Science & Policymaking

Winds of change: EU embarks on sustainable finance mission

Disturbing developments on the international political scene have only increased the resolve of the European Union to lead in taking action against the impact of climate change. Flavia Micilotta explains why financing is a key component.

Corn dryer silos
Biofuels 28-06-2017

Biomass and biofuels in the EU: Emotion-based policymaking?

The European Commission’s tinkering on biomass policy effectively promotes oil over economically viable and sustainable biofuels, writes Francis X. Johnson.

Transport 16-06-2017

How do you put a price on trucks’ impact on society?

Hauliers claim that trucks are overpaying in taxes and charges compared to their impact on the environment and society. But the reality is that road transport is now Europe’s biggest climate problem, writes Samuel Kenny.

Climate change 15-06-2017

Forest accounting rules put EU’s climate credibility at risk

Forest mitigation should be measured using a scientifically-objective approach, not allowing countries to hide the impacts of policies that increase net emissions, writes a group of environmental scientists led by Dr Joanna I House.

Climate change 01-06-2017

Science-based forest policies urgently needed for effective climate action

There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to take effective climate action, and EU forest policies need to be more science-based to succeed, write Michael Norton and Jaana Bäck.

Energy 19-05-2017

The evidence behind a 40% energy efficiency target

The myth about the negative impact of high-efficiency ambition on the competitiveness of EU member states is dismantled by the European Commission’s modelling results, writes Yamina Saheb.

Workplace cancer prevention must be extended to reprotoxic substances

Putting more than 10 years of paralysis behind it, the European Commission finally launched a revision of the directive on the prevention of occupational cancers in May 2016. Lawmakers can now address reprotoxic substances in the workplace, writes Laurent Vogel.

Public Affairs 16-02-2017

Comitology reform: Doing, undoing and redoing is still hard work

To avoid taking responsibility for contentious proposals like GMO and pesticide approvals, the European Commission’s proposed comitology reform aims to put member states in the frontline, writes Daniel Guéguen.

Health 09-02-2017

Commission must take action against endocrine disruptors

Reducing exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals will benefit healthcare systems and economies as a whole, writes Christian Zahn.

Brexit 08-02-2017

Knowledge: A Swiss Army knife for Brexit?

The Swiss and British referendums of 2014 and 2016, respectively, share some parallels. The way the Alpine republic resolved its dispute about free movement offers a number of lessons as the date for making Brexit official looms ever nearer, writes Giorgio Clarotti.

Agrifood 15-11-2016

New GM crops once again fail the safety test

As the world focuses elsewhere, two untested varieties of genetically modified maize are slowly manoeuvring their way through the legislative hoops of the European institutions towards Europe’s fields, writes Mute Schimpf.

 

07-11-2016

Auditors’ report on biofuels calls for return to common sense

Will the report of the EU Court of Auditors (ECA) regarding the EU system for the certification of sustainable biofuels spark an outbreak of common sense within the Commission, asks Dick Roche.

02-11-2016

Making Europe more agile in space

The European space sector is increasingly challenged by international competition in commercial markets. The Space Strategy for Europe proposes four goals for the EU to remain an industry leader, writes Jean-Loic Galle.

Digital 26-10-2016

Who sets the agenda on algorithmic accountability?

A discussion on algorithmic accountability and transparency is missing from Europe’s digital economy framework. Citizens need assurances that machines are treating them fairly, writes Liisa Jaakonsaari.

Energy 19-10-2016

The EU’s dangerous biomass delusion

Bioenergy advocates claim that Europe’s forests are well managed and don’t contribute to global warming. Yet, biomass production in Europe is projected to rely more and more on materials that have a high risk of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, writes Linde Zuidema.

17-10-2016

The Scientific Advice Mechanism – Is it better regulation?

Ultimately, the system of scientific advice should be systemic, synced to political timeframes, and have a say not only in policy proposals but on political agenda setting. Philip Hines talks us through the Commission’s Scientific Advise Mechanism.

Health 01-09-2016

EU’s sunbed safety assessment clouded by bias

An upcoming assessment by a European Commission committee on the risks of UV radiation and sunbeds is hamstrung by in-built bias and a failure to comprehensively address all the issues, warns Frank Harbusch.

[epSos.de/Flickr]
16-08-2016

What does an innovation agenda mean for consumers?

Innovation and consumer protection are not opposites. Indeed there is huge potential to use innovation to deliver safer products that benefit consumers, writes Monique Goyens.

Energy 14-08-2016

Europe’s broken biofuels policy

Public policy should be built on firm foundations. Objective analysis, verifiable facts and solid science are good starting points, but that was absent in biofuels policy-making, writes Dick Roche.

Climate change 05-08-2016

Commission’s endocrine disruptor plan is illegal, inadequate and woefully late

European Commission draft rules to identify and ultimately ban endocrine disrupters are illegal because they clash with existing pesticide and biocide regulations, Alice Bernard writes. The environmental lawyer warned that EU judges could throw out the changes to the long-awaited scientific criteria for the chemicals.

Agrifood 20-07-2016

Time for a balanced debate on biofuels

Public policy should be based on verifiable facts, rational analysis and, where possible, on solid science, writes Dick Roche.

Chemicals
07-07-2016

The EU’s confused evidence processes for identifying endocrine disruptors

A group of scientists has written to the European Commission to voice concerns about burden of proof and confused evidence requirements to identify and classify endocrine disruptors under the PPP and Biocides Regulations.

Agrifood 16-06-2016

European Bee Week: What the EU should do for bees and biodiversity

While it has already taken some action, the EU still has a lot of work to do to protect bees and other pollinators and, thus, improve food security and preserve biodiversity, writes Daniel Penev.

Sustainable consumption and Germany’s response

Moving towards a sustainable consumption model cannot rely solely on consumer habits and attitudes: the formulation of policy is where real change will be made. Germany has a golden opportunity to be a pioneer in this area, write Matthias Ruchser and Ingmar Streese.