Frédéric Simon

The Green Brief: Energy efficiency – the EU’s favourite fail

As if instinctual, whenever national governments are confronted with a package of EU climate laws, they tend to shoot down the energy efficiency target first. And so it went on Monday (27 June) at the EU's energy council meeting.
Electric vehicles 27-06-2022

Revealed: How Italy tried diluting EU car emission rules

Italy’s EU representation in Brussels took the unusual step of sending detailed voting recommendations to Italian Members of the European Parliament earlier this month, asking them to reject a proposed EU ban on petrol and diesel cars, according to e-mails obtained by EURACTIV.
Electricity 27-06-2022

Energy transition ‘only possible with a European approach,’ says German TSO

The energy transition can only be implemented efficiently if it is planned and performed jointly at the European level, according to the power grid operator of Germany’s Baden-Württemberg region.
Electricity 27-06-2022

Academic: Integrated EU electricity market is ‘least-cost option’ for net-zero transition

With increased interconnection and trading across borders, European countries can lower the variability of wind and solar power and decrease the cost of the transition to clean energy, Leonardo Meeus told EURACTIV.
Energy 24-06-2022

EU, UK win fossil fuel ‘carve-out’ in Energy Charter Treaty deal

Investments in new fossil fuel projects will no longer enjoy legal protection on EU and UK territory under a deal reached on Friday (24 June) to reform the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty.

The Green Brief: when to call a crisis a crisis

As weeks go by, EU countries are gradually seeing their deliveries or Russian gas cut off or seriously reduced. Yet, EU politicians refuse to call the gas crisis by its name.
Climate change 22-06-2022

IPCC scientist: Europe can ‘triple’ biomass production while strengthening its green goals

The European Union could "triple" the amount of biomass produced on a sustainable basis over the coming decades while helping restore land degraded by industrial pollution, poor agriculture, erosion and climate change, says André Faaij.
Energy 21-06-2022

Youths sue European states over treaty protecting fossil fuels

Five young people who count themselves as victims of climate change filed lawsuits on Tuesday (21 June) at the European Court of Human Rights against European states for letting the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) delay the green transition.
Air Quality 20-06-2022

Dan Lert: The City of Paris aims to phase out diesel by 2024, and thermal cars by 2030

The objectives set by the Climate Air Energy Plan for Paris seek to meet the European and WHO standards on air pollution. In the French capital city, "this implies the phasing out of diesel vehicles in 2024 and the phasing out of gasoline-powered vehicles in 2030," Dan Lert said.
Energy 16-06-2022

Spanish MEP: Solar thermal needs to ‘at least triple’ by 2030

One of the lawmakers steering the revision of the EU’s renewable energy directive in the European Parliament has called on the European Union to "at least triple" or even quadruple the production of clean energy from solar thermal by the end of the decade.

Parliament groups strike compromise on EU carbon market reform

The European Parliament’s three biggest political groups, backed by the Greens, have reached a compromise deal on the reform of the EU’s emissions trading scheme ahead of a decisive vote in plenary next week.

The Green Brief: ‘F*** it, let’s try again’ on ETS reform

Last week saw fury and frustration erupt among lawmakers as the reform of the EU’s core climate policy, the emissions trading scheme (ETS), failed to win the approval of the European Parliament.

Parliament committees object to EU’s ‘green’ label for gas, nuclear

Two European Parliament committees on Tuesday (14 June) backed an attempt to stop the EU labelling gas and nuclear energy as climate-friendly investments, setting the stage for a full Parliament vote that could reject the rules next month.
Electricity 10-06-2022

EU chief announces electricity market overhaul amid ‘skyrocketing’ prices

In an about-turn, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, acknowledged that the EU’s electricity market “does not work anymore” and needs to be adapted to the “new realities of dominant renewables”.

Divided Parliament votes down EU carbon market reform

Lawmakers on the left and right wings of the Hemicycle traded accusations on Wednesday (8 June) as the European Parliament voted to reject a proposed reform of the EU carbon market, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The Green Brief: EU Parliament hit by ‘tsunami of lobbying’

Lobbying is a legitimate aspect of EU law-making in Brussels. But the amount of lobbying happening right now with the EU’s current crop of 2030 climate laws might be unprecedented, policymakers say.

Parliament’s biggest group rejects compromise on EU carbon border tax

Lawmakers are gearing up for a cliff-hanger vote on the EU’s proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) next week after the European Parliament’s main political groups failed to agree a common stance on when the new scheme should start to apply.

EU overshoots 2020 climate target, records 34% drop in emissions

The European Union slashed greenhouse gas emissions 34% below 1990 levels by 2020, overshooting the bloc’s target of 20%, according to official data submitted on Tuesday (31 May) to the UNFCCC.

The Green Brief: Banning Russian oil was the easy part

The ban on Russian oil imports, agreed by EU leaders late on Monday, is a sign that the EU compromise machine still works. A much tougher task now will be to eradicate Russian gas imports.

EU spending on climate action ‘overstated’ by €72 billion, auditors say

Spending on climate action in the EU’s 2014-2020 budget was “not as high as reported” in official documents, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) said in a report published on Monday (30 May).

The Green Brief: No done deal on EU carbon market reform

Lawmakers in the European Parliament’s environment committee voted on a major overhaul of the EU’s carbon market last week, but it’s a long and possibly bumpy road to EU legislators shaking hands on the final deal.

Trust in carbon market ‘undermined’ by EU’s Russia plans, analysts warn

Analysts have slammed European Commission plans to raise €20 billion from the EU’s carbon market stability reserve as a way of financing a €300-billion effort to wean Europe off Russian fossil fuels.
Energy 18-05-2022

EU tables €300bn plan to ditch Russian fossil fuels, speed up green transition

The European Commission submitted on Wednesday (18 May) a €300 billion plan to eliminate Russian energy imports by 2027, although it admitted this would require short-term investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure to replace imports of Russian oil and gas.

The Green Brief: Quitting Russian fossil fuels is only half the challenge

Faced with war, high energy prices and a climate crisis, Europe needs to untangle itself from Russian fossil fuels asap. But ultimately, it needs to reduce its reliance on all fossil fuels as much as possible.