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Beware what lies beneath! Green / EFA MEPs supporting hundreds of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 4th February 2015. Photo: greensefa via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

TTIP: MPs demand transparency and 'right to regulate'

Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell

26th March 2015

British MPs have rebuked the government for its secretive and apathetic response to public concerns over the TTIP EU-US trade deal, demanding that nations' 'right to regulate' for health, environment and the wider public interest must stand at the heart of any future agreement. more...
Whale watching off Digby's Neck, Nova Scotia, where Bilcon wants to site a massive basalt quarry. Now Canada must pay Bilcon as much as $300 million following a NAFTA judgment that the company's right to profit comes before cetacean survival. Photo: Reigh

Profits before whales! To know why TTIP would be a nightmare, look to Canada

Nick Dearden

26th March 2014

A series of judgments against Canada in secret corporate tribunals costing taxpayers $100s of millions show that 'free trade' agreements really do restrict governments' right to protect health, environment and endangered species, writes Nick Dearden. more...
Seed saving in Malawi: farmer Maria Banda's cupped hands holding cowpea seeds. Photo: Stephen Greenberg / ACBIO.

Grabbing Africa's seeds: USAID, EU and Gates Foundation back agribusiness seed takeover

Stephen Greenberg & Oliver Tickell

23rd March 2015

The latest salvo in the battle over Africa's seed systems has been fired, writes Stephen Greenberg, with the Gates Foundation and USAID playing puppet-masters to Africa's governments - now meeting in Addis Ababa - as they drive forward corporation-friendly seed regulations that exclude and marginalize the small farmers whose seeds and labour feed the continent. more...
A pack of Bayer's 'Calypso' pesticide that contains the bee-toxic neonicotinoid Thiacloprid, complete with the 'not harmful to bees' logo - as sold in Germany.

Bees victory in pesticide battle - Bayer libel action dismissed

Oliver Tickell

12th March 2015

Chemical giant Bayer has failed in its attempt to sue Friends of the Earth Germany over its claims that its pesticide Thiacloprid harms bees. Now pressure is growing on the EU to add the neonicotinoid to the three already banned. more...
In happier times, a Kwegu family on a maize field next to the Omo river. Photo: via Survival International.

Ethiopia: Kwegu tribe starves, victims of dam and land grabs

Oliver Tickell

13th March 2015

The Kwegu people of Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley are facing starvation because of the loss of their land to a huge sugar plantation, the destruction of their forest and the damming of the Omo river - supported by a UK, EU and World Bank funded 'aid' program. more...
RWE's brown coal-burning Kraftwerk Weisweiler Langerwehe, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Photo: Oliver Wald via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Coal industry setting its own air pollution standards

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog UK

11th March 2015

Coal is Europe's biggest source of mercury and sulphur pollution, writes Kyla Mandel, killing tens of thousands of people a year. So how come more than half the members appointed by EU governments to set air pollution standards for coal plants are industry representatives? more...
A female Blackcap caught in a mistnet on the UK's Cyprus military base. Photo: Graham Madge / RSPB.

UK allows songbird slaughter on Cyprus military base

The Ecologist

9th March 2015

The illegal killing of songbirds on the UK's military base on Cyprus has reached record levels, a study by RSPB has shown, with an estimated 900,000 birds trapped, killed and eaten in autumn 2014. more...
Building Hinkley C will damage renewable energy projects like this: Greenpeace Energy's Buchhain wind park. Photo: © Marc-Oliver Schulz / Greenpeace Energy eG.

