Sustainable Development

UN Environment chief: We shouldn’t wait for the oceans to turn into a plastic swamp

At the latest United Nations environment summit, pollution topped the agenda. The man leading the UN’s quest to clean up the planet hopes this meeting will act as the wake-up call countries need and that the fight will include the world of business.

Climate change 12-12-2017

Room for hope at Macron’s One Planet Summit

French President Emmanuel Macron will this week welcome over 50 leaders from around the world, two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Leaders and international financial institutions must seize this opportunity to ramp up their ambition and end support for fossil fuels, writes Maeve McLynn.

Africa 04-12-2017

Europe’s love of roses sends ripples through Kenyan lake

Kenya is one of the biggest exporters of cut flowers in the world but the booming industry has created a raft of environmental problems. Local producers are now coming up with new ideas to cut pollution while keeping their business profitable.

Circular economy 01-12-2017

Greenland gets EU’s support for Inuit seal products

Seal hunting has been associated with images of animal cruelty, Brigitte Bardot hugging a seal pup, and environmental groups asking for it to be banned, which the EU eventually did. The outcome has been disastrous for indigenous people, who traditionally live off the sea,  but Greenland is now fighting to turn things around.

Aviation 29-11-2017

‘We can live with this’: How Airbus was allowed to write its own climate rules

E-mail exchanges between the European Commission and Airbus show how the European aircraft manufacturer was offered privileged access to the EU decision-making process, allowing it to write its own environmental rules, writes Andrew Murphy.

Climate change 23-11-2017

French dams’ days numbered after demolition decision

Two large dams on a river in northern France will be demolished after the French government finally signed off on a long-gestating plan to free up the waterway, in a decision welcomed by environmental groups and lauded as "unique in Europe" by Paris.

Poland reacts coolly to EU court warning of fines for logging

Poland reacted coolly to a warning it could incur fines for continuing to log in the Białowieża forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, saying on Tuesday (21 November) its actions were lawful.

Development Policy 21-11-2017

Eurostat gauges EU progress on SDG implementation

Eurostat, the European Union statistical office, published on Monday (20 November) a monitoring report on how the EU as a whole implements the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), showing “significant” progress in five of them and “moderate” progress for eight others.

Circular economy 21-11-2017

Microplastics, macro problems

Tackling the visible impact of plastic pollution is one thing. But if we’re serious about finding a long-term solution, revealing the invisible impact is imperative, writes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jocelyn Blériot, calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics that are still widely used in carrier bags.

Pierre Yves Cousteau: Let’s learn from Ancient Greece about environment

Eight million tonnes of plastic leaks into the oceans and seas per year, resulting in the reduction of at least 600 species, at an annual cost of $80 million to European fishermen. However, there is a way out and it can be found in the past, according to the son of the great ocean explorer, Pierre Yves Cousteau. Euractiv.gr reports.

Climate change 10-11-2017

Civic groups want international carbon tax on overseas polluters

EXCLUSIVE: EU companies investing in oil and gas extraction overseas can reap hefty profits but also threaten global carbon targets. In reaction, a number of civic groups have jointly proposed a carbon tax on products and income derived from overseas extraction.

Circular economy 08-11-2017

Putting words into action: Join forces to drive circular economy

Is the European Commission doing enough on the circular economy? Björn-Erik Lönn and Sören Enholm explain that buyers play an important role in creating it, so we have to make sure consumers and purchasers are empowered to make sustainable choices.

Climate change 02-11-2017

Gas lobby keeps Europe hooked on fossil fuels

As the COP23 UN climate talks open in Bonn, the European Commission and EU member states are embarking on a massive spending spree to subsidise new gas infrastructure that will make it impossible to achieve the global warming targets agreed two years ago in Paris, writes Pascoe Sabido.

Circular economy 25-10-2017

Circular economy success needs more than ambitious policies

Voluntary agreements are hardly a new concept but industry action on this front can drive real progress, particularly when it comes to the circular economy, writes MEP Martina Dlabajová.

Circular economy 25-10-2017

Recyclers claim EU carbon quotas from saved energy, CO2 emissions

French recyclers were in Brussels last week with a big ask – EU regulators must reward the whole recycling value chain for preventing emissions of global warming gases, they claimed, a message received with caution by the European Commission, which points to a lack of data.

Energy 24-10-2017

Sustainability: Renewable energy in Europe’s clean energy transition

Climate change is an urgent issue that demands global action. Following the Paris Climate Agreement, Europe has embraced the clean power transition and set itself a goal of becoming the world’s number one in renewables.

Calls grow for ‘green clause’ in EU trade deals

There is widespread consensus on the need to level the playing field for European companies confronted with environmental and social dumping from foreign competitors. Just how hard the EU should hit on wrongdoers remains a major sticking point, however.

Circular economy 19-10-2017

Packagers warn against EU waste policies eroding single market

Ahead of negotiations to finalise the revision of EU packaging waste legislation, the European packaging industry is calling for the free movement of packaged goods to be safeguarded. EURACTIV's media partner edie.net reports.

Future EU 18-10-2017

TOGETHER for a stronger, progressive family!

Socialism still has a long way to go. But following recent elections in various European countries, it is clear that progressive forces must regenerate themselves, write Gianni Pittella and Sergei Stanishev. Gianni Pittella is the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, and Sergei Stanishev is the president of the Party of European Socialists. Our values of …

Energy 18-10-2017

‘Energy dash for biomass’ risks wasting potential of EU’s bioeconomy

By failing to take a holistic approach and treat the LULUCF and renewable energy dossiers as separate and distinct issues, the EU is slicing Europe’s bioeconomy up like a piece of salami, warns Sylvain Lhôte.

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.