CrisisWatch

Crisis

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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UNESCO nature parks in Bulgaria threatened by excessive development

Three of Bulgaria’s most significant natural treasures, the parks of Pirin, Rila and Vitosha, are on the verge of opening up to excessive construction development: the draft management plans placed in public consultation in October 2015 allow construction, logging and hunting in zones that are presently protected by law. According to a coalition of environmental groups, the draft plans have not been subjected to the scrutiny of an environme...
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New Polish government backtracks on climate agreement

Following the national elections of October 25th, which brought to power the Law and Justice conservative and party, Poland’s President vetoed the 2012 Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Earlier in 2015, President Andrej Duda had criticized the EU’s policy on emissions, stating: “I do not agree with such a policy and will say that this is a policy that is completely at odds with the strategic interests of our country”...
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European Parliament urges Commission to refrain from environmental deregulation

In a non-legislative resolution voted by the Plenary on September 16th, the members of the European Parliament urge the European Commission to become a true leader in the EU’s path towards climate protection, energy independence and resource efficiency. The MEPs also called on the Commission not to use the REFIT legislation and administrative simplification initiative as pretext for “deregulating or lowering social and environmental standards...
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Two Greek governments, same disregard for the environment and sustainability

Two consecutive governments share the same disregard for Greece’s environment and the potential for the development of a sustainable economy. Dramatic increase in EU environmental law infringement cases, new rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union, and paralysis of the national parks, are the main features of a disappointing year filled with environmental deficit. WWF Greece’s annual review of environmental and energy law, whic...
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Police highlights EU environmental criminality as ‘emerging threat’

Reports published this summer by Interpol and Europol ring the alarm of rising environmental crime in Europe, as a result of the financial crisis. The causes of this emerging crisis are identified as:  a) The low cost – high profit character of environmental crimes, particularly in the areas of water pollution with industrial discharge and illegal waste disposal.  b) The reduced capacity of law enforcement authorities to effectively comba...
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British protected areas at risk of fracking hell

New shale gas drilling licences covering 2,700 square kilometers of British countryside, large parts of which are protected as ecologically sensitive, are about to be issued by the Oil and Gas Authority. The West Country, the Isle of Wight and parts of the fragile Jurassic Coast of Dorset are amongst the protected areas where licences for fracking will be offered. According to British PM David Cameron, his government is “going all out for shal...
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Will Greece ignore the economic omens and go for new coal?

by Theodota Nantsou In the current dismal economic setting, the construction of the new lignite power plant by Greece's Public Power Corporation constitutes a completely irrational move: the public energy utility will need to disburse 400 million euros for a project that has been proven to be economically non-viable. By insisting stubbornly on the construction of Ptolemaida V, the PPC threatens to entrap Greece in an outdated energy model...
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