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20 May 2015, 20:02 CET

Expert analysis, features and profiles of key topical issues in the European Union.

Subsidies should be switched

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 08 June 2010, 12:55 CET |
Filed under: Environment, FOCUS

The debate should not be between subsidy and no subsidy, but between subsidy for low carbon energy and energy efficiency and subsidy for high carbon energy.

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So it is getting warmer

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 03 June 2010, 16:00 CET |
Filed under: FOCUS

James Hansen, the top scientist at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and one of the first to warn world leaders of climate change, back in the 1980s, has said that the global temperature over the last 12 months reached its warmest on record.

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UK bills and bonfires

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 27 May 2010, 17:00 CET |
Filed under: Energy, FOCUS, UK

The new UK government has now announced its legislative programme for the next 18 months and there is to be another energy bill. This is a good bill and should be supported.

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A new UK government

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 13 May 2010, 15:50 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Energy, ANALYSIS

The UK has a new government and the prospects for climate policy are mixed. The promised policies on aviation and coal are stronger than those of the former Labour government. The approach to renewables is similar to that of Labour – though, in the UK, renewables is all about delivery, not policy. However, the approach on nuclear power looks like a recipe for muddle and delay.

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Energy efficient homes

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 05 May 2010, 16:55 CET |
Filed under: Environment, FEATURE

Too much of the general political and media discussion is about making new buildings efficient. This must be done, but is nowhere near enough, as most of the buildings that will be standing in 2050 have already been built.

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Earth Day – what have we achieved in the last 40 years?

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 22 April 2010, 16:15 CET |
Filed under: Environment, FEATURE

22 April is the fortieth Earth Day, so it is an appropriate time to consider what the environmental movement has achieved globally over the last four decades. On the first Earth Day, April 22 1970, more than 20 million Americans took part in demonstrations. It has now become a global movement and, this year, organisers say that they hope about 1.5 billion people will take part, in 190 countries.

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The UK general election – climate and money

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 06 April 2010, 15:35 CET |
Filed under: Environment, FOCUS

Climate Answers will comment on what the parties are saying they would do, their policy statements and the manifestos once they appear. Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have all made major statements in the last five weeks: Labour and Tories on energy and the Lib Dems on transport.

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Norway leads

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 24 March 2010, 17:10 CET |
Filed under: Energy, Norway, FOCUS

Last week, the Norwegian government announced that it is on track to meet its new renewables target for 2011. On the face of it, this isn’t significant – the country had only 428Mw of installed wind capacity at the end of 2009, so the contribution from wind and other 'new renewables' (that is, not large hydro) is not huge. However, Norway is significant on climate change and has played a major role in climate policy for many years.

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What the EU should do about CCS

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 03 March 2010, 23:45 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Energy, features

This morning, the Centre for European Reform launched the report which Simon Tilford and I have written about what the EU should do about CCS (carbon capture and storage). We argue that large-scale demonstration will require public money, and that widespread and rapid deployment will require regulation, ideally at European level.

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Ukraine is more than just a transit country

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 22 February 2010, 19:30 CET |

Ukraine is one of the top 20 countries in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and it is the site of Chernobyl. It is also a country which, after it became independent, gave up its nuclear weapons.

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Major progress on wind in 2009

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 15 February 2010, 16:30 CET |
Filed under: features

2009 is in danger of being remembered as the year of the Copenhagen ‘failure’ and Obama’s failure to get a cap-and-trade bill through the US Senate. However, it should be remembered as a year when, despite extremely difficult economic conditions, major polluting countries made substantial progress in expanding wind energy.

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Substantial EU progress on CCS

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 05 February 2010, 23:40 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

On Tuesday 2 February 2010, European Union member states agreed to European Commission proposals on how to distribute billions of Euros collected under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to CCS and renewable energy projects. The EU aims to have 10 to 12 large-scale (above 250Mw) CCS plants operational by 2015. This target was agreed in 2007 and the source of funding identified in 2008, but arguments about whether the Commission or national governments should select the schemes have held up progress in actually making awards of most of the money.

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Renewing and decentralising Iraq’s electricity

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 22 January 2010, 23:55 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Iraq, features

The European Union and Iraq on 18 January signed an agreement to strengthen their energy cooperation in areas such as natural gas, energy security and renewables (see EUbusiness: EU, Iraq sign energy agreement).

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Europe must follow Germany and Spain

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 07 January 2010, 16:25 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Energy, FEATURE

For the next six months, Spain holds the Presidency of the EU and, from the start of February, there will be a new European Commission, with the German Gunther Oettinger, a member of Merkel’s centre-right CDU party, as Energy Commissioner. Spain and Germany lead the EU on wind and solar power, so there are good grounds to hope that the new leadership will result in a major speeding up of the low carbon transition.

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Was Copenhagen worth it?

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 29 December 2009, 11:55 CET |
Filed under: Environment, FEATURE

Yes, just. The Copenhagen Accord is vague and, having been negotiated by a small number of countries led by the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, was only “noted” by the Conference, not formally adopted.

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Focus on forests and finance

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 17 December 2009, 15:40 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

During the last two days of the Copenhagen Summit, world leaders should focus less on targets and more on forest protection and finance.

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Copenhagen + Obama = progress?

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 07 December 2009, 23:45 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

The single most important thing that must be agreed at Copenhagen is to provide substantial extra money to protect forests.

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Controlling fuel poverty during the transition

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 01 December 2009, 19:35 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Energy, features

The transition from a fossil fuel economy to a renewable one, and the use of low-carbon bridge technologies like nuclear power and carbon capture and storage (CCS), will cost billions.

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The EU and energy efficiency

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 20 November 2009, 22:40 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Energy, features

The now-ratified Lisbon Treaty says that there will, in the future, be a common energy policy, but this is unlikely to have much practical impact. Yet the EU has already set binding and enforceable targets on renewables, has significant regulatory powers which will be crucial for widespread CCS deployment. It also has money, which will be important both for renewables and for CCS demonstration. It has little role over nuclear energy. However, it should be doing much more on energy efficiency.

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Little progress, just a dustpan and brush

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 09 November 2009, 23:35 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

The Finance Ministers of the G20 economies met over the weekend in Scotland. UK Prime Minister Brown, who attended the meeting, won headlines for his support for a tax on financial transactions, the so-called Tobin Tax. This could raise substantial amounts, which could then help fund the low-carbon transition. However, Brown did not win support, notably from the US, and the finance ministers made no significant progress on low-carbon finance.

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