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Archives for European Commission

Last week, two interesting surveys confirmed that citizens are worried about climate change but once they start acting as consumers others have to shoulder the bill. Especially young people are not willing to make lifestyle sacrifices. On Thursday 11 September, EU Commissioners Wallström and Dimas excelled in spinning the latest Eurobarometer on climate change. Although… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Business as usual and blind to the new realities of future resource scarcities. This is how I would characterise the so-called “health check” of the EU’s agricultural policy. One wonders whether these Commissioners and their civil servants in the Berlaymont really understand what is happening in the world, when on the same day when oil… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Europe’s energy-intensive industries surely have done a great job in the last six months convincing European policymakers that stringent CO2 measures for their sector would lead to relocations and thus “carbon leakage”. As a result of this successful lobbying, EU leaders last week felt obliged to make promises to protect these industries by possibly giving… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

The Spring Summit of European political leaders has been another showcase of why this generation of policymakers will be unable to deal with the current climate-energy chaos. Although the 27 decided to support the Commission’s climate/energy package, short-term protection of European (or better German, French, and other national) economic interests and jobs is still much… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

Politicians should stop pretending that decarbonising our economies can be done on the cheap. This is the conclusion of a damning analysis of EU climate/energy policies published by Oxford energy professor Dieter Helm in the Wall Street Journal today. Helm starts his evaluation with a critical look at the EU’s achievements in terms of emission… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer

One year after it presented its first climate/energy package, the European Commission published [press release] on Wednesday 23 January five further proposals dealing with the strengthening and extension of its greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (ETS); the individual commitments of member states to reduce non-ETS-sector emissions by 2020; the support mechanisms to produce electricity from… » 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 irrelevant Lisbon Treaty

European leaders will meet in Lisbon today and tomorrow to try and agree on a new EU Reform Treaty which is supposed to give the Union instruments to operate more efficiently after its big enlargement from 15 to 27 members (see International Herald Tribune and the Times). Since the two “No” referenda in 2005 on… » read more

Posted by Willy De Backer