Carmakers accused of trying to use coronavirus crisis to avert EU emissions crackdown
The motor industry has been accused by campaigners of trying to use the coronavirus crisis to avert stricter environmental regulation, after correspondence showed carmakers had lobbied the EU to defer impending laws.
EU leaders back 'green transition' in coronavirus recovery plan
While attention continues to focus on the urgent health aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak, EU leaders have called on the European Commission to start preparing "a comprehensive recovery plan" that integrates green and digital aspects.
EU exploring cost-benefit of 55% emissions cut by 2030
In the middle of the Covid 19 outbreak, the European Commission published last week what would have otherwise been a high-profile initiative: the launch of a cost-benefit analysis of increasing the EU's climate ambition for 2030 in view of reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century.
Green Deal facing delays due to coronavirus, EU admits
The European Commission is having to re-order its priorities in the face of the coronavirus crisis, with "non-essential" initiatives like the biodiversity strategy and the farm-to-fork strategy likely to be delayed by several weeks.
Greenpeace proposes 70% meat consumption reduction by 2030
Three burgers a week: that's the maximum amount of meat Europeans should get used to eating, according to NGO Greenpeace, which has been looking at Europe's eating habits. EURACTIV France reports.
Everything you need to know about the EU's new Circular Economy Action Plan and Industrial Strategy
The European Commission has today (11 March) unveiled its Circular Economy Action Plan, a sweeping set of commitments aimed at ensuring that circularity and resources efficiency acts as a "prerequisite for climate neutrality" in line with the European Green Deal and Industrial Strategy.
Corporate leaders want decarbonisation as central focus for Europe's Industrial Strategy
Business giants including Unilever, Interface, and Coca-Cola have called for the new European Industrial Strategy to focus heavily on decarbonisation in a way that sets out clear strategies for investment into low-carbon solutions and provides price incentives for new goods and services.
EU debuts climate law 'compass', Greta dismisses it as 'surrender'
The European Commission officially unveiled its Climate Law on Wednesday (4 March), aimed at making the EU carbon neutral by 2050. But Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg criticised the plan as a "surrender".
Stage set for EU-UK tussle over green credentials
Trade talks between the EU and the UK start next week, with thorny issues like state aid and fish set to complicate matters. A fight brewing over environmental standards may make an agreement by year's end even more difficult to come by.
RBS's climate goals and Aldi's plastic bag crackdown: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
EU starts to chart shipping's new green course
The shipping industry will soon have to pay for its environmental impact in the EU, as both the European Commission and Parliament are moving forward with plans to include vessels in the bloc's flagship carbon market. But there are choppy waters ahead.
Sector coupling: Electrification of transport and buildings could slash emissions by 60%
Mass-Scale electrification of the transport, buildings and industrial sectors could enable Europe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% over the next 30 years, according to a new report published today by research company BloombergNEF (BNEF).
EU lawmakers voice support for meat tax to cover environmental costs of livestock
A new report commissioned by the Dutch True Animal Protein Price Coalition (TAPP) suggests that retail price of meat does not reflect the environmental costs associated with its production, and calls for a "sustainability charge" on meat.
Worcester and London universities to trial sustainable diets behaviour change programme
Students at the University of Worcester, City and the University of London will take part in a new European trial designed to change behaviours and promote sustainable diets and climate-friendly meals.
EU unveils €100bn fund for 'just' low-carbon transition - which excludes nuclear
The EU's regional policy Commissioner Elisa Ferreira revealed on Tuesday (14 January) details of the €100 billion Just Transition Mechanism, a key financial component of the European Green Deal that should make the bloc climate neutral by 2050.
Massive rise in EV charging points needed to reach EU climate goals, analysis finds
Europe needs a fifteen-fold increase in electric vehicle public charging points by 2030 to support the EU's goal of becoming "climate neutral" by mid-century, according to new research published Wednesday (8 January).
EU 'confident' €100bn green transition fund will come to fruition
A draft €100bn "Just Transition Mechanism" outlined by the European Commission as part of its Green Deal last week will eventually see the light in January, EU officials have said. The amount of "fresh money" under the new fund is, however, expected to be limited.
Europe's 'man on the moon moment': Green Deal to create world's first climate-neutral continent
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled 50 sweeping plans to enable the EU to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, claiming that the Green Deal was "more than just a vision, it is a roadmap for action".
