Frédéric Simon

The Brief, powered by BP – A green bridge over the EU’s East-West divide?

A grand bargain is on the table to persuade Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to sign up to the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal. It’s an offer they would be foolish to refuse. Here’s why.

France, UK block green finance deal in setback for climate goals

Led by France and Britain, EU states yesterday (11 December) blocked a set of new rules governing which financial products can be called "green" and "sustainable", fearing it would prevent investments in nuclear and gas projects.

EU Commission unveils ‘European Green Deal’: The key points

The European Commission unveiled its hallmark European Green Deal on Wednesday (11 October), outlining a long list of policy initiatives aimed at putting Europe on track to reach net-zero emissions, and a pollution-free environment, by 2050.
Energy 10-12-2019

Europe’s solar PV sector reports 104% growth in 2019

With a growth rate of 104%, Europe’s solar photovoltaic industry is experiencing a “boom in installations,” according to statistics published on Tuesday (10 December) by SolarPower Europe, an industry association.
Energy 10-12-2019

Worries over ‘fresh money’ as EU cooks up energy transition fund

Eastern EU countries, backed by trade unions, are putting pressure on EU leaders to come up with “fresh money” to support the energy transition in coal-dependent regions as part of a Green Deal due to be unveiled this week.

‘Do no harm’: Nuclear squeezed out of EU green finance scheme

European Greens claimed victory on Thursday (5 December) after EU negotiators reached agreement on a green finance taxonomy aimed at channelling billions of private investor’s money into clean technologies. Coal, and – in principle – nuclear power, are out.
Climate change 05-12-2019

Revolt brewing against EU’s ‘unrealistic’ climate goals

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has threatened to veto Europe’s goal of becoming the first climate neutral continent in the world by 2050, adding his voice to a growing chorus of discontent as EU leaders prepare for heated climate discussions at a summit in Brussels next week.
Energy 05-12-2019

‘People’ to take centre stage in EU Commission’s new energy policy

“People, planet and partnerships” will be the three pillars of the European Commission’s energy policy in the next five years, said Kadri Simson, the EU’s recently-appointed Energy Commissioner, announcing a “massive renovation wave” to tackle energy poverty.

Europe’s environment ‘at a tipping point’, EU agency says

Europe faces environmental challenges “of unprecedented scale and urgency,” according to a comprehensive overview of air, land and water ecosystems published on Wednesday (4 December) by the European Environment Agency.

LEAKED: Brussels’ draft proposal for a European Green Deal

The incoming European Commission of Ursula von der Leyen is preparing a raft of new climate and environmental laws as part of a European Green Deal due to be unveiled on 11 December. EURACTIV got hold of a first draft, which is still subject to change.
Climate change 28-11-2019

European Parliament declares climate emergency

The European Parliament voted by a large majority on Thursday  (28 November) in favour of a resolution declaring climate emergency in Europe, piling pressure on the EU’s new  Commission to deliver an ambitious European Green Deal after it takes office next month.
Energy 28-11-2019

Power and gas ‘coupling’ seen as key to EU’s zero-carbon quest

As Europe moves towards net-zero emissions, policymakers are looking at all available sources of energy, including new low-carbon gases like hydrogen, to decarbonise at least cost. But direct electrification – of transport, industry and buildings – remains the top priority for the European Commission.

New EU chief flags climate policy as Europe’s ‘new growth strategy’

The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, cited climate policy as the most pressing issue facing her new executive team, which was officially confirmed by a vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday (27 November).

European Parliament splits over climate emergency motion

Green lawmakers in the European Parliament have lashed out against a draft motion tabled by centrist MEPs that suggested declaring a climate emergency in Europe, tabling their own motion in response to what they denounced as a “PR-stunt”.

EU strives to clarify ‘transition activities’ on path to zero-carbon goal

The European Commission has attempted to define “transition” and “enabling” economic activities on the way to net-zero emissions as part of efforts to reach compromise on a draft EU green finance taxonomy.

European coal power output sees ‘unprecedented’ decline

Electricity production from coal is on track to fall by around 3% globally in 2019 – the largest drop on record – with Western European countries leading the charge, according to fresh data published on Monday (25 November).

Housing renovation plan will be ‘flagship’ of European Green Deal

A housing renovation programme, aimed at reducing energy consumption of buildings, will be “one of the flagships” of the upcoming European Green Deal that will be unveiled by the European Commission next month, an EU official has said.

Pascal Canfin MEP: Time to declare climate emergency in Europe

The MEP chairing the European Parliament’s environment committee has called on the Assembly to declare climate emergency at the next plenary session in November. "It would be important to do it at that time," he told EURACTIV in a wide-ranging interview.
Energy 19-11-2019

Heat networks in focus as EU cities confront building emissions

Last year, the European Union embarked on a mission to decarbonise the building sector, currently responsible for 40% of the bloc’s energy use. And cities with district heat networks have a head start when it comes to integrating new low-carbon energy sources.
Electricity 13-11-2019

Nuclear power ‘dead and alive’, S&P proclaims

Growing competition from cheap renewable electricity, safety concerns, and rising costs of new plants are slowly driving nuclear power over the edge – except in Russia and China where the industry continues to enjoy extensive state support, S&P said.
Circular economy 13-11-2019

Circular economy erected as ‘number one priority’ of European Green Deal

The circular economy, including new waste and recycling laws, will represent "half" of the EU's effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and will be erected as "the number one priority" of the upcoming European Green Deal, officials have said.

Banks taking only ‘superficial’ climate action, study reveals

Despite an explosion in green finance, banks have made only superficial changes to their lending practices, with fossil fuel funding going virtually unabated over the past years, according to a new report by Boston Common Asset Management released today (11 November).
Electric vehicles 08-11-2019

‘No way around electrification,’ BMW says

Consumers are increasingly turning to electric vehicles – and they’re liking it, said BMW’s chief lobbyist in Europe, calling on policymakers to accelerate charging infrastructure deployment to support the roll-out of electric mobility on a mass scale.
Energy 06-11-2019

‘Sector coupling’: The EU energy buzzword no-one can actually pin down

For over a year, one expression – “sector coupling” – has been on everybody’s lips among EU energy policy observers in Brussels. The only problem is none of them share the same understanding of what it actually means.

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