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German economics professor Hans-Werner Sinn has an eye-opening article on the Vox-EU-blog. According to the well-known economist, the EU’s policies to reduce fossil fuels consumption are insufficient as they forget about the supply-side of the energy market: “The European Union’s consumption-reducing measures will be in vain if oil sheiks and other owners of fossil fuels… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Martin Wolf is without any doubt one of the best European economic journalists of his time, although I do not always agree with his neo-liberal “let’s leave everything to the market” politics. Today, the FT columnist launches a brilliant attack on the political support and subsidies for biofuels which he sees driven by “well-organised special… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Two articles in the Guardian are worth spending a bit more time on today. The first “Civilisation ends with a shutdown of human concern. Are we there already?” is by environmental journalist George Monbiot and deals with the UNEP’s recent report on the state of the planet. Read also my own recent comments on this… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

There is some good and some bad news about the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) which was launched in Lisbon on 29 October. First the good news: the new international forum links up the EU Commission and seven member states (France, Germany, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland and Portugal) with eleven US and Canadian… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

The Environmental Audit Committee in the UK’s House of Commons looked at the governmental structures in place to deal with climate change and found them ineffective. In its new report “Structure of Government and the Challenge of Climate Change“, it recommends that the government create a cross-government Office of Climate Change and Energy and a Climate… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

One of the tragedies of our times is that countries which are lifting themselves out of poverty are doing this by making exactly the same mistakes Western economies made in the past. For all the talk in political circles of our current development not being sustainable, nobody really seems to give a shit. Like lemmings we… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

One of the tragedies of our times is that countries which are lifting themselves out of poverty are doing this by making exactly the same mistakes Western economies made in the past. For all the talk in political circles of our current development not being sustainable, nobody really seems to give a shit. Like lemmings we… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

“Not an environment scare story” is the ironic title of the Independent’s coverage of the fourth Global Environment Outlook: environment for development (GEO-4) assessment published by the United Nations Environment Programme on 25 October. The report makes indeed for some pretty dire reading. Climate change, population explosion, declining availablity of water, biodiversity loss, growing pollution… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Several speakers at the “post-carbon society” conference organised by the Commission’s DG Research on 24 October underlined the need for stronger regulatory action to deal with the twin challenge of climate change and energy security. IEA chief economist Fatih Birol presented “a flavour” of the upcoming World Outlook 2007 (which will be presented in London… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol might have been useful as a symbol for governments’ commitment to act against global warming but it has failed to reverse the trend or bring greenhouse gas reductions. This is the analysis of two British scientists writing in Nature this week. “Kyoto was always the wrong tool for the nature of… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer