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Category Archives: The EU

Heathrow expansion in the shadow of Brexit

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After decades of debate on where – and whether – to expand airport capacity in south-eastern England, the UK government announced two days ago that it would favour building a third runway at Heathrow Airport. This option, highly criticised on environmental grounds (notably due to the air pollution caused by road transport to the airport) […]

Can European policies be dismantled?

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A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 42 per cent of Europeans were keen for some ‘powers’ to be returned to the national level, with only 19 per cent favouring further centralisation at EU level. The idea of ‘less Europe’ is not new: calls for it date back to the great subsidiarity debate of […]

Why the environment matters in the British EU Referendum debate

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Monday 11 April saw the launch of an impartial and independent review: the EU referendum and the UK environment. Authored by 14 international experts – and led by the three of us – this review draws on the findings of over 700 publications to investigate how has EU membership affected the UK and what might […]

A surprising deal? Cameron’s ‘reformed EU’ & the environment

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When the European Council finally drew to a close on February 19, 2016, the deal to help secure the UK’s continued membership in the European Union (called the ‘Anti-Brexit’ deal in continental newspapers) was finally agreed. After years of discussions and months of negotiations, there was a deal, publically available. This document provides insight into […]

EU facilitates Paris Agreement, but economic concerns linger

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In April 2015, we wrote a post for this series about the then forthcoming Paris climate talks. We noted how the new Juncker European Commission appeared to give a lower priority to climate change and was emphasising economic growth over other concerns, such as the environment. The post asked whether austerity would influence the EU’s […]

The Volkswagen Scandal: What could the short-term impact be on EU policy?

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The last few weeks have certainly been turbulent for Volkswagen (VW). It was discovered at the end of September 2015 that the company had manipulated tests for nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from its cars so that these appeared to be lower than they actually were. This discovery ultimately led to the resignation of VW’s CEO […]

Global carbon emissions projected to stall in 2015: What are the implications for European climate change policy?

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Today, the Global Carbon Project (GCP) released the 2015 version of the Global Carbon Budget, which provides estimates for global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, and land use change. I sat down with Professor Corinne Le Quéré, who led the 2015 Global Carbon Budget release and is the Director of the Tyndall […]

Mapping five years of environmental policy research in European studies

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The literature on European environmental policy has rapidly expanded over the last ten years. Between 2010 and 2015, there were over seven hundred articles about the European Union and environmental policy, compared to only two hundred and fifty articles between 2000 and 2005.[1] Ironically, given its focus, much of this literature is written outside of […]

Exploring the Impacts of Austerity on Environmental Policy

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Following the financial crisis of 2007/2008 and initial attempts to stimulate the economy through increased government spending, austerity has become a dominant narrative in many developed nations. Government spending has been significantly reduced in a number of European countries, as part of efforts to reduce both public deficits and debts. After several years of such […]

Empowering the European Parliament: a greener, more European way out of the European crises?

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Of the four main European Institutions,[1] the European Parliament (EP) has most struggled to be heard on the recent crises affecting Europe (monetary, economic, social, environmental…).[2] At a time when the European project is at great risk, and when European leaders struggle to define a common European interest, it is perhaps time to turn to […]

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