Frédéric Simon

Natural gas is a ‘caveat’ in energy transition, EU admits

While fossil fuel projects are in theory excluded from EU funding, natural gas will continue to play a key role in replacing coal while helping to build a hydrogen infrastructure at least cost, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday (28 May).
Energy 28-05-2020

EU boosts ‘just transition fund’, pledging €40 billion to exit fossil fuels

The European Commission has increased five-fold its proposed EU fund to wean carbon-intensive regions off fossil fuels, with fresh cash from a new recovery fund to help Europe's ailing economies rebound after the new coronavirus pandemic.

‘Do no harm’: EU recovery fund has green strings attached

The European Union's proposed €750 billion fund to help the bloc recover from the coronavirus crisis will have green strings attached, with 25% of all funding set aside for climate action, the European Commission has said.
Energy 26-05-2020

Electricity giants join forces on renewable hydrogen

Major European electricity groups – including Enel, Iberdrola, Ørsted, and EDP – have issued a joint call urging the European Commission to prioritise renewable hydrogen in its upcoming pandemic recovery plan.

In political U-turn, Czechs back EU’s green recovery plan

A draft statement from the Czech government calls on the EU economic recovery plan and long-term budget to fall in line with the European Green Deal, marking a U-turn from Prague's earlier positions.

French MEP floats ‘win-win’ green compromise on EU budget

A European tax on financial transactions and corporate profits could bring an annual €120 billion to the EU budget and finance a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, without asking a penny more from national governments, says Pierre Larrouturou.

EXCLUSIVE: Eight EU states back ‘natural gas’ in net-zero transition

A group of eight EU countries from the Balkans and the east have joined forces to defend the “role of natural gas in a climate-neutral Europe”.
Biomass 20-05-2020

Brussels bares teeth with launch of new biodiversity plan

The European Commission is getting tough on biodiversity with a new set of “nature restoration targets” announced for publication next year, which the EU executive says will be strictly enforced.

LEAKED: Europe’s draft ‘green recovery’ plan

The European Commission’s promised green recovery plan will focus on building renovation, renewables and hydrogen as well as clean mobility and the circular economy, according to a leaked working document obtained by EURACTIV.

EU’s ‘Clean Hydrogen Alliance’ must focus on renewables, greens insist

The European Commission’s "Clean Hydrogen Alliance," expected to be launched in the summer, should focus primarily on ensuring that renewables-based hydrogen becomes cheaper than fossil alternatives, campaigners argue.
Biomass 19-05-2020

EU plans sweeping bioenergy review by end 2020

The European Commission intends to push a “transformative approach” to all forms of bioenergy – including biofuels and woody biomass – as part of a biodiversity strategy due to be unveiled on Wednesday (20 May).

Gas industry urged to ‘accelerate’ transition to hydrogen

Hydrogen has become a central element of EU plans to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century. The key question now is how to accelerate the transition and upgrade the gas infrastructure, policymakers say. “We need to accelerate” the gas industry’s conversion...
Politics 15-05-2020

‘Eurocrats with a heart’ raise €150k for virus-hit regions

Self-proclaimed “faceless” EU civil servants have decided to put their hands in their pockets to build a European solidarity fund for people in COVID-hit regions like Spain and northern Italy.
Climate change 12-05-2020

IEA: Oil crisis is ‘litmus test’ for industry’s resolve on climate

The April oil market crash will test the determination of majors like Shell and BP, which have recently announced goals to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Green Transition at the heart of the EU Recovery Fund

EU leaders have tasked the European Commission with drafting a trillion-euro recovery fund to restart the economy after the coronavirus crisis. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has since pledged to put the green and digital transitions at the heart...

EU decides: No green strings attached on cash to virus-hit firms

Large companies receiving emergency cash during the COVID-19 crisis will have to report on how they use taxpayer money but won’t be obliged to spend on greening their operations, under new EU rules published yesterday (8 May).
Biomass 08-05-2020

EU aims to ring-fence ‘old-growth forests’ in new biodiversity plan

At least 10% of land – considerably more than the current 3% – will have to be declared “strictly protected areas” under a new EU biodiversity strategy due to be unveiled later this month.

EU eyes green conditions on state aid to virus-hit firms

An imminent revision of EU state aid rules for troubled firms during the COVID-19 outbreak could either uphold the bloc's climate goals or descend into “greenwashing”, a senior EU lawmaker has warned.
Energy 07-05-2020

EU building ‘renovation wave’ set for launch in September

The European Commission’s energy chief, Kadri Simson, has flagged the upcoming building renovation wave, rooftop solar, and offshore wind as key priorities for the energy sector in the recovery phase from the coronavirus crisis.

Energy firms rally behind green stimulus call

A coalition of 40 global businesses – including energy majors such as BP, Iberdrola, Orsted, and Shell – have called on governments to support "a massive wave of investments in renewable electricity" and other low-carbon energy solutions when devising recovery plans from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financiers join EU ‘green recovery alliance’

More than 50 CEOs from the banking and insurance sector – including household names such as BNP Paribas, AXA, Allianz, and Santander – have joined the “green recovery alliance” in the European Parliament.

EU weighs options for gas grid in zero carbon world

The European Commission is considering three options for future investments in gas infrastructure as Europe moves towards "climate neutrality" by 2050, according to a leaked memo seen by EURACTIV.
Biomass 04-05-2020

US scientist: ‘Roads and corruption’ are big drivers of deforestation

To be effective, forest conservation initiatives must be rooted in a local context – including the land ownership and tenure ecosystems in which they operate, says Keith Kline, from the prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US.
Energy 30-04-2020

EU plans to reform Energy Charter Treaty falling short, activists say

An updated European Commission proposal to reform the Energy Charter Treaty is falling short of what’s needed to reinstate governments’ “right to regulate” in areas like climate change, activists say.
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