Energy & Environment

Agrifood 27-02-2018

What member states say about biofuels in transport

On 27 February 2018, the first informal trilogue on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources will take place in Brussels. Member states reached a general agreement on the Renewable Energy Directive at the Energy Council on...
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...
Climate change 26-10-2015

Cities, regions and climate change

Cities and regions are leading the fight against global warming, calling for the EU to be zero carbon by 2050, as world leaders prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in November.
Energy 11-05-2015

The energy conundrum in Bulgaria and Greece

Bulgaria and Greece are hard nuts to crack when it comes to implementing EU energy legislation and integrating with the wider European energy market. These two countries illustrate the difficulties of building an Energy Union.
Energy 12-11-2014

Europe’s re-industrialisation agenda: A green policy U-turn?

European leaders are in broad agreement over the need to relaunch manufacturing industries. But walking the talk implies trade-offs and a possible u-turn – on climate, and energy policies, in particular – that some warn could put future growth at risk.
A combine harvester at work

Air pollution rules for ‘non-road mobile machinery’

Noxious emissions from everyday cars and trucks have long been regulated at European level. But the European Commission believes pollution from so-called non-road mobile machinery – which includes everything from bulldozers to chainsaws – is a problem and is proposing new emission limits on them.
[Photo: Shutterstock]

When science meets politics: the EU’s impact assessment review

The European Commission is reviewing its impact assessment guidelines amid accusations that science is becoming increasingly politicised and scientists manipulated by policymakers and powerful interest groups.

Endocrine disruptors: Harmful or not?

Rising levels of cancers and fertility problems have attracted scientists’ attention to endocrine disrupting chemicals, with some calling for strict regulation of the substances, in line with the precautionary principle. Others meanwhile, stress the worthiness of those chemicals in everyday products such as plastics and warn that the foundations of science risk being turned upside down if precautionary measures are taken.
Agrifood 04-07-2013

CAP 2014-2020: A long road to reform

Politicians approved in June 2013 an agreement on the first large reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in a decade, after months of haggling over how ambitious to make the policy on overhauling direct payments, ending quotas, and making farmers more environmentally accountable. The long road to a deal means that many policies will not come into force before 2015.
Development Policy 08-03-2013

Agenda for Change: EU’s helping hand gets an overhaul

Europe’s new overseas aid policy, the Agenda for Change, calls for giving the world’s most fragile nations more help through what Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs calls “more strategic, targeted and results-oriented” assistance. But some anti-poverty campaigners say there is a risk that the agenda could end up neglecting impoverished people in emerging and middle-income nations.

Energy Efficiency Directive: Completing an energy policy puzzle

The European Union put down the last piece of the bloc's 2020 climate and energy policy puzzle by adopting an Energy Efficiency Directive. The directive is a game-changer for energy companies, which are now required to achieve 1.5% energy savings every year among their final clients. The EU law is also expected to trigger the largest revamp of Europe's existing building stock to date and set new standards for public procurement and energy audits.
Digital 24-09-2012

Greening ICT

Investments in information and communication technologies (ICT) are set to double by 2020 across the European Union, to match consumers' ever-growing hunger for online services. But this also comes at a cost for the environment in terms of electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The European Commission is now openly asking itself whether the industry should be regulated.