Merkel sends first strong message for climate neutrality by 2050
Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated for the first time that Germany may join a European alliance to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. At a recent EU summit, Germany was unwilling to join a similar initiative by nine EU member states.
Juncker insists 2030 climate target is EU's top priority, not 2050 'net-zero' plan
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that the EU should "concentrate on immediate and urgent" climate policies for 2030 rather than a proposed 2050 target defended by eight EU countries to reach net-zero emissions.
Jet fuel must be taxed, EU citizens insist
Aeroplane fuel's tax-free status could soon be grounded after the European Commission agreed this week to register an official petition that calls for an end to kerosene's exemption.
Business leaders call for EU net-zero target
The chief executives from more than 50 businesses, including Ikea, Unilever, Heathrow Airport and Interface have called on the European Union (EU) to create a long-term decarbonisation roadmap for a net-zero economy by 2050.
Forget Brexit and focus on climate change, Greta Thunberg tells EU
The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has chided EU leaders for holding three emergency summits on Brexit and none on the threat posed by climate change.
European Commission teases carbon tax and nuclear treaty overhaul
The European Commission has made the case for scrapping national vetoes on environmental tax changes and for finally updating the bloc's venerable nuclear treaty, last amended in 1957.
Report: Failure to implement clean air laws cost EU €24bn in 2018
By failing to meet targets and regulations set out in EU environmental laws, Member States collectively cost the bloc's economy almost €55bn last year, a new report from the European Commission's Directorate General for the Environment has found.
European parliament votes to ban single-use plastics
The European parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers as part of a sweeping law against plastic waste that despoils beaches and pollutes oceans.
EU on track for 50% emission cuts by 2030, study says
While Germany and Eastern European countries continue to oppose raising the EU's 40% emission reduction target for 2030, a new analysis insists the bloc will actually manage at least 50% cuts under a business-as-usual scenario taking into account the latest coal phase-out pledges.
Brexit eclipses climate talks in leaked EU summit draft
EU heads of states are expected to reiterate earlier commitments on climate action when they meet in Brussels later this week, despite growing calls from youths across Europe to step up the fight against global warming, according to a draft EU summit statement seen by EURACTIV.
Study charts six scenarios for fossil-free energy by 2050
Cutting energy use in buildings, ramping up renewable electricity and developing large-scale storage with hydrogen are clear options in bringing energy emissions down to zero by 2050, according to a new study.
European lawsuit on biomass rules threatens Drax plant
A coalition of environmental campaigners has launched a court bid to stop the European Commission treating forest grown wood as a renewable source of energy.
Five EU countries call for 100% renewable energy by 2050
The European Union's 28 energy ministers had their first public debate on the European Commission's 2050 climate plan on Monday (4 March) but five member states derided the lack of a 100% renewable energy scenario among the EU executive's proposed options.
Palm oil: Certified but NOT sustainable
Last month, Jonathon Porritt stated in his edie blog that the intent of the Changing Markets Foundation was to 'undermine the creditability of certification schemes' without suggesting alternatives. As the Foundation's campaign's director, I was surprised by this accusation and feel compelled to provide my own response.
Europe agrees sales targets for 'clean' buses in cities
European Union lawmakers struck an agreement on Monday (11 February) on green public procurement rules for new buses, requiring local authorities purchase a minimum share of clean vehicles running on gas or electricity by 2025 and 2030.
Hundreds of EU stakeholders call for a 'common food policy'
A coalition of 400 agriculture-related EU stakeholders, convened by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), has mapped out a new governance architecture for food systems in a bid to create sustainable food systems under a 'Common Food Policy'.
MEPs locked in dispute over EU's climate plan
European lawmakers are locked in a dispute over a landmark climate plan that is meant to drag the EU into compliance with the Paris Agreement, as parliamentary committees tussle over who should take the lead.
UK revealed as EU champion of fossil fuel subsidies
The UK spends the most of any EU nation on subsidising fossil fuels, according to a new report by the European Commission, which also found that EU-wide payments have failed to decrease despite the bloc's commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
EU forges deal on coal phase-out, with special Polish clause
European Union legislators reached agreement in the early hours of Wednesday (19 December) over a proposed reform of electricity market rules that includes a 2025 cut-off date for coal subsidies, and a special clause for Poland.
