The Ecologist


EU: 50/75 of 309
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The Augustow Primeval Forest in Poland - saved from a motorway project by the EU's nature laws. Is the problem that they work too well? Photo: Erik de Haan via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

European Commission's deregulation drive threatens EU nature laws

Leonardo Mazza

11th July 2015

The EU's nature directives provide effective protection for endangered species and habitats, writes Leonardo Mazza. So why the Commission's decision to 'review' and 'modernise' the laws? With its commitment to business-friendly deregulation and uninterest in the environment, the aim is surely to gut them - something only EU-wide citizens' mobilisation can prevent. more...
One of the big debates under TTIP's 'Regulatory Cooperation' chapter concerns animal welfare and meat safety, with US standards consistently lower than those in the EU. But the cheaper US meat could take over EU markets. Photo: US 'broiler' chicken farm b

TTIP's 'Regulatory Cooperation' would force down standards in US and EU

Friends of the Earth Europe

13th July 2015

Dissent over the massive USA-EU TTIP trade deal is focused on the 'corporate courts' allowing investors to sue national governments, But largely neglected has been the equally serious issue of 'Regulatory Cooperation' - which would impose a huge burden of 'red tape' on EU and US legislatures, while forcing down health, safety, social and environmental standards. more...
Rapporteur Bernd Lange: 'we have given clear guidance for the Commission on what kind of deal we want. And if, at the end of the day, the agreement is bad, we will reject it. If it's good, we will vote in favour.' Photo: European Parliament.

European Parliament TTIP vote ignores citizen concerns

The Ecologist

8th July 2015

MEPs backed the TTIP EU-USA trade and investment deal by almost 2:1 today, ignoring civil society fears. New texts on key issues like ISDS appeared to address public concerns, but campaigners insist that 'the most dangerous proposals' remain. more...
Barack Obama and David Cameron plotting the 'Bill of Corproate Rights' that is TTIP at the Lough Erne G8 summit in June 2013. Photo: President of the European Council via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

European Parliament's TTIP vote - democracy itself is at stake

Polly Jones

8th July 2014

The European Parliament votes today on the TTIP 'trade' deal, described as a 'Bill of Corporate Rights' that will undermine democracy in both the EU and the US, writes Polly Jones. But given the extraordinary secrecy that shrouds the negotiations, few of the MEPs themselves really know what they are voting on. more...
If Hinkley C is allowed, then other will follow in Poland, Czech, Hungary and UK. The Dukovany nuclear complex, Vysocina Region, Czech Republic. Photo: Zruda via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Austria files Hinkley Point C legal challenge in European Court

Oliver Tickell

6th July 2015

Austria today filed its legal challenge to the UK's €108 billion support package for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, writes Oliver Tickell. A second such challenge at the European Court is due from green energy suppliers in Germany and Austria who fear unfair competition from subsidised nuclear power in Poland, Czech and Hungary if the Hinkley C precedent stands. more...
Another Greece: from the river Kastor near the village Kastori (or Kastania as it is also known) in the Peloponnese, near Sparta. Photo: Stephen Pougas via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The Greening of Greece - the ecologic opportunity for Europe to embrace

Oliver Tickell

7th July 2015

Greece's economic woes will never be solved by merely moving money around the banking system, writes Oliver Tickell. The lasting solution is to restore native forests to her barren hills and mountains, invest in large-scale solar power to energise Europe, and create an examplar of sustainable development for our global future. more...
Decoding the cassava genome. Photo: Neil Palmer / CIAT via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

TTIP could open EU to 'new biotech' GMO seeds and foods

Coroprate Europe Observatory & Inf'OGM

7th July 2015

The EU Parliament is voting tomorrow on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated between the USA and the EU. But do MEPs realise that the agreement could force European markets open to 'new biotech' foods and crops using advanced GM technologies that do not meet current definitions of 'GMO' within the EU? more...
OXI! Before the Greek referendum, on 3rd July 2015,  thousands gather to campaign for a NO vote in Syntagma square, Athens, Greece. Photo: Ggia via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

OXI ! Our NO is a majestic, big YES to a democratic, rational Europe!

