CrisisWatch

Crisis

Commission recommends path to greener tax policies

Fixed in its original orientation towards economic growth, the Commission called on member states to promote greener tax policies through its European Semester cycle of economic policy coordination: “Environmental taxes remain underdeveloped in many Member States and their revenues in percentage of GDP declined during the period 1999-2008, despite efforts to move to a greener society. Revenues have however increased in 2009 2010 and 2011. The...
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Bulgarian green groups opposing ski resort receive threat calls

Threat calls from persons associating themselves with plans for further developments at the ski resort of Bansko (Pirin National Park) have been addressed to members of the  environmental coalition "For Nature in Bulgaria", of which WWF is a founding NGO. The coalition reported to the General Prosecutor's office that certain of its members received threatening telephone calls warning them to “take adequate, personal measures", with a request...
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People’s protests and falling oil & gas prices drive fracking out of Romania

The Romanian Government’s oil & gas fever will likely cool down after Chevron’s announcement that it intends to terminate its operations in the country. Following widespread protests and triggered by the falling prices and unsatisfactory exploration results, the US based energy giant Following a recent announcement by Chevron about its decision to quit shale-exploration in Poland “[t]hat leaves Romania, where we are in the process of...
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Environmental rescue  package in the hands of the new Greek government

Highlighting the most urgent actions and reforms for the protection of the environment and the development of a living economy that will safely lead Greece out of the economic crisis, WWF Greece addressed PM Alexis Tsipras, Minister of Economy George Stathakis, Minister for Productive Reconstruction & Environment Panayiotis Lafazanis and Alternate Minister Yiannis Tsironis. In the statement, WWF identifies a series of priority actions in the...
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Environmental law is a sustainable investment

A recent report by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) demonstrates the value of a smart and well enforced environmental legal corpus. The report covers 428 sets of regulations overseen by DEFRA, of which 53% are derived from EU or international law, the rest being national legislation. As stated in the report “Emerging Findings from Defra’s Regulation Assessment - First update covering 2012”, which was...
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Greece changes government and environmental policy 

The announcement of Greece’s new Government was followed by the surprising abolition of the Ministry for Environment, Energy and Climate Change and its merger with agriculture and industry under the title “Ministry for Productive Restructuring, Environment and Energy”. Panayiotis Lafazanis, an experienced MP, will head the ministry as Minister. Yiannis Tsironis, a member of the Ecologists-Greens party, was appointed as Alternate Minister i...
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Italian EU Presidency closes with sustainability deficit

The commitment for “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth” and “green economy”, which marked the launch of Italy’s Presidency of the EU in July 2014, was not honoured. According to WWF Italy, the semester of the Italian lead of the EU Council came to its conclusion having failed to come up with the promised innovative proposal that would carve the country’s way out of the crisis and boost the EU’s economy as a whole. More specific...
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New law undermines forest conservation in Spain 

A particularly controversial new law on forests was approved by the Spanish Government’s first cabinet meeting for 2015. Environmental groups, including WWF Spain and SEO/Birdlife, heavily criticised the new law. According to their analysis, it contains provisions that allow for the downgrading of public woodlands by new urban development schemes. A most threatening provision, article 50, allows for land use change and the exception of burnt fo...
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2015 Commission Work Programme marks serious environmental rollback

Fears that the new European Commission plans to scrap important policy initiatives in the fields of air quality and waste management have come true: the 2015 Commission Work Programme (CWP 2015) includes the withdrawal of the proposed new directive on waste management and its replacement with a new one. It also fails to clarify the fate of the proposed revision of the National Emissions Directive. The work plan also includes “fitness checks...
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EU fails expectations as global climate policy leader in UN international talks

Procrastination in crucial climate policy decision-making was the outcome of the 20th UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, at the close of most likely the hottest year ever recorded. The plan finally agreed at the Lima international talks on climate change (1-14 December) paves a hard way to the 21st Conference of the Parties, which will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015: extended by two days, due to intense disagre...
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