The EU Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) is to meet twice annually and will be organised jointly by the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is intended that the forum should encourage renewed discussion and debate on the future of nuclear energy in Europe.
Global carbon-dioxide emissions are increasing more quickly than even the worst-case scenario envisaged by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reveals a May 2007 paper by Michael Raupach, of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
The endorsement of an ambitious energy and climate-change policy by EU heads of states at their summit last week was greeted with a mix of cheerful enthusiasm and apprehension. EURACTIV presents a summary of the main reactions.
The EU and Ukraine have begun talks to launch a new "Enhanced Agreement", which would include a free-trade area and increased energy co-operation. However, the EU has once again dashed Ukraine hopes of a membership perspective.
Asian and Pacific leaders signed an agreement on 15 January 2007, committing to a reduction in the use of fossil fuels and the promotion of alternative energy sources, echoing steps taken in the EU's energy package the previous week.
The EU and its 6 partner countries have given a formal go ahead for the construction of the world's biggest experimental nuclear fusion reactor, ITER. Environmental NGOs fear the mammoth project will swallow financing from renewables R&D.
The main challenge for future provision of electricity in Europe will be to adapt the current network of large carbon-based centralised generators to welcome new, smaller-scale, local, renewable power sources.
Shortly after the 2006 European Spring Summit, which focused on energy policy and only days before a German national summit on energy policy, industry is pressurising Chancellor Angela Merkel to water down the previous red-green government's policy of phasing out of nuclear energy.
In a letter to the Financial Times, Loyola de Palacio (together with other former energy Commissioners and European energy regulators) says the EU needs "better energy," not just "more energy." She has ten suggestions to improve the EU internal energy market.
Moscow and Beijing vowed to expand energy ties with new pipelines to start pumping gas to China as early as 2011. The deal comes amid EU indecision on closer energy cooperation and growing competition from other gas consuming countries.
France is to present wide-ranging proposals on energy at a meeting of EU finance ministers on 24 January. Suggestions include recognising nuclear power's contribution to security of supply and CO2 emissions cuts.
Early results of a Commission probe into the liberalised European gas and electricity markets have uncovered restrictive business practices and abuse of dominant positions. Remedies could be adopted as of mid 2006.
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