Yanis Varoufakis

6th July 2015

Greece's refusal to accept a century of debt servitude to illegitimate creditors is a decisive moment for Greece, Europe and indebted nations everywhere, writes Yanis Varoufakis. With even the IMF agreeing with SYRIZA's economic analysis, the troika's insistence on endless austerity was only meant to ruin Greece and humiliate its government. But now everything has changed. more...
Photo: Troed-Y-Rhiw Farm via Facebook.

To support 'green' farming, officials must learn that small is beautiful

Alicia Miller / Sustainable Food Trust.

16th June 2015

It's a hard life being an organic farmer, writes Alicia Miller - and specially when it comes to engaging with a bureaucracy that's trying to 'green' our agriculture. Should small scale farmers change their farming practices to fit in with it? Or the other way round? more...
A TTIP flashmob event in Hamburg - one of many protests that have won over popular opinion, and increasiongly, that of MEPs. Photo: Campact via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Cancelled: the EU's great TTIP debate that never was

Nick Dearden

10th June 2015

A long scheduled vote on the TTIP was suddenly postponed in the European Parliament today, writes Nick Dearden. Officially, this was because there were 'too many amendments'. But in reality TTIP backers smelt defeat and ducked the democratic test. more...
The Dalmatian pelican suffered large declines in the last centuries due to habitat loss and degradation and persecution, but thanks to habitat management and restoration the population in Europe is recovering and the species is no longer at risk. Photo: B

One fifth of Europe's birds are in danger of extinction

The Ecologist

3rd June 2015

Conservation projects have pulled several endangered European birds back from the brink of extinction, but habitat loss, industrial farming, over fishing and climate change all represent growing threats that requires broader and deeper change in the EU and beyond. more...
Slieve Gallion in the Sperrin Mountains of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, at risk from a proposed gold mine. Photo: SHANLISS_SNAPPER via Flickr (CC BY).

EU nature laws are essential to fight off wildlife attacks in Northern Ireland

Andy Atkins

26th June 2015

Northern Ireland shows just how much we need the EU's laws protecting nature, writes Andy Atkins - and for the Government to enforce them. The province's wonderful natural heritage is at risk from aggressive and often unlawful developments. And the EU nature laws are essential for us to fight off a host of threats - among them sand dredging, gold mining, road-building and over-fishing. more...

EU: 50/75 of 309
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Mursi tribal member, Omo Valley, by Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Stopping the corporate power grab - it's not all just about TTIP

Alex Scrivener / Global Justice Now

20th May 2015

Thanks to TTIP the corporate drive for free trade is once more facing critical public scrutiny, writes Alex Scrivener. But in the rush to oppose TTIP we mustn't lose sight of the context in which the deal is being negotiated - the hundreds of bilateral treaties that give corporations the right to sue in secret 'trade courts'. more...
STOP TPP Overpass Light Brigade San Diego. Photo: Syd Stevens / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

US Senators just knocked a wheel off TPP and TTIP. Now let's finish the job!

Nick Dearden

13th May 2015

A Senate vote yesterday to deny President Obama 'fast track' authority in negotiating TPP and TTIP looks like the beginning of the end for these trade deals and their secret corporate courts, writes Nick Dearden. Now it's up to Europeans to make sure the EU Parliament votes against TTIP in a crucial vote next month. more...
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) at RSPB Medmerry, West Sussex England. Photo: BiteYourBum.Com Photography via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

We must defend Europe's wildlife laws!

Martin Harper

12th May 2015

Europe's most important laws for wildlife, the EU's Nature Directives, are under threat in from a recently launched 'review', writes Martin Harper. The official purpose is to make the laws more effective, but in reality it's all part of the Commission's agenda to strip away regulations that impede business in its pursuit of profit. more...
Hares beware - a early action of the new Conservative government is expected to be a repeal of the Hunting with Dogs Act, opening the way to hare-coursing in the English countryside. Photo: oneshotonepic via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Green crap is coming our way - so let's be prepared!

