CrisisWatch

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A year in #NatureAlert & hope for our living planet

Recounting a year full of political heartbreaks, environmental and humanitarian threats, hopes and action, is quite a challenging task. As Europe’s economy shows little political hope for sustainable recovery, one would reasonably expect a rise in environmental pressures, widespread concern and fear for the future, even anger at the lack of leadership for a restart towards a stronger and better Europe.  The ease with which demagogic rhetoric...
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Will the EU still be a green leader after the crisis?

By Dr Viviane Gravey* When thinking about the impacts of the crisis on environmental policy, we need to think about all the different steps and institutions involved in making and applying policy. Each of these may be weakened by the crisis, undermining green policies overall. In the EU, most environmental policies start as EU directives and regulations, which are then implemented (often quite differently) in each member states. How well the m...
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Time to work together for our post-Brexit EU

By Theodota Nantsou* The forecasts about the repercussions of Britain’s Brexit vote on economy, society and environment are gloomy. As the world waits to see what happens next, it is now important for the EU to analyse and understand what went wrong and how this can be fixed. Europe was evidently not prepared for this dramatic turn of events. The British majority’s vote for exit from the EU came as an unexpected shock. Indeed, contrary to t...
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Brexit and its impact on climate & energy policy

by Michalis Prodromou* The outcome of the British referendum on the country’s membership in the EU will certainly have an impact on British, European and international low carbon policies; the question is how severe this will be. Will the Brexit affect the ratification process of the Paris climate agreement, achieved only a few months ago? The agreement “would require recalibration” in case of an EU-exit outcome of the referendum said Chr...
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It's the One Planet Economy stupid!

The United Nations now promotes a full agenda for the greening of the world’s economies, side by side with the Sustainable Development Goals, while at the same time many governments around the globe seek to green their development pathways. Yet, the European Union seems to ignore the green signs of our times. Since January 2012, when the first issue of CrisisWatch was published, WWF has consistently monitored the serious impacts caused on envi...
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Farewell to an apocalyptic year for environmental policy

2015 was indeed an apocalyptic year for environmental policy, in the midst of an undoubtedly tense global environment. Europe’s economic prospects still look gloomy and unemployment soars, particularly among the young. An unprecedented humanitarian crisis unfolds with millions of refugees seeking a safe new home and thousands drowning in the seas of Europe. The deadly terrorist attacks in Paris suddenly shifted political attention towards secur...
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It is high time for Europe’s leaders to see the green writing on the wall

The political forces within the EU pushing for regression towards environmental oblivion remain strong, clutching on the “rapid economic development at all costs” political mantra. The European Commission’s initiative to open the heart of Europe’s nature protection legislation and surgically “refit” it for growth-as-usual has been the culmination of a series of likeminded efforts that seriously undermine the Union’s profile as a glo...
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Protection of nature remains a priority for Europeans

Ioli Christopoulou* - Since 2014, the European Nature Directives are undergoing a Fitness Check, as part of the EU’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT). So far two phases have been completed. The first phase was an evidence gathering exercise asking various EU and national public authorities, private stakeholders and NGOs to provide evidence on the effectively, efficiency, relevance, coherence, and EU added value of the two fu...
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REFIT is unfit for Europe’s natural capital

In 2012, the European Commission launched the REFIT (“REgulatory FITness” and Performance) programme. In its Communication, the Commission noted that the economic crisis (aka the “current economic situation”) demands “that EU legislation be even more effective and efficient in achieving its public policy objectives”; it must deliver “full benefits at minimum cost”, aiming at a “simple, clear, stable and predictable regulatory fr...
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