Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Mar 7, 2013

Actor Jeremy Irons talks trash with EU bureaucrats

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – British actor Jeremy Irons hates waste with a passion – so much so that he overcame his natural dislike of regulation to team up with the EU bureaucrats and inject some movie magic into the bloc’s latest plans on recycling rubbish.

The Oscar-winning Irons took to the Commission podium on Thursday, alongside the EU environment commissioner, to kick off months of debate on plastic waste.

Mar 7, 2013

EU court dismisses Polish challenge to carbon permit rules

LUXEMBOURG, March 7 (Reuters) – The European Union’s second
highest court on Thursday dismissed a Polish challenge to the
European Commission over the allocation of free carbon permits
to energy-intensive industry.

The verdict was a rare piece of positive news for the EU
Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which is meant to be the prime
EU tool for engineering a shift to a low carbon economy, but has
been struggling with a surplus of allowances generated by

Mar 4, 2013

Carbon pricing needed to control airline CO2 emissions: study

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Aviation pollution can only be stabilized by the middle of the century if a price is set on airline carbon emissions, research said, countering industry hopes that green goals can be met via technology improvements and biofuels.

A European Union scheme to force airlines using EU airports to pay for their carbon emissions caused an international outcry, forcing the European Commission to propose a year-long freeze of its law.

Mar 1, 2013

Carbon market debate leans towards tighter pollution cap

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Hours of debate on reform of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme on Friday showed support for tighter annual pollution limits, but hardly any backing for a change to an overall EU 2020 goal on carbon cutting.

Both measures would reduce the oversupply of carbon allowances, which pushed the EU ETS to a record low of less than three euros per tonne earlier this year.

Feb 28, 2013

Heavy goods vehicles cost Europe billions in health damage

BRUSSELS, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Air pollution from heavy goods
vehicles costs Europe 43 billion to 46 billion euros ($56-$60
billion) per year – a cost that could be passed on to the
hauliers, a report from the European Environment Agency said on

The bill is especially high in Switzerland and Luxembourg,
which are major transit routes and are landlocked. Heavily
indebted Italy is also