Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Feb 20, 2014

Aircraft face fines as deadline looms for EU pollution penalties

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – U.S. airlines have
stepped up the pressure on EU countries not to impose fines for
alleged breaches of emissions rules in the latest twist to an
international row over aircraft pollution.

The warning coincided with a deadline on Thursday for
European Union nations to start enforcing rules covering 2012
emissions that could lead to fines of millions of euros against
aircraft operators.

Feb 13, 2014

Twelve EU ministers urge Brussels to rethink GM maize

BRUSSELS, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Ministers from 12 EU countries
have written to European Health Commissioner Tonio Borg asking
him not to approve a strain of genetically modified maize to be
grown for human consumption, even though he says he is legally
bound to do so.

Widely grown in the Americas and Asia, GM crops are
generally unpopular in Europe, where public opposition is strong
and environmentalists have raised concerns about the impact on
biodiversity.

Feb 12, 2014

Green energy firms clash with big utilities on EU policy

BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Leaders of six green energy
firms challenged big utilities on Wednesday by advocating a
tougher EU renewable goal to save billions in fossil fuel
imports and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive, in January put
forward a carbon-cutting goal of 40 percent by 2030 compared
with 1990 levels, plus an EU-wide renewables goal of 27 percent

Feb 11, 2014

EU executive set to back new GM crop, member states divided

BRUSSELS, Feb 11 (Reuters) – European Union ministers hit
deadlock on Tuesday on whether to let a new strain of
genetically modified (GM) maize be grown on EU soil for human
consumption, clearing the way for the bloc’s executive arm to
approve the crop automatically.

European Commission endorsement of insect-resistant Pioneer
1507, developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical
, would end a decade-long debate and break Monsanto’s
monopoly in Europe’s small market for GMO crops.

Feb 10, 2014

Europe warns Swiss of consequences after immigration vote

ZURICH/BRUSSELS, Feb 10 (Reuters) – A vote to curtail
immigration from the EU could cost Switzerland its privileged
access to the European single market, European officials said on
Monday, after Swiss voters narrowly backed the restrictions in a
referendum that has unsettled business.

The vote on Sunday was initiated by the right-wing Swiss
People’s Party (SVP), which has tapped into concerns that Swiss
culture is being eroded by foreigners, who account for nearly a
quarter of the country’s 8-million strong population.

Feb 6, 2014

Energy prices have overstated impact on EU industry – report

BRUSSELS, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Energy prices have an overstated
impact on the competitiveness of Europe’s businesses, economic
analysis published on Thursday said, countering arguments from
industry that big fuel bills put them at a disadvantage to U.S.
peers.

Research by French, German and British economists said while
low energy prices can be an advantage, they are only a small
factor in overall competitiveness. As a result, Europe’s future
depended more on technological innovation as it would never have
the energy resources that have cut fuel bills in the United
States.

Feb 5, 2014

EU Parliament calls for three binding climate targets for 2030

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Members of the European
Parliament on Wednesday voted in favour of three climate and
energy targets for 2030, rebuffing a Commission plan for just
one fully binding goal.

The vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France,
has no legal force, but stokes debate before summit talks
between European Union leaders in March on energy and
environment policy and its impact on competitiveness.

Feb 4, 2014

Shale gas can do more than green energy to combat climate change – BP

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Shale gas offers a cheaper way to replace coal and cut greenhouse gas emissions than renewable power, BP’s chief economist said on Tuesday, but dismissed claims that failure to develop it would drive industry out of Europe.

The comments from one of energy’s most senior economists feed into heated debate ahead of a summit meeting of EU leaders in March about whether Europe faces a disadvantage to the United States because of high energy costs.

Jan 31, 2014

Oil sands opponents file challenge against EU executive

BRUSSELS, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Environmental campaign groups
have submitted a legal complaint to the European Commission, the
EU executive, for failing to implement a proposal that labels
Canada’s tar sands and other non-conventional fuel as highly
polluting.

If implemented, the draft law would slow Europe’s imports of
tar sands crude, which scientists say is especially harmful to
the environment. Imports have so far been limited, but are
predicted to increase as new pipelines come on stream.

Jan 30, 2014

EU Parliament sets up clash over aviation emissions

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – European Union negotiators face a clash with member states over whether to make all airlines using EU airports pay for their emissions after a parliamentary body on Thursday backed compromise plans to charge carriers for part of their journeys.

Some of Europe’s most powerful countries and international airlines strongly oppose the proposals, which they say are likely to reignite tensions with trading partners such as China and the United States.