New EU plan comes out fighting for 'climate neutrality' by 2050
The European Commission has unveiled its much-anticipated plan for a "climate-neutral Europe" on Wednesday (28 November), in an effort to show EU countries how to stick to the goals of the Paris Agreement and endorse a shared long-term strategy.
10 countries demand net-zero emission goal in new EU climate strategy
Ministers from ten EU countries have urged the European Commission to chart a "credible and detailed" path towards net-zero emissions in 2050, ahead of the launch of a landmark climate strategy next week.
Spain targets 100% renewable power by 2050
Spain's government has published a new climate plan that targets a 100% renewable energy electricity system by 2050, with goals that outstrip those adopted by the EU and a ban on new gas and oil exploration.
EU approves more ambitious renewables target, commits to palm oil phase-out
The European Parliament has voted to approve a set of new clean energy laws for 2030, outlining plans to increase the bloc's use of renewable energy and ban the sale of high-emission biofuels made from palm and soybean oil.
All financial institutions must disclose sustainability risks and impacts, MEPs agreed
The European Parliament's Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs has endorsed a decision that makes it mandatory for all financial market participants, including banks, to disclose sustainability risks and impacts of their portfolio, a move that NGOs say brings the EU one step further in greening its financial system.
European parliament approves sweeping ban on single-use plastics
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics in an effort to tackle pollution in seas, fields and waterways.
'Disappointed' EU capitals agree on 35% car CO2 cuts
EU environment ministers took until nearly midnight on Tuesday (9 October) to agree on a common position for car and van CO2 emission cuts for 2030 but several member states were left "disappointed" with the final agreement.
European Parliament revs up CO2 car limits
MEPs voted in Strasbourg on Wednesday (3 October) in favour of a 40% CO2 reduction target for light vehicles by 2030. The target is higher than that which the Commission has proposed and tough talks with national capitals now loom large on the horizon.
EU must end new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030 to meet climate targets - report
New petrol and diesel car sales in Europe must be phased out before 2030 if the auto sector is to play its part in holding global warming to the Paris agreement's 1.5C goal, a new analysis has found.
Truck makers push back against EU's first ever CO2 limits
The European Commission's proposal to mandate a 15% cut in CO2 emission from trucks by 2025 is overly ambitious, according to industry association ACEA, which said a 7% objective would be more "realistic" given the technologies currently available.
Carmakers' gaming of emissions tests 'cost drivers £136bn
Drivers in Europe have paid €150bn more on fuel than they would have if their vehicles had performed as well on-the-road as in official laboratory-based tests, according to a new report.
Mayors urge EU to aim for net-zero emissions by 2050
The mayors of ten major European cities -including Paris, London, Milan and Barcelona - have issued a joint call for the EU to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.
UK vows to play hard-ball with EU over fishing waters
The UK outlined plans to overhaul its fishing policy on Wednesday, insisting that it would decide unilaterally how much access to give to EU boats after it leaves the bloc next March.
China dwarfs Europe on EV investments, figures show
European carmakers have invested seven times more in electric vehicle production lines in China than at home, according to industry figures collected by Transport & Environment (T&E), a green campaign group.
EU aims to increase 2030 carbon reduction target to 45%
The European Union (EU) looks likely to increase its 2030 carbon reduction target by 5% following months of discussions amongst negotiators.
EU raises 2030 renewable energy target, outlines palm oil phase out
Negotiators from the European Parliament and Member States have this morning (June 14) struck a deal to raise the target for the proportion of energy it will source from renewables by 2030 to 32%, up from the previous 27% goal.
G7 countries pour $100bn a year into oil, gas and coal: study
Each year, at least $100bn goes to support the production and consumption of oil, gas and coal, according to a major new study published on Monday (4 June). That is despite a promise from all G7 and G20 members to stop subsidising fossil fuels by 2025.
European Commission plots ban on single-use plastics
The European Commission presented its long-awaited marine-litter-busting proposal on single-use plastics on Monday (28 May). The first legislative proposal from the Plastics Strategy aims to help the EU clean up the continent's beaches and waterways.
EU tables ground-breaking 'low-carbon benchmark' for green finance
The European Commission presented on Thursday (24 May) a set of proposals aimed at boosting private investment in low-carbon technologies like renewable energies while increasing transparency in sustainable finance to avoid green-washing.
EU proposes 25% 'climate quota' in new long-term budget
The clean energy transition and other initiatives to decarbonise Europe's economy will represent 25% of EU spending under a seven-year EU budget plan put forward by the European Commission on Wednesday (2 May).
