CrisisWatch

Crisis

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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Commission undermines 2030 climate targets

Sliding back from its own “Green Paper” of March 2013, the European Commission announced a 2030 climate and energy framework of low climate ambition. Composed primarily of a 40% decarbonisation target and an EU-wide target of 27% renewable energy share, but no binding requirements on member states, the Commission is now halting an effort that peaked at the 2009 Copenhagen conference on climate change to decarbonise Europe’s economy....
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Greek EU Presidency begins with energy priorities of no climate ambition

Lower energy costs for industries in crisis-stricken member states, integration of the internal energy market, energy security and the interconnection of isolated island regions are the priorities of the Greek Presidency, according to Yiannis Maniatis, Greece’s environment and energy Minister. Unless Minister Maniatis surprises Europe by supporting clean energy policy initiatives, hopes are dim that the Greek EU Presidency will show the much ne...
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Soft recommendations, but no rules for fracking…

In retreat from its initial position and disregarding the European Parliament’s vote for the inclusion of shale gas operations under mandatory EIA rules (CrisisWatch 21), the European Commission will only be proposing a set of ‘soft’ recommendations for this environmentally hazardous hydrocarbon extraction technique....
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