Frédéric Simon

Climate change 19-09-2018

Business lobby prepares pushback against EU climate goals update

A leaked internal memo, obtained by EURACTIV, gives a rare glimpse into the communication strategy of Europe's main business lobby group ahead of the COP24 conference later this year, showing how it plans to “oppose” any increase in the EU's climate ambition for 2030.
Electricity 13-09-2018

Italy withdraws objections to EU power market reform

Davide Crippa, Italy’s Undersecretary for Economic Development, has announced the country’s withdrawal from a seven-country alliance led by Poland, which argued for preserving national sovereignty over decisions to finance emergency power plants.
Electricity 13-09-2018

Greenpeace study throws light on Europe’s ‘hidden energy subsidies’

Figures compiled by the environmental pressure group Greenpeace highlight the lack of transparency about the amount of cash disbursed by national governments to support back-up power plants – mainly fossil fuels and nuclear.
Electricity 13-09-2018

Capacity mechanisms reform – key issues to watch

The European Commission wants to limit state aid for power plants that EU countries remunerate to remain on stand-by in case of demand peak. As negotiations on the EU’s new electricity market enter the home straight, EURACTIV lists the main issues to watch out for in the debate.
Electricity 12-09-2018

Capacity markets: How much ‘flexibility’ for EU countries?

Mostly out of pragmatism, the European Commission has adopted a rather tolerant approach to “capacity mechanisms” – national schemes that remunerate back-up power plants – accepting that EU countries face different challenges in the energy transition.
Electricity 10-09-2018

Capacity markets: A necessary evil in the energy transition?

Detractors of capacity mechanisms argue they are mere state aid for dirty fossil fuels that should be eliminated as soon as possible while supporters claim they provide vital back-up in the transition to renewable electricity. The fact that both are correct is leaving Europe in a quandary.
Electricity 07-09-2018

Germany’s ‘strategic reserves’ for coal under fire in EU Council

A group of seven countries – comprising France, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Ireland and the UK – have issued a common position on the reform of Europe’s electricity market, saying “strategic reserves” for electricity should not receive favourable treatment from regulators.
Electricity 06-09-2018

EU admits ‘mistake’ in state aid decision for German coal plants

The EU’s decisions to approve state support for emergency power plants in France, Germany, Poland, Italy and Greece will all have to be revisited in light of the ongoing reform of electricity market rules, the European Commission said on Tuesday (4 September), saying it won’t make an exception for Germany.
Climate change 04-09-2018

UK, EU urged to continue energy and climate cooperation after Brexit

A top-level business alliance has called on UK and EU leaders to ensure Brexit includes a comprehensive Climate and Energy Chapter, amid worries about the UK's commitment to international climate policies after the country leaves the European Union.

Is recycled plastic safe for food packaging? EU seems to think so

The European Commission is preparing to fast-track approval of 140 recycling processes for use in food and drinks packaging, despite warnings that second-hand plastics risk containing toxic chemicals that are dangerous for human health.
Electricity 28-08-2018

Poland’s ‘last coal power plant’ faces €1.7 billion loss, analysts say

The planned phase-out of state aid to fossil fuel power generation across the European Union could make the Ostrołęka C coal station project unprofitable within years, according to a new report by Carbon Tracker, a think tank.
Transport 27-08-2018

Truck makers push back against EU’s first ever CO2 limits

The European Commission’s proposal to mandate a 15% cut in CO2 emission from trucks by 2025 is overly ambitious, according to industry association ACEA, which said a 7% objective would be more “realistic” given the technologies currently available.

Make use of recycled plastic mandatory, EU told

Europe's market for recycled plastics will never pick up unless regulators make a decisive move and impose a minimum amount of recycled materials into new products, said a wide coalition of businesses, local authorities and environmental NGOs.
Energy 19-07-2018

UK-backed report identifies ‘viable business models’ for carbon capture technology

Carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) offers “one of the greatest industrial opportunities” for Britain as the world pivots to a low-carbon economy, said Claire Perry, the UK's Energy and Clean Growth Minister.

Most ivory bought in Europe is illegal, investigation finds

Almost three-quarters of all ivory sold legally in Europe is in fact illicit and comes from tusks of elephants that were killed after the 1990 ban on ivory trade, according to an investigation released on Tuesday (10 July).
Climate change 09-07-2018

Mayors urge EU to aim for net-zero emissions by 2050

The mayors of ten major European cities –including Paris, London, Milan and Barcelona – have issued a joint call for the EU to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Electricity 03-07-2018

Austria unveils energy, environment work plan at EU helm

The Austrian Presidency of the EU will aim to reach agreement on two flagship pieces of legislation during its six-month stint at the EU helm – including new CO2 emissions standards for cars and vans for 2030 and a controversial reform of the electricity market.
Climate change 26-06-2018

14 European countries call for stronger EU climate action

A group of European countries known as the “Green Growth Group” have called on the European Commission to update the EU’s pledge at the United Nation’s next annual climate meeting in December this year, and chart a pathway consistent with a 1.5°C global warming scenario by 2050.

EU countries call for strict health rules on ‘water contact materials’

An overwhelming majority of member states have voiced support for stricter EU rules on drinking water, saying the same level of safety should apply to products coming in contact with water as for those coming in contact with food.
Electric cars 22-06-2018

China dwarfs Europe on EV investments, figures show

European carmakers have invested seven times more in electric vehicle production lines in China than at home, according to industry figures collected by Transport & Environment (T&E), a green campaign group.
Climate change 20-06-2018

‘Natural solutions’ in focus as EU hosts climate summit with China, Canada

The Nature4Climate Initiative is officially being launched in Brussels on Wednesday (20 June) by a coalition of conservation organisations, business groups, the UNDP and other major environmental NGOs.
Energy 20-06-2018

EU strikes early morning deal on energy governance bill

Negotiators from the European Commission, Parliament and Council struck a deal on the energy union governance regulation after an all-night session where they agreed to aim for a net-zero carbon economy "as early as possible," with a carbon budget and national strategies for 2050.
Climate change 18-06-2018

EU countries ‘off target’ on carbon emissions: report

Most European nations are set to miss their carbon reduction pledges made as part of the Paris Agreement, according to a new ranking of “good”, “bad” and “ugly” countries published today (18 June) by Europe's leading NGO coalition on climate change.
Energy 14-06-2018

EU strikes deal on 32% renewable energy target and palm oil ban after all-night session

Talks on renewable energy policy in Europe reached un unexpected breakthrough early this morning after negotiators from the European Parliament and  EU member states were able to reach a compromise on a 32% headline objective and a complete phase out of palm oil use in transport by 2030.