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20 May 2015, 20:02 CET

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

Major economies talk money, not targets

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 23 October 2009, 15:30 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

Most international discussion about climate change this week has been about finance, not targets. This is good news. Targets are important, but mainly for focussing attention. The Kyoto targets are supposed to be legally binding, but there is no effective enforcement mechanism. Anything agreed at Copenhagen will be similarly unenforceable. Therefore, a business plan for the low carbon transition, and substantial money for forest protection and for adaptation to the now-inevitable impacts of climate change, is urgently required.

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Acting locally, thinking globally

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 17 October 2009, 15:05 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Cars, Energy, features

“Think global; act local” – the phrase often used by of Friends of the Earth – is an excellent philosophy.

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How to Preserve Trust in Anti-trust

Posted by Ben Van Rompuy at 08 October 2009, 16:35 CET |
Filed under: EU Law, features, Competition

Let it be known: yesterday was European Competition Day. With a one-day conference in Stockholm, hosted by the Swedish EU Presidency, the European Commission wanted to enhance the visibility of EU competition policy (or anti-trust policy, in American terminology) and explain its achievements to the general public.

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Ireland votes for a more effective EU

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 08 October 2009, 10:35 CET |

The Irish have voted to accept the Lisbon Treaty so, unless the Czech Republic or Poland decide unexpectedly to refuse to do so, the Treaty of Lisbon will come into force. This will not have a significant direct effect on climate and energy policy, but it will enable to EU to focus on more important things rather than endless institutional wrangling. Most importantly, the EU can now focus on reducing its annual greenhouse emissions from over ten tonnes to the two tonnes maximum needed to protect the climate.

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Will Merkel II be green?

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 30 September 2009, 18:00 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

Angela Merkel’s victory in Germany’s election was not unexpected. What was less clear was who her coalition partner would be. The decline in the Social Democrat (SPD) vote and increase in the Free Democrat vote means that it will be the FDP. This party is liberal, in both economic and social senses. It is also very pro-business and in favour of tax cuts and is now arguing for reductions in subsidies.

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How can the EU best meet its 2020 renewables target?

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 23 September 2009, 23:25 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

Climate change: Europe needs to move more than three times as fast over the next 12 years as it has over the last 12.

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Is the ‘peak oil’ debate relevant?

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 17 September 2009, 12:05 CET |
Filed under: environment, oil, features

Should we worry about oil and gas running out? No.

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We have much to learn from Scandinavia

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 11 September 2009, 23:30 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

The Danish government has said that it will pay for poor nations, including the Maldives, to send people to the Copenhagen climate conference in December. This won’t be very expensive - EUR 2.5 million. However, it has great symbolic significance, since the Maldives could well be submerged by rising sea levels, so is the most immediately threatened of any country.

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EU talks finance as well as targets

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 03 September 2009, 21:50 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

The EU is prepared to push for funding to help developing countries control emissions and deal with the effects of climate change, according to the current chairman of the Environment Council, Swedish Environment Minister, Andreas Carlgren. However, in return, it expects national climate plans and “advanced developing countries” will have to deliver more than less advanced ones. For example, China is expected to cut emissions by up to a third compared to business-as-usual.

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Brazil must look after the Amazon - with our help

Posted by Stephen Tindale at 11 August 2009, 17:45 CET |
Filed under: Environment, features

Brazilian president, Lula da Silva, says (quite often) that “Brazil is in charge of looking after the Amazon” and, to be fair, his government has tried to reduce the rate of destruction. However, being in charge doesn’t mean paying the bill. In 2006, the Brazilian government proposed a fund, based upon donor country contributors, to defend forests. In climate terms, preventing deforestation makes more sense than investing in re-forestation, as trees do not grow fast enough to absorb enough carbon. The future international climate treaty must include significant sums of money for forest protection.

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Population change and the EU

Posted by Michael Ter-Berg at 09 July 2009, 17:35 CET |

Growth from smaller technology and service companies can deliver the taxes to pay for ageing populations. EUbusiness examines how.

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New EUbusiness study: only 2% of MEPs have financial experience

Posted by Michael Ter-Berg at 22 May 2009, 18:40 CET |

Who are the people responsible for reviewing and legislating on around 75% of all laws enacted in the 27 EU member states on behalf of 375m voters? As Europe is about to vote for a new set of MEPs, the answer to this question is fundamental both for citizens of the EU and all organisations interacting with it.

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Economic mayhem and the 2009 European elections

Posted by Michael Ter-Berg at 19 March 2009, 19:45 CET |

At a time of financial turmoil, electing 700-odd representatives to the European Parliament in Strasbourg this June may seem somewhat of a sideshow.

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Imagination, Entrepreneurship and the EU

Posted by Michael Ter-Berg at 10 March 2009, 20:05 CET |

Each year the European Union spends billions of euros on an array of programmes with aims that include developing new technologies and encouraging Universities and business to work together.  However, such initiatives can seem often more akin to the Eurovision Song contest; part of the cultural fabric, but only rarely delivering a big hit.

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