EU risks missing climate goals without 'sustainable' biofuels

Brussels January, 16th 2017


The European Commission’s proposal to gradually phase out “sustainable” first generation biofuels will prevent the EU from meeting its 2030 climate goals, experts claim.

In November last year, the European Commission presented its draft proposal to review the Renewable Energy Directive for the post-2020 period as part of a Clean Energy Package.

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EU social fund brings progress despite low expectations

Brussels January, 9th 2017


The European Social Fund has reached half of all EU workers and helped 10 million citizens find jobs. Contrary to the popular wisdom, the social situation in Europe is improving. The EU is known for imposing budgetary constraints and pushing liberalisation in Europe’s economies. It is rarely associated with social progress. Now, the European Commission has begun to address this image problem.

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Looking at environmental performance across the supply chain

Brussels December, 20th 2016


The environmental impact of business activity is often mistakenly limited to the direct operations of companies. In reality, it is the environmental performance of the supply chain as a whole that needs to be looked into, writes Christian Ewert.

Christian Ewert is director general of the Foreign Trade Association (FTA).

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Pro-Europeans call for more Erasmus funding

Brussels January, 19th 2017


As Erasmus turns 30, politicians and teachers have called for a massive increase to the programme’s funding. Hugely popular and undeniably successful, Erasmus is currently accessible to just 7% of young people.

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Commission and member states clash over capacity mechanism

 Brussels December, 23rd 2016


 The European Commission fears that capacity mechanisms would just translate into subsidies for coal power plants. Therefore, installations exceeding emission limits should not take part in support schemes, according to a proposal under the Energy Union’s Winter Package.

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 How Europe can give a jolt to electric car infrastructure?

Brussels December, 18th 2016


If the EU really wants to supercharge the electric vehicle revolution, it needs a quick, coordinated rollout of recharging infrastructure that sorts out issues with different chargers yet leaves room for further innovation, writes Teodora Serafimova.

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How can energy union governance help put efficiency first?

Brussels January, 9th 2017


Energy efficiency markets are driven by legislation. This is why a strong energy efficiency directive supported by a robust governance mechanism are key to delivering the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, argue Monica Frassoni and Harry Verhaar.

Monica Frassoni is president of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and Harry Verhaar is head of global public and government affairs at Philips Lighting.

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EU countries stall over carbon market reform

Brussels December, 22nd 2016


After more than a year of negotiations, EU member states have come up short in their efforts to find common ground on a carbon market reform seen as necessary if the ambitions of the Paris Agreement on climate change are to be met.Meeting at the final ministerial council chaired by the outgoing Slovak presidency yesterday (19 December), environment ministers appeared at odds over the planned reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme, the EU’s main tool to fight climate change and reward clean energy.

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The digital single market needs real skills and substance to succeed

Brussels December, 14th 2016


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Europe is creating digital jobs, but lacks the skilled workforce to fill them. The Commission should promote the benefits of action at national level without drowning member states in red tape, writes Jamie Greene.

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