No Special Treatment for Great Britain


„The European Union shouldn’t cave into Great Britain’s blackmailing”, said Jo Leinen (S&D), Member of the European Parliament, in the run-up to Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech about the UK’s future relationship to the EU. Renegotiations of the Treaties about additional exemptions for the United Kingdom are out of question. The EU is not a […]

A Global Approach for Sustainable Growth


This year, the Global Footprint Network has declared September 27th as “World Overshoot Day”. It was only September, yet all of the Earth’s natural resources for the year had already been used up. Our planet’s clock is ticking. Today, we are using 1.5 times the amount the planet has to offer. But, there remain people […]

European Emissions Trading System Faces Security Problems


On Thursday, 20 January 2011, the EU Commission was forced to suspend the trading of Co2 certificates in the frame of the European Emission Trading System (ETS) due to fraud and so called cyber-attacks. This step became necessary after the theft of seven million Euros in carbon emissions allowances and the illegal transfer of up […]

The International Community Achieves Progress in Climate Policy


The year 2010 was a successful year for environment protection efforts within the framework of the United Nations. At the end of October the conference on the Convention on biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, led to a successful outcome. The intense negotiations resulted in the ‘Access and Benefit Sharing Protocol’ (ABS), a strategic plan for 2011-2020 […]

Cancun Must be a Major Step Forward in Climate Negotiations


In a few days the next Climate Change Conference will start in Cancun, Mexico, and even if a comprehensive global agreement will not be signed, a package of decisions for climate protection must be delivered. After the setback in Copenhagen last year, it is of great importance to reach substantial progress to keep the climate […]

Breakthrough for Global Biodiversity Protection


Intense negotiations until the very end of the two-week UN conference on the Convention on biodiversity in Nagoya/ Japan led to a successful outcome on 29 October 2010. At the core of the debate was the so called ‘Access and Benefit Sharing Protocol’ (ABS), which obliges in particular the pharma and cosmetic industries to share […]

The Need to Save Biodiversity


Global warming and the loss of biodiversity are two sides of the same coin. Our activities have an adverse effect on our climate as well as on our ecosystems, and we need to act now to protect our natural capital. Approximately 50% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions are currently absorbed in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The […]

International Trade and the Fight Against Climate Change

In the fight against climate change international trade can be either part of the problem or part of the solution. Both policy areas are closely intertwined. Just consider the millions of tons of goods ranging from T-shirts to raw materials that are transported across the globe, creating 23% of global CO2 emissions. Obviously, it would […]

Europe’s New Climate Narrative – The Race is On!

It was an unexpected move and a surprise for many observers of Europe’s climate policy: German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo and UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Chris Huhne jointly called for a more ambitious European climate target in international newspapers two weeks ago. A reduction target of at least […]

Where is the Money? Europe Should Keep its Promises

The following questions were hotly debated in last year’s European Council meetings: How much financial assistance should Europe deliver in the run up to Copenhagen? In which time-frame, and under which conditions? With the financial and economic crisis in the back of everyone’s minds, none of the 27 heads of state and government attending last […]

‘Plan B’ for International Climate Negotiations

The roadmap for the next Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Mexico is clear: The EU wants a comprehensive and legally binding outcome at the end of this year. To achieve this already in 2010 should be the fundamental goal of Europe’s climate strategy. This is not only urgent because the world has […]