Frédéric Simon

Renewable or ‘low-carbon’? EU countries face off over hydrogen

EU member states are fighting over which type of hydrogen to support, with two opposing camps facing off: those backing green hydrogen produced exclusively from renewable electricity, and those in favour of a broader “low-carbon” definition, which also includes nuclear power and decarbonised gases.
Energy 26-11-2020

Brussels approves German hard coal exit tender

The European Commission on Wednesday (25 November) green-lit a scheme under which operators of hard coal-fired power plants in Germany will be paid to shut down their stations earlier in the wake of the country’s accelerated exit from the fuel.

Steelmakers call for ‘Green Deal’ to counter Chinese dumping

European steelmakers were already reeling from dumped Chinese imports and US tariffs when the coronavirus pandemic hit this year. According to trade body Eurofer, it will take two years for the industry to recover, a process it says could be accelerated with a new “Green Deal for steel” and a carbon border levy.

Business groups clash over EU’s 2030 climate goal

Europe’s largest employer’s association, BusinessEurope, has questioned “the value and credibility” of the economic analysis underpinning the EU’s proposed climate target plan for 2030, triggering an immediate backlash from pro-climate corporate groups.
Energy 19-11-2020

As EU plans offshore wind boom, Greens worry about fish

The European Commission laid out plans on Thursday (19 November) for a massive scale-up of offshore wind, aiming for a 25-fold increase in wind power at sea as part of EU efforts to phase out fossil fuels and combat global warming.
Energy 17-11-2020

EU aims for ‘massive change of scale’ on tidal, wave energy

While focusing chiefly on wind power, the European Commission’s upcoming offshore energy strategy also seeks to boost other ocean energy sources like wave and tidal, according to a draft policy document seen by EURACTIV.

Gas denied ‘transition’ fuel status in draft EU green finance rules

Power plants fuelled by natural gas will not be classed as “sustainable” or “transition” investments in Europe unless they meet emission limits which are so low that none are currently able to comply, according to draft EU rules seen by EURACTIV.

Europe ready to restart transatlantic climate dialogue after Trump ‘parenthesis’

The European Commission and senior EU lawmakers said they stood ready to intensify dialogue with the US on climate change, listing car CO2 limits and green finance among areas where “real transatlantic cooperation” is again possible after the four-year “Trump parenthesis”.

Raw materials: the missing link in Europe’s drive for batteries

While Europe is rapidly catching up with China on investments into batteries for electric cars, it is still lagging behind when it comes to securing supplies of the critical raw materials that are needed to produce them.

Hydrogen trade hopes boosted by Australia-Germany deal

A bilateral agreement aimed at increasing German imports of hydrogen produced from solar power plants in Australia could set a milestone in efforts to establish a global hydrogen market.

Europe urged to align budget with green finance rules

The EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy should be systematically applied to track green investments in the bloc’s next long-term budget and coronavirus recovery fund, which together amount to €1.8 trillion over the next seven years, according to a new report launched on Wednesday (28 October).
Energy 26-10-2020

Brussels ‘won’t stand in the way’ of new nuclear plants, says EU climate chief

The European Commission “will not stand in the way” of countries that choose to build new nuclear power stations, said EU climate chief Frans Timmermans, who warned however about the life-cycle costs of the technology, “which means that you will be stuck with it for a long, long, long time”.

Official: EU taking first steps to bring forestry into carbon market

The first step to bring forestry under the EU’s emissions trading scheme is to ensure that every tonne of carbon dioxide in the forest is counted so that a certification system for carbon removals can be put in place, Artur Runge-Metzger told EURACTIV.
Sweden forest

Forestry’s climate impact ‘invisible’ under UN rules, experts say

Forests are the planet’s biggest carbon “sink” – absorbing more CO2 from the atmosphere than they emit – but their contribution to cooling the earth’s climate are currently not fully accounted for under UN rules, experts point out.

EU’s Sefcovic: Europe must be ‘much more strategic’ on raw materials

The European Union “cannot achieve” climate neutrality without critical raw materials like lithium and rare earths, says Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič. It now needs to be “much more strategic” in relations with supplier countries in order to ensure the bloc's “strategic autonomy,” he argues.

EU to push new standards for ‘greenest’ car batteries on earth

The European Commission will table new EU-wide regulations this autumn to ensure that batteries manufactured or imported into Europe are “the greenest on this planet,” a top EU official told EURACTIV.
Energy 15-10-2020

EU launches ‘renovation wave’ for greener, more stylish buildings

The European Commission launched a renovation wave and a “new European Bauhaus” on Wednesday (14 October), aiming to rally popular support behind plans to cut emissions from buildings and reduce energy bills.
Climate change 15-10-2020

Czechs drop opposition to 2030 climate goal ahead of EU summit

The Czech Republic said it was ready to back the EU’s proposed 2030 target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55%, provided that the objective is a collective one and that EU state aid rules do not hamper its nuclear ambitions.
Energy 14-10-2020

EU Commission paves way for regulating methane emissions in 2021

The European Commission has opted for a “holistic” approach to address the global warming impact of methane, putting the emphasis on international cooperation first before regulating emissions in sectors like energy and agriculture.

Lawmakers vote to exclude fossil fuels from EU recovery fund

The environment committee in the European Parliament voted on Monday (12 October) to exclude fossil fuels from support under the EU’s €750 billion recovery fund intended to boost the bloc's economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

LEAK: EU’s draft methane strategy puts onus on data, reporting

A draft version of the European Commission’s methane strategy, expected to come out on Wednesday (14 October), doesn't set limits on methane emissions from fossil fuels, instead setting the stage for that to happen as of 2025.
Climate change 09-10-2020

Leaked EU-Mercosur trade deal lacks teeth on climate, activists say

A leaked version of the EU-Mercosur treaty negotiation text, published by Greenpeace Germany, has no provisions to ensure the Paris climate agreement is enforced, leaving the door open to further deforestation in the Amazon, campaigners say.

EU Parliament votes for 60% carbon emissions cut by 2030

The European Parliament voted on Tuesday (6 October) to update the EU’s climate target for 2030, backing a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, up from 40% currently.
Climate change 05-10-2020

MEP Canfin: ‘Fighting the climate crisis is the challenge of our generation’

The European Parliament will vote Tuesday (6 October) on the EU’s proposed Climate Law, which seeks to put Europe on track to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050. “I expect the vote to be very tight,” says lawmaker Pascal Canfin.
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