Sustainable Development

How environmental crime became an EU security priority for 2018-21

In May 2017, EU justice ministers decided that environmental crimes – including wildlife trafficking and waste crimes – would be one of the EU’s ten priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime during the 2018-21 policy cycle. Catherine Bearder evokes how this decision came to being.

Circular economy 16-10-2017

Member states have no real plan for the circular economy, they are secretly sabotaging it

It’s high time for a circular economy in Europe, according to member states. So why are they on course to obstruct waste laws? This kind of doublespeak undermines the circular economy but also faith in politicians, writes Piotr Barczak.

Economy & Jobs 13-10-2017

City leader: Europe must simplify rules to help cities become more resilient

Europe is moving in the right direction in helping its cities become more resilient and sustainable, but the EU must streamline its myriad regulations and requirements to move the process along, the leader of an international NGO pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation told EURACTIV.com. Michael Berkowitz, the president of 100 Resilient Cities, also said …

Circular economy 13-10-2017

EU rules out tax on plastic products to reduce waste

EU opts for public awareness campaign on the impacts of plastics on the environment saying a tax would not be sustainable, reports EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian.

Departing ECHA boss: ‘I don’t see myself joining a big lobby group’

Geert Dancet, the executive director of the Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), will retire at the end of the year. In a wide-ranging interview with EURACTIV, he comes back over the EU’s sometimes excruciating efforts to bring the powerful European chemical industry into line.

Agrifood 05-10-2017

All fish sold in the EU must be of high standard

The European Commission needs to work out more effective rules to ensure that only fish meeting high social and environmental standards can enter the EU market, as well as a better implementation of the EU control regime in general, argue Linnéa Engström and Javier Garat.

Circular economy 03-10-2017

Make or break time: Will the Commission make Europe a true industrial and climate leader?

The European Commission’s new Industrial Policy Strategy is a good start to provide the framework for Europe’s businesses to secure their position as a leading economy in the future, but the hard work is only just beginning, warns Seppo Parvi.

Agrifood 29-09-2017

Hogan says future CAP will be ‘more ambitious’ on the environment

Phil Hogan, the EU's Agriculture Commissioner, announced that the next CAP will be “more ambitious” in terms of its environmental objectives, by ensuring farmers are on board in greening agriculture through broader use of precision farming techniques.

Circular economy 27-09-2017

Squaring the circle of plastics recycling

The snail pace so far in terms of implementation of the EU Action Plan on the Circular Economy is embarrassing, write Anders Wijkman and Catia Bastioli.

Climate change 20-09-2017

Oslo Mayor: Here’s how we plan to become a carbon neutral city

The city of Oslo surprised observers last year by announcing plans to introduce a “carbon budget” with the objective of halving its global warming emissions by 2020 and becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The city’s Mayor, Raymond Johansen, told EURACTIV.com how he intends to achieve this ambitious objective.

Climate change 18-09-2017

Figueres calls for EU action plan on ‘imported deforestation’

Former UN climate Chief Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the Paris Agreement, has called on the European Union to step up regulatory action against deforestation in the global south by tackling emissions of imported agricultural goods, like beef, soy and palm oil.

Climate change 14-09-2017

Parliament adds forest ‘sinks’ to EU’s 2030 carbon budget

MEPs approved new rules on Wednesday (13 September) accounting for the "negative emissions" from forestry as part of the EU’s 2030 climate change policy, a move welcomed by conservationists but which scientists warn risks creating incentives to burn cheap biomass.

Climate change 14-09-2017

Juncker’s pledge to ‘make the planet great again’ fails to satisfy

Environmental groups and MEPs were left disappointed by Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address on Wednesday (13 September), after the Commission president only mentioned climate change anecdotally.

Agrifood 13-09-2017

Third of Earth’s soil is acutely degraded due to agriculture

A third of the planet’s land is severely degraded and fertile soil is being lost at the rate of 24 billion tonnes a year, according to a new United Nations-backed study that calls for a shift away from destructively intensive agriculture. EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian, reports.

Tilos: The first Mediterranean island to go off the grid

Tilos, in Greece, is the first island in the Mediterranean to be fully self-sufficient for its energy, thanks to strong investment in renewables. Its success is a lesson for all island communities in Greece and elsewhere. Euractiv Italy reports.

Climate change 06-09-2017

Will the European Parliament take the high road on climate and forests?

Ahead of a European Parliament vote on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), Hannah Aho explains how MEPs have both strengthened and weakened draft forest rules she says are essential in the fight against climate change.

NGOs ask Commission to step in as Bulgaria threatens access to justice

A coalition of green NGOs has called on the European Commission to intervene in Bulgaria, after the country’s ruling party announced a proposal that the environmentalists said would limit access to justice by increasing costs.

Romania to withdraw Rosia Montana UNESCO application

Two years ago, Romanians decided not to host Europe’s largest gold mine and filed for world heritage protection under UNESCO. In a new turn of events, Bucharest is now withdrawing its application in view of a settlement with the Canadian mining company owning the site, writes Claudia Ciobanu.

Climate change 31-08-2017

Macron announces green diplomacy efforts

Increasing development aid, rebooting European climate policy, partnering with green technologies in emerging economies: the French president has made his diplomatic priorities clear. EURACTIV's partner Le Journal de l'Environnement reports.

Climate change 29-08-2017

Europe’s dramatic summer gives a foretaste of ‘super heatwaves’ to come

While Europe is recovering from an unusually warm summer, a new study warns that heatwaves with temperatures of above 40°C are expected to become more frequent, with some regions of Eastern Europe hit by new super heatwaves of above 55°C, writes Wendel Trio.

Electricity 28-08-2017

Iberdrola exec: ‘We are becoming a digital company’

Electricity utility Iberdola is directing 42% of new investments into networks, hoping to reap the benefits of an economy-wide electrification process currently underway in Europe and across the world, a senior company executive has told EURACTIV.

Circular economy 22-08-2017

Hard Brexit a ‘disaster scenario’ for waste treatment capacity, warns Suez

The UK is faced with a "potential disaster scenario" that could see a Hard Brexit exacerbate a shortfall of waste treatment infrastructure over the next 10 years, waste management firm Suez has warned. EURACTIV's partner edie.net reports.

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.

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.