Energy & Environment

Climate change 23-11-2017

French dams’ days numbered after demolition decision

Two large dams on a river in northern France will be demolished after the French government finally signed off on a long-gestating plan to free up the waterway, in a decision welcomed by environmental groups and lauded as "unique in Europe" by Paris.

Energy 23-11-2017

Poland shakes off coal-dependency stereotypes

Poland has been steadily growing its share of renewable energies in an effort to decarbonise its economy, challenging stereotypes that paint it as the coal-addict of Europe. However, the deployment of renewables appears to have come to a halt since the 2015 peak.

Climate change 22-11-2017

The Brief: Talanoa dialogue, a poison pill for Poland

If anything came out of the COP23 in Bonn, it’s a poison pill. At least for Poland. The coal addicted country will host the next summit in December 2018 in Katowice: an old coal mining town. But many climate change activists do not enjoy the irony of this situation.

Development Policy 22-11-2017

EU lighting up Africa with solar

Nearly €340 billion of investment will be needed to achieve universal access to electricity across Africa by 2030, the World Energy Network forecasts. That is a tall order. The combined grid capacity of the 48 sub-Saharan African countries is around 70 gigawatts, roughly equivalent to that of Spain. While that €340 billion target is unlikely to …

Energy 22-11-2017

Commission told Hungary how to win approval for Russia-backed nuclear plant   

The European Commission assisted Hungary in finding the right loophole in EU public procurement rules to get the green-light for the construction of the Russian-backed Paks II nuclear power plant, according to internal documents seen by EURACTIV.com.

Energy 22-11-2017

Smart interconnectivity: towards a sustainable and integrated Europe

In a blog about the new European Commission expert group report “Towards a sustainable and integrated Europe”, Michal Smyk calls for a change in the way we think about smart grid interconnectivity.

Energy 22-11-2017

Next German government must not fight for right to pollute

The next German government must embrace EU protections rather than fight for the right to pollute, insists Christian Schaible.

22-11-2017

Disgraceful behaviour by the EU at high-level tuna meeting in Marrakesh

While claiming to fight for the oceans and put sustainability first, the European Commission is pushing for the largest total allowable catches of bluefin tuna ever seen, without a solid scientific basis, write Linnéa Engström, Ricardo Serrão Santos and Norica Nicolai.

Energy 22-11-2017

MPs: UK made grave errors over Hinkley nuclear project

Britain made "grave strategic errors" in its handling of the Franco-Chinese Hinkley Point nuclear project, a critical parliamentary report concluded on Wednesday (22 November).

Electricity 22-11-2017

Brexit impact on energy markets could be ‘limited’, study says

Brexit could have a limited effect on energy markets in both the United Kingdom and the European Union, according to a new study that is optimistic about the future of energy policy. But the Court of Auditors has warned that experimental energy research could suffer

Energy 22-11-2017

An agenda for Germany’s ecological modernisation

No matter which parties will eventually form a coalition, Germany’s next government will continue with an agenda of ecological modernisation, writes Arne Jungjohann. Based  on exploratory coalition talks, he explains how such an agenda could look like.

21-11-2017

Poland reacts coolly to EU court warning of fines for logging

Poland reacted coolly to a warning it could incur fines for continuing to log in the Białowieża forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, saying on Tuesday (21 November) its actions were lawful.

Energy 21-11-2017

Are we there yet? Current state of the smart home market

The smart home is capturing headlines with its futuristic possibilities of smart cars, fridges and thermostats all connected to each other. However, it is important to be realistic. The current state of the smart home is not even close to this vision, writes Paige Leuschner.

Energy 21-11-2017

Rise of cheap renewables disrupts EU energy plans for 2030

The rapid fall in costs of wind and solar power, combined with flexible demand technology, could replace “more than half” of coal and gas-powered electricity in Europe by 2030, according to new research published on Tuesday (21 November).

Development Policy 21-11-2017

Eurostat gauges EU progress on SDG implementation

Eurostat, the European Union statistical office, published on Monday (20 November) a monitoring report on how the EU as a whole implements the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), showing “significant” progress in five of them and “moderate” progress for eight others.

21-11-2017

Illegal logging to cost Poland €100k a day in EU fines

The European Union's top court said on Monday (20 November) Poland would be fined €100,000 a day if it did not stop large-scale logging in Bialowieza Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Circular economy 21-11-2017

Microplastics, macro problems

Tackling the visible impact of plastic pollution is one thing. But if we’re serious about finding a long-term solution, revealing the invisible impact is imperative, writes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jocelyn Blériot, calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics that are still widely used in carrier bags.

Electricity 20-11-2017

Industry urges Greek government to fix ‘distorted’ renewables market

The leftist Greek government has clashed with the country's energy providers over the continuation of a special levy (ELAPE) imposed in order to balance the renewable energy sources account, which is a bailout obligation.

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20-11-2017

Is the CAP fit for purpose? NGOs BirdLife, EEB and NABU publish results of shadow Fitness Check

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” is an old saying. And it really does apply to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which currently makes up the largest part, almost 40%, of the EU budget.

Energy 20-11-2017

EU Parliament set for war over energy efficiency

Lawmakers in the European Parliament have finalised the text of a crucial energy efficiency law ahead of an important vote on 28 November. But political infighting both between and within the main political groups means the result is far from certain.

Climate change 20-11-2017

Climate justice not on the menu in Bonn

Climate activists and indigenous leaders gathered last week (16 November) to raise awareness about the human rights aspect of climate action. They lamented the lack of substance in climate talks, while people are already dying due to the direct effects of climate change.

Climate change 20-11-2017

Climate finance, the sticking point in COP23

Rich countries had pledged to raise $100 billion each year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020. As of September 2017, they had pledged just $10.3 billion. And the question of who should pay remains unanswered. EURACTIV reports from the COP23 in Bonn.

17-11-2017

Luxembourg seeks to become Europe’s green finance hub

At the COP23 summit in Bonn, Luxembourg's finance and environment ministers joined with directors of the European Investment Bank to launch a de-risking mechanism that will allow financing of climate-friendly projects. 

Climate change 17-11-2017

France and the Netherlands call on EU to up climate action

As COP23 draws to a close, non-state actors were the few offering hope. The Netherlands and France also want to revise upward European ambition on climate action for 2030. EURACTIV France reports.