Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Jan 14, 2015

European lawmakers torn over how early to begin carbon market reform

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European politicians meeting on Wednesday ahead of a critical vote next week on reforming the European Carbon market were unable to agree on a single date, putting forward both 2017 and 2019 as deadlines to begin action.

The EU’s Emissions Trading System is the bloc’s flagship policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions by charging for the right to emit carbon dioxide, but weak economic growth across Europe has cut industrial production and energy demand, creating a glut of more than 2 billion permits.

Jan 13, 2015

EU vote gives governments the choice to grow GM crops

BRUSSELS, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Individual EU nations will be
able to ban cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops under
a compromise deal agreed on Tuesday that ends years of deadlock
over the barbed issue and could actually boost GM farming.

A list of GM products is awaiting EU approval and Tuesday’s
vote in the European Parliament opens the way for the
authorities to review it.

Jan 12, 2015

EU should curb mercury emissions from cremations, campaigners say

BRUSSELS, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Environment campaigners are
calling for curbs on mercury emissions from human cremations as
part of pollution controls that EU authorities will debate this

Increased cremation as shortage of land makes burial
expensive has coincided with a rise in emissions of the toxic
metal from fillings in teeth. An average cremation releases 2 to
4 grammes of mercury, data compiled by U.S. researchers shows.

Dec 19, 2014

Merckx and Ickx feted as Belgium’s speed demons

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Eddy Merckx did it on a bicycle, Jacky Ickx drove fast for Formula 1. Now that both are approaching 70, an exhibition is celebrating their feats as two of history’s speediest Belgians.

The stunning accomplishments of the “fast friends” are chronicled in an exhibition that runs until June 21, just after Merckx’s 70th birthday on June 17. Ickx turns 70 on Jan. 1.

Dec 17, 2014

EU lawmakers fail to approve tar sands oil veto

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – An attempt by some European
politicians to veto the import of tar sands oil failed on
Wednesday after a European Parliament vote, giving a boost to
Canada but dismaying green campaigners.

After years of lobbying from Canada, the European Commission
published a new plan in October on reporting the greenhouse gas
intensity of transport fuels. It abandoned the idea of labelling
tar sands oil as highly polluting.

Dec 17, 2014

EU member states oppose to plans to scrap environment law

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – European environment ministers
opposed plans on Wednesday from the EU executive to scrap draft
laws on waste and air quality, saying they sent a “negative
signal” about Europe’s ambition to curb climate change and were
at odds with a push for growth.

The European Commission on Tuesday laid out its legislative
plans for 2015 with a promise to focus on priorities such as
jobs and boosting the economy.

Dec 17, 2014

Italy says will oppose EU plans to scrap environment law

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Plans by European policymakers to scrap a draft EU law on air quality and waste send a “negative signal” about Europe’s ambition to curb climate change and governments will challenge them, the Italian environment minister said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the European Commission laid out its legislative plans for 2015, saying it would focus on priorities such as jobs and economic growth. At the same time, it planned to withdraw some proposals made by the previous EU executive, including on improving air quality and cutting waste.

Dec 16, 2014

EU bosses to focus pared-down agenda on growth, jobs, energy

BRUSSELS, Dec 16 (Reuters) – EU policymakers promised on
Tuesday to focus on core issues such as jobs and growth as they
unveiled legislative plans for 2015, but drew charges they had
sacrificed the environment to appease Eurosceptic critics.

Following a year of dispute with the European Union’s top
energy supplier Russia over its treatment of Ukraine, the EU
executive said energy security was also a priority in the
slimmed-down work plan it presented to the European Parliament.

Dec 15, 2014

Italian shoemakers urge EU to tread carefully on sanctions

BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Bad relations between the EU
and Moscow have helped cut exports of Italian shoes to Russia by
around a fifth, the sector said in a letter to the bloc’s
foreign policy chief, urging consideration of economic effects
before more sanctions are imposed.

The EU has imposed measures including economic sanctions in
response to Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in
March and the months of unrest that have followed. In turn
Russia has taken measures against imports, particularly food.

Dec 15, 2014

Ukraine secures 300 mln euros in bank loans for gas link repairs

BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Kiev secured 300 million euros
($374 million) in development loans to repair the leaking
pipeline that is the main gas route from Russia to the EU, under
a deal on Monday that the lenders said was a step towards making
Ukraine a gas-trading hub.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
officials, in Brussels to hand over to Ukraine 150 million euros
on top of 150 million already promised by the European
Investment Bank, also said the bank was considering financing
gas purchases.