Reduced levels of physical activity, increases in sedentary behaviour, and modifications in the structure of diet are contributing to a rising epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as obesity, certain cancers, coronary heart and cerebrovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes. Encouraging individuals to make ‘smart choices’ in terms of eating well and maintaining a physically active lifestyle that will protect their health is key. How to encourage individuals to adopt these healthy behaviours is challenging as there are numerous barriers.
Friends of Europe’s annual Energy Policy Summit entitled “Europe’s uncertain energy future” co-organised by the International Energy Agency (IEA), EUROPIA, Statnett and EU40 and with the support of Swissgrid, TAP and ExxonMobil and will be held on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 in Brussels.The Arab spring, the Eurozone crisis, Fukushima and rising energy prices have greatly changed the outlook for Europe’s transition to a low-carbon energy system. What will be the new trends identified in the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2011? Will there also be a “Golden Age of Gas” in Europe and what is the vision of the European Commission for Europe’s long-term energy future as presented in its Energy Roadmap 2050 foresee for November?
The AidEx conference and exhibition, which takes place at the Heysel in Brussels between 19 and 20 October, is the only European event bringing together the humanitarian aid, disaster relief and development communities. AidEx provides a unique forum for all stakeholders, from policymakers to professionals, to work together to share solutions on how to improve the efficiency of humanitarian aid.
The EU has achieved a great deal in the last 25 years, including the European single market, the introduction of the euro, and eastward enlargement. But the 21st Century has spotlighted a host of tough challenges as eurozone government’s battle with the sovereign debt crisis, Europe fights for its place on an increasingly crowded international stage and a largely disaffected European public demands a stronger voice in what it sees as an elitist EU.
Are current high oil prices just due to the crisis in Libya and tensions in the Middle East or are they a confirmation of the “end of cheap oil” as the International Energy Agency predicted last year. Has the world reached the peak of oil production and will future demand outstrip what oil producers can supply? How much oil is there really left and can and should the world move out of oil for climate security? These are some of the questions that will be addressed at this roundtable.
In Spring 2010, PwC, the European Climate Forum, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the International Institute for Applied System Analysis published an optimistic roadmap claiming 100% renewable electricity generation for Europe and North Africa is feasible by 2050. Now, one year later, Europe’s focus is on budget deficits, saving the Euro, monitoring uprisings in the Middle East and leading NATO interventions in Libya. Has any progress really been made towards the 100% renewables roadmap in the last twelve months or have austerity cuts and the new potential “dash for gas” derailed the Renewables Roadmap?
Green Week 2011, organised by the European Commission’s DG Environment, will address the problem of resource depletion and scarcities. Green Week attracts over 4,000 participants from Europe and the rest of the world. Friends of Europe’s European Policy Summit, entitled "Europe's scarce resources strategy", will consist of two sessions focusing on Europe's response to the "scramble for global resources" and speeding up the revolution in how business thinks of resource efficiency.
With oil prices firmly above 100 dollars, increasing worries about future supply-demand challenges, the volatile political situation in the Middle East and recent concerns over nuclear power after Fukushima, the debate on energy security of supply and future energy mix is more actual than ever. Renewable energies are the obvious candidates to safeguard Europe’s energy security in the long-term. Have recent developments in the solar photovoltaic industry brought the industry closer to “grid parity”, the point at which solar becomes equal to or cheaper than conventional sources such as gas or coal?
What competitive advantages and opportunities can cloud computing provide for government business and citizens in several areas of the European economy such as health, transport or environmental protection. Can cloud computing be one of the key tools for the EU’s 2020 strategy for “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”? Can cloud computing be greened?
The EU must not restrict advertising if it wants to maintain a free and independent press, Friends of Europe's Café Crossfire discussion heard on February 9th. The debate, which brought together MEPs, commission officials, journalist and media specialists, looked at the key challenges facing Europe's fourth estate, as newspapers struggle with falling advertising revenue and growing competition from the internet.