Sustainable Development

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.

Climate change 05-07-2017

EU trade policy: Time to end corporate protectionism

The EU-Japan trade agreement, likely to be concluded in Brussels this week, is the latest example of an EU trade policy that benefits global corporations at the expense of people and the planet, writes Kees Kodde.

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.

A sustainable Europe through business unusual

As Estonia begins its EU presidency on 1 July, business as usual won’t cut it. We need business unusual and Estonia's successful track record in the last 25 years gives us hope that it will be able to make its mark, writes Lauri Tammiste.

Future of mobility 29-06-2017

Does car sharing really reduce car use?

Concerns that sharing schemes do not deliver a net reduction in car use are not supported by evidence, writes Greg Archer. Now, digitisation and the sharing economy provide an opportunity to reduce the number of vehicles in our cities even further, he contends.

Development Policy 28-06-2017

Sustainable development must be overarching EU objective

The EU should throw its full weight behind the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and take a global lead in its implementation. Former President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy explains why sustainable development should be the bloc's top priority.

EU budget for climate action: Time to wake the sleeping beauty

The European Commission will publish its ‘Reflection paper on the future of EU finances’ on 28 June. Against a background of renewed commitments from European leaders towards climate action, the EU budget must be reformed to comply with the requirements of the Paris Agreement, writes Markus Trilling.

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.

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.