CrisisWatch

Crisis

UK needs a greener Budget to face high cost of environmental loss

The Budget must work harder to tackle the growing risks from environmental degradation, natural resource scarcity and climate change if the UK is to enjoy resilient economic growth in the future, states WWF-UK in its recent report. Unless the Government act soon, the consequences for Britain’s prosperity are likely to be costly in the long-term. In its new 2016 report ‘A Greener Budget: choices for a prosperous future’, WWF-UK sets out a s...
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Bulgarian government settles illegal buildings on protected mountain

In a draft amendment of the concession contract for Bansko Ski Zone in UNESCO’s Pirin National Park, on 19 February Bulgaria's Development Council called the Council of Ministers to legalize the violations of the concessionaire, ULEN AD.  The amendment would basically allow a tenfold increase in the concession area -- from ​​99 ha to 1,069 ha. This would legalize massive illegal constructions on a territory 60% bigger than the current con...
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Economic crisis undermines capacity to fight environmental crime

Environmental law enforcement being the responsibility of states, the financial crisis has further weakened certain national authorities in their fight against environmental crime. According to a February 2016 policy brief issued by the EFFACE (European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime): “One overarching challenge is that the implementation of environmental law is a responsibility that is left up to the individual MS. The EU itself d...
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WWF maps “blue Gold Rush” in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean region is currently facing impressive growth, a real “blue Gold Rush”, which has gained speed during the ongoing economic crisis. Without a long-term vision for sustainable development, the Mediterranean Sea will not be able to sustain the region’s economies and human wellbeing.   MedTrends, an analysis recently published by WWF on the development trends in the Mediterranean, provides the first integrated picture of 10...
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European Parliament in defense of EU nature laws

With 592 votes in favour, the plenary of the European Parliament overwhelmingly supported a resolution on the mid-term review of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy, Europe’s strategy to halt biodiversity loss by 2020. The resolution, which endorsed an Environment Committee report, sends a clear political signal to the Commission and Council to take stronger action to protect and restore Europe’s nature....
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Eurostat: Green tax share at 6.3% in 2013

According to data released by Eurostat in November, the share of environmental taxes in total tax and social contribution revenues decreased by 0.6% in the period 2003-2013.  Between 2003 and 2013, the amount of revenues from environmental taxes, expressed in euros, increased in all EU Member States for which data are available, except Portugal (-14%) and Germany (where it remained almost stable). Over the same period however, the share of envi...
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EU nature laws gain promising political support

In their conclusions of the 16 December Council, the EU’s Environment Ministers adopted the 2015 Mid-Term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy highlighting the need for full implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives.  At the press conference of the Luxembourgian Presidency of the EU Council, Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg, noted that: “The conclusions emphasise that the protection of nature involves a wide range of resu...
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Italy greens its national budget for 2016

On 22 December, the Italian Parliament opened an important window for sustainable economic development: the Chamber of Representatives definitively approved the final draft of a bill on green economy. Upon its approval by the Senate, the bill will be attached to the Stability Law (the annual national budget). The bill titled “Environmental provisions for the promotion of green economy and the control of excessive use of natural resources” co...
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WWF addresses the IMF, EU & ECB on Greece’s environmental rollback

In a letter addressed to the representatives of the creditor institutions in Greece Delia Velculescu (IMF), Declan Costello (EC) and Rasmus Rüffer (ECB), the environmental organisation WWF Greece sheds light on the environmental rollback, intransparency and bad law-making, which plague the country and have worsened during the crisis. In the letter, which presents the English version of WWF’s 2015 environmental law review, WWF Greece’s Direc...
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Green groups slam Hungarian Government over sale of state-owned protected land

The three largest national conservation organizations in Hungary – WWF Hungary, Birdlife Hungary and Friends of the Earth Hungary – called on Sandor Fazekas, the Minister of Agriculture also responsible for nature conservation, to stop the sale of state-owned land in Hungary’s sites from the European network of protected areas Natura 2000.  The sale would not only compromise Hungary’s EU obligations and the quality of conservation achie...
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