European Union agrees to ban on bee-harming insecticides
The European Union has announced a ban on three widely-used insecticides due to the threat that they pose to bees, although some green groups are calling for further bans on other chemicals.
Report: EU carbon prices could hit €55 by 2030
EU carbon prices could quadruple to €55 a tonne by 2030 if policymakers align the bloc's emissions targets with the Paris Agreement.
Investors and energy giants call for close UK EU climate ties after Brexit
Aviva, E.ON, RWE, EDF and NPower are among a coalition of 21 energy giants and top investors who have called on Britain and the EU to maintain close links on energy and climate policy after the UK leaves the bloc.
European Union unveils green investment action plan
The European Commission unveiled on Thursday (8 March) its highly expected action plan on sustainable finance, aiming to clarify what can be labelled as "green" investment and potentially lowering capital requirements on asset holders.
Business benefits of EU ETS reform clouded by Brexit uncertainty
EXCLUSIVE: Last week's vote in favour to reform the EU's carbon market is a "strong signal" that energy-intensive businesses should accelerate decarbonisation processes, although the European Parliament's rapporteur on the reform has warned that Brexit will act as high-profile distraction.
Expert group recommends setting up European standards for 'green bonds'
An EU sustainability taxonomy, a definition of priority investment areas, the clarification of investor duties and development of "official" European sustainability standards for green bonds are some of the recommendations experts made to the European Commission on Wednesday (31 January).
EU maps out plastics vision in new strategy
The European Commission presented on Tuesday (16 January) its eagerly anticipated strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.
Plastic tax and ETS tinkering could plug Brexit hole, suggests EU budget chief
EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has revealed that the European Commission will propose taxing plastic and shifting emissions trading income to EU level, in an attempt to balance the bloc's coffers once the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
Brexit bill may have broken international environment law, says UN
The British government may have breached a major "environmental democracy" law by failing to consult the public when drawing up Brexit legislation.
Long-term policies can help business capture €324bn circular economy opportunity
A new report has called on European Union (EU) institutions to promote resource efficiency beyond the completion of the Circular Economy Package, by learning from best practice scenarios that could add €324bn to the EU's economy by 2030.
EU announces €9bn in funding for climate action
The European commission has announced funding of €9bn (£8bn) for action on climate change, one of a flurry of measures from governments, businesses and investors aimed at achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris agreement.
Brands back MEP calls for global ban on animal testing in cosmetics
The announcement that European Parliament will discuss the options for a global ban on animal testing in cosmetics has been welcomed by a host brands, including The Body Shop, which want an international convention on the global ban to be created.
MEPs vote for stronger EU efficiency and renewable energy targets
MEPs voted on Tuesday (28 November) in favour of increasing efficiency and renewable energy targets, in a decisive morning for EU energy and climate policy that provoked both jubilation and disappointment.
Climate finance, the sticking point in COP23
Rich countries had pledged to raise $100 billion each year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020. As of September 2017, they had pledged just $10.3 billion. And the question of who should pay remains unanswered.
EU and California to discuss linking carbon markets
The EU and California are beginning talks to potentially create a common carbon market that could also include China.
Can green mortgages help the European Union reach climate and building targets?
New reports provided by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) have outlined how an "energy-efficient mortgage" could provide the ideal financial instrument to improve the energy performance of Europe's existing housing stock.
European Commission moves to Brexit-proof Emissions Trading System
The European Commission has agreed on a new measure to protect its Emissions Trading System (ETS) against a potential breakdown in Brexit negotiations.
EU Commission taken to court over new emissions tests for vehicles
Environmental group ClientEarth has taken legal action against the European Commission's new rules for car emissions tests, which will allow manufacturers to keep their emissions control systems secret and, according to the group, cause another Dieselgate-type scandal.
EU rules out tax on plastic products to reduce waste
The EU has ruled out penalties on single-use plastic products, in favour of raising public awareness of the damage consumer plastics are doing to the world's oceans.
MEPs urge EU to ratchet up climate ambitions ahead of UN summits
The European Parliament on Wednesday (3 October) backed a resolution that calls on the EU to increase its 2030 climate targets and to come up with a mid-century zero-emissions strategy before an all-important UN summit in 2018.
Transport sucks up nearly half of Europe's fossil fuel subsidies, report finds
European countries spend more than €112 billion per year subsidising oil, gas and coal production or consumption - including tax breaks on highly-polluting diesel - despite a pledge to phase out fossil fuels completely by 2020.
