7 July 2010

Strasbourg/Brussels, July 7 - Friends of the Earth Europe welcomed the majority vote in European Parliament today in favour of the European directive to ban illegal timber from the European market. Friends of the Earth Europe has been campaigning for over ten years for this law, to save the world's forests and to make sure forest dependent people get a fair deal. Friends of the Earth Europe will continue to follow the implementation process, to ensure countries and companies turn it into an effective law.

5 July 2010

Brussels, July 5 – In the week of the European Parliamentary vote for a new European timber law, over 120,000 European citizens have signed a petition asking European law makers to put a stop to the illegal timber trade. The petition was organised by Friends of the Earth Europe and global citzen's network Avaaz.org. Friends of the Earth Europe and Avaaz are calling on MEPs to ban illegally harvested timber and timber products from the EU market, ensure clear obligations for all timber operators and impose a minimum level of sanctions and penalties on offenders.

15 March 2010

Brussels, March 15 – Friends of the Earth Europe warmly welcomes the ambitious targets on biodiversity policy after 2010 announced at today's Environment Council, which it says are major steps towards saving biological diversity at the European and global level. The EU has adopted the ambitious target of "halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, and restoring them in so far as feasible" and also of "stepping up the EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss" by 2020.

15 March 2010

Brussels, March 15 – 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, and also the year in which the EU aimed and failed to halt the loss of biodiversity.

3 February 2010

Brussels, February 3 – A leaked document from the European Commission reveals plans to allow the controversial use of palm oil as a biofuel by redefining palm plantations as 'forests'. The expansion of palm plantations is a major cause of tropical rainforest destruction.

The draft Commission guidance for EU countries also states that cutting down a rainforest and planting a palm plantation would be possible under EU laws aimed at stopping 'unsustainable' biofuels. [1]

22 April 2009

Strasbourg, 22 April – This afternoon, the European Parliament voted to support an improved illegal timber law when a majority voted in favour of significant strengthening of the weak draft proposed by the European Commission last year.

The European Commission disappointingly continued to defend its weak position during the plenary debate on Tuesday evening. Milieudefensie/Friends of the Earth Netherlands calls upon the upcoming meeting of EU Agriculture ministers to adopt the strengthened illegal timber law before this summer.

16 April 2009

Brussels, 16 April - CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe today warned that environmentally destructive and economically unsound projects, at a total cost of 23 billion euro, in the ten new member states of central and eastern Europe, may receive an 'un-smart' green light as the European Union seeks to rapidly deploy billions of euros to offset the worsening economic crisis.

16 February 2009

16 February 2009, Brussels – Tomorrow, members of the European Parliament's environment committee will vote on crucial amendments to the Commission's timber law proposal. The legislation aims to regulate the EU timber market and to tackle the problem of illegal logging, but Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and WWF strongly criticise the Commission's original draft and urge MEPs to significantly amend it.

16 February 2009

Brussels, Belgium, 16 February - 'RegioScars' awards for the most unsustainable spending of EU funds in Central and Eastern Europe were awarded today by CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe. The prizes went to two projects in the Czech Republic and Poland currently in line for support from EU regional aid, and to Latvia's government for a decision to rule out wind energy projects from EU funds support because of the economic crisis.

9 December 2008

Brussels, 9 December 2008 - As the European Parliament and EU Member States are finalising their negotiations on a new European law for renewable energy, international environmental organisations are warning that under the new law large swathes of peatlands, possibly representing the world's largest carbon stores, will be destroyed for the purpose of producing bio-energy.


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