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The COVID-19 pandemic may have opened a window of opportunity for the European Union to strengthen its fiscal cohesion and to put the climate transition on the right track.
The European Union wants to abandon coal by 2050, but this will require significant help from European banks, which still finance 26 per cent of all coal power plants in the world.
Climate change-related extreme events have seriously damaged the countries of the European Economic Area, accounting for loss of almost 3 percent of GDP for each country per year, according to a new report by the European Environment Agency.
The value of European fossil infrastructure protected by the Energy Charter Treaty is almost €345 billion, says research by Nico Schmidt and Oliver Moldenhauer at Investigate Europe. Lawsuits, allowed by the treaty, are likely to prevent states from adopting ambitious climate policies.
Emissions are not for free in Europe. As a carbon trade system, the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) sets an annual cap and a price for emissions. Wijnand Stoefs, policy officer at Carbon Market Watch, says it should become “a more ambitious tool”.
The Global Wind Atlas displays the typical amount of wind flowing in all areas of Europe, making it easier to identify valuable ares for wind power generation.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a cruel reminder that ecosystem vitality and human health are closely linked. For Eloi Laurent, "the best economic policy is a good health policy and the best health policy is a good environmental policy. We see that there is no trade-off between economy and environment."
To meet its climate targets, the EU must double the speed it is renovating its residential and office buildings. Sweden has already almost completely decarbonised its sector. But it is on its own.
Tailing ponds are among the largest and most dangerous structures engineered by humanity, but their operation is virtually unknown to those who don’t live in their vicinity. Europe is no less at risk from incidents than the rest of the world.
As a result of more stringent standards, recycling of plastic packaging is set to fall in the EU. Without better industrial capacity, the EU will not reach its 50% target in five years' time. And illegal exports are likely to increase.