EU to aim for 100% emission cuts in new 'mid-century roadmap'
The European Commission is preparing an update of its low-carbon economy roadmap for 2050, acknowledging that the bloc's current target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 80% by mid-century are insufficient, edie's content partner EurActiv.com has learned.
A circular economy does not mean a flat global economy
Achieving a truly circular economy is an ambitious yet realistic concept, and something that will require input from governments, businesses and people across the world to bring to fruition, as well as a broad change in thinking.
MEPs agree to bolster EU's renewable energy target for 2030
The European Parliament's energy committee confirmed that MEPs want renewable energy targets to be more ambitious than the proposal put forward by the Commission.
EU to enforce new energy efficiency rules for vacuum cleaners
New EU rules on vacuum cleaners come into force next month, as Brussels looks to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions.
New industrial air pollution ruling puts EU coal plants on 'life support'
Large industrial plants have been given a four-year timeframe to adhere to new standards on air pollutants across the European Union (EU), a decision that places "the immediate future of coal plants into doubt", according to environmental lawyers ClientEarth.
Brexit is happening: how can the waste industry realise the opportunities?
In recent months I have heard many people in the waste industry portray Brexit as a huge risk to their businesses. Granted, there is much uncertainty at present about the details of Brexit. But I think the industry needs to realise that Brexit is happening; adapt to this reality, and realise that it is as much an opportunity as a threat.
Working together for a better retailing climate
Changes to the sustainability landscape are gathering pace. This change will intensify in the coming decades as we face a changing climate and ever greater demands for finite resources. So what does the future hold for those in retail sustainability?
'Investor-ready' green certification project rolled-out for district energy and street lighting
A green certification project aimed at standardising how building projects are measured and developed to accelerate investment opportunities has received backing from the Horizon 2020 programme to expand across Europe.
ESOS Phase 2: How to get maximum value from the compliance process
It's official: the compliance period for Phase 2 of the UK Government's Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is underway and qualifying organisations are now able to begin the compliance process.
New energy labels for appliances seen as boon for consumers
The European Parliament approved on Tuesday (June 13) the introduction of new energy labels for household appliances, which MEPs and industry experts said should enable consumers to save money and cut energy consumption while helping the bloc reduce overall carbon emissions.
New data hub offers financial oasis against climate-related hazards
A new global data community aimed at expanding the climate risk adaption strategies for the insurance and investment markets has launched this week (5 June), to protect economic losses incurred through damages to infrastructure during natural disasters.
Middle-management 'disconnected' from Sustainable Development Goals, report finds
A "strong appetite" to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is being hindered by a lack of engagement and understanding in mid-management and employees, a new report described as the "wake-up call to the importance of working together" found.
European Union enforces new air pollution limits
The European Union (EU) has today (29 April) approved new air pollution limits, which could save more than 20,000 lives each year by reducing pollution derived from coal-fired power plants.
Vast majority of EU countries set to miss Paris Agreement goals, research finds
Only three European countries are on course to achieve the Paris Agreement targets, according to research which ranks the UK in fifth position on its progress towards the landmark climate treaty.
Leaked paper exposes EU countries' abuse of climate loophole
European Union countries exploited loopholes in United Nations forestry rules to pocket carbon credits worth €600 million and the equivalent of global-warming emissions from 114 million cars.
Circular Economy Package: Everything you need to know
In light of the European Parliament's decision to reinforce more ambitious recycling targets within the long-awaited Circular Economy Package, edie takes a detailed look at how the proposed measures could affect businesses, especially in light of the UK's imminent departure from the European Union (EU).
Circular Economy Package: MEPs pledge to restore recycling targets in landmark vote
The European Parliament has voted to restore recycling and landfill targets that had been lowered by the European Commission in its re-tabled Circular Economy Package.
Member states move to weaken EU energy efficiency targets
European Union (EU) member states have moved to weaken the bloc's 2030 energy efficiency goals, setting up tough negotiations with the European Parliament, which backs stronger legislation.
EU sees 'strategic advantage' of biofuels in aviation
In sectors like aviation where decarbonisation options are limited, there is a strategic advantage in encouraging the use of biofuels, a European Commission official has said.
Reaching the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets by utilising the power of AD
Kicking off edie's Resource Management month, I wanted to start this new series of vlogs by discussing my vision for creating a resource-efficient farming industry that has the potential to lead the world in closed-loop food and energy systems.
