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During a recent seminar organised by the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, I heard EU commission expert for biofuels Paul Hodson express his growing frustration with all the negative news about the agro-fuels in the last twelve months. “Once I was proud of what I was doing”, Paul said, “but now I feel more and… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Traditional economists, politicians and the press understand little about the interaction between natural resources or ecological capital and the state of the global economy. Ecology for them is the playground of naive greenies or excentric academics. It is therefore not surprising that the current financial crisis that has hit the world economy is being interpreted within… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

According to the fifth annual Carbon Disclosure Project report, computer maker Hewlett-Packard, Spanish utility company Iberdrola and English mining giant Rio Tinto are the world’s business leaders in reporting on their climate change exposure. The Carbon Disclosure Project is a cooperation of over 300 institutional investors who evaluate the risks companies face as a result… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Climate diplomats and some heads of state and governments will be pretty busy this week attending two major conferences on climate change in New York. Monday 24 September will see an extraordinary United Nationals session called for by UN chief Ban Ki-Moon and on Thursday and Friday (27-28) US President Bush has invited the biggest… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Swedish truck and bus manufacturer Volvo presented no less than 7 biomass-driven (“CO2-free”) trucks during the 2007 European Transport Forum in Brussels yesterday. With its high-level campaign the company wants to demonstrate that it can provide the car engine technologies needed for the alternative fuels to take off. Although there is a lot of vocal support… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Seeing the light… too late

(Quick blog post written in the bar of Azimuth hotel in St Petersburg) There is this strange phenomenon that politicians, once they are out of power, suddenly see the light on some of the most important issues facing the countries or the society they were once leading. Look at how Mr. Gorbatchov became a greenn… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Forest trip to St Petersburg

My blog will be on hold from Friday 14th until Wednesday 19th as I will be in St Petersburg, Russia, to moderate an interesting conference on sustainable forestry.

Posted by Willy De Backer

Why are the big green NGOs (the likes of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF) so silent when it comes to attacking the fake “environmental” motives behind some recent foreign government clashes with Western big oil companies? Increasingly resource-rich countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan or Venezuela are using their environmental laws to put pressure on Western big… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Ministers from the 12 OPEC [see also Wikipedia] countries are expected to be holding their official production output steady when they meet tomorrow in Vienna. Currently OPEC produces about 27 million barrels of oil per day but the International Energy Agency has been pushing them to bring more oil to the market. OPEC, on the other hand… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer