Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition! I already did.
It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Europe in ecology-04.08

The news from this week...
  1. EU members set to demand tougher biofuel standards
  2. France and UK to step up nuclear co-operation
  3. MEPs highlight citizens' role in climate change
Some of them I have already commented, so I'll skip the biofuel part-you know I'm adamant, regulations must be made to prevent damaging the Earth more while trying to help her.

I like nuclear power. Of course, I do, I'm a physicist after all. That's why I think it's good that countries turn back to it.Also, I like that the discussion over nuclear power is back online. That's good too. But before going into endless debates whether it's good and safe or not, we must make our calculations. What we gain and what we loose from it. I think we'll gain more than loose, but it is crucial that this won't stop us from finding better technologies and sources of energy and investing in them. Because the already known good is easy, but it's not always better than the unknown. And who knows what's behind the door of science.

And on third one-HELL YES! It's high time society leaves science to scientist and start acting on reality. And the reality is that the climate is changing and that we have very big part in that change. Thus we have to start considering the consequences of our actions not only on the society, but on the planet as a whole!

EU members set to demand tougher biofuel standards

1 April 2008

Member states look set to demand stricter sustainability criteria for biofuels made from agricultural crops in a bid to avert negative environmental side-effects linked to their mass production, according to a draft paper circulated by the Slovenian Presidency.

The draft suggests that governments have agreed that a Commission proposal requiring all biofuels used in Europe to deliver life-cycle CO2 savings (i.e. during production, transport and use) of 35% compared to conventional fuels is too weak. However, definite figures remain unclear due to persistent disagreements between member states.

The draft paper is the provisional outcome of discussions within a special biofuel working group, set up by member states in February in order to hammer out "core criteria" for the sustainable production of biofuels (EurActiv 26/02/08). The working group is due to present its final report to national experts on 4 April.

The idea is that the criteria, once finalised, would be included in two key pieces of future EU legislation aimed at promoting the use of biofuels in transport. The first is the Renewables Directiveexternal , presented by the Commission on 23 January, which asks that 10% of all transport fuel consumption in the EU be covered by biofuels by 2020. The second is the Fuel Quality Directiveexternal currently under discussion in Parliament and Council, which would require fuel suppliers to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by their fuels throughout their life-cycle by 10% between 2011 and 2020, either by enhancing supply efficiency or increasing the proportion of biofuel they include in their fuels. source

France and UK to step up nuclear co-operation

27 March 2008

A two-day bilateral summit is to culminate today (27 March) with the signing of a new accord that will see France help the UK develop a new generation of nuclear power stations.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown are to seal the agreement on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium in North London, the home of Arsenal football club.

EDF, the state-controlled French power utility, said it wanted to build four new plants to help replace Britain's ageing stock of 23 nuclear power stations, which currently provide about 20% of the UK's electricity. The new reactor would be the state-of-the-art EPR model developed by French group Areva, which is also partially state-owned.

The deal would allow Britain to regain the expertise in nuclear power engineering that it lost following a planned phase-out of atomic power. The last of Britain's existing nuclear plants is scheduled for closure by 2035, leaving the country with a potential energy gap.

In Brussels, the European Commission has recently backed the technology, saying it will be needed if Europe is to meet its ambitious climate change goals and reduce CO2 emissions by a quarter by 2020. source

MEPs highlight citizens' role in climate change

3 April 2008

The European Parliament's Temporary Committee on Climate Change has warned that current climate change mitigation policies are insufficient and criticised the various "scientifically unsubstantiated efforts" to discredit studies of its causes and effects.

The committee's draft interim reportPdf external on the scientific facts of climate change, adopted on 1 April 2008, insists that current scientific knowledge about climate change and the causes of global warming is sufficient to trigger urgent political action to prepare for "adaptation to unavoidable climate change".

MEPs acknowledge that scientific progress has always been marked by uncertainties, but condemn efforts to describe results of scientific research into the causes and effects of climate change as "doubtful, uncertain or questionable". Thus the committee members think that further research aimed at better understanding global warming is essential for responsible decision-making.

The committee members agree that existing climate change mitigation policies and other sustainable development practices are not sufficient to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades. Nevertheless, they acknowledge that "nearly all member states are making good or even excellent progress" regarding their individual EU burden-sharing targets. source

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