Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Dec 15, 2014

After “Hoovergate”, EU torn over power-saving rules

BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (Reuters) – When word of an EU ban on
high-power vacuum cleaners hit Eurosceptic British tabloids in
August, “Hoovergate” brought home a dilemma for the bloc that
goes well beyond house-proud devotees of deep-pile English
carpet.

Now, fear of fuelling rage at Brussels bureaucracy,
especially in Britain where critics branded the “Hoover ban” a
foreign attack on consumer freedoms, is pushing new EU leaders
to axe a host of planned regulations in proposals expected on
Tuesday.

Dec 12, 2014

EU seeks to end misleading food labels from Saturday

BRUSSELS, Dec 12 (Reuters) – EU shoppers and
restaurant-goers should know more about what they are eating
under EU labelling law that takes effect from Saturday to
protect allergy-sufferers, promote healthier eating and give
consumers an informed choice.

The law is supposed to prevent consumers from being misled
and insists on minimum font sizes to ensure they can read the
information they are given.

Dec 4, 2014

EU’s Juncker says South Stream pipeline can still be built

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted the $40 billion South Stream natural gas pipeline can still go ahead and accused Russia of holding EU-member Bulgaria to ransom when it said it had abandoned the project.

Speaking after talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, whose country South Stream would traverse making it a major beneficiary, Juncker rebutted Russia’s statement that EU competition rules had killed it.

Dec 4, 2014

EU deal gives countries opt-out on growing approved GM crops

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union agreed a compromise on growing genetically modified crops on Thursday that gives nations the option to ban them, even if EU authorities have approved them for cultivation.

Environmental campaigners said the deal was an improvement on the current regime, but were concerned it would still make it easier to grow GM crops in Europe, while representatives of the GM industry also criticized the deal.

Dec 3, 2014

EU vote puts Canadian tar sands label back on the agenda

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe moved a small step back toward a plan to stigmatize Canada’s tar sands as highly polluting on Wednesday, despite years of Ottawa’s lobbying the EU bloc as part of its export drive.

European Parliament lawmakers put the plans back on the agenda by voting against the EU executive’s proposal to abandon the scheme.

Dec 3, 2014

EU, U.S. present Russia with united sanctions, energy front: draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. and EU leaders will on Wednesday pledge to work together on sanctions and on strengthening the energy security of Europe and Ukraine, as they seek to present a united front to Russia, a draft document said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz are in Brussels for talks after a year in which the United States has led the push for tougher sanctions, while some governments in Europe, afraid economic measures against Russia will hurt them as much as they hurt Moscow, have been more cautious.

Dec 1, 2014

Oil price slide tests unconventional oil producers – IEA

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Falling crude prices are an unprecedented test for producers of unconventional oil and a golden opportunity for governments to phase out costly subsidies, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Monday.

Global benchmark Brent crude has dropped by around 40 percent since June. Selling accelerated last week after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided against output curbs to support the market.

Dec 1, 2014

EU truck safety and efficiency law faces delay as industry resists change

BRUSSELS, Dec 1 (Reuters) – A draft European Union law to
make trucks safer and more aerodynamic, cutting fuel bills,
emissions and improving safety, has pitted environmentalists
against an industry that says it needs more time to develop new
vehicles.

The law, which could be finalised at talks between member
states, the European Parliament and the European Commission late
on Monday, would allow trucks to have longer, more aerodynamic
noses similar to the shape of high-speed trains.

Nov 26, 2014

EU agrees law to make ships measure CO2 emissions

BRUSSELS, Nov 26 (Reuters) – The shipping sector will for
the first time have to monitor its carbon emissions under a law
agreed by the European Union on Wednesday, intended as a step
towards tackling a growing source of pollutants linked to
climate change.

International shipping accounts for around 3 percent of the
world’s emissions of carbon dioxide, a share which could
increase to 18 percent by 2050 if regulation is not in place,
according to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Nov 26, 2014

Lack of coal may bring Ukraine to its knees this winter

LONDON/BRUSSELS, Nov 26 (Reuters) – A shortage of coal,
rather than gas, is likely to plunge Ukraine into freezing
darkness this winter as conflict in its east seals off supplies
that used to make it self sufficient.

Kiev has said any hopes it had of Russian coal coming to the
rescue were dashed when Moscow suspended exports.