Wednesday

8th Jul 2020

Opinion

Covid-19 derails Germany's EU presidency climate focus

Action on climate change was long-slated as the priority for Germany's six-month presidency of the European Union which starts tomorrow. But as Europe struggles to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, is Germany really going to maintain momentum on climate?

East vs West split in EU on higher Green Deal target

Eight EU countries on Tuesday called on the European Commission to strengthen the Green Deal, while central and eastern Europe remain cautious - citing different starting positions and deepen inequalities.

EU wants to halve use of pesticides by 2030

The European Commission wants to cut chemical pesticides by 50 percent in the next decade - but the definitive target will be subject to the results of a risk assessment. Green NGOs have urged their full phase-out by 2035.

Poland's climate neutrality pledge - delayed again?

Although Friday's summit was supposed to be an opportunity for Poland to commit to climate neutrality by 2050 - like the rest of the EU - the coronavirus has postponed that discussion, with domestic elections also upcoming.

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Exclusive

Lobbyists backed election of key MEP on shipping emissions

An MEP from the European Parliament's largest political group, the centre-right EPP, is tabling pro-industry amendments on a bill to regulate carbon emissions on ships. The same MEP received campaign backing and support from industry lobbyists.

CAP 'failed to halt biodiversity loss', auditors find

The European Court of Auditors has urged the European Commission to establish measurable commitments to tackle biodiversity loss caused by intensive farming - as the Common Agriculture Policy has so far failed to reverse this long-standing issue.

Row looming over 8.8 percent cut in CAP budget

The European Commission said on Tuesday that the updated budget for the Common Agrculture Policy will make farms "green, digital and more resilient". Meanwhile, countries like France and Spain welcomed the commission proposal as a step in the right direction.

EU Commission: Five-fold aid increase for fossil-fuel regions

The European Commission's recovery package increases five-fold the Just Transition Fund, which aims to support the transition of fossil fuel-dependent regions. But commission vice-president Frans Timmermans warned the allocation of funds could be anchored to Green Deal commitments.

EU Commission's green recovery criticised as 'brown'

The European Commission's €1.85 trillion recovery plan from the coronavirus crisis did not convince environmental NGOs, such as Greenpeace, which believes that the proposal fails to offer a truly 'green recovery' and alternatives to the existing economic model.

Coronavirus

Draft EU 'green recovery' plan amid clash over natural gas

The European Commission's recovery plan from the coronavirus pandemic gives priority to building renovation, renewables and hydrogen. However, eight member states have insisted that gas plays a crucial role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

Podcast

Standing up to bullies with Frans Timmermans

To succeed Timmermans needs to stand up to governments and vested interests rushing to reboot economies crashed by the coronavirus. That means ensuring the trillions of euros the EU and its member states spend transform rather than entrench polluting industries.

Coronavirus

Study: Green post-virus stimulus is 'life or death'

Oxford University study says fiscal stimulus for green projects offer higher returns on government spending in the short and long term than traditional incentives on fossil fuels.

Dutch court forces government to cut emissions

The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and the environment has said "this is the most important climate change court decision in the world so far, confirming that human rights are jeopardised by the climate emergency."

How pandemic opens doors to green transport industry

While much of the transport sector is pushing for unconditional state aid and to postpone climate policy action, experts believe that this crisis could help to transform the EU's transportation system, making it more resilient, sustainable and flexible.

Pandemic reveals weakness of EU food system

The coronavirus outbreak exposed the need to transform the EU's farming and food systems, to a more sustainable agricultural system that can be resilient to future shocks. The long-anticipated 'Farm to Fork' strategy can make this difference, campaigners say.

EU declares war on 'throw-away culture'

A new circular economy strategy was adopted on Wednesday intended to strengthen the EU's economy, empower consumers and protect the environment. However, it fails to set targets for the EU's so-called 'material footprint' and waste reduction for specific waste streams.

ExxonMobil lobbyists pushed for weaker EU Green Deal

ExxonMobil lobbyists pushed the EU commission to weaken climate regulation for the transport sector with a two-pronged strategy: supporting the Paris Agreement, while dwelling on long-term technical solutions and promoting oil and gas usage in the green transition.

Thunberg dubs new EU climate law 'a surrender'

"Nature doesn't bargain, and you cannot make deals with physics", activist Greta Thunberg, and a group of 30 youth environmentalists warned, after dubbing the unprecedented EU climate law 'a surrender' for ignoring a carbon budget.

NGOs urge EU to tackle meat consumption 'problem'

"Food and agriculture are at the heart of the ecological crisis. This is one area where doing right by the planet means doing right by people in the most obvious way," said head of policy at NGO BirdLife, Ariel Brunner.

Opinion

Roll out red carpet - or recycle it? Green Deal's EU blindspot

In Europe the rate of recycling carpet is shockingly low at 1-3 percent. Recyclers stay away from old carpets because they don't know which (potentially dangerous) chemicals they contain, or because they are very complex due to multiple materials used.

Warning of agricultural 'digital arms race' in EU

Europe is on the verge of allowing centralisation and concentration of farming data at an unprecedented scale, with the absence of any regulation, NGO Friends of the Earth have warned.

Analysis

Why is EU off track for 2020 energy efficiency target?

Most EU member states are likely to miss the 2020 target on energy efficiency, since they were not legally-binding targets. "Transformative" measures are needed to reduce energy consumption while boosting efficiency, experts say.