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Greenpeace European Unit

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.

MEPs bend but do not break under car lobby pressure
Members of the European Parliament's environment committee have voted in favour of long-term targets to improve car fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by 2025, said Greenpeace. But MEPs also voted to weaken the EU's 2020 target.

New report shows urgent need to eliminate bee-killer pesticides in Europe
Greenpeace has released a comprehensive scientific review of the factors that put pollinators and agriculture in Europe at risk. The study highlights the ecological and economic importance of healthy bee populations and stresses the urgent need for the elimination of bee-harming pesticides from agriculture. Such elimination would be a crucial and effective first step to protect the health of bee populations and to safeguard their pollination value that is vital for the ecosystem and food production in Europe.

EU parliament votes to overhaul fisheries policy
A historic vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today has brought the prospect of a fast recovery of Europe’s fish stocks one step closer, according to Greenpeace.

Commission acts on bee-killing pesticides but stops short of complete ban
The European Commission will today ask EU member state representatives to consider imposing restrictions on certain pesticides because of their harmful effects on bees. Greenpeace welcomes the move by the Commission, which follows the publication of several scientific studies linking the use of neonicotinoid pesticides to the disappearance of bees.

New report presents alternatives to harmful biofuels to decarbonise EU transport
Europe can effectively replace oil with renewable energy in transport without resorting to harmful biofuels, according to a new report by Dutch research institute CE Delft, commissioned by environmental groups.

Fisheries Ministers must pick up pace on road to stock recovery
Greenpeace is critical of last night’s deal on fish quotas for 2013, as it allows more fish to be caught than is sustainable. However, ministers for the first time have shown a level of discipline that has not been evident in the horse-trading over previous quota negotiations.

Parliament committee fails to rein in river pollution by gender-bending drugs
The European Parliament’s environment committee today supported taking advantage of the links between different pieces of legislation that affect water pollution to help phase out the most dangerous chemicals. In its vote the committee also recognised water pollution from certain pharmaceuticals as serious, but failed to set limits recommended by scientists to ensure they are reduced and filtered out of rivers and lakes, said Greenpeace.

Commission ignores own research and labels biofuels from palm oil 'sustainable'
The European Commission last Friday approved a certification scheme which would brand biofuels produced from palm oil as ‘sustainable’, despite evidence that their production contributes to deforestation, peatland degradation, disputes over land rights, and climate change.

Report: new GM crops would cause dramatic increase in EU herbicide use
The cultivation of new GM crops in Europe could increase herbicide use by up to 15 times, warned an agricultural forecast commissioned by Greenpeace and presented in Brussels today. Activists took this 'toxic warning' to the doorstep of the European Commission, concluding an eight-city tour of Europe alerting citizens, farming communities and decision-makers of the impending threat.

European food agency issues preliminary review of GM maize rat study
French study raises questions on lack of long-term testing under EU rules

MEPs back conflicting measures to limit the global impact of the EU fishing fleet
The European Parliament's Fisheries Committee has voted today on proposed changes to the EU's fishing practices in international and foreign waters. The committee recognised the need to reduce the impact of EU fishing vessels abroad, but at the same time backed some protectionist measures that favour Europe's long-distance fleet.

Commission calls for ban of destructive deep-sea fishing in the Northeast Atlantic
Greenpeace has welcomed a plan presented by the European Commission to ban some of the most environmentally damaging fishing practices, under a review of EU rules governing deep-sea fishing in the Northeast and Central Atlantic. The Commission wants to phase out licences for deep-sea trawling and gillnet fishing in the area over the next two years, acting on a long-standing pledge request by the United Nations to end destructive fishing in some of the world's most sensitive and rich ecosystems.

Europe in the slow lane on car efficiency standards
Greenpeace today criticised the European Commission for diluting new proposed vehicle efficiency standards, following pressure from the car industry.

Commission report highlights failure by EU governments to tackle excessive fishing capacity
Greenpeace urged EU fisheries ministers to put their houses in order, as a new report by the European Commission highlights the lack of effective action to recognise and tackle the excessive fishing capacity of EU fleets. The report comes as the EU is in the midst of a once-in-a-decade reform of its fisheries policy.

Greenpeace comment on the outcome of the EU fisheries Council
EU fisheries ministers meeting in Luxembourg have backed a damaging common approach to the reform of EU fishing rules that could allow overfishing to continue for at least another decade, said Greenpeace.

Industry and civil society unite in calling for 100% clean energy in Europe
The answer to today's energy and environmental challenges lies in the creation of a cutting-edge economy underpinned by an entirely clean and efficient energy system, said a broad coalition of engineering, energy and technology companies, alongside civil society organisations. A 100 percent renewables declaration was delivered today to Martin Lidegaard, Danish minister for energy and current holder of the EU presidency, at a European Wind Energy Association event in Copenhagen.

Plunder continues as EU fisheries ministers tinker around the edges of reform
European fisheries ministers meeting in Brussels to discuss the reform of EU fishing rules are expected to ignore the critical imbalance between the bloated size of EU fleets and dwindling stocks, said Greenpeace. Ministers are likely to reach an agreement on how to manage the impact of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy on fishing in foreign waters.

Commission climate paper - Europe can save billions in fuel costs
The European Commission today set out how Europe could increase its climate ambition, presenting a series of pathways to further reduce carbon emissions by 2020.

BASF retreats from Europe as GM crops rejected
BASF today announced it is abandoning its plans to develop and commercialise genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe.

EU roadmap: clean energy future at no extra cost - Commission study reveals irrelevance of coal and nuclear despite skewed accounting
A roadmap published today by the European Commission exploring different energy pathways over the next 40 years has shown that an energy system based largely on renewables and efficiency will cost taxpayers no more than a system locking Europe into fossil fuels and nuclear energy, said Greenpeace. Renewables emerge as the dominant energy source, despite skewed calculations to keep nuclear energy and fossil fuels in the energy mix.

EU floats plan to recover fish stocks but sinks on fleet reductions
The European Commission today launched a crucial plan for EU fisheries reform aiming to restore fish populations in just four years. But the current plan is unlikely to deliver its ambitious target with almost no concrete measures to reduce the size of the fishing fleet to counter the decline in stocks, said Greenpeace.

European Parliament strengthens draft laws to ban GM crops
The European Parliament today voted to strengthen a draft EU law giving member states a new right to ban genetically modified (GM) crops from being grown in their territories.

First Citizens’ Initiative inspired by the Lisbon Treaty delivered to the European Commission
Today, Avaaz and Greenpeace delivered the first ever Citizens’ Initiative inspired by the Lisbon Treaty to Health Commissioner John Dalli. Since December 2009, the citizen’s right of initiative is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty, allowing a million citizens from a significant number of member states to ask the European Commission to change European law.

Greenpeace calls for deep sea drilling ban as Commission shakes up oil rules
New deep sea oil operations should be banned as the only sure way of preventing a Deepwater Horizon-like spill in Europe, Greenpeace said in response to today’s shake-up of offshore drilling rules by the European Commission.

Commission plans to relax rules on GM crops in Europe - Procedural tweaks fail to protect public and environment
The European Commission will announce today proposals to speed up the union’s genetically modified (GM) crop authorisation procedure. Member states are being promised the right to ban GM cultivation if they reduce their opposition during the EU-level authorisation process.

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