Nikolaus J. Kurmayer

Two dead, five still missing after explosion rocks German chemicals site

Two people are dead and five are still missing as hope for their survival wanes after an explosion rocked an industrial park in the western German city of Leverkusen on Tuesday (27 July) morning, sending dark plumes of smoke into the sky.
Economy & Jobs 27-07-2021

Critics warn carbon price proposal would exacerbate energy poverty

Energy poverty could be exacerbated ad prices rise under the European Commission's proposed revamped emissions trading scheme, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has warned, with other stakeholders raising similar misgivings. 

Ukraine gets compensation in exchange for US-Germany deal on Nord Stream 2

Germany and the US struck a compromise on Wednesday (21 July) over the construction of the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to the deal, Germany will provide assistance for Ukraine's energy security, with an initial donation of €148.3 million.

EU industry shuns carbon border levy, calls for export rebates

European industries covered by the EU's future carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) have expressed doubts about the proposal, tabled last week. In addition to border measures, they are calling for an export rebate scheme to help green EU products compete on global markets.

German industry worried about EU carbon market reform, sceptical of CBAM

Industry in Germany watched the presentation of the European Commission’s new package of energy and climate laws with bated breath on Wednesday (14 July), expressing worries about a reform of the EU’s carbon market that could see free CO2 pollution...

EU’s Timmermans defends new ETS in front of sceptical lawmakers

EU climate chief Frans Timmermans faced lawmakers in the European Parliament on Wednesday (14 July), hours after the European Commission presented a new legislative package aimed at reaching the EU's 2030 climate goals.

The Green Brief: EU lessons from Germany’s carbon tax row

A row in Germany over a carbon tax on heating and transport fuels has revealed some of the issues that Europe may soon be confronted with when extending its own carbon market to road transport and housing.
Energy 12-07-2021

Fisheries may hinder Europe’s offshore wind expansion

Europe’s offshore wind industry has reported high growth rates in 2020, but now that EU member states are putting the finishing touches on their maritime spatial plans, fisheries could put the brakes on the expansion. The offshore wind industry recorded...

Europe could save €2 trillion by 2050 with low-carbon hydrogen, says report

A new report by Deloitte says massive cost savings can be achieved on the way towards climate neutrality if gas is given a more prominent role.

Glass packaging industry goes electric, adding to growing demand for renewable power

Unlike the steel and cement industry, the glass sector has a clear path towards decarbonising its processes: electrification. Yet renewable electricity is scarcer than the industry would like, raising concerns about its ability to meet EU climate goals.

The Green Brief: The die is cast for ETS reform

The EU’s emissions trading scheme – which establishes the world’s largest carbon market – is often described as the crown jewel of EU climate policy. Now it is up for revision and all eyes are on the European Commission's draft plan.
Energy 05-07-2021

Europe’s largest electrolyser launched, set to multiply capacity tenfold by 2024

Germany’s largest refinery hosts the largest electrolyser of its kind in Europe, built by Shell and the EU. The Anglo-Dutch oil major is already looking towards building an electrolyser ten times larger by 2024 with the aim of supplying German industry with green hydrogen.

German hydrogen strategy under fire for sidestepping gas

The German hydrogen strategy, which inspired the EU's own hydrogen roadmap, has come under fire domestically for placing too much emphasis on “green” hydrogen and endangering the country's industrial decarbonisation process.

BASF starts building its own offshore wind farms

The world’s largest chemicals company, Germany's BASF, has forged partnerships with energy groups Vattenfall and RWE to build its own offshore wind farms in a bid to secure sufficient amounts of renewable energy for its chemical plants in Northern Europe. 
Economy & Jobs 25-06-2021

EU Parliament passes €330b regional package that fails on spending controls, say critics

The European Parliament adopted the EU's long-term budget regional support plan at a plenary on Wednesday (23 June). Some EU lawmakers, however, were disappointed at the lack of support for cross-border projects and the lack of ability to monitor spending.

Greens join far-right in bid to stop EU climate law

The European Parliament on Thursday (24 June) gave its thumbs up to the EU's landmark climate law, despite opposition from the Greens who said the legislation didn't go far enough to protect people and the environment against dangerous climate change.

German recovery plan looks greener than it is, critics say

Germany was lauded for supporting green spending criteria in the EU’s €750 billion pandemic recovery plan, but critics now say Berlin’s national recovery programme may look greener than it is.
Economy & Jobs 23-06-2021

Lagging German regions may lose out due to rush of EU pandemic recovery money

Following European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s visit to Berlin on Tuesday (22 June), where she delivered the approved German recovery plan, concerns are emerging that the new pot of money may crowd out funding for weak regions and thwart their efforts to catch up with wealthy areas.

The Green Brief: Building back better?

When the European Union prepared its response to the coronavirus pandemic in May last year, it promised one thing: to “build back better”. But national recovery plans show a gap between what EU countries are willing to do and what the Commission aimed for.
Economy & Jobs 22-06-2021

Workers’ groups seek to influence Green Deal

The workers’ groups of the European Economic and Social Committee have seized upon the term “just transition” in a bid to insert their aims for workers’ co-determination into the Commission’s flagship policy, the European Green Deal.
Future EU 18-06-2021

Citizens not satisfied with EU’s current state, say MEPs

With the first plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe on Saturday (19 June) designed to have EU citizen participation at its core, some MEPs believe the event could be a catalyst to change the bloc's treaties, while others hope citizens are not used as political pawns. .

Digital industry afraid of being seen as a polluter, says Commission adviser

Digitalisation must be part of the solution and not a part of the problem, EU lawmaker Geese said at a EURACTIV event on Tuesday (15 June), where the participants deliberated on the complex relationship between digitalisation and sustainability.
Economy & Jobs 15-06-2021

Germany to ‘plug holes’ in budget with EU green transition money, critics say

Germany is set to dispense €40 billion to its regions affected by the country’s planned 2038 coal phase-out. But that number is a lot less grand than it looks, as the programme will swallow EU funds. EURACTIV Germany reports.

EU countries clash over scale of future hydrogen imports

The EU has historically been a major energy importer, with a majority of its oil and gas coming from Russia or the Middle East. Now, as Europe decarbonises its industry, some countries fear it could increasingly become dependent on imported hydrogen.