Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Environment

On the Road to Paris and Beyond: What Role for Political Parties?

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As governments gear up for the international climate change Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris in December 2015, this post considers the role of political parties in climate politics. As the locus and focus of much modern-day political debate, parties arguably play a key role in shaping political conversations and actions on climate change. […]

The US, the EU, and IUU

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On 17th June 2014, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum in which some initial measures to combat illegal and unregulated fishing were established. A task force which included representatives from Environment, Commerce, Department of State, Interior, Justice and Defence was integrated with the aim of advising the White House on the design of a comprehensive […]

Will renewables find their Daimler moment in 2015?

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Two things might happen this year: renewable forms of energy such as wind, tidal, and solar power coupled to the new power-to-gas technology could become more widespread; while there could also be a gradual decoupling of fossil fuel use from economic growth. The issue of climate change has finally been recognised by world leaders, as […]

Why has Germany fallen behind in the climate protection index?

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In December 2014 the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) for 2015 was published by the environmental organisation Germanwatch, as a means of assessing the performance of 58 countries in tackling climate change. Between 2005 and 2013 Germany was one of the top 10 countries, whose climate policies were seen to be making the most effort […]

Daily Express compares EU to Nazi Germany

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  Today, writing in the Daily Express newspaper, columnist James Delingpole shockingly compares the European Union to Nazi Germany. He claimed that a “faceless commissar in Brussels” was deciding to ban every-day consumer products for no good reason. The newspaper asks its readers to play a new Christmas game called, “EU Ban Bingo” to “guess […]

An IUU fishing vessel is spotted: what next?

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The IUU Fishing Blog ends the year sharing the good news that the IUU fishing vessel Thunder has been sighted and may be close to being apprehended. An Interpol Purple Notice was issued in December 2013 in respect of the Thunder, which is flagged to Nigeria. The vessel is sought by the governments of New […]

The Politics of Climate Ambition: The EU’s 2030 Emissions Target on the Road to Paris

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With the first ten months of 2014 being the warmest January-October period since records started in 1880, many hope that the current climate change negotiations in Lima, Peru will lay the groundwork for a global climate deal in Paris in December 2015. In this context, on October 24 the European Council announced that the twenty-eight […]

Could sustainable gas as opposed to fracking give Grangemouth a long-term future?

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According to recent reports in the British media, the chemical company Ineos is at the point of investing £640 million in the controversial shale gas extraction process known as fracking. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30125028 and http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/20/ineos-founder-wants-shale-gas-revolution-in-uk. The company is hoping to use the gas extracted by this process as a raw material or feedstock for its chemical […]

Germany getting ahead with green petrol

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A recent article by Daniel Wetzel published in Die Welt newspaper on 12th November 2014 entitled: “Vom Klimakiller zum Kraftstoff”, which translates as “From climate killer to fuel”, describes the progress made by German industry to develope an environmentally friendly synthetic fuel, which can be put in the fuel tank of a motor vehicle. See […]

Either, or? British Membership and a Green Europe

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As discussions on a UK in/out referendum pick up steam, it is necessary to discuss how the United Kingdom would be affected by such a change. While the current discussion on EU/UK relations in mainstream media (in the UK and beyond) tends to focus on migration issues, there is an important environmental dimension. As such, […]

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