Oliver Tickell

11th May 2015

As Cameron appoints his cabinet, we had better get prepared for the 'green crap' that's about to be unleashed on us, writes Oliver Tickell - the return of fox-hunting, badger-culling, road building and nuclear power, the arrival of GM food and crops, more cuts to wind and solar power and the underfunding of home insulation. more...
IPV vaccination scene at Yokohama City University Medical Center, Japan. Photo: Sanofi Pasteur / Aiko Kawamura via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Mandatory vaccination would violate our human rights

Anna Watson / EFVV

5th May 2015

We all have the human right to freedom of informed medical consent, writes Anna Watson. However this right is violated in 40% of EU countries which impose mandatory vaccination under threat of fines or imprisonment. Now health campaigners are petitioning the EU to protect and promote citizens' right to make their own informed medical choices. more...
Photo: Coca Cola sign on the San Francisco skyline by .freeside. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

EU's 'trade secret' protection risks health, environment and freedom!

Anne Friel & Anaïs Berthier / ClientEarth

10th June 2015

A new Trade Secrets law to be voted on next week by the European Parliament threatens a massive clampdown on journalists and whistle-blowers, write Anne Friel & Anaïs Berthier, giving corporations the right to sue those who disclose private information even in the public interest to protect health, safety and environment. more...
Something to celebrate: an orangutan swings through the jungle near Bukit Lawang in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Nick Leonard via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Orangutans' reprieve: EuroParl votes to limit biofuels

The Ecologist

28th April 2015

Rainforests around the world and the wildlife they sustain have a rosier future after the European Parliament voted to limit the growth of biofuels such as palm oil in the transport sector. more...
The signing of the EU's new GMO law on 11th March 2015 in Strasbourg with EuroParl President Martin Schulz and Zanda Kalnina Lukasevica, Latvian Parliamentary State Secretary for the European Affairs. Photo: European Union 2014 (CC BY-NC-ND).

Can EU countries really be GMO-free? The new GM food law won't make it easy

Mary Dobbs

25th May 2015

In principle the EU's new rules on GMOs allow member states to opt out of GMO crops and foods, writes Mary Dobbs. But they can only do so on very limited grounds, and in a consistent and non-discriminatory way. Being GM-free may be a lot harder than some countries, and campaigners, suppose. more...
Now these Norwegian protestors against Monsanto are more likely to get their way, following the GMO 'national opt-out' proposals set out by EuroComm. Photo: Caroline Hargreaves via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

EuroComm proposes EU country opt-outs on GMO foods


23rd April 2015

The European Commission has proposed new rules on foods derived from GMOs that would allow EU countries to opt out from the Europe-wide approval system - a move that has attracted strong criticism from all parties in the GMO debate. more...
Participants on the April 2015 EU Lobbyland tour of Brussels. Photo: Corporate Observatory Europe.

Exposing the secrets of the EU's corporate Lobbyland

David Lundy & Olivier Hoedeman, Corporate Europe Observatory

28th April 2015

Brussels is a city of ruthless, well-resourced corporate lobbyists. And unlike ordinary EU citizens, they enjoy priviliged access to officials, negotiators and parliamentarians, and are used to getting their own way. That's a state of affairs that David Lundy & Olivier Hoedeman are determined to end with their 'citizens tours' of EU Lobbyland ... more...
Conditions in US factory farms are even worse than those in the EU. Now will MEPs vote to make the higher of EU and US standards apply under TTIP? Or the lower? Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

TTIP: Europe's food, farms and animals at risk from EuroParl backroom deal

Molly Scott Cato MEP

13th April 2015

MEPs vote tomorrow on Green measures to ensure that TTIP 'harmonisation' on food and farming means applying the highest standards, not the lowest, writes Molly Scott Cato. But will MEP's put farmers, food and animals before corporate profit? more...
It's estimated that 70% of food products in US supermarkets contain GMO ingredients. With TTIP, things could soon go the same way in the UK and other European countries. Photo:  Jaro Larnos via Flickr (CC BY).

TTIP could soon bring GM foods to UK supermarket shelves

Linda Kaucher

2nd April 2015

Thanks to pro-GMO politicans and lobbying by powerful agribusiness interests the UK and other EU countries may soon find supermarket shelves flooded with GM foods, both imported and home grown, writes Linda Kaucher. We must press parliamentary candidates now to defend us from this serious and long-term debasement of our food and farming. more...
Photo: Tori Rector via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Wikileaks papers reveal TPP's huge corporate giveaway


29th March 2015

Leaked papers reveal that the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal would represent a historic transfer of power and money from the US and other governments to corporations. more...


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