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May 2014 editorial

The rise of euroscepticism, the growing power of parties with a weak environmental outlook, the low election turnout and the political focus of elections campaigns on rapid growth at all costs cause concerns about the future of the EU as a progressive environmental policy maker. The European Parliament in particular has on many occasions stood firm in support of crucial improvements in environmental law. One of the latest such examples was the ne...
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Ecologically unsustainable economic policies can no longer be an option

In these hard times, there is no time to waste in maintaining our bankrupt business-as-usual development model. Ecologically unsustainable and resource inefficient economic policies can no longer be an option.  Before the economic crisis went global, governments met in Copenhagen to talk about the urgency of curbing climate change. In December 2009, societies from across Europe massively demanded a global shift towards a new, ecologically susta...
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January 2014 editorial

2014 begins loaded with major challenges for the environment in Europe. The announcement by the Commission of a low climate ambition 2030 climate and energy framework was a major policy drawback, which justifiably caused the disappointment of environmental groups. The shale gas frenzy, which has contaminated environmental decision-making at the level of the European Commission also raises serious concerns....
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2013 was a tough year for environmental laws and policies in Europe

Our work for CrisisWatch has allowed us to delve into the dismal reality of the economic crisis and the serious impacts caused on environment and society by Europe’s myopic response. We have also had the privilege to report on promising developments, in the direction of more sustainable pathways for European economies. 2013 was a tough year for environmental laws and policies in Europe....
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November 2013 editorial

In its original meaning of the Greek word κρίσις, a crisis is not just about a dramatic state of affairs, but also about judgment and choice. Gloom and decision are the two faces of the same coin. The current crisis is indeed leaving a heavy footprint on both nature and society. But it should also be viewed as a call for decisive action. This past month has revealed serious challenges to the EU’s corpus of green policies and reluctance f...
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October 2013 editorial

Where is prolonged austerity taking Europe? Can we hope for some light in the horizon, or is the deepening recession shifting attention away from the real causes of the crisis and sending governments onboard the tumbling boat of short-sighted development at any cost? Although there is no easy answer, the overall trend is clear: the environment and clean energy policies are being sidelined by the majority of debt-ridden member states. At the same...
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September 2013 editorial

As the EU’s response to the crisis prescribes more austerity, the recession becomes even deeper and the way out of the tunnel seems even more distant. In this gloomy setting, exploiting the natural environment is seen by troubled member states as a quick-fix solution for rapid economic recovery. The news reported in the current issue fuel both concern and hope. Loss of important environmental acquis in Italy, Spain and Greece and political obs...
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July-August 2013 editorial

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  Some time ago I remember reading a sombre cartoon that had as its caption: “Unfortunately, due to the on-going economic recession, the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off”.  Fortunately, working for a solutions-based organization like WWF, I believe there still is light at the end of the tunnel, however I do worry about the lack of urgency and the apparent unwillingness by many of...
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June 2013 editorial

Dismantling of environmental governance systems in Italy, Spain and Greece, oil and gas drilling plans in ecologically sensitive areas of the Mediterranean, weakening of important EU environmental policies. On the other end of the equation, collective initiatives bring together millions of citizens in demand for socially just and environmentally sustainable policies. This is the environmental state of play in crisis hit Europe....
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May 2013 editorial

Is the EU giving up on its green battles and abandoning its leading role as a global green leader? Are governments rolling back their green policies and legislation? Is Europe becoming a land that invites any type of development, regardless of its ecological footprint, always based on a chorus of urgency in dealing with the economic crisis? Are we witnessing a decreasing footprint in European lifestyles?...
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