Sustainable Development

EU lawmakers raise concerns about UK ‘regression’ on pesticides

Energy & Environment 19-01-2021

Lawmakers in the European Parliament raised concerns about possible UK regression on pesticides and gene editing at a meeting on the new EU-UK trade agreement on Thursday (14 January).

The EU’s watershed deforestation moment?

This week Ursula von der Leyen signalled the EU’s desire to lead the world in the fight against global deforestation. But if the key drivers of deforestation aren’t addressed, progress will remain limited, writes Julia Christian.

Why Europe must reskill workers to reach its climate goals

The large-scale social and economic shifts caused by the clean energy transition should be managed with care, write Magnus Tyreman and Hauke Engel. A broad training effort would enable Europe to create a labour force that will thrive during the pursuit of the net-zero emissions target, they argue.

EU green finance rules at risk of deviating from science

Some of the draft emission thresholds contained in the EU's sustainable finance taxonomy are not aligned with climate neutrality and deviate from scientific evidence, raising concerns about political and industry pressure, write Tsvetelina Kuzmanova and Sara Dethier.
Agrifood 09-11-2020

Final CAP deal can still be fit for purpose, von der Leyen replies to Greens

Although certain aspects of both the European Parliament and the Council's positions on the EU's farming subsidies programme may raise eyebrows, upcoming negotiations can still result in a reform that makes the programme fit for purpose, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said in reply to a letter from the Greens.

Tackling the hidden cost of Europe’s chocolate habit

Chocolate is a cheap treat in Europe, but beneath the wrapper, it is mired in the bitter issues of deforestation, biodiversity loss and child labour.
Circular economy 27-10-2020

Boosting circularity: How the industry is driving sustainability

The European Union is betting big on circular economy initiatives that boost recycling and reuse, while decreasing resource consumption. But ambitious policies need industry buy-in to work and they appear to be getting it already.

Greta Thunberg urges MEPs to veto EU farm subsidy bill

The eyes of future generations are on you, Greta Thunberg told MEPs, as pressure mounts on the European Parliament to vote down the EU's massive farm subsidy bill.
Climate change 19-10-2020

Let scientists guide us in the fight against climate change

Scientists have proved vital in the push to control COVID-19. We should also use them to tackle climate change, argues Alina Averchenkova.
Circular economy 05-10-2020

Europe faces up to China’s supremacy on raw materials

When the flu pandemic hit Europe and disrupted global supply chains this year, the EU came to a sobering realisation – it cannot continue relying solely on imports for raw materials like lithium and rare earths which are critical for the bloc’s digital and green industries.

Britain, Canada, EU throw weight behind 2030 biodiversity protection goal

Britain and Canada on Monday (28 September) joined the European Union in pledging to protect 30% of their land and seas by 2030 to stem "catastrophic" biodiversity loss and help galvanise support for broader agreement on the target ahead of a UN summit.
Economy & Jobs 25-09-2020

Will environmental failings bring down the EU-Mercosur deal?

It’s taken 20 years to build but Europe’s trade deal with the ‘Mercosur’ group of South American countries is looking increasingly like a rush job – with its environmental and social aspects the most shoddy, writes Amandine Van der Berghe....

Time is not on our side: Building back balance through wellbeing

Post-COVID, ‘building back better’ means building resilience to future shocks whilst creating a new vision where the well-being of all citizens is guaranteed over financial growth at the expense of everything else, write Sandrine Dixson-Declève and Aileen McLeod.
Climate change 21-09-2020

World’s richest 1% cause double CO2 emissions of poorest half, says Oxfam

The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new research. EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian, reports.
Climate change 21-09-2020

France says opposes EU-Mercosur trade deal over deforestation concerns

France remains opposed to a free trade deal in its current proposed form between the EU and South American countries due to "major" concerns about deforestation in the region, the government said on Friday (18 September).

Wildlife populations fell 68% since 1970s, new WWF report warns

The way humanity produces food, energy and goods is destroying the habitats of thousands of wildlife species, causing plunging population sizes and contributing to the emergence of diseases such as COVID-19, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020, released on Thursday (10 September).

Businesses launch joint bid to improve conditions in cobalt supply chains

A coalition of businesses including Signify, Glencore and Fairphone have launched a joint initiative to improve the economic, working and social conditions of those working in the cobalt supply chain. EURACTIV's media partner, edie.net, reports.

Insurers call for more proactive EU climate change adaptation plans

The European Union's strategy to adapt to the risks of climate change needs to be much more proactive and ambitious in order to reduce the risk of natural disasters such as flooding, insurers said in response to a consultation on the issue.
Climate change 04-08-2020

The EU can and must cut emissions by more than 55% by 2030

The European Commission has proposed to strengthen its 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction target to 50% or 55% on 1990 levels in the next ten years. But this step does not meet the minimum level of ambition that climate science,...

EU’s trade deals can put an end to deforestation

The EU must take an aggressive “stick and carrot” approach to trade deals in order to put an end to deforestation and avert a next pandemic, writes Fazlun Khalid.
Batteries 30-06-2020

EU climate transition needs mineral miners, not coal miners

The European Union needs to transform its coal-mining regions into the source of minerals for clean technology, such as cobalt and rare earths, if it is to meet its climate goals and curb import reliance, a senior official said on Monday.

Let’s not forget biodiversity

Halting biodiversity loss and restoring nature are essential to Europe’s economic recovery, writes Michel Derdevet. The EU’s aspiration for global leadership on this depends on its ability to lead by example and intensify its actions on the ground, he argues.

From 10% to 30×30 – no time to waste for marine biodiversity

The EU's new Biodiversity Strategy will increase the EU’s network of marine protected areas, writes Virgilius Sinkevicius
Agrifood 05-06-2020

EU unable to curb biodiversity loss on farmlands, auditors say

The EU's decade-long policy effort to reverse the biodiversity loss has not come to fruition, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) warned in a report published on Friday (5 June).
Climate change 02-06-2020

European Call: 3 solutions for climate and jobs

The European Green Deal is the best way to make the real changes Europe needs to be able to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, writes a group of 700 elected representatives and citizens from all sectors of civil society.
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