Reform of EU carbon trading scheme agreed
An overhaul of the EU's flagship trading scheme for cutting carbon emissions by European industries has been approved by the member states.
Report: EU nations struggling to foster smart city transition
The majority of European Union (EU) members are showing "little progress" in developing smart built environment policies that encourage the uptake of energy storage or demand response initiatives, a new report has found.
European Parliament adopts draft reform of carbon market
The European Parliament on Wednesday (15 February) adopted draft reforms of the EU's carbon market post-2020 that aim to balance greater cuts in greenhouse gases with protection for energy-intensive industries.
European Commission issues 'final warning' to UK over air pollution breaches
The European Commission has sent a "final warning" to the UK for failing to address repeated breaches of legal air pollution limits in 16 areas including London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Glasgow.
UK must play 'careful game' to balance green policy and new trade deals
EXCLUSIVE: In its pursuit of new trade deals post-Brexit, the UK must be careful that product and resource standards don't handicap businesses from exporting back into Europe, the chair of the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has warned.
Report: Enforcement mechanisms 'critical' for post-Brexit environmental prosperity
Introducing and transposing key environmental legislation that enforces political stability once the UK leaves the European Union (EU) will be "critical" to ensuring investor confidence, a new report from a House of Lords Committee has claimed.
Almost 90% of new power in Europe from renewable sources in 2016
Renewable energy sources made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe's electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent's rapid shift away from fossil fuels.
23 EU countries are breaking European air quality laws
European air quality laws are being flaunted in more than 130 cities across 23 of the 28 EU member states, the European Commission said yesterday (6 February).
UK 'falling behind' on EU renewable energy targets
The European Union (EU) is on track to hit a 20% renewable goal for 2020, despite nations such as the UK, Ireland and Luxembourg struggling to increase the share of renewables in transport and heat sectors, a new European Commission (EC) report has found.
MEPs bolster EU recycling and landfill targets
Members of the European Parliament's Environment Committee yesterday (24 January) moved to increase draft EU recycling and landfill targets that had been lowered by the European Commission in its re-tabled Circular Economy Package.
EU risks missing climate goals without 'sustainable' biofuels, experts warn
The European Commission's proposal to gradually phase out "sustainable" first generation biofuels will prevent the EU from meeting its 2030 climate goals, experts claim.
Europe urged to cut all transport emissions to keep climate pledge
Germany's Öko-Institut warned the EU must cut global warming transport emissions by 94% by 2050 to stop the planet's temperature rising above the two degree limit agreed by world leaders at the Paris climate summit in December 2015.
Europe eyes 'big bang' in power savings from industry and SMEs
While standards for toasters, fridges, and TV sets have so far grabbed the most attention, the biggest potential for power savings actually lies in integrating industries and small businesses to the electricity system, a senior EU official has said.
UK agrees to new EU air pollution laws, raising 'awkward' Brexit questions
The UK has agreed to adopt new European Union (EU) legislation on air quality, which sets stricter national limits for the emission of some of the most dangerous air pollutants.
EU decides against tinkering with flagship nature directives
After undergoing a much-criticised European Commission-helmed 'fitness check', the EU's main nature directives have been ruled fit for purpose and will not be rewritten or weakened, in a huge win for environmentalists.
Dieselgate: EC begins legal action against UK and other EU nations
The European commission has started legal action against the UK and six other EU states for failing to act against car emissions cheating in the wake of the "dieselgate" scandal.
European Union 2020 energy targets 'well within reach'
European Union (EU) Member States are collectively on course to meet 2020 targets for renewables, energy efficiency and emissions reductions, although a new report has warned that long-term objectives are at risk of falling short.
EU winter package met with mixed green business reception
As the European Commission (EC) today (30 November) unveils its energy winter package aimed at helping to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, edie analyses the major talking points of the document's key proposals.
European businesses fear 'lost decade' for renewables ahead of EU proposals
As the European Commission (EC) prepares to present its energy package for 2030 on Wednesday (30 November), a coalition of multinational businesses including BT, Philips Lighting and Kingfisher has called for more ambitious energy legislation to replace the current renewables directive.
Leaked biofuel plan set to increase European transport emissions
A leaked draft of the European Commission's (EC) Renewable Energy Directive (RED) has revealed that a promised phase-out of food-based biodiesels will not be met, with new proposals set to increase European transport emissions by 219 million tonnes by 2030.