Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
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.

Nov 25, 2014

Air pollution costs EU up to 189 billion euros – EU agency

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Air pollution, chiefly from coal-fired power plants, cost society up to 189 billion euros (149.86 billion pounds) in 2012 – equal to the gross domestic product of Finland, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said in a report published on Tuesday.

The agency provides research to guide EU policymakers, who are reconsidering proposals put forward last year by the European Commission, the EU executive, to tighten laws on air quality.

Nov 25, 2014

Air pollution costs EU up to $235 billion: EU agency

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Air pollution, chiefly from coal-fired power plants, cost society up to 189 billion euros ($235 billion) in 2012 – equal to the gross domestic product of Finland, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said in a report published on Tuesday.

The agency provides research to guide EU policymakers, who are reconsidering proposals put forward last year by the European Commission, the EU executive, to tighten laws on air quality.

Nov 21, 2014

EU agrees law to curb plastic bag use

BRUSSELS, Nov 21 (Reuters) – EU governments unanimously
approved a new law to slash the use of plastic grocery bags on
Friday, hoping to curb litter on land and a spreading “plastic
soup” in the world’s oceans.

The measure, drafted with the European Parliament, has been
criticised by the new EU executive. It says states may struggle
to implement legislation which proposes using minimum prices or
other methods to cut bag numbers by 80 percent in a decade.