CrisisWatch

Crisis

As crisis offers excuse for fossil fuel revival, reactions mount against coal

The recent decision of an Italian chief prosecutor to order the closure of two power stations at Vado Ligure is probably the first legal case for manslaughter and environmental damage opening against the coal-fired energy industry. On another case, the Court of Rovigo sentenced two former CEOs of ENEL to a two-year prison term for the severe pollution derived by the operations of the Porto Tolle Power Plant. Environmental groups WWF Italy, Gree...
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Over 90,000 sign pledge to save the Canaries from new oil & gas

Since the wake of the economic crisis, debt ridden states are promoting heavy footprint investments in resource extraction as the spearhead of their economic recovery strategies. Iconic and ecologically sensitive areas in the Mediterranean are at serious risk, due to oil and gas projects in Spain, Italy and Greece. Particularly at risk are the Canary Islands, Pantelleria in Sicily and the area of the Hellenic Trench, extending from Southern Crete...
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Judicial reform in Spain excludes environmental groups from legal aid

The draft “Law on Free Legal Aid”, which was presented to the Cabinet on 21 February by Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, excludes environmental groups from the right to seek free legal aid. Specifically, par. 3 of art. 2 of the draft law, which revises Law 1/1996 on the same subject, now excludes charitable associations (associaciones de utilidad pública) defending environmental causes from the right to legal aid without having to p...
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EU ministers seek compromise over energy-as-usual framework for 2030

The policy debates held at the Environment and Energy Councils on 3 and 4 March were dominated by concerns about energy prices and the competitiveness of Europe’s industry. The states comprising the Visegrad Group, joined by Bulgaria and Romania, remained rock-steady against renewable and energy efficiency targets and called for further lowering of the 40% reduction target or postponing any decision on this. The Member States favouring three mo...
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Commission: return to past growth "model" will be illusory and harmful

In its March 5th review on the progress of the EU’s 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the European Commission comes up with a series of extraordinary conclusions. At the diagnostic level, the Commission acknowledges for the first time the role of resource depletion and growing energy demand in aggravating the crisis:“A  first  critical  step  in  designing  a  post-crisis  growth  strategy  for  the  EU ...
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Will the Greek Presidency lead a politically modified compromise in GMO debate?

After a no-decision at the Council of February 11th, Greece’s Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos committed to passing the debate on GMOs to the Environment Council of March 3rd for discussion. Despite the fact that a clear majority of 19 EU member states (France, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Poland, the Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia) voted agains...
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Thousands protest against plans to destroy Bulgaria's largest natural treasure

In the streets of many Bulgarian cities, large protests demand the protection of Bulgaria's Strandzha Nature Park. In the web, thousands have signed a petition for the same purpose. Conservation organisations, such as WWF, are determined to save this unique natural treasure. Having joined forces under the coalition "For the Nature", conservationists call on the Bulgarian Parliament and Government to pass urgent legislative changes that will to sa...
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EU Parliament backs ambitious 2030 energy package and scraps the Commission’s proposal

In a decisive vote, the European Parliament overturned the Commission’s proposal for the EU’s 2030 energy and climate framework.  With 341 votes in favour (54%), 263 against (42%) and 26 abstentions, the Plenary called for three binding targets: 40% greenhouse gas cuts (compared with 1990 levels), at least 30% energy share from renewables and 40% energy savings....
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Climate & biodiversity hit hardest by crisis says Finnish Environment Ministry

According to a February 5th press release by the Finnish Environment Ministry, “[i]n recent years the state of the environment has been affected by the ongoing financial crisis. The global recession in effect made it easier to achieve goals such as the Kyoto Protocol’s targeted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Shrinking economic activity automatically leads to reductions in the use of natural resources and energy, as well as the result...
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Reform of French mining code: a green primer for Europe?

At the same time when mining is seen by many debt-ridden states as the manna from heaven and legislation is tailored to fit prospective investors, France may be showing the way for sustainable mining. The 700-article proposal for the reform of the Mining Code, which was prepared by an independent inter-disciplinary committee led by State Councillor Thierry Tuot, aims to modernise France’s mining legislation that dates back to the 19th centu...
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