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EU drops plans to push up recycling rate to 70%. The back of an industrial estate in Romford, Essex. Photo: roadscum via Flickr.

Commission dumps eco-initiatives in 2015 work plan

Oliver Tickell

16th December 2014

The European Commission has dropped measures to improve air quality and reduce waste from its work plan for 2015 - instead 'cutting red tape' and prioritizing 'jobs, growth, investment' at all costs. more...
Precious nature: Snakeshead fritillaries and dandelions on North Meadow, Cricklade - an uncultivated water meadow of 110 acres that contains 80% of the UK population of the Snakeshead Fritillary. Photo: Nick Warner via Flickr.

Rallying for wildlife - we need a Nature and Wellbeing Act

Martin Harper / RSPB

9th December 2014

MPs will be lobbied today by wildlife supporters desperately concerned at the declining state of Britain's nature, writes Martin Harper. Despite clear warnings that both 'protected' sites and threatened species are faring badly, politicians find it all too easy to look the other way. Hence the need for a Nature and Wellbeing Act. more...
Coal trains near North Antelope Rochelle Mine in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. Photo: Kimon Berlin via Flickr.

BLM sued - no environmental review of coal leasing since 1979

Mike Gaworecki

8th December 2014

Coal leases on public lands operated by the US Bureau of Land Management are responsible for 40% of US coal production and 14% of total US CO2 emissions, writes Mike Gaworecki - yet their environmental impacts have not been reviewed in 35 years. more...
'And now my friends, my cousins, died for this wood.' Photo: still from 'Our Fight' by Handcrafted Films.

How long can Norway ignore Peru's indigenous rights violations?

Chris Lang

10th December 2014

The COP20 host, Peru's President Humala, certainly talked the talk on indigenous rights last September when he signed a $300 million deal with Norway. But his violations of indigenous rights, 'hands off' approach to murders of indigenous leaders and recent unguarded comments betray his true sentiments. more...
Torched Senger homes. Photo: Dean Puckett.

Kenya: a forest people illegally evicted, beaten, imprisoned - paid for by the World Bank

Dean Puckett / REDD Monitor

7th December 2014

Financed by the World Bank, the Kenya Forest Service has intensified its illegal campaign of evictions, arson, beatings and arrests of the Sengwer forest people of the Embobut forest, Dean Puckett reports from the Cherangani Hills. And behind the violence lies the lure of hard cash - from the prospect of selling the forest's carbon to international financiers. more...
Under the new 'capacity market' regulations, Britain's dirtiest coal-fired plants are set to benefit. Photo: Dom Atreides via Flickr.

UK's 'unlawful' £35 billion support to fossil fuels in ECJ challenge

Oliver Tickell

4th December 2014

The UK Government plans to lock consumers into a 2.5bn a year, 15-year spend to support peak-time fossil power generation - while undermining energy demand savings capable of achieving the same purpose more cleanly and cheaply. But today the 'unlawful' system has been hit by an ECJ lawsuit. more...
Spaying agro-chemicals on a windy day. Photo: Graham Rawlings via Flickr.

Negligent and unlawful: EFSA's latest guidance on pesticide use and exposure

Georgina Downs

4th December 2014

After an apparent cave-in to Europe's pesticide industry, the European Food Safety Authority's latest guidance on pesticides conflicts with European law, writes Georgina Downs - by ignoring the real-life agrochemical exposure of rural residents. Commission President Juncker must step in and demand the withdrawal of this disgraceful document. more...
Stephen Corry. Portrait by Wolfgang Schmidt / Survival.

Stephen Corry: conservation must work with, not against, indigenous peoples

Alice Bayer

29th November 2014

From the creation of the very first national parks and game reserves, 'conservation' has always been about repressing and expropriating indigenous tribes, Survival International director Stephen Corry told Alice Bayer. And despite all the evidence that indigenous peoples are the best wildlife managers, old attitudes die hard ... more...
Shell's Oloibiri oil well in Nigeria, the first sunk in West Africa, in 1956. Photo: Rhys Thom via Flickr.