Greenpeace Energy to launch legal challenge to UK nuclear subsidies

Oliver Tickell

5th March 2015

The UK's troubled Hinkley C nuclear power station faces a legal challenge from Germany's biggest energy co-op, which claims that the subsidy package will distort energy markets across Europe and disadvantage renewable generators and vendors. more...
The show goes on at Loro Parque, Tenerife, Spain - the country which hosts 11 out of the EU's 33 dolphinaria. Photo: Oliver Clarke via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Call goes out for dolphinarium-free Europe

The Ecologist

4th March 2015

Whale and dolphin experts from across the world today launched a new campaign at the European Parliament to ban dolphin captivity in Europe, putting an end to a long saga of abuse and exploitation. more...
As for whether we want GMO crops ... who cares? A field of wheat (non-GM) neat Templecombe, England. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

MPs' GMO report is a scandalous cave-in to corporate demands

Rupert Read

26th February 2015

A report published by MPs today displays a shocking ignorance of scientific logic and the nature of risk, writes Rupert Read. Confusing inconclusive evidence of harm from GMOs, with conclusive evidence of safety, they reach a false and dangerous conclusion - that the EU should give free rein to pro-GMO governments. more...
Thousands of hectares of prime rainforest habitat for chimpanzees, drills, gorillas and other primates are being wiped out as agribusiness advances across Cameroon. Photo (Chimp Eden Sanctuary): Afrika Force via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Palm oil wiping out Africa's great ape rainforests

The Ecologist

24th February 2015

The rainforest habitat of chimpanzees and other great apes is being destroyed by the expansion of palm oil projects in central Africa, according to new evidence from Greenpeace. more...
Without money, would we all be rich? Maybe not. But prosperity for all will require us to develop a radically different relationship with money! Photo:  Toban B. via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Prosperity without growth: 10 policy proposals for the new left

Giorgos Kallis & Research & Degrowth

28th February 2015

Modern economies depend on growth, writes Giorgos Kallis: the moment it stops, we all get poorer, government tax revenues decline and unemployment rises. So is it possible to have prosperity without growth? Yes it is - and here's how ... more...

EU: 1/25 of 233
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Syriza's Alexis Tsipras reaching out to progressive voters in Bologna, Italy, 19th May 2014, promising the way to 'the other Europe'. Photo: Lorenzo Gaudenzi via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

NATO invents Russian threats in the Baltic - but Putin's next big play is Greece

Oliver Tickell

19th February 2015

While mainstream media promulgate a fictitious message of Russian threats in the Baltic, Vladimir Putin's next big play lies far to the south, writes Oliver Tickell. The gross intransigence of the EU, the IMF, the European Central Bank and Germany are forcing Greece into a powerful new economic and energy alliance with Russia that will reshape Europe - and for the better. more...
Under the NAFTA trade deal, Canada is being sued to open up the St Lawrence River to fracking, or pay to massive damages. TTIP, TPP and CETA promise more of the same. Photo: Bob August via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The corporate coup d'etat: TTIP, TTP, CETA, NAFTA

Joyce Nelson

17th February 2015

The raft of 'free trade' agreements under negotiation represents a massive seizure of power by corporations, writes Joyce Nelson - effectively stripping democratic governments of their power to legislate for health, environment, labour or anything else that could reduce corporate profit. But the mainstream media are mysteriously silent. more...
Hinkley Point B nuclear power station. Photo: Robin Somes / Wikimedia Commons.

UK threatens Austria over Hinkley C legal challenge

The Ecologist

11th February 2015

The UK government has warned Austria that it will 'embrace any future opportunity that arises to sue or damage Austria' if it pursues its legal challenge to the the Hinkley point C nuclear plant, according to a leaked document.
more...
A convoy of Polish tractors on the road as part of the biggest farmers' uprising the country has ever experienced. Photo: via Land Workers Alliance.

Polish farmers block motorways for land rights, no GMOs

Oliver Tickell

9th February 2015

Thousands of small farmers in Poland are blockading motorways and holding demonstrations to demand land rights, a ban on GMOs and an end to oppressive health and safety regulations - and they are refusing to call off the protests until their demands are met. more...
The 'No TTIP train to Brussels' and 8m high Trojan Horse lobbying the European Commission today, 4th February 2015. Photo: Jess Hurd / NoTTIP via Gobal Justice Now / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

TTIP is a lethal attack on food safety and animal welfare

Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

As 300 protestors gather at the European Commission to protest at the resumption of TTIP trade talks between the EU and the USA, Oliver Tickell finds that the EU's newly released draft 'chapter' on food safety and animal welfare is a disastrous capitulation to corporate interests that will strip governments of their powers to regulate. more...
Photovoltaic cells on the Solar Library and Energy-Optimised House in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. Image: Littleha via Wikimedia Commons.

