CrisisWatch

Crisis

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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#March4Us: Hundreds of thousands take to the streets calling for global climate deal

The weekend ahead of the United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) on climate change, now taking place in Paris, the world's major cities saw hundreds of thousands of citizens in 175 countries marching for a clear and binding agreement that will keep global warming below +2o C. In Europe, London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Athens, Frankfurt, Dublin, Copenhagen, Graz, Genova, Kiev, Edinburgh, Stockholm, Oslo, were some of the cities tha...
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80% of Europeans are seriously concerned about biodiversity loss

Notwithstanding the financial crisis and the shift of the political agenda towards economic issues, the vast majority of EU citizens consider biodiversity loss and its effects to be serious, whereas more than half state that they expect to be personally affected. Humanity has a responsibility to care for nature and to halt biodiversity loss, according to 76% of Europeans, while 93% state that the European Union should better inform society about...
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Political tide turning in support of EU nature directives

Nine EU member states have officially expressed their opposition to the European Commission’s move to subject the directives on habitats (92/32/EEC) and wild birds (2009/147/EC) to a “fitness check” under its REFIT initiative: Croatia, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. In their joint letter, the nine environment ministers state that: “There is now legal certainty as a result of well advanced impleme...
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