Nigeria: Shell's false oil spill claims exposed in court

Sarah Shoraka

23rd November 2014

A London court has forced Shell to disclose documents about its pipelines and oils spills in Nigeria, writes Sarah Shoraka - and they reveal that the company has lied about the scale of oil spills in previous legal actions, and concealed the terminally poor condition of its pipelines. more...
Julian Assange at New Media Days 2009: newmediadays.dk/julian-assange. Photo: New Media Days via Flickr.

The para-judicial persecution of Julian Assange

John Pilger

24th November 2014

It's easy to forget that Julian Assange - reviled by mainstream media, hounded by Sweden's judiciary, 'red-listed' by Interpol, publicly attacked by the US defense secretary - remains an innocent man, 'wanted' for nothing more than questioning, writes John Pilger. His disgraceful treatment dishonours only his persecutors. more...
Air Pollution Level 5, London, April 30 2014. Photo: David Holt via Flickr.

ECJ affirms UK's right to clean air - the Government must act!

Keith Taylor MEP

19th November 2014

A landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice compels the UK Government to act as soon as possible to reduce air pollution in British cities, writes Keith Taylor - and a good thing too for our health, safety and wellbeing. But it's not just the UK that benefits: every EU country must also comply with the ruling. more...
Building on existing cooperation to protect the fragile Arctic environment and its wildlife could be the key to forestalling a new Cold War over Arctic resources. Photo: Walrus, by Colin Jagoe via Flickr.

Arctic chill, red hot politics - as the ice melts, a new Cold War can still be avoided

Conn Hallinan

25th November 2014

As the Arctic ice retreats, a fragile but resource-rich landscape replete with oil, minerals, fish and islands is opening up, writes Conn Hallinan. A new land-rush is on, and it could all lead to war. But it can be avoided provided states respect the rule of law and build on existing regimes of cooperation to protect the precious Arctic environment. more...

Law: 1/25 of 130
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In the future, European corn fields like this on in Poland could be GMO. But at least the EU can no longer force its member states to allow GMOs to be planted. Photo: Maciek via Flickr.

Euro Parliament strengthens national GMO opt-outs

Keith Taylor MEP

11th November 2014

An attempt by the UK's Conservative Party and its allies to force countries to allow EU-approved GMO crops has been defeated by the European Parliament, writes Keith Taylor. Instead MEPs voted to strengthen the national GMO opt-out. But the UK still has a battle to fight against its avidly pro-GMO government. more...
Stop TTIP logo. Image: Stop TTIP via Flickr.

TTIP - challenging the European Commission's unlawful intransigence

Mary Fitzgerald & Michael Efler

10th November 2014

The Commission's refusal to 'register' a European Citizens Initiative demanding an end to negotiations over the TTIP trade deal is more than just an affront to the 'democratic values' that Europe is meant to represent, write Mary Fitzgerald & Michael Efler. It is also unlawful, and the legal challenge filed today at the ECJ is richly deserved. more...
Stop TTIP demo in Berlin, October 2014. Photo: Jakob Huber / ECI via Stop TTIP! /  Flickr.

Lawsuit served on Commission for blocking TTIP challenge

The Ecologist

10th November 2014

A 300-strong coalition of civil society groups is taking the European Commission to the European Court of Justice, claiming that its refusal to register a official 'Citizens Initiative' opposing the EU-US TTIP trade deal was unlawful. more...
In 2011 Philip Morris Asia 'sued' Australia for 'losses' suffered due to the country's anti-smoking policies, including severely off-putting cigarette packaging. Under TTIP, US corporations could do the same to European governments. Photo: Eli Duke / Flic

TTIP threatens EU nations with corporate weapons of mass destruction

Kevin Albertson

10th November 2014

Far from creating a 'level playing field' for business, TTIP favours foreign corporations over domestic ones - while undermining governments' right to legislate for public health, safety and wellbeing. Australia got the message in 2011 after being sued for its anti-smoking policies - now Europe must catch up! more...
Photo: Frack Free Denton.

