Sustainable Development

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Agrifood 29-09-2017

Hogan says future CAP will be ‘more ambitious’ on the environment

Phil Hogan, the EU's Agriculture Commissioner, announced that the next CAP will be “more ambitious” in terms of its environmental objectives, by ensuring farmers are on board in greening agriculture through broader use of precision farming techniques.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Health 31-05-2017

Campaigners push to hitch tobacco control onto sustainable development agenda

Anti-tobacco campaigners from across Europe today (31 May) called on their national governments to use the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to drive forward tobacco control legislation.