Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Environment

IUU: Is it a bird or a plane? Is it illegal fishing, unregulated fishing or crime? Look to the Fish Stocks Agreement for answers

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The first global instrument to introduce the expression IUU fishing was the 2001 International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA), a non-binding international tool. Known as a toolbox for States to guide them in the fight against undesirable fishing practices, the IPOA is extensively referenced as the source of the definition […]

the Volkswagen scandal and the future of car industry lobbying on environmental issues

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The revelation of Volkswagen’s deception has left consumers, politicians, national authorities, and environmental organisations reeling. Trust in big business and industry has taken a nosedive, but it is not the first time a big company has deceived consumers and authorities, and it is unlikely to be the last scandal.  Given the lobbying power of car […]

Europe’s one-foot-in-one-foot-out approach to CCS isn’t working

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Last week’s announcement from Drax (the energy company that owns and operates the largest power station in the UK) that it would no longer invest in Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) development at its Selby plant came as little surprise. The news joins a litany of other stumbling blocks that CCS has suffered on its […]

The rescue of Volkswagen will involve a hydrogen powered engine

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What will be the long term consequences of the Volkswagen (VW) exhaust emissions scandal? Monday 21st September 2015 may go down in history as the day when the world finally lost confidence in fossil fuel powered vehicles. At the very least the scandal will probably lead to the diesel engine for private passenger vehicles becoming […]

Environmental impact of our leisure travel; a structure-agency perspective!

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The summer holiday season is over and everyone are back at work. Many people have taken a plane to somewhere nice, sunny and warm or driven to a faraway destination or been on a road trip. Yet this leisure travel, which we take for granted has a negative impact the environment. I’m not saying that […]

“On track” or “probably not enough”? EU climate policies in Juncker’s first State of the European Union address

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Last Wednesday, Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his first State of the European Union (SOTEU) address. This speech – the longest since Barroso started yearly SOTEU back in 2010 – is a key agenda-setting moment for the Commission President, providing the opportunity to set out a personal vision on the major issues facing the European Union today. […]

Does Local Climate Information Stimulate Action?

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A popular saying goes that ‘all politics is local’. While public debate on climate change often focuses on international summits and the political drama of negotiations, the real steps to address climate change will be have to be implemented at a much more local scale. Ultimately, the way we lead our lives – how we […]

How Well Does Bottom-Up Climate Governance Work?

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The failure of the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference marked a shift in international climate governance. As the system of agreeing international emissions reductions targets and then negotiating individual country contribution towards that target proved increasingly unworkable, there has been a drive towards a much more bottom-up form of climate governance. In preparation for the Paris […]

Austrian energy company will store gas from renewable energy underground

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In a press release of 1st July 2015, the German electrolyser plant construction company ETOGAS, reported how it delivered an electrolyser system to a site used by the Austrian energy company RAG Rohöl Aufsuchungs Aktiengeselleschaft in the town of Unterpilsbach in Austria. According to the press release, the equipment consisted of a 40 foot electrolysis […]

Empowering the European Parliament: a greener, more European way out of the European crises?

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Of the four main European Institutions,[1] the European Parliament (EP) has most struggled to be heard on the recent crises affecting Europe (monetary, economic, social, environmental…).[2] At a time when the European project is at great risk, and when European leaders struggle to define a common European interest, it is perhaps time to turn to […]

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