CrisisWatch

Crisis

French people want a greener Europe

Notwithstanding the harbingers of economic doom calling for rapid growth at all environmental costs, the majority of French people state green policies a priority for Europe. 90% of the French population say they are in favour of developing an energy mix based on renewable energy and energy efficiency (41% “completely” agree with this idea); Over three-quarters of the French population (77%) think that Europe-wide energy transition and en...
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EC withdraws draft law on public access to environmental justice

Having for years remained in the Commission’s “freezer”, due to opposition by key member states such as the UK, the 2003 draft directive on access to environmental justice was officially withdrawn on May 21st. The Commission’s intention to withdraw the proposal was first announced in its October 2013 communication on the “REFIT – fit for Growth” plan to reduce regulatory burden and costly requirements on businesses. Another victim o...
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Italian national parks in risk of paralysis

A call for political alert over the country’s national parks was issued by WWF Italy on May 24th, European Day of Parks.  As a result of severe national budget cuts on environmental policies and nature conservation, at present only 3 of Italy’s 23 national parks have an operating management board and a President. Famed natural treasures, such as the Abruzzo and the Gennargentu national parks are dysfunctional, since they cannot take importa...
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Candidate MEPs commit to sustainable economies in Europe

In view of the upcoming European Parliament elections of May 25th, WWF launched a pledge platform, calling candidate MEPs to commit to specific environmental and sustainable development policy priorities. As stated in the EU Elections Manifesto, “Europe has adopted important comprehensive legislation on issues such as nature protection, water and marine conservation as well as illegal timber trade. After important efforts to foster effective i...
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To beach or not to beach? Greece legislates for rapid coastal development

In a draft law placed under public consultation on April 17th, the Greek Finance Ministry prepares to propose to the Hellenic Parliament a new legal framework that will: restrict the longstanding public right to unhindered access to the coast; restrict the number of lakes with a legally protected coastal ecosystem to those that are larger than 9,450 sq.m.(!); legalise existing illegal developments on the coastline, upon payment to the public...
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New EU directive allows for EIA-free fracking

The new Directive 2014/52/EU “of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment” has been welcomed by many environmental groups as a major step towards strengthening impact assessment legislation. It has however also attracted much criticism as hydraulic fracturing, a relatively new and environmentally detrimental technology for the extraction of shale gas...
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Shale gas lobby wins war against strict environmental rules

Intense pressures by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and industry lobbies against specific environmental assessment legislation for shale gas have been crowned with success: the political agreement on the new environmental impact assessment (EIA) directive, a compromise agreement between the Permanent Representatives Committee and the European Parliament, does not include specific requirements for shale gas operations. ...
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Thousands of citizens call on the KfW Bank Group to stop investing in coal, starting from Greece

WWF Greece and WWF Germany met with the KfW Bank Group, in order to hand over the petition signed by 15,000 citizens calling the development bank to refrain from financing a new coal plant by PPC: “Ptolemaida V” in Northern Greece. WWF and KfW also had the opportunity to discuss the prospects for a truly sustainable Greek economy, focusing on the necessary shift to a clean, innovative and competitive energy model. During the meeting, WWF Gre...
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Energy poverty rises in Spain

A sharp rise in the number of Spaniards living in the risk of energy poverty was revealed in a report published by the Spanish Association of Environmental Sciences (ACA). According to the report, between 2010 and 2012 the number of households that need to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on electricity and gas bills increased to 16,6% from 12.4% in 2010. In real life, these percentages translate to 7 million people who live in un...
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