Frédéric Simon

Agrifood 20-07-2017

EU adopts first restrictions on cancer-causing acrylamide in food

Representatives of the EU’s 28 member states voted yesterday (19 July) in favour of a European Commission proposal to reduce the presence in food of acrylamide, a known carcinogenic substance present in fries, crisps, bread, biscuits, or coffee.

Air Pollution 19-07-2017

Denmark disputes ‘highly unfair’ air pollution limits on agriculture

Copenhagen voted against an EU decision to endorse an amendment to the Gothenburg Protocol on transboundary air pollution, saying it is being unfairly penalised for having taken early action to reduce ammonia emissions from its agriculture sector.

EU slapped for breaching Aarhus Convention on access to environmental justice

The European Union has accepted a UN ruling that found the bloc in breach of international laws requiring the general public to have access to justice on environmental matters, a decision applauded by green activists.

Green finance group calls on EU to stop funding fossil fuels

A group of financial experts has set out their vision for hardwiring sustainability goals into the European Union’s financial system, calling on 28-country bloc to stop pouring public money into polluting fossil fuels and focus spending on clean energies instead.

EU leaps forward in attempt to ban carcinogens at work

After more than ten years of inaction, European lawmakers have taken the first step to update EU laws related to the prevention of occupational cancers that are believed to cause 100,000 deaths every year. Trade unions hailed the EU’s decision, which brings an end to years of stalemate.

Electricity 12-07-2017

Energy and climate scenarios 2050

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The EU has set a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. But getting there will be a huge challenge that will require a transformation of our energy system.

Electricity 10-07-2017

Estonia ties electricity talks with digital policy at EU helm

Tallin will pay “particular attention” to the European Commission’s proposal for a new electricity market design, a discussion Estonia sees as part of the wider digital brief as it takes the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

EU experts agree on criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals in pesticides

Experts from the 28 EU member states approved on Tuesday (4 July) a proposed list of criteria to identify endocrine disruptors in plant protection products – a move presented by the European Commission as a step towards a broader regulatory system for similar chemicals used in cosmetics, toys and food packaging.

Europe urged to lead green finance agenda at G20

INTERVIEW / As the G20 opens in Hamburg this week, Europe needs to reflect on how it can push the global green finance agenda without the United States on board, said Christian Thimann, head of sustainability at French insurance group AXA who chairs an EU high-level group on sustainable finance.

AXA sustainability chief: Penalties for fossil fuel assets ‘merit close attention’

The European Commission’s High-Level Group on sustainable finance is currently looking at the pros and cons of slapping “penalties” on fossil fuel assets that may end up being stranded as investors shift to low-carbon portfolios, Christian Thimann told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.

Business leaders back G20 task force recommendations on climate-risk disclosure

Over 100 business leaders worldwide have backed the final recommendations of a global task force set up by the G20 to disclose how companies manage climate-related risk, in a move that could divert trillions of investments away from polluting fossil fuels.

Energy 28-06-2017

Estonia seeks broad EU mandate for Russian gas talks, beyond Nord Stream 2

Discussions on Russian gas imports should be looked at more broadly than from the narrow perspective of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, according to sources from the incoming Estonian Presidency of the EU who said the Baltic state would ask for a broader mandate to discuss Russian gas imports.

Energy 28-06-2017

Report maps UK’s ‘uncertain’ energy landscape post-Brexit

As Britain looks set to leave the EU's Single Market, business consultants have attempted to map out the numerous challenges facing the energy sector after Brexit, making the case for a transition phase to smooth the exit path.

Electricity 27-06-2017

Renewable energy gap in heating ‘unacceptable’, EU says

As renewable energies gradually take control of power generation, the heating and cooling sector remains far behind, with fossil fuels – heating oil, gas or even coal – still making up 84% of Europe’s heating consumption.

Energy 26-06-2017

Stockholm mayor: ‘Fuel poverty is non-existent in Nordic countries’

Nordic countries have relegated fuel poverty to the history books by setting legal minimum standards for heating and giving house-owners a strong incentive to invest in refurbishment, says the mayor of the Swedish capital.

Politics 21-06-2017

Relocation of UK agencies to be decided by Eurovision-style vote

The post-Brexit relocation of the two London-based European agencies will be decided by a points-based vote which resembles the Eurovision song contest, EURACTIV has learned ahead of a summit tomorrow (22 June) where EU leaders will agree the criteria and the voting rules.

Electricity 20-06-2017

Storage ‘not fundamentally needed’ for future power grid, scientists say

The emergence of household batteries, along with small-scale solar photovoltaic and plug-in electric cars, is slated to transform electricity storage, according to a new state-of-the-art report by European science academies. But experts claim storage is not actually fundamentally needed.

Alcohol 19-06-2017

Retailers fear tobacco-style restrictions on food and drinks

Governments across Europe have applied ever-more restrictive measures to the sale of food and drinks as a way of fighting obesity – a regulatory proliferation that is making retailers worried about new barriers to the EU’s single market.

Energy 15-06-2017

Decoupling energy from GDP growth ‘might be impossible’, Statoil says

The Norwegian oil and gas giant presented its latest Energy Perspectives report in Brussels today (15 June), stressing the need to dramatically reduce global energy consumption as EU member states continued to squabble about the bloc’s energy savings objectives for 2030.

Green finance reaches EU policy ‘tipping point’

The mid-term review of the EU’s Capital Markets Union initiative, due on Wednesday (7 June), will mark another step towards the mainstreaming of green finance in Europe, a senior EU official told EURACTIV.

Energy 01-06-2017

Indoor air quality sneaks into EU buildings law review

A last-minute push by energy activists has convinced the European Commission to include indoor air quality considerations into the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). Making it happen on the ground could prove a bigger challenge, however.

Energy 29-05-2017

Poor housing linked to rising asthma cases in Europe

One in six Europeans – equivalent to the entire population of Germany – live in a damp or mouldy building, which increases their chances of getting illnesses such as asthma, according to a new study.

Energy 29-05-2017

Building efficiency: Waking up the sleeping giant

Cutting wasteful energy use in buildings is at the centre of EU efforts to decarbonise its economy and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports. However, there is still vast untapped potential in modernising heating, cooling and ventilation equipment known as technical building systems, research has shown.

Health 24-05-2017

Andriukaitis: Anti-smoking laws are of little value if they are not implemented

Member states should prioritise laws that protect public health because there is little value in having them if they are not enforced, the EU's health Commissioner told EURACTIV.com in an interview.