescu, the Prime Minister Mihai-Răzvan Ungureanu and spoke in front...

Top spots for whale watching

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Whale watching is an activity with massive worldwide appeal.  Regardless of an individual’s age and interests, tourists travel to far-flung corners of the globe to catch a glimpse of the large mammals.  The chance...

The problem of priorities

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COPENHAGEN – This decade has seen remarkable progress against humanity’s greatest challenges. Consider the declaration of victory over polio in India, which seemed impossible ten years ago. COPENHAGEN – This decade has seen remarkable progress...

Environment exhibition focuses on ‘human nature and sustainability’

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The Hungarian Cultural Institute in Brussels has repeatedly organised environmental exhibitions and programmes. The current exhibition, a“Mirror to the World”, is a one month interactive event, that will be held on the occasion of...

SMEs to pave way to a ‘green economy’

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According to a Eurobarometer survey on “SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets” published on 28 March, 37% of EU small-to-middle sized enterprises (SMEs) have at least one green employee and this number is estimated...

Commission refers Cyprus to ECJ on environmental law

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The European Commission is referring Cyprus to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to take measures to ensure serious breaches of EU environmental law are considered criminal offences and punished. The country has...

Finland, Greece and Poland told to comply with renewable energy policy

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Finland, Greece and Poland have not conformed to the EU regulations for renewable energy. Member states were required to pass the European Commission's Renewable Energy Directive, which requires member states to set goals to...

Council adopts conclusions on plant protection

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On 19 March, the Council adopted conclusions concerning the strategy towards the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The conclusions aim at strengthening the work and influence of the IPPC, as well as the transparency...

‘Gone With the Wind’

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COPENHAGEN – Efforts to stem global warming have nurtured a strong urge worldwide to deploy renewable energy. As a result, the use of wind turbines has increased ten-fold over the past decade, with wind...

OECD reveals further urban air-pollution threat

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According to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report - a study of the global environmental outlook - urban air pollution will pose a major threat of premature death in the coming...

Fukushima, one year on

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Until 11 March 2011, Fukushima was associated with luck - the name means 'good-fortune-island'. Scenic routes along the coast attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists every year but then the tsunami caused by an...

EU carbon-emissions tax conflict continues

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The 'conflict' over the new EU Emissions Trading Scheme, between the EU and more than 20 countries including China, Russia and the United States continues, with seven major aviation companies joining the fray. In a...

Hong Kong Airlines bans transport of wild animals

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Hong Kong Airlines have issued an immediate ban on all their flights from carrying any protected and endangered species. The statement released said: “As a company committed to the preservation and protection of wildlife,...

Japanese whaling fleets go home empty

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New Europe recently interviewed Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who discussed its mission in stopping the Japanese whaling fleet, which is being documented on Animal Planet's show, Whale Wars. News...

Carbon emissions’ friendly skies

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SAN JOSÉ– It was once said of the battle to fight climate change that there is no silver bullet – there is only silver buckshot. But, while political leaders have been loaded for bear...

EU seeks to launch ‘project bond’ scheme

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With public money becoming a scarce resource, the EU is looking to launch its ‘project bond’  scheme, that it hopes will boost long-term private investment to infrastructure, and bring demand to the capital debt...

Commission monetises environmental neglect [ANALYSIS]

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Failing to implement environment legislation is thought to cost the EU economy around €50 billion every year in health costs and direct costs to the environment. In an effort to deliver better environmental outcomes...

China exerts pressure against EU carbon-emissions tax

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According to Louis Gallois, head of Airbus’s parent company EADS, China has stopped Chinese airlines buying planes from the European commercial aircraft maker as a reaction to the EU's controversial emissions scheme. "Airbus is subjected...

Commission and IMO on course for head-on collision

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been struggling for years to agree upon market-based measures for curbing emissions. Thus, it could soon find itself coming into conflict with the European Commission over how best...

French waste regulations challenged by Commission

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The European Commission is threatening France with legal action at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over concerns that it has incorrectly defined packaging and packaging waste in its national laws, breaching EU waste...

Commission gives Malta ‘the bird’

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The European Commission has insisted that there is no justification to continue to allow bird trapping in Malta and has threatened to take the country back before the European Court of Justice. The Commission sent...

Water scarcity seen in 2 decades, predict experts

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Rivers crossing the territories of several countries must become a source of peace rather than discord, experts said, adding that countries in the region can use the experience of the EU in order to...

Green Climate Fund on finance minsters’ agenda

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Member states' finance ministers have met in Brussels to discuss the development of a mechanism to govern potential climate-aid funding from developed nations and industry. The funding channel, termed the Green Climate Fund, as approved...

Moscow meeting opposes EU carbon-emissions tax

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A meeting concerning a carbon-emissions tax for airlines using EU airspace has been held this week in Moscow. Thirty-two countries took part, including China, the United States, Brazil, India, Japan, Singapore, South Africa and Argentina....

The voice of marine life [INTERVIEW]

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Those who watch Animal Planet may recognise the face; others may know it from being in the business for years. Some may not even know it. However, this face belongs to a man who...

The sustainability mindset

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MILAN – Markets and capitalist incentives have great strengths in promoting economic efficiency, growth, and innovation. And, as Ben Friedman of Harvard University argued persuasively in his 2006 book The Moral Consequences of Growth,...

Where’s the beef? Another climate-change perspective

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Climate is the average pattern of weather. Climate change is the significant impact and change to these average weather patterns which could last for many years. Although the Earth has experienced natural climatic changes over...

Germany’s sunshine daydream

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COPENHAGEN – One of the world’s biggest green-energy public-policy experiments is coming to a bitter end in Germany, with important lessons for policymakers elsewhere. Germany once prided itself on being the 'photovoltaic world champion', doling...

EU soil degradation ‘threatens food, biodiversity and climate’

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Soil erosion by water is estimated to affect 1.3 million km² in Europe, an area equivalent to two-and-a-half times the size of France. Soil degradation is a worrying phenomenon in the EU. Between 1990 and...

Commission introduces bio-economy strategy

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The European Commission has called for more funds and better regulation for sustainable job sectors, in adopting a new strategy for a sustainable European bio-economy on 13 February. The bio-economy is defined by the Commission...

Commission clears Austrian green-energy law

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The European Commission has found an Austrian scheme to support the production of energy from renewable sources in line with EU state-aid rules, in particular because it creates incentives for an increased use of...