Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Sep 18, 2013

EU softens new rules to tackle benchmark rigging

BRUSSELS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – European Union regulators
proposed new rules on Wednesday on how commodity-price and
interest-rate benchmarks are set, but the plans are a paring
back of original ambitions for greater EU oversight of the
multi-trillion-euro markets.

The draft law, presented by the EU’s regulation chief Michel
Barnier, is a central element of the bloc’s response to the
rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) – a
benchmark used to price products from home loans to credit cards
worth $300 trillion.

Sep 17, 2013

EU softens new rules on benchmark rigging

BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) – EU regulators will abandon
earlier plans to place commodity and financial benchmarks under
the sole watch of a Paris-based regulator when they announce a
legal framework to prevent price rigging on Wednesday.

The draft law, to be presented by the European Union’s
regulation chief Michel Barnier, is a central plank of the
bloc’s response to the rigging of the London Interbank Offered
Rate (Libor) – a benchmark used to price products from home
loans to credit cards worth $300 trillion.

Sep 2, 2013

U.N. struggling to avert carbon trade war with aviation deal

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Talks at the U.N.’s aviation body must bridge a deep divide between developed and emerging nations over airline emissions to avert the threat of a carbon trade war with the European Union.

After more than a decade of debate at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), there is little sign emerging powers China and India are ready to pay to pollute.

Aug 29, 2013

Planning in hand for Battle of Waterloo’s bicentenary

WATERLOO, Belgium (Reuters) – The first tourists to the site of one of the most decisive battles in European history arrived the very next day to inspect a scene of carnage where tens of thousands lay dead or wounded.

They came by carriage from Brussels on a roughly 8-mile journey. Nearly 200 years after the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, a trip to the site in present-day Belgium by train, bus and then on foot through a tangle of roadworks won’t end in a blood-stained vista, but can still pose a challenge.

Aug 20, 2013

EU bans imports of herring, mackerel from Faroe Islands

BRUSSELS, Aug 20 (Reuters) – EU authorities on Tuesday
banned imports of herring and mackerel from the Faroe Islands
and said they would prevent some Faroese vessels from docking in
EU ports, escalating tension in a dispute about alleged
over-fishing.

EU officials have said the Faroese sanctions are a first
step towards similar measures against Iceland in a long-running
dispute over how much mackerel should be caught. The argument
has drawn comparisons to the “cod wars” of the 1950s and 1970s,
and helped to derail Iceland’s EU membership bid.

Aug 19, 2013

Woody biomass draft rules too weak-campaigners

BRUSSELS, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Draft proposals to regulate the
use of biomass to generate energy, critics say, place the
European Union on track to repeat the mistakes it made in its
policy on biofuels, increasingly seen as doing more harm than
good.

Various forms of woody matter, ranging from olive stones and
old black-currant bushes to specially-manufactured pellets, are
used to generate electricity and heat.

Aug 19, 2013

European Union sets Gibraltar mission as tensions simmer

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is to send a fact-finding mission to Gibraltar to examine the legitimacy of border controls imposed by Spain in a growing dispute over the British Mediterranean enclave.

It broke out after Gibraltar’s construction of an artificial reef using concrete blocks in the bay off the tiny territory. Gibraltarian authorities say the move was necessary to help marine life recover from overfishing.

Aug 16, 2013

Faroe Islands, Iceland trade threats with EU in fish row

BRUSSELS, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Iceland and the Faroe Islands
accused the European Union on Friday of violating international
maritime law, ratcheting up the tension in a row over fishing
limits.

At the end of last month, EU member states in principle
supported sanctions against the Faroe Islands in protest at its
government’s decision to treble the limit on herring fishing.

Aug 14, 2013

Picking up the nuclear energy bill divides the EU

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – European Union rules to be published over the coming weeks could make it easier to justify using taxpayers’ money to fund new nuclear power, which would pitch major EU powers against each other.

The European Commission, the EU executive, says its mind is still open on the topic, but it is under pressure to set a legal framework for state aid to nuclear projects after several member states, including Britain, sought its guidance.

Aug 6, 2013

EU seeks to defuse row over Mercedes air-conditioning coolant

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Tuesday it would mediate in a fierce row over air-conditioning coolant in Mercedes-Benz cars by refereeing safety tests.

The Commission, citing the need for a “confidence-building measure”, said it wanted to guarantee the impartiality of an analysis of the coolant being carried out by Germany’s motor vehicle department KBA and offered independent technical support for the investigation.