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Farewell to a year of environmental backsliding

2014 was indeed an eventful year for Europe: European Parliament elections marked by euroscepticism, the start of a new European Commission, crisis in Ukraine, the non-ending economic recession accompanied by unemployment and increasing social inequality.  2014 was the year of mounting pressures and loss of environmental policies and laws in the...

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2015 Commission Work Programme marks serious environmental rollback

Fears that the new European Commission plans to scrap important policy initiatives in the fields of air quality and waste management have come true: the 2015 Commission Work Programme (CWP 2015) includes the withdrawal of the proposed new directive on waste management and its replacement with a new one. It also fails to clarify the fate of the pr...

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Why should the world care about environmental regression in Europe?

As the signs of economic recovery in the EU remain frail and uncertain, pressures for more lenient environmental laws threaten to seriously undermine Europe’s long-standing and globally significant green policy outlook. The shrinking of the EU’s environmental agenda has marred the start of the Juncker Commission and signals an agenda of regress...

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EU leaders fail climate stress tests

The EU’s Heads of State and Government finally decided on a climate and energy package for 2030 which lacks ambition and fails to respond to the unfolding climate crisis. The package adopted by the EU Council on October 24th sets a target of at least 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and at least 27% for renewables and energy savings. ...

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Portugal sees crisis as opportunity for green tax reform

An integrated green tax reform proposal was recently announced by the Commission for Green Tax Reform, which was established by the Portuguese Finance Ministry in January 2014. Following a period of consultation with business, scientific and civil organisations, the report was submitted by the ad hoc commission to the Minister of State and Finances...

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2015 Commission Work Programme marks serious environmental rollback

Fears that the new European Commission plans to scrap important policy initiatives in the fields of air quality and waste management have come true: the 2015 Commission Work Programme (CWP 2015) includes the withdrawal of the proposed new directive on waste management and its replacement with a new one. It also fails to clarify the fate of the pr...

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New Commission set to run on environmental deficit?

In anticipation of the 2015 Commission Work Programme (CWP 2015), which is expected to be approved in mid-December, concerns abound over its tendency towards environmental deregulation.  In a letter addressed by President Juncker and Vice-President Timmermans to the new Commissioners, the priorities of the Commission for 2015 are sorted under res...

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