Sustainable Development

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AFEMS 67th Congress: celebrating the European soul of the Association

The 67th Annual Congress of the Association of European Manufacturers of Sporting Ammunition (AFEMS) took place in Portoroz, Slovenia, during the first week of June.

Paris meeting offers opportunity for leadership on high-seas agreement

The high seas make up nearly two-thirds of the world’s ocean, but less than 1 percent is currently protected. All this could change this September, when governments come together at the United Nations for an intergovernmental conference to negotiate a new treaty that would create a mechanism for protecting these ocean areas, writes Liz Karan.

A momentous decision on elephant ivory falls to Europe

China and the UK have joined the US in closing their domestic ivory markets. It is now time for the EU to follow their footsteps if we are to give Africa’s elephants a fighting chance to survive the current onslaught from global criminal syndicates increasingly involved in the poaching and distribution of ivory, argues Catherine Novelli.

Raising the bar to protect wildlife through trade policy with Australia, New Zealand

The opening of EU trade negotiations with both Australia and New Zealand presents an opportunity for the parties to strengthen their commitments to protect wildlife, natural habitats and the welfare of animals. The EU should look to TPP-11’s environmental provisions for inspiration, argue Joanna Swabe and Nicola Beynon.
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Climate change 22-05-2018

The road to greener and smarter cities is paved with copper

The EU Green Week—taking place this week under the theme ‘Greener Cities for a Greener Europe’—offers a perfect opportunity to reflect on how cities can become more sustainable, smart and resilient. And on the role copper plays in all this, writes Bernard Respaut, Chief Executive of the European Copper Institute.

There’s no escape from the ‘economics of enough’

If we want to reduce the use of natural resources and energy in absolute terms, a sufficiency strategy is needed to complement the eco-efficiency and circular economy approaches, write Riccardo Mastini and Leida Rijnhout.

A two-speed approach to sustainable finance?

Europe is quickly adopting an imbalanced, two-speed approach to sustainable finance, in which the "green" is moving much faster than the "social". Eleni Choidas look into whether it is even possible to have one without the other.
Central Asia 09-03-2018

Another environmental catastrophe is looming in Central Asia

The EU as a soft power should convince other donors to make the funds available to decontaminate old uranium mines in Central Asia, writes Adrian De Meer.
Economy & Jobs 08-03-2018

EU Bioeconomy 2.0– Cultivating a home grown success

Barely six years old, the EU’s Bioeonomy Strategy, currently under revision, is slowly but surely propagating green shoots of sustainable economic recovery in innumerable and unexpected ways, writes Joanna Dupont.

Putting an end to cosmetics testing on animals, definitively

The EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics was a huge step forward but a global ban is the only guarantee that no animal will have to suffer or die for the sake of a shampoo or lipstick ever again, writes Kerry Postlewhite.
Development Policy 14-02-2018

Valentine’s secret taboo

The chocolate industry is fuelling misery in West Africa. The European Union – where more chocolate is consumed than anywhere else – must help end it, writes Julia Christian.
Circular economy 08-02-2018

We need more durable and reparable products to build a circular economy

The time is right for EU policy-makers to take measures to ensure products placed on the market are designed to last and be repaired, write Stéphane Arditi and Chloé Fayole.

How Europe can make its water sector energy neutral

The new EU Drinking Water Directive could be the tool to reduce water losses, cut energy consumption and deliver better quality of water, writes Mads Warming.
Energy 02-02-2018

Five reasons why the EU’s bioenergy policy will backfire

EU policymakers have failed to ensure that continuing support to wood burning for energy production will help fight climate change, for five main reasons, writes Linde Zuidema.

On finance, ‘Think Sustainability First’

‘Think Sustainability First’ must be a principle that guides financial policymaking through this decade and the next if Europe is to have the means to match its global ambitions, writes Arlene McCarthy.

Why the tide is turning on fur farming in Europe

As ethical and animal welfare concerns grow, fur farming bans are spreading across Europe. The tide is turning and this is the time to show why the fur industry belongs in the past, write Joh Vinding and Reineke Hameleers.
Economy & Jobs 18-01-2018

Europe needs more money for research, here’s where to get it

The lack of funding needed to achieve Europe's widely advertised ambitions for global excellence in research and innovation should be addressed in discussing Horizon 2020’s successor. Understanding the challenge and where the money could realistically come from is key, writes Thomas Estermann.
Circular economy 17-01-2018

Plastics Strategy: EU must heed example of best practices

Now that the European Commission has finally published its Plastics Strategy, the EU institutions should take inspiration from the best practices out there to make the upcoming legislation on single-use plastics work for citizens, the planet and the economy.

Energy 08-01-2018

The EU’s bioenergy policy isn’t just damaging the climate and forests, it’s killing people

The debate about the impact of burning solid biomass on air quality was steadfastly ignored by European Commission in revising the EU’s renewable energy policy. It is not too late for the European Parliament to rectify this, writes Linde Zuidema.
Circular economy 19-12-2017

Plastics: The invisible oil spill

Plastic is everywhere, polluting our waters, choking marine wildlife, and even in our food and water. It is a problem of global proportions but an ambitious EU Plastics Strategy can create vital momentum, writes Pierre-Yves Cousteau.
Climate change 12-12-2017

Room for hope at Macron’s One Planet Summit

French President Emmanuel Macron will this week welcome over 50 leaders from around the world, two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Leaders and international financial institutions must seize this opportunity to ramp up their ambition and end support for fossil fuels, writes Maeve McLynn.
Aviation 29-11-2017

‘We can live with this’: How Airbus was allowed to write its own climate rules

E-mail exchanges between the European Commission and Airbus show how the European aircraft manufacturer was offered privileged access to the EU decision-making process, allowing it to write its own environmental rules, writes Andrew Murphy.
Circular economy 21-11-2017

Microplastics, macro problems

Tackling the visible impact of plastic pollution is one thing. But if we’re serious about finding a long-term solution, revealing the invisible impact is imperative, writes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jocelyn Blériot, calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics that are still widely used in carrier bags.
Circular economy 08-11-2017

Putting words into action: Join forces to drive circular economy

Is the European Commission doing enough on the circular economy? Björn-Erik Lönn and Sören Enholm explain that buyers play an important role in creating it, so we have to make sure consumers and purchasers are empowered to make sustainable choices.