CrisisWatch

Crisis

Portugal sees crisis as opportunity for green tax reform

An integrated green tax reform proposal was recently announced by the Commission for Green Tax Reform, which was established by the Portuguese Finance Ministry in January 2014. Following a period of consultation with business, scientific and civil organisations, the report was submitted by the ad hoc commission to the Minister of State and Finances, the Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy and the Secretary of State for Tax Affair...
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New European Commission does not beam bright light for environment

Under President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker, Environment will not have its own Commissioner, for the first time in 25 years, whereas climate change policies now rank subordinate to energy market priorities. Worse still, the headline of the mission of the new Environment, Maritime and Fisheries Commissioner is deregulation, instead of providing full support to the sustainability pillar of the EU treaties and ensuing the implementation of the 7th Env...
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Parliament of Greece approves oil & gas deals

On September 18th, the Parliament ratified three concession contracts for blocks between the Hellenic Republic and a) Energean Oil & Gas/Petra Petroleum, b) Energean Oil & Gas /Trajan Oil & Gas LTD, and c) Hellenic Petroleum / Edison / Petroceltic. The areas where hydrocarbon exploration and drilling has been approved are the onshore block of Ioannina, in the Region of Epirus, the offshore block of Patraikos, and Katakolo, in W. Pelop...
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NGOs contest Spain’s approval for oil exploration offshore the Canaries

A coalition of Spain’s five largest environmental groups is taking legal action against the official authorisation granted by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism to oil giant Repsol for hydrocarbon exploration offshore the Canary islands. Despite massive protests against the planned project, the Spanish Government gave Repsol an “all-clear” licence for offshore exploration in three marine plots close to the islands of Fuerteventur...
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UK cuts support to renewables

by Anna Chrysopoulou - Through a new support scheme, the UK Government is reducing the financial support to renewable energies, while at the same time maintaining the subsidies to conventional energy. In July 2014, the UK announced a new subsidy scheme titled “Contracts for Difference” (CfDs), which sets a ceiling of £200 million a year on subsidies to large-scale installations of renewable energy sources. Most affected by the new scheme wi...
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Greek Parliament votes anti-forest law

A new forest law was voted at the Hellenic Parliament by a Government majority of 50-47 on August 5th. The new law was heavily criticised by environmental organisations, citizens groups, individual citizens and part of the media, as it introduces a series of critical changes to forest legislation, essentially altering its conservation character. In response to a three-day urgent call by WWF Greece for public action, over 1,000 people personally a...
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Italy launches EU Presidency by pushing green economy a step forward

by Stefano Lenzi, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloakbff1752be1f99c4bdf9a7dd078f45291').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addybff1752be1f99c4bdf9a7dd078f45291 = 's.lenzi' + '@'; addybff1752be1f99c4bdf9a7dd078f45291 = addybff1752be1f99c4bdf9a7dd078f45291 + 'wwf' +...
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Will the new EU Commission aim for a brave green world?

The environmental failure of the outgoing Barroso Commission, most noticeably reflected in the “REFIT – fit for growth” initiative and the low ambition 2030 climate and energy package, has marred the EU’s profile as a global green leader. Will the Commission of 2014 show the necessary commitment to the sustainability pillar of the EU Treaty? That remains to be seen, as the newly appointed President, Jean Claude Juncker, lacks an environme...
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Economic recession results in CO2 emissions cuts

An EU-wide 1.3% reduction in CO2 emissions between 2011 and 2012 marks the lowest recorded annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) since 1990: 19.2%. This brings the EU very close to the achievement of the 2020 emissions reduction target by 20%. Despite however the euphoria that this downward trend may generate, the main reductions are attributed to lower industrial activity and transport, primarily in crisis-stricken member states. Increased emiss...
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