Environment

Face the truth: Europe’s biofuels bonanza causes hunger in Africa

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For the past few years, a project called “One City, One Book” has been running in my native Dublin. It’s a simple concept: during the month of April everyone is encouraged to read the...

Rio: BRICs proved decisive

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Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s Environment Commissioner, has decried the outcome of the Rio+20 UN conference that just concluded in Brazil as something no one was happy with. That is a pity. The outcome does a...

Hedegaard: It is already time for EU 2030

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The European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, said during an event organized at the Mission of Norway to the European Union that Europe 2020, the current EU strategy for growth, that ‘is already...

A Rio report card

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NEW YORK – One of the world’s pre-eminent scientific publications, Nature, has just issued a scathing report card in advance of next week’s Rio+20 summit on sustainable development. The grades for implementation of the...

EU leaders host Sustainable Energy Week

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Thousands of people across Europe will gather in Brussels on 19 June until 22 June to discuss energy efficiency and renewables at the European Union's Sustainable Energy Week. The conference will hold the first...

Wrongheaded in Rio

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COPENHAGEN – Tens of thousands of people will soon gather in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Earth Summit. The participants, ranging from weary politicians to enthusiastic campaigners, are supposed to reignite global...

Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment, goals for Rio+20

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During next weeks UN summit on sustainable development, the European Union is willing  to engage in negotiations with a view of achieving sustainable development goals. The  two themes for Rio+20,  which will take place...

A global movement for change

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Next week, world leaders gather for a momentous occasion — the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. Will it be a success? In my opinion, yes. To be sure, the...

China threatens retaliation against EU’s carbon emissions tax

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In the latest arguments over the European Union’s unpopular carbon emission tax, China threatened on 12 June to impound European planes if their own planes are seized. On 1 January, the EU began charging a...

How effective can the EU be at Rio+20?

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With a major share of the world’s population living in poverty, increasing environmental degradation and over-consumption of natural resources, we are a long way from a sustainable world. Today the EESC marked World Environment Day...

Potocnik warns of RIO+20 failure

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European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potočnik, expressed his disappointment with the lack of progress achieved during the additional negotiations on the Rio +20 agenda in New York. Nevertheless, he pledged that the EU will...

Answer to EU’s energy problem is the…Swiss Alps?

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Many European countries are turning away from atomic power to focus on renewable energies.  While many of them are investing into research and development for developing technologies, some people have looked to Switzerland’s water...

EU Green Week: Commission promotes Generation Awake movement

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During EU Green Week, which was held between 22-25 May, the European Commission showcased its awareness campaign on resource efficiency called Generation Awake, which was officially launched in October 2011. It was developed by...

EU Green Week: Natural, organic cosmetics and water usage

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There is a vast array of cosmetic products at our disposal. Why does the natural versus synthetic debate matter? Our personal health and well-being, as well as our environment locally and globally, are in...

EU Green Week: Rio+20 in the water pipeline

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The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) is being organised in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236, and will take place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of...

EU Green Week: Adaptation to climate change with a link to water

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The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000...

World Turtle day

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Little did you know, but today, 23 May, is the World Turtle Day, established in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue NGO to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and...

Access City Award competition opened

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The European Commission opened on 22 May the competition for the third “Access City Award” for the most accessible cities in Europe. The annual prize is meant to celebrate and recognise cities dedicated to...

Environment special: Deforestation and forest degredation

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Research based on the FAO’s Global Forest Resource Assessment 2010 calculates that the annual loss of tropical forest cover in the decade to 2010 has been 9.3 million hectares, an area larger than Scotland. The...

EU Green Week: agriculture and water find common ground

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Agriculture and water are inextricable linked, and climate change is adding a further complication to relations between the two.  Although everyone agrees on the principles for a long-term vision for water, the issue is...

Feed-in-tariffs and green economy not immune to crisis

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Growth in the European renewable energy sector, specifically wind and solar, brought on by government policies such as capital grants, subsidies, tax credits and energy production payments may be damaged by economic instability in...

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society calls out for help to save its captain

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New Europe reported on 14 May on the arrest of Captain Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and the possible extradition to Costa Rica concerning a past incident during a...

Ethanol added to long list of olive tree by-products

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It's long been reported that there are many uses of olive oil. As a foodstuff it has a high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, which studies show promote "good" cholesterol (HDL) while lowering "bad"...

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...