BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is almost on track to reach its goal of improving energy savings by a fifth by 2020 and may consider a significantly higher target for the next decade, according to a draft European Commission document seen by Reuters.
Energy efficiency has risen up the agenda in Europe as member states seek ways to reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels in the context of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which has led to the cut-off of Russian gas to Ukraine.
BRUSSELS, June 19 (Reuters) – A 40 percent energy saving
target as the EU’s 2030 goal, supported by some, is unrealistic,
Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said, adding that the
Momentum is building for a binding energy efficiency goal in
the European Union. Some members argue it would improve energy
security by reducing demand as the bloc seeks to wean itself off
dependency on Russian gas and other imported fossil fuel.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s top negotiator in the gas price row between Russia and Ukraine is working to bring the two sides together again before mid-July, but said a weekend of bloodshed in Ukraine had made the task far harder.
Russia’s gas supply monopoly Gazprom turned off gas supplies to Ukraine on Monday after the latest round of talks between the European Commission, Kiev and Moscow broke down in the early hours of Monday.
LUXEMBOURG, June 13 (Reuters) – Negotiations to bring
Russia’s giant South Stream project into line with European
Union law are pointless as long as Moscow is asking the World
Trade Organisation to review the bloc’s energy rules, Europe’s
energy chief said on Friday.
Russia’s Gazprom plans to build a giant pipeline
named South Stream on the bed of the Black Sea to Bulgaria and
then to Austria to ship gas directly to the EU, bypassing
Ukraine, through which a large part of EU gas supplies currently
LUXEMBOURG, June 13 (Reuters) – EU energy ministers agreed a
deal on Friday to limit production of biofuels made from food
crops, responding to criticism these stoke inflation and do more
environmental harm than good.
The ministers’ endorsement of a new compromise overcomes a
stalemate hit late last year when European Union governments
failed to agree on a proposed 5 percent cap on the use of
biofuels based on crops such as maize or rapeseed.
BONN/LUXEMBOURG, June 12 (Reuters) – The German government
wants the EU’s carbon market reform plan to be implemented by
2017, four years earlier than the European Commission has
proposed, Germany’s Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said
The European Commission, the EU executive, has proposed
setting up a so-called market stability reserve from 2021 to
hold and release permits to balance supply in the bloc’s
Emissions Trading System (ETS) and better respond to economic
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – A compromise deal to give European Union states the option of banning genetically modified crops won approval from EU environment ministers on Thursday, bringing the EU closer to ending years of deadlock over GM cultivation.
Widely grown in the Americas and Asia, GM crops in Europe have divided opinion, with strong opposition in many countries, including France and Germany, while Britain favors them.
BRUSSELS/NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia, June 11 (Reuters) – Russian
President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine on Wednesday of forcing
gas talks into a “dead end” by rejecting a price cut offer made
amid a row threatening supplies to the rest of Europe.
As Kiev demanded contract changes to lower the highest
prices in Europe for Russian gas supplies, Moscow also dug in
its heels, suggesting its proposed price cut of about one-fifth
to around $385 per 1,000 cubic metres was its final offer.
BRUSSELS/KIEV (Reuters) – Russia and Ukraine resumed efforts to settle their gas price row on Wednesday after Kiev rejected a proposal that would have cut its gas bill by around a fifth and averted a possible suspension of supplies that would also hit the rest of Europe.
The dispute is part of a broader stand-off between Ukraine and its former Soviet master, as Kiev’s new West-leaning leadership struggles to contain a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in its eastern provinces.
BRUSSELS, June 10 (Reuters) – Russia and Ukraine will resume
efforts to resolve a gas pricing dispute on Wednesday after a
Russian deadline for Kiev to pay some of its debts passed
without Moscow cutting off supplies.
The gas dispute is at the heart of a crisis between Russia
and Ukraine, and failing to resolve it would set back peace
moves that are gaining momentum after weeks of violence in