Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Aug 28, 2015

New IEA boss faces world energy landscape in flux

PARIS/BRUSSELS, Aug 28 (Reuters) – The new head of the
International Energy Agency faces dilemmas that challenge the
purpose of the body set up to protect the interests of the West
against the power of OPEC in the 1970s.

Fatih Birol of Turkey — the IEA’s respected chief economist
– takes over on Tuesday, replacing Dutch politician Maria van
der Hoeven, a former economy minister whose four-year term has
expired.

Aug 28, 2015

From lepers to art lovers, an ever-changing Brussels district

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Once the last refuge of lepers and criminals, one of Brussels’ quirkiest neighborhoods teems with vintage furniture sellers, flea markets and linguistic invention.

Les Marolles in French, or de Marollen in Dutch, stretches from the Gare du Midi, where Eurostar trains arrive, to the city’s highest point, the Mont des Pendus or Galgenberg (Gallows Hill), where you can look down on half of Brussels.

Aug 27, 2015

Latvia, Greece win opt-out from Monsanto GM crop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Monsanto said it would abide by Latvia’s and Greece’s requests under a new EU opt-out law to be excluded from its application to grow a genetically modified (GM) crop across the European Union, but accused them of ignoring science.

Under a law signed in March individual countries can seek exclusion from any approval request for GM cultivation across the EU. While the European Commission is responsible for approvals, requests to be excluded also have to be submitted to the company making the application.

Aug 26, 2015

EU watchdog says pesticides harmful to bees, industry disagrees

BRUSSELS, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Widely-used pesticides made by
Bayer CropScience and Syngenta pose a risk
to bees, the European Union’s food safety watchdog said on
Wednesday, reinforcing previous research that led to EU
restrictions.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which guides EU
policymakers, said leaf spray containing three neonicotinoid
pesticides could harm bees, whose pollinating role is estimated
to be worth billions of euros for the bloc’s farm sector.

Aug 26, 2015

Pesticides harmful to bees, says EU watchdog

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Widely-used pesticides made by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta pose a risk to bees, the European Union’s food safety watchdog said on Wednesday, reinforcing previous research that led to EU restrictions.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which guides EU policymakers, said leaf spray containing three neonicotinoid pesticides could harm bees, whose pollinating role is estimated to be worth billions of euros for the bloc’s farm sector.

Aug 24, 2015

Low-energy, healthy homes: Europe’s answer to shale gas?

BRUSSELS, Aug 24 (Reuters) – With street names such as
Temperance and Hygiene and plenty of green open spaces, the
1920s Bon Air (Good Air) housing estate in a working-class
district of Brussels was meant to provide a healthy “garden
city” way of life.

Now 21st-century planners are striving to turn it into a
modern ideal with the kind of renovations EU policymakers
sitting in their shiny offices across the city want to see
throughout the European Union.

Aug 22, 2015

Belgium calls on neighbours for more security on cross-border trains

BRUSSELS, Aug 22 (Reuters) – Belgium’s prime minister called
on Saturday for urgent talks with France, Germany and the
Netherlands to seek more security measures on cross-border
trains, after a gunman was wrestled to the ground by passengers.

Two people were wounded in the struggle on Friday to subdue
a suspected Islamist militant who had boarded a high-speed train
from Amsterdam to Paris in Brussels in what Belgian Prime
Minister Charles Michel described as “a terrorist attack”.

Aug 21, 2015

EU tries to clear ‘fog of confusion’ over U.S. trade pact

BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Commission will publish detailed reports on its negotiations with the United States to forge the world’s biggest trade pact, EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said on Friday, responding to criticism that the talks have been shrouded in secrecy.

If agreed, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would encompass a third of world trade, and proponents say it would deliver more than $100 billion of economic gains on both sides.

Aug 20, 2015

Climate boss says EU can only back a strong Paris deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will support a U.N. deal to cap global warming only if the agreement is legally binding and includes regular reviews to ensure words translate into deeds, Europe’s climate boss said on Thursday.

With just 10 days scheduled for formal negotiations before landmark talks begin in Paris on Nov. 30, preparations are painfully slow.

Aug 19, 2015

EU debate on green energy targets pitches UK against Germany

BRUSSELS, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Britain and Germany will line
up on opposite sides of a European Union green energy debate
starting next month on how to meet agreed renewable fuel targets
for the next decade.

The 28 member states agreed climate and energy goals last
October, but to make it easier to get a deal, the decision went
only as far as a framework.