Energy & Environment Archives

  • Offsetting carbon: The UN’s Joint Implementation scheme (JI)

    Climate change 28-09-2011

    As part of the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations developed a market-based mechanism called Joint Implementation (JI) which allows rich nations to obtain credits for carbon reduction projects in "transition" economies such as Russia, Ukraine and the EU's former communist states. But the system is complex to manage and has yielded little results so far, raising questions about its continuation after Kyoto expires.

  • Fertilisers: Feeding agriculture’s growing needs

    Agrifood 09-09-2011

    World fertiliser production is expected to soar to keep up with rising food and biofuel output, but this also triggers environmental problems as fertiliser sucks up energy and trigger water and soil pollution.

  • Efficient energy: Making savings at source

    Special Report | Regional Policy 19-08-2011

    European efforts to increase energy efficiency have so far primarily focused on measures to improve end-use efficiency, and the potential to reduce huge losses that occur in the production and delivery of power have largely been ignored.

  • Intensive farming: Ecologically sustainable?

    Special Report | Agrifood 22-07-2011

    As demand for food rises along with the world's population, policymakers are looking at ways of intensifying crop production while reducing the negative impact of farming on the environment.

  • Consumer empowerment: Helping shoppers to buy green [Archived]

    Special Report | Health 13-07-2011

    As pressure mounts to lead sustainable lifestyles, policymakers and companies alike are mulling new ways of encouraging shoppers to buy green. But consumer groups warned against confronting shoppers with too much information and warned that companies' green claims are often not independently verified. 

  • Keeping cool with refrigerants: The F-gas review

    Sustainable Development 13-07-2011

    Fluorinated gases power the world's refrigerants and air conditioning systems, and make up around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But if business continues as usual, by 2050 they could be responsible for between 9%-19% of global emissions, prompting EU policymakers to take action to contain leakage or even ban their use.

  • Eating green? Food, drinks and the environment [Archived]

    Health 08-07-2011

    Food multinationals are showing increasing interest in measuring their water and carbon footprint but the proliferation of green claims often leaves consumers wondering about sustainable food choices.

  • Behind closed doors: Air quality in buildings

    Special Report | Climate change 15-06-2011

    Restrictions on tobacco smoke and the Asbestos scandal have put indoor air quality under the spotlight in the recent past, resulting in tough policies to stop damage to human health. While tobacco continues to be the biggest health culprit, nowadays attention is also turning to "chemical cocktails," toxic fumes from heating and cooking, and damp and mould caused by poor ventilation.

  • The Polish EU Presidency: Budget and solidarity [Archived]

    Cities & regions 10-06-2011

    Paving the way for an "ambitious" agreement on the 2014-2020 budget, energy security and the European Union's Eastern neighbourhood are all key priorities of the Polish EU Presidency during the second half of 2011. The Poles, for their part, have pulled all the stops to ensure that the Union remains committed to redistributive policies at a time of economic austerity.

  • What goes around comes around: Recycling and climate change

    Trade & Society 26-04-2011

    Recycling has become a central part of the EU's climate change strategy by helping the bloc to tackle the nearly three billion tonnes of waste produced by Europe annually, much of which enters the atmosphere in the form of CO2 and methane emissions from landfill sites and incineration plants.

  • Aviation biofuels: A pie in the sky?

    Special Report | Transport 14-03-2011

    Airlines have committed to ramping up their use of biofuels in the belief that they can contribute to achieving the sector's pledges on carbon-neutral growth. For 2050, the EU foresees 40% use of "sustainable low carbon fuels" in aviation.

  • Who runs EU energy policies?

    Special Report | Public Affairs 03-03-2011

    The EU is putting in place an ambitious energy policy in a bid to improve security of supplies and achieve bold CO2 reduction targets. But how does the EU decision-making process function on energy-related issues? And what is the role of the industry sector and interest groups?