EU reaches milestone by agreeing on green criteria for finance
MEPs and the Finnish presidency of the EU Council have agreed on a taxonomy to determine what economic activities can be considered 'green', paving the way for billions of euros to be invested to fight climate change.
'Set legally binding net-zero target now', investors urge EU leaders
A coalition of more than 40 investors collectively representing upwards of €6trn of assets under management has written to all EU heads of state, urging them to set legislation in line with net-zero by 2050 or sooner.
Europe's environment 'at a tipping point', EU agency says
Europe faces environmental challenges "of unprecedented scale and urgency," according to a comprehensive overview of air, land and water ecosystems published on Wednesday (4 December) by the European Environment Agency.
Europe becomes first continent to declare a 'climate emergency'
MEPs voted to pass a resolution declaring a 'climate emergency' on Thursday evening (28 November), making the European Parliament the first body representing a continent to do so.
Business giants called for raised EU climate targets
Business giants including Unilever, Interface, and Coca-Cola European Partners have signed a joint statement calling for the European Union to raise emission reduction targets for 2030, in order to remain on course for carbon-neutrality by 2050.
Report: EU set to miss all 17 Sustainable Development Goals
Almost every nation within the EU is failing to deliver the amount of progress needed for the bloc to meet any of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a "major" lack of progress recorded against SDG 13, Climate Action.
'Broad support' for EU-wide plastic tax
A European tax on plastic waste is gaining momentum as a way to bring new sources of revenue to the EU budget as leaders prepare for a two-day summit in Brussels beginning today (17 October).
EU Council maintains nuclear as eligible for 'green' finance
EU ministers have decided not to exclude nuclear projects from being eligible for sustainable finance grants, despite the demands of a group of member states and the European Parliament.
Green Deal branded 'hallmark' of new European Commission
"I want the European Green Deal to become Europe's hallmark," said European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, as she tasked her second-in-command with overseeing Europe's goal of achieving climate neutrality by mid-century.
EU countries have 'no concrete plans' to phase out fossil fuel subsidies: report
Not a single EU member state has so far spelled out a comprehensive plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, despite a commitment taken at the G20 ten years ago to eliminate them, according to a fresh analysis of the bloc's 28 National Energy and Climate Plans.
EU auto industry forms unlikely alliance with NGO on electric cars
Long-time adversaries Transport & Environment and ACEA have signed a partnership to accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicle charging points, as the auto industry seeks to rebrand with a focus on digital and electric.
EU paper recyclers 'in crisis' as China waste import ban bites
China's ban on waste imports has thrown Europe's paper recycling sector "in a crisis situation," leading to a chronic oversupply of recovered paper that sent prices plummeting by 300% over the past two years, according to trade group EuRIC.
EU banks launch €10bn circular economy funding pot
Five major banks located and operating within the European Union (EU) have agreed to work with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on a €10bn initiative to promote circular economy projects.
Official EU petition calls for minimum carbon price
The European Commission has registered an official petition that calls on the EU executive to set up a minimum carbon price, "discourage the consumption of fossil fuels" and keep global warming to below 1.5C.
EU leftists demand 'climate emergency' Parliament committee
The European Parliament's leftist group (GUE/NGL) has proposed setting up a special climate emergency parliamentary committee to shift the spotlight on to green issues even more over the next five years.
New EU framework to help firms measure and disclose climate risks and impacts
The European Commission has published a new framework aimed at helping corporates and investors to calculate and disclose their climate-related risks and impacts, in a bid to help accelerate financial support for the low-carbon transition.
UK climate plan unclear, European Commission claims
A British government climate action plan is "unclear" and lacks key details about how the UK will reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 12 years, the European commission has said.
UK looks set to host COP26 in partnership with Italy
The UK has formally proposed its intention to host next year's international COP climate conference as part of a partnership with Italy that will see the latter host a pre-COP event.
18 EU countries now support 2050 carbon neutrality goal
Germany, Greece, Italy and Slovakia have added their names to a growing list of EU countries supporting a carbon neutrality objective for 2050, increasing the chances that a deal will be struck at an EU summit later this week, according to documents seen by EURACTIV.
Climate becomes top priority in EU's 2020 budget
The European Commission proposed on Wednesday (5 June) a budget worth €168.3bn for the bloc in 2020, aimed at promoting a more competitive European economy and solidarity and security in the EU. This is the last budget under the 2014-2020 fiscal period and put climate change at the top of the agenda.
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.