Ostend Declaration

Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK signed the Ostend Declaration at a North Sea Summit on the Belgian coast on 24 April, pledging to increase their offshore wind capacity to 300GW by 2050. It is a doubling of the commitment for 150GW by 2050 made at the first North Sea Summit last year in Denmark – but this year’s summit also doubled the number of participants. Last year’s commitment only included the four EU countries with North Sea coasts; this year, five additional countries were added. The Ostend Declaration countries also set an interim goal of 120GW of offshore wind capacity by the end of this decade. Numerous bilateral deals were signed on the side-lines. At the final press conference however, it became clear that a number of disagreements between the participating countries persist. Moreover, within the countries there remain important inconsistencies between the promotion of green energy production and the continuing support for the fossil fuel sector. Read the full declaration.

The European Commission acts against green washing

Today it is difficult for consumers to make sense of the many labels on the environmental performance of products (both goods and services) and companies. Some environmental claims are not reliable, and consumer trust in them is extremely low. Consumers can be misled, and companies can give a false impression of their environmental impacts or benefits – a practice known as greenwashing. With a proposed new law on green claims, the EU is taking action to address greenwashing, and protect consumers and the environment.

Ensuring that environmental labels and claims are credible and trustworthy will allow consumers to make better informed purchasing decisions. It will also boost the competitiveness of businesses who are striving to increase the environmental sustainability of their products and activities.

More environment news from the European Commission at https://environment.ec.europa.eu/index_en