Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Environment

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, […]

Climate Policy after the Crisis: From Environment to Energy

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The combined effects of the financial and economic crisis starting in 2008 and the fiasco of the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiation have led to a gradual re-framing of climate change from an environmental to an energy issue. As I detail below, this re-framing has happened in subtle, and not-so-subtle ways, from changes in political rhetoric […]

Illegal Fishing and Europe: Control Begins At Home

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Oceana has reported on the concerning state of swordfish fisheries in the Mediterranean, highlighting in particular the indiscriminate targeting and trading of this fish by EU (particularly Italian) vessels. According to the NGO, EU inspectors recorded a series of serious incidents in Italy during March 2013. These included the widespread trading of undersize swordfish, unusually […]

Illegal Fishing of Swordfish Highlights Weaknesses in IUU Control Mechanisms

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Swordfish has been in the limelight this year, not less because of the recent ban handed by the EU to Sri Lanka, a swordfish exporter to European markets.  The ban is likely to be implemented in early 2015 and will close the Union’s doors to a substantial volume of seafood. According to the European Commission, […]

Why did UKIP win in Clacton?

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UKIP, a political party whose polices are based on a profound fear of immigrants, has just had their first  MP elected by the people of Clacton, a town which is over 90% white British, with hardly any immigrants.  Yet in London – one of the world’s most diverse ethnic cities, where less than 50% are white British […]

Road to Paris: Time for UK to show leadership on climate change

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The next twelve months will be critical in shaping the European Union’s position on climate change, ahead of the all-important UN climate negotiations which start next November in Paris. But will the UK be a help or a hindrance to delivering ambitious action on climate change? At the UN Climate Summit in New York this […]

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