Stories written by Julio Godoy
Julio Godoy, born in Guatemala and based in Berlin, covers European affairs, especially those related to corruption, environmental and scientific issues. Julio has more than 30 years of experience, and has won international recognition for his work, including the Hellman-Hammett human rights award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting Online by the U.S. Society of Professional Journalists, and the Online Journalism Award for Enterprise Journalism by the Online News Association and the U.S.C. Annenberg School for Communication, as co-author of the investigative reports “Making a Killing: The Business of War” and “The Water Barons: The Privatisation of Water Services”.

Caribbean Bananas: Organic Production vs. Disease Control

FAO is currently supporting two seemingly contradictory projects in Caribbean countries: while one seeks to promote organic production, the other involves the use of chemical fungicides to fight black sigatoka, the worst enemy of this key food crop.

Hunger Persists in Latin America’s Bread Basket

Judging by the accolades and diplomas handed out to 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries by FAO, it would be easy to conclude that the region has taken a giant leap towards eradicating hunger.

Rescuing “Misfit” Vegetables – and Other Ways to Fight Food Waste

The criticism and concern voiced by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and non-governmental agencies over the huge amounts of food wasted in Europe have begun to inspire action, particularly in the form of private initiatives.

Equipment converting drainpipe heat to central heating for the Fürth town hall in Germany. Credit: Ricarda Hager - Courtesy Municipality of Fürth

Saving Heat from Going Down the Drain

Whenever hot water from the kitchen tap or the bathroom shower goes down the plughole, a substantial amount of heat energy goes with it. In some German buildings this is being recovered and used to heat buildings in the winter and run air conditioning systems in the summer, representing a real energy-saver.

Renewable Energy Alliance Stretches From Germany to Central America

A recent agreement between El Salvador and Germany, with the latter supporting two renewable energy projects that would increase installed capacity in the Central American country by 94.2 megawatts by 2013, points to a promising alliance for carbon-free energy.

Dreams of a ‘Green Utopia’ Wither in the Maghreb

When the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII), an alliance of 21 major European corporations, first unveiled plans to install a network of solar thermal, photovoltaic, and wind plants across the North African Maghreb region to generate electricity, the project was greeted as a ‘green utopia’.

How Austerity Plans Failed the European Union

The austerity programmes being rolled out in virtually every member state of the European Union (EU) - particularly in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy - have failed to reach their stated objective of consolidating public finances in order to solve sovereign debt crises.

Most EU Nuclear Power Plants ‘Unsafe’

The so-called ‘stress tests’ on nuclear power plants in the European Union (EU) have confirmed environmental and energy activists’ worst fears: most European nuclear facilities do not meet minimum security standards.

EU Seeks Protection from Emerging Economies

For many years, the European Union (EU) and its individual member states counted among the strongest advocates for free trade, arguing that it would boost economic growth and welfare both at home and abroad.

Corporate Lobbyists Threaten Democracy

Over a month has passed since the United Nations summit on sustainable development concluded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the world still appears to be unaware of one of the most important statements made during the conference that drew some 50,000 delegates from all over the world.

Mainstream Rhetoric on Nuclear Power Far From Reality

The catastrophe following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactor in March 2011 has turned the old debate on nuclear power into a war of words between international agencies and independent experts with diametrically opposed views.

Banksters Hijack Microfinance

For several decades, microcredit presented itself as a magical and benign financial tool for the poorest people in the world, who were otherwise completely excluded from conventional commercial banking services, to secure easy access to loans in order to set up their own businesses and live a dignified life.

Bankers or ‘Banksters’?

European media, political leaders, and the citizenry are bashing bankers again, overtly calling them at best accomplices of numerous illegal activities, at worst downright criminals.

Family Planning Essential for Development

Improving family planning to avoid unwanted pregnancies in developing countries, as well as assuring girls’ access to education, and women’s participation in the economy, are essential components of a sound development policy, according to Western experts and African activists.

Will Austerity Prompt Nuclear Disarmament?

The changing international political order and a dramatic budgetary situation at home are forcing France to consider giving up the extremely expensive nuclear arsenal the country has maintained since the late 1950s.

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