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Can trade and investment policy support ambitious climate action?

Since the 1990s, international climate agreements have largely taken a country-by-country approach to mitigating climate change. However, in recent years, the conclusion of numerous bilateral or regional trade and investment agreements has led to an exponential growth in the global flows of goods and capital across borders. This growth has translated into a significant increase in emissions that cannot be bound to a single country. Thus, actions designed to tackle climate change require a new set of tools and strategies. The following joint-report offers a set of complementary options that could be implemented to tackle climate impacts.

Published on November 10, 2017 - 10:18

Record surge in renewable energy

The rapid growth of renewable energy has reached a new milestone, with renewable sources contributing more than two-thirds of new power added to the world’s electricity supply in 2016. The figures come from the International Energy Agency, whose director described them as ‘the birth of a new era in solar photovoltaics’.

Published on October 30, 2017 - 20:04

Enforcing environmental rules in trade deals ‘as important as commercial rules’

An enforceable set of sustainable development requirements should be written into all free trade agreements that the EU concludes. That is the recommendation from a paper by T&E which draws on research conducted two years ago when discussions on the ‘TTIP’ EU-US trade deal were at their height.

Published on October 30, 2017 - 19:58

Public consultation on the European Environment Agency

The following document accompanies T&E’s response to the European Commission public consultation to support the evaluation of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET).

This short response is to be read alongside our response to the multiple choice consultation question.

Published on October 20, 2017 - 15:07

Trade and sustainable development – a chance for innovative thinking

Sustainable development has become one of the EU’s essential goals and is now a guiding principle for both its internal and external policies. As part of this ambition, the European Commission includes specific chapters on Trade and Sustainable Development in all free trade agreements (FTA) that it concludes with third country partners. Due to the controversy surrounding trade in recent years (for example, TTIP and CETA), the European Commission has started to recognise that there needs to be stronger coherence between trade and development policies. This paper looks at how the Trade and Sustainable Development chapters could play a crucial role in this.

Published on October 20, 2017 - 14:18

Ministers’ watering down of climate law must be resisted if EU to meet Paris commitments

EU environment ministers today decided to weaken Europe’s proposed new climate law, the Effort Sharing Regulation, and instead called for loopholes and flexibilities that would result in a net increase of carbon emissions. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) said it’s now up to MEPs and the European Commission to resist national governments’ watering down of the draft in order to prevent a net emissions increase of 38 megatonnes of CO2 (Mt CO2e) compared to the EU’s 2005 emissions. [1]

Published on October 13, 2017 - 10:11

What is the impact of loopholes in the Effort Sharing Regulation?

This paper analyses what the impact of the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) text proposed by the Estonian presidency, to be discussed by EU environment ministers on 13 October 2017, will be on greenhouse gas emissions. The conclusion is clear: the proposed text is far from reaching the maximum potential that this most important European climate reform could attain. Ministers have a last opportunity to try to increase the ambition of the text, to at least match the ambition of the European Parliament. Without an ambitious ESR, the chances of the EU sticking to the Paris agreement commitments decrease considerably.

Published on October 6, 2017 - 14:32

Make UK access to single market conditional on respect for EU environment standards after Brexit – NGO

The EU should make preferential access to the single market conditional on the UK agreeing to respect EU environmental standards and climate targets after Brexit, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The UK government must not be allowed to engage in “environmental dumping” to give Britain an edge over its EU trade partners, the NGO’s report, Putting the Environment at the Heart of Brexit, has found.

Published on September 28, 2017 - 11:16

Putting the environment at the heart of Brexit

The European Union and the United Kingdom are negotiating an agreement to ensure the UK’s orderly exit out of the Union and to agree on their future relationship. During the current Brexit negotiations, the European Commission has stated multiple times that its primary focus is on citizens and their rights and as negotiations proceed, the interests of business and market stability will be addressed. But where, then, does the environment feature? This report sets out the guiding principles for putting the environment at the heart of the Brexit talks.

Published on September 28, 2017 - 10:00

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