A few days ago the death was announced of F. Sherwood Rowland, the American scientist who identified the damage being caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to the earth’s protective ozone layer. His pioneering scientific work and the fierce campaigning by him and his collaborators led to a UN framework agreement to tackle the problem and to [...]
For the European Union it was a depressing end to the year! Gone were all hopes of providing global leadership at the Copenhagen conference on climate change. The EU found itself helpless on the sidelines as the US president, constrained by a sceptical Congress, confronted a Chinese prime minister apparently determined to reject any binding [...]
The European Parliament’s convincing vote for Jose Manuel Barroso’s second term as European Commission president puts him in a stronger position than any candidate since Jacques Delors in the 1980s. To have secured the votes of the European Conservatives and their allies and an estimated 25 Socialists in addition to his centre right supporters in [...]
What a frustrating time this must be for Sweden’s EU presidency! Stockholm’s ambitious plans to demonstrate its dynamic management of the Union are becalmed. Two days after confirming the Council’s candidacy of Barroso, prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was obliged to announce that the European Parliament had postponed until mid-September its vote on renewing the Commission [...]
Who’d be leader of the British Conservatives in the European Parliament? No sooner had the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) been formed, with representation of eight member countries, than Finland’s Hannu Takkula decided not to join the group after all. He has chosen to remain with the Liberal ALDE group in deference to home [...]
If you want a flavour of the political challenges we face in dealing with global climate change, then take a look at European fisheries. It’s a disaster area! We should heed the warnings it sends.
For year after year political expediency has triumphed over the evident need for drastic action to save a vital resource from [...]
It’s maybe hard to think of global warming as we shiver in the coldest European winter for two decades, but there are just nine months to go before COP15, the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, which may well determine whether or not the world can respond to a threat to our planet which [...]
After all the excitement of an amazing US presidential election, here we stand in the cold light of dawn, wondering what happens next. What can we Europeans expect of President Barack Obama? As others have pointed out, his first duty will be to serve the interests of those who elected him and not the political [...]
The surge in world food prices, oil prices at well over $110 a barrel and measures to boost the use of biofuels in the US and Europe are putting policy-makers into crisis mode.
It is extraordinary how this situation has taken fire in just a few months and how intertwined the different factors are. A perfect [...]