CrisisWatch

Energy & climate change

New EU directive allows for EIA-free fracking

The new Directive 2014/52/EU “of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment” has been welcomed by many environmental groups as a major step towards strengthening impact assessment legislation. It has however also attracted much criticism as hydraulic fracturing, a relatively new and environmentally detrimental technology for the extraction of shale gas...
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Shale gas lobby wins war against strict environmental rules

Intense pressures by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and industry lobbies against specific environmental assessment legislation for shale gas have been crowned with success: the political agreement on the new environmental impact assessment (EIA) directive, a compromise agreement between the Permanent Representatives Committee and the European Parliament, does not include specific requirements for shale gas operations. ...
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Thousands of citizens call on the KfW Bank Group to stop investing in coal, starting from Greece

WWF Greece and WWF Germany met with the KfW Bank Group, in order to hand over the petition signed by 15,000 citizens calling the development bank to refrain from financing a new coal plant by PPC: “Ptolemaida V” in Northern Greece. WWF and KfW also had the opportunity to discuss the prospects for a truly sustainable Greek economy, focusing on the necessary shift to a clean, innovative and competitive energy model. During the meeting, WWF Gre...
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Energy poverty rises in Spain

A sharp rise in the number of Spaniards living in the risk of energy poverty was revealed in a report published by the Spanish Association of Environmental Sciences (ACA). According to the report, between 2010 and 2012 the number of households that need to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on electricity and gas bills increased to 16,6% from 12.4% in 2010. In real life, these percentages translate to 7 million people who live in un...
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As crisis offers excuse for fossil fuel revival, reactions mount against coal

The recent decision of an Italian chief prosecutor to order the closure of two power stations at Vado Ligure is probably the first legal case for manslaughter and environmental damage opening against the coal-fired energy industry. On another case, the Court of Rovigo sentenced two former CEOs of ENEL to a two-year prison term for the severe pollution derived by the operations of the Porto Tolle Power Plant. Environmental groups WWF Italy, Gree...
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EU ministers seek compromise over energy-as-usual framework for 2030

The policy debates held at the Environment and Energy Councils on 3 and 4 March were dominated by concerns about energy prices and the competitiveness of Europe’s industry. The states comprising the Visegrad Group, joined by Bulgaria and Romania, remained rock-steady against renewable and energy efficiency targets and called for further lowering of the 40% reduction target or postponing any decision on this. The Member States favouring three mo...
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EU Parliament backs ambitious 2030 energy package and scraps the Commission’s proposal

In a decisive vote, the European Parliament overturned the Commission’s proposal for the EU’s 2030 energy and climate framework.  With 341 votes in favour (54%), 263 against (42%) and 26 abstentions, the Plenary called for three binding targets: 40% greenhouse gas cuts (compared with 1990 levels), at least 30% energy share from renewables and 40% energy savings....
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Climate & biodiversity hit hardest by crisis says Finnish Environment Ministry

According to a February 5th press release by the Finnish Environment Ministry, “[i]n recent years the state of the environment has been affected by the ongoing financial crisis. The global recession in effect made it easier to achieve goals such as the Kyoto Protocol’s targeted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Shrinking economic activity automatically leads to reductions in the use of natural resources and energy, as well as the result...
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Commission undermines 2030 climate targets

Sliding back from its own “Green Paper” of March 2013, the European Commission announced a 2030 climate and energy framework of low climate ambition. Composed primarily of a 40% decarbonisation target and an EU-wide target of 27% renewable energy share, but no binding requirements on member states, the Commission is now halting an effort that peaked at the 2009 Copenhagen conference on climate change to decarbonise Europe’s economy....
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Greek EU Presidency begins with energy priorities of no climate ambition

Lower energy costs for industries in crisis-stricken member states, integration of the internal energy market, energy security and the interconnection of isolated island regions are the priorities of the Greek Presidency, according to Yiannis Maniatis, Greece’s environment and energy Minister. Unless Minister Maniatis surprises Europe by supporting clean energy policy initiatives, hopes are dim that the Greek EU Presidency will show the much ne...
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