Frédéric Simon

25-09-2017

The Brief: German vote takes wind out of Europe’s sails

Almost two weeks ago, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his annual State of the Union speech on the most positive note since the start of the euro debt crisis, saying "The wind is back in Europe's sails”. And indeed, so it looked, until the German elections on Sunday.

Energy 25-09-2017

Gas lobby chief: ‘In 2050, 76% of gas could be renewable’

The excess wind and solar electricity generated at times of oversupply could be used more systematically to produce synthetic gas, providing a convenient way of storing renewable energy that would otherwise be lost. The potential is huge, and can be used to heat homes during winter, argues Beate Raabe.

Climate change 21-09-2017

EU to aim for 100% emission cuts in new ‘mid-century roadmap’

EXCLUSIVE / The European Commission is preparing an update of its low-carbon economy roadmap for 2050, acknowledging that the bloc’s current target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 80% by mid-century are insufficient, EURACTIV.com has learned.

Climate change 20-09-2017

Environmentalists find renewed hope in ‘industrial’ CCS

Considered almost dead and buried a few years ago, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is enjoying renewed support among environmentalists, providing fresh hopes that the much decried technology may finally be coming of age and play its part in the fight against climate change.

Climate change 20-09-2017

Oslo Mayor: Here’s how we plan to become a carbon neutral city

The city of Oslo surprised observers last year by announcing plans to introduce a “carbon budget” with the objective of halving its global warming emissions by 2020 and becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The city’s Mayor, Raymond Johansen, told EURACTIV.com how he intends to achieve this ambitious objective.

Climate change 18-09-2017

Figueres calls for EU action plan on ‘imported deforestation’

Former UN climate Chief Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the Paris Agreement, has called on the European Union to step up regulatory action against deforestation in the global south by tackling emissions of imported agricultural goods, like beef, soy and palm oil.

Eurelectric: EU carbon market reform ‘won’t get us to 2050’

The energy transition requires deep CO2 emissions cuts of 80-95% across the economy by 2050, says Kristian Ruby. “And the current proposal won’t get us there,” he told EURACTIV.com as three-way talks to reform the EU Emissions Trading Scheme get underway.

Energy 12-09-2017

EU warned against renewables law ‘subverting’ the circular economy

Lawmakers in the European Parliament will next month examine a draft renewable energy bill that recycling industries warn would allow EU countries to count the burning of biowaste towards their green energy obligations, undermining separate efforts to boost recycling.

Energy 07-09-2017

Denmark can’t block Nord Stream 2, lawyer argues

Copenhagen will have a hard time blocking the Gazprom-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline passing through its territorial waters because it has already allowed Nord Stream 1 to use the exact same route, according to an attorney.

Electricity 06-09-2017

European power grid operators cook up ‘App Store’ for smart grids

EXCLUSIVE / Grid operators from all over Europe are currently finalising plans to launch a digital information exchange platform that will serve as a basis for developing new digital applications to manage electricity flows, and take up growing amounts of renewable energy.

Economic governance 30-08-2017

Germany warned against eurozone reform complacency ahead of election

The political will to keep the eurozone together is eroding inexorably, warns Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm from Transparency International. In an interview, he reminds German politicians about their responsibility in the eurozone crisis, calling for vital governance reforms to be adopted after the September election.

Elections 30-08-2017

Transparency International: German criticism of ECB ‘a tad dishonest’

As Germany prepares for general elections in September, Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm reminds about Berlin’s responsibility in the politicisation of the European Central Bank (ECB), saying it is largely due to German inaction during the Eurozone crisis.

Electricity 28-08-2017

Iberdrola exec: ‘We are becoming a digital company’

Electricity utility Iberdola is directing 42% of new investments into networks, hoping to reap the benefits of an economy-wide electrification process currently underway in Europe and across the world, a senior company executive has told EURACTIV.

Agrifood 20-07-2017

EU adopts first restrictions on cancer-causing acrylamide in food

Representatives of the EU’s 28 member states voted yesterday (19 July) in favour of a European Commission proposal to reduce the presence in food of acrylamide, a known carcinogenic substance present in fries, crisps, bread, biscuits, or coffee.

Air Pollution 19-07-2017

Denmark disputes ‘highly unfair’ air pollution limits on agriculture

Copenhagen voted against an EU decision to endorse an amendment to the Gothenburg Protocol on transboundary air pollution, saying it is being unfairly penalised for having taken early action to reduce ammonia emissions from its agriculture sector.

EU slapped for breaching Aarhus Convention on access to environmental justice

The European Union has accepted a UN ruling that found the bloc in breach of international laws requiring the general public to have access to justice on environmental matters, a decision applauded by green activists.

Green finance group calls on EU to stop funding fossil fuels

A group of financial experts has set out their vision for hardwiring sustainability goals into the European Union’s financial system, calling on 28-country bloc to stop pouring public money into polluting fossil fuels and focus spending on clean energies instead.

EU leaps forward in attempt to ban carcinogens at work

After more than ten years of inaction, European lawmakers have taken the first step to update EU laws related to the prevention of occupational cancers that are believed to cause 100,000 deaths every year. Trade unions hailed the EU’s decision, which brings an end to years of stalemate.

Electricity 12-07-2017

Energy and climate scenarios 2050

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The EU has set a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. But getting there will be a huge challenge that will require a transformation of our energy system.

Electricity 10-07-2017

Estonia ties electricity talks with digital policy at EU helm

Tallin will pay “particular attention” to the European Commission’s proposal for a new electricity market design, a discussion Estonia sees as part of the wider digital brief as it takes the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

EU experts agree on criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals in pesticides

Experts from the 28 EU member states approved on Tuesday (4 July) a proposed list of criteria to identify endocrine disruptors in plant protection products – a move presented by the European Commission as a step towards a broader regulatory system for similar chemicals used in cosmetics, toys and food packaging.

Europe urged to lead green finance agenda at G20

INTERVIEW / As the G20 opens in Hamburg this week, Europe needs to reflect on how it can push the global green finance agenda without the United States on board, said Christian Thimann, head of sustainability at French insurance group AXA who chairs an EU high-level group on sustainable finance.

AXA sustainability chief: Penalties for fossil fuel assets ‘merit close attention’

The European Commission’s High-Level Group on sustainable finance is currently looking at the pros and cons of slapping “penalties” on fossil fuel assets that may end up being stranded as investors shift to low-carbon portfolios, Christian Thimann told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.

Business leaders back G20 task force recommendations on climate-risk disclosure

Over 100 business leaders worldwide have backed the final recommendations of a global task force set up by the G20 to disclose how companies manage climate-related risk, in a move that could divert trillions of investments away from polluting fossil fuels.