Denton, Texas hit with lawsuits after landslide fracking victory

Julie Dermansky

11th November 2014

Denton's 59-41 vote to ban fracking has got right up the nose of the state's fossil fuel elite, writes Julie Dermansky. The Texas city has already been hit with two lawsuits - but it's going to fight them all the way, with a $4 million legal fund ready and waiting. more...
The Carajas railroad, almost 900km long, connects the Grande Carajas iron and manganese mine in the heart of the Amazon to coastal port of San Luis.

Brazil - 10% of national parks and indigenous lands face mining threat

Luke Parry

7th November 2014

Legislation put forward by Brazil's re-elected President Dilma Rousseff would open up to 10% of protected areas to mining, writes Luke Parry. The effect would be to gut nature conservation in Brazil, already in a perilous state due to underfunding and growing pressure for the development of mines, dams, farms and plantations. more...
Monument to the 1984 Bhopal disaster. Photo: Luca Frediani via Wikimedia Commons.

Bhopal 30 years on - justice evaded, but the fight goes on

Vijay Prashad

3rd December 2014

Thirty years ago today, Union Carbide's pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, released toxic gases that killed 3,787 people and injured over half a million, writes Vijay Prashad. The site is still contaminated, victims remain uncompensated, and the area suffers from a high rate of serious birth defects. Yet UC's CEO evaded justice, to die in a Florida nursing home this year at the age of 92. more...
Vote Yes on 105 (Colorado). Photo: Tomas Angel Melchor / GMO OMG @ SIE FILM CENTER via Flickr.

All out for November 4th: GMO fight at the crossroads

Ronnie Cummins / Organic Consumers Association

2nd November 2014

This Tuesday voters in Oregon and Colorado will have the chance to strike a decisive blow for consumers' right to know by forcing the labeling of GMO ingredients. Big Food is spending big to mislead and confuse voters, writes Ronnie Cummins - but the outcome is looking too close to call. more...
Saved - for now. Hopwas Woods, Staffordshire. Photo: James Broad / Woodland Trust.

Ancient Woodland saved from quarrying

Oliver Tickell

31st October 2014

Lafarge Tarmac has withdrawn its bid to quarry Hopwas Woods following a huge local and national campaign. It's a victory to celebrate - but as the Woodland Trust points out, it also shows that none of our ancient woodland is truly safe from destructive development. more...
Photo: Badgers in the wild by Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust claims victory in the court of public opinion

The Ecologist

3rd November 2014

The Court of Appeal last month ruled that England's Badger cull is lawful despite the lack of independent supervision. But on the eve of a fresh Parliamentary debate, and with public opinion backing the badgers all the way, the Badger Trust is the clear winner where it really matters - in public hearts and minds. more...
Anne Power surrounded by police at an anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss, December 2013. Photo: Steven Speed / SalfordStar.com.

Fracking is driving UK civil and political rights violations

Jess Elliot & Damien Short

30th October 2014

Extreme energy in the UK is arousing extreme reactions, write Jess Elliot & Damien Short. On the one side stand citizens committed to preserving the quality of the local and global environment. And against them, a government determined to let fracking rip, and police forces prepared to ignore legal norms to suppress the growing popular resistance. more...
A typical riverside indigenous village in the Peruvian Amazon near Loreto. Photo: Thomas Stromberg via Flickr.

Peru: Amazon Indians sue government to title indigenous lands

The Ecologist

28th October 2014

Peruvian law requires the government to recognise indigenous peoples's ownership of their lands. Yet 594 communities with claims to 20 million hectares of land remain with no secure title - leaving their forests open to illegal logging, plantations and settlement. Now one village is taking its demands to the courts. more...
Farmers in Ghana marching against the Plant Breeders Bill, now before the country's parliament, September 2014. Photo: Food Sovereignty Ghana.

Ghana's farmers battle ‘Monsanto law' to retain seed freedom

Chris Walker & Oliver Tickell

24th October 2014

Ghana's government is desperate to pass a Plant Breeders Bill that would remove farmers' ancient 'seed freedom' to grow, retain, breed and develop crop varieties - while giving corporate breeders a blanket exemption from seed regulations. Now the farmers are fighting back. more...

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