Asia powers into the forefront of solar revolution

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

China has now overtaken the European Union as the largest new market for solar power, writes Paul Brown - as solar PV becomes one of the world's fastest growing industries - and one that's sure to keep on getting cheaper! more...
Hayes Valley Farm Seed Library. Photo: edibleoffice via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The seed saving rebellion is growing - and banging at the Commission's door

Ben Raskin

29th January 2015

A year ago today, Europe-wide protests defeated an EU regulation that would have outlawed many seed saving activities, writes Ben Raskin. Now growers are taking matters into their own hands, saving and developing open-pollinated seeds - and campaigning for a seed regulation that supports them, not the monopolist seed corporations. more...
Nuclear fail: Entergy's 'Vermont Yankee' nuclear plant shut last year because it was running at a loss even with all its capital costs sunk. It now faces a $1.24 billion decommission - of which only $670 million is funded.

Running in reverse: the world's 'nuclear power renaissance'

Dr Jim Green

29th January 2015

The global rebirth of nuclear power was meant to be well under way by now, writes Jim Green. But in fact, nuclear's share of world power generation is on a steady long term decline, and new reactors are getting ever harder to build, and finance. The only real growth area is decommissioning, but that too has a problem: where's the money to pay for it? more...
The 'circular economy' package could have added billions to Europe's economy - but now it's on the scrapheap. Photo: Eddie McHugh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Europe's 'circular economy' waste laws binned despite MEPs' fury

James Crisp / EurActiv

26th January 2015

The European Commission has confirmed that it will drop its 'circular economy' package, writes James Crisp, in the face of protest by MEPs and environment ministers. The EC's insistence that a future version would be 'improved' - but in in unspecified ways - only raised suspicions of a deregulatory coup by Europe's dirtiest businesses. more...
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy, join EDF's top brass to view plans for the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Photo: Number 10 via Department of Energy and Climate Change / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Austria: 'we will launch Hinkley C nuclear subsidy legal challenge by April'

Arthur Neslen / the Guardian Environment

23rd January 2015

Austria will launch its legal challenge against the UK's massive support package for the planned 3.2GW Hinkley Point C nuclear power station by April, writes Arthur Nelsen. The move will add years of delay to the controversial project, and may well finish it off altogether as fears over the troubled EPR reactor design grow, and renewables continue to fall in cost. more...
Bali, Indonesia: US Secretary of State John Kerry participates in a meeting with nations' leaders discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, 8th October 2013. Photo: William Ng / State Department (Public Domain).

TTIP is sputtering, but other 'trade' deals threaten our sovereignty

Glyn Moody

25th January 2015

Even as the controversial TTIP 'trade' deal runs into sand, writes Glyn Moody, a spate of similar deals to empower corporations over national governments and democratic forces are being negotiated even more secretively - like CETA, TPP, TISA - and could become cemented into binding treaties before civil society even knows of their existence. more...
Stop TTIP demonstration in Germany. Photo: via openDemocracy.

TTIP: What bit of the word 'no' doesn't the Commission understand?

Nick Dearden

20th January 2015

When 97% percent of respondents to a European Commission 'consultation' on the TTIP EU-US trade deal opposed it outright the Commission accused them of 'hijacking' the process, writes Nick Dearden - and pressed ahead with negotiations. Whose Europe is it anyway? more...
Pioneer's PR39F58 maize at Werktuigendagen, Belgium 2009. Photo: Bdk via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

EuroParl votes in new era of GMO farming

13 January 2015

Oliver Tickell

Following a disgraceful EU stitch-up, the European Parliament today passed a law permitting EU-wide GMO crop cultivation. With regulation and safeguards devolved to member states, and only limited 'opt-out' rights, it is a recipe for chaos that GM corporations will ruthlessly exploit. more...

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