Frédéric Simon

The Green Brief: International summit blues

After a flurry of summits, little has actually been achieved in increasing climate ambition. But the conversations behind closed doors will be the clincher as the world looks ahead to COP 26 and beyond.
Circular economy 15-06-2021

EU, US eye ‘Green Technology Alliance’ at Brussels summit

The United States and European Union will pledge closer cooperation on fighting climate change at a summit on Tuesday (15 June), but will steer clear of setting a date to stop burning coal, according to a draft joint statement seen by EURACTIV.
Energy 10-06-2021

Official: Western Balkan countries are ‘milking coal power plants until the bitter end’

Disparities between the EU and Western Balkan countries on energy are only getting bigger, with many of them still addicted to highly-polluting coal power stations that provide cheap electricity as well as revenues to governments and the local population. “They’re milking them until the bitter end,” says Janez Kopac.

EU plans ‘climate action social fund’ to shield citizens from rising carbon prices

The European Commission will set up a fund to support vulnerable households if their fuel bills increase as a result of its plan to expand carbon pricing to transport and buildings' heating systems, the EU's climate chief said on Wednesday (9 June).

The Green Brief: CBAM enters with a bang

The EU's carbon border adjustment mechanism – or CBAM – entered with a bang last week when a draft of the EU’s upcoming new regulation was leaked to the press. The document raised as many questions as it answered, however.
Energy 08-06-2021

Study: Peak oil moves closer as energy majors shift to renewables

The world’s largest oil and gas companies increased investment in clean energy by 34% in 2020, despite a 6% fall in global energy demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research published on Tuesday (8 June). [Correction: CMS...
Energy 08-06-2021

Industry chief: Policymakers must set clear thresholds for low-carbon hydrogen

The way clean or low-carbon hydrogen was defined under the EU’s green finance taxonomy could have been more ambitious, with a higher emission threshold excluding all unabated fossil fuels from hydrogen manufacturing, says Jorgo Chatzimarkakis.
Climate change 07-06-2021

LEAK: Germany backs carbon pricing extension in EU climate policy overhaul

The German government is backing an extension of European Union carbon pricing and an end to free carbon permits for airlines as the bloc prepares new measures to help meet climate change targets, according to a document obtained by EURACTIV.

The Green Brief: The worst is yet to come for big oil

Last week’s court ruling that saw Shell ordered to reduce its CO2 emissions was enough to put the oil sector on the back foot. And further setbacks are expected when the European Commission tables new climate policy proposals in July.
Energy 02-06-2021

Helsinki bets on electrification to decarbonise heating

Electricity from heat pumps, combined with a shift to renewables in district heat networks, emerged as the winning technologies to drive the Finnish capital’s transition to carbon neutrality by 2035.

Brussels offers EU countries greater say on green finance taxonomy

The European Commission has offered EU member states a greater role in deciding which technologies can be considered a sustainable investment in Europe after narrowly escaping a humiliating defeat last year over draft labelling rules for gas under its green finance taxonomy.

EU, Japan seal ‘green alliance’ in bid for climate neutrality

The European Union and Japan have reaffirmed their “shared ambition of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050” at the conclusion of a bilateral summit which included the signature of an EU-Japan “Green Alliance”.

The Green Brief: Europe’s long road out of coal

The European Union has never had a coordinated strategy to ditch coal – and that shows in the mismatch between regions and countries, as illustrated this week with the dispute between Poland and Czechia over the Turów coal mine.

Timmermans: EU countries need to face the consequences of higher climate goals

European Union member states have agreed to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and increase their level of ambition for 2030. This means Europe needs to amend all its climate policies, including its Emissions Trading Scheme, the EU's climate chief, Frans Timmermans, told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.

Cogeneration and district heating: An enabler of the green transition?

According to a recent study, cogeneration or, as it is also called, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) in district heating, is thought to be an efficient enabler for reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Green Brief: Europe’s ‘zero pollution’ dreams

The European Commission's 'Zero Pollution Action Plan' may have been labelled as the cherry on top of a grand Green Deal, but it lacks the impetus for real change.
Climate change 18-05-2021

IEA criticised over growing share of bioenergy in net-zero scenario

The International Energy Agency (IEA) published a new energy scenario on Tuesday (18 May), modelling for the first time how the world can achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5ºC.
Energy 12-05-2021

GE eyes 100% hydrogen-fuelled power plants by 2030

While fossil gas is often seen as a transition fuel towards a fully decarbonised energy mix, GE Gas Power sees low-carbon gas as “a destination technology” with a potential to convert power plants to run 100% on clean hydrogen by 2030.

The Green Brief: Germany’s scramble to net zero

The past two weeks in Germany have shown how quickly the political winds can turn when it comes to climate policy.
Climate change 11-05-2021

Brussels rebuked over ‘confusing’ draft EU bioenergy rules

The European Commission was sent back to the drawing board on the EU's renewable energy directive overhaul after an internal assessment of its draft proposal concluded that it failed to analyse the potential environmental risks of increased bioenergy use.
Energy 07-05-2021

Energy security: Poland’s chief priority in the coal transition

The Turów coal mine and power plant complex is “strategic for ensuring the energy security of Poland,” says PGE, the state-owned enterprise at the centre of a dispute with the Czech Republic over the extension of mining operations there.

The Green Brief: Beware the carbon price backlash

Concerns about the "just transition" to a green economy are likely to resurface after the price of carbon on the EU’s emissions trading scheme hit €50 per tonne for the first time this month.
Energy 05-05-2021

The role of gas in Europe’s future energy mix and the transition to zero carbon of Europe’s power sector

The transition towards a net zero greenhouse gas economy puts the power sector in the spotlight. The clean energy transition should result in an energy system where primary energy supply would largely come from carbon free sources.
Climate change 05-05-2021

Union leader: ‘With more social ambition, climate ambitions will also become higher’

European trade unions welcome ambitious EU climate policies, but warn that they need to be implemented alongside an equally ambitious social transition plan or risk sowing the seeds of a backlash, says Judith Kirton-Darling.