Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
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.

Aug 1, 2013

EU scraps plan to levy duty on jet fuel imports

LONDON/BRUSSELS, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The European Union
backtracked from plans to levy a 4.7 percent duty on jet fuel
imports from the Middle East and India after a round of internal
consultations and discussions with the aviation industry.

The EU’s June decision to impose the tariff following a
broad review of its preferential trade agreements sparked
concern it would weaken the region’s struggling airlines and
lead to higher flight fares.

Jul 12, 2013

Offshore wind sector at the mercy of subsidy whims

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, July 12 (Reuters) – Bremerhaven, the
bleak, windswept home to high unemployment and the remnants of a
once-mighty shipping industry, is striving to reinvent itself as
an offshore wind hub.

It seems logical for the north German port to redeploy
skills common to building ships and giant turbines, but success
depends on guarantees of the green subsidies that are stoking
fierce debate across Europe.

Jul 11, 2013

EU lawmakers deal a blow to crop-based biofuels

BRUSSELS, July 11 (Reuters) – EU efforts to limit the use of
crop-based biofuels, increasingly seen as doing the planet more
harm than good, won parliamentary backing on Thursday in what a
top biodiesel company called “a very bad blow”.

The vote in the European Parliament’s environment committee
will be followed by a plenary vote, expected in September. It
will also require endorsement by EU member states, which are
deeply divided on the issue.

Jul 11, 2013

EU lawmakers back limit on some biofuels, more votes to follow

BRUSSELS, July 11 (Reuters) – EU politicians on Thursday
backed a new limit on crop-based biofuels, to fix the bloc’s
policy on transport fuels once thought to protect the climate
but now suspected of doing more harm than conventional oil.

The vote in the European Parliament’s environment committee
will be followed by a plenary vote later this year and will also
require endorsement by member states, who are deeply divided on
the issue.

Jul 10, 2013

EU research adds to evidence biofuels pollute more -draft

BRUSSELS, July 10 (Reuters) – New research carried out for
the European Commission shows some crop-based biofuels meant to
protect the environment are up to twice as polluting as
conventional fossil fuels, a draft seen by Reuters shows.

The study by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the
Commission’s in-house research body, confirms the findings of
earlier EU studies that using biodiesel made from crops such as
rapeseed as transport fuel does the climate more harm than good.

Jul 9, 2013

Commodity warehouse ownership rules need rethink -report

BRUSSELS/LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) – Conflicts of interest
over ownership of commodity warehouses can inflate prices of raw
materials such as aluminium, a report by two Brussels
think-tanks said on Tuesday.

It is likely to add to market pressure to reform the London
Metal Exchange’s (LME) storage system, in which companies such
as Glencore and Goldman Sachs have been able to
make profits from holding big inventories.

Jul 9, 2013

Oil price agency fires back at EU benchmark reform plan

LONDON/BRUSSELS, July 9 (Reuters) – Rigorous legislation
proposed by the European Commission on financial benchmarks
could destroy transparency in the oil market and force up energy
costs for consumers and industry, oil price publisher Argus
Media said on Tuesday.

The new rules aim to regulate oil price reporting agencies
(PRAs), whose daily assessments are used as benchmarks to settle
physical and derivative deals worth billions, as well as the
market sources who submit data to them.

Jul 9, 2013

EU warns Germany over Mercedes car coolant

BRUSSELS/BERLIN, July 9 (Reuters) – The European Commission
has warned Germany it faces possible action over Daimler’s
refusal to remove a banned refrigerant from new cars,
after France moved to block most Mercedes sales within its
borders.

France has halted registrations of non-compliant Mercedes
models, the EU executive also confirmed on Tuesday, the latest
sign of tension between Germany and its European partners over
the direction of auto industry policy and regulation.

Jul 2, 2013

EU carbon market expects narrow win in crucial rescue vote

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday will vote on a compromise plan to try to prop up the EU emissions market, the world’s biggest carbon trading scheme.

The market has priced in a yes vote, which would be a vote of confidence for the future of the scheme, but politicians and analysts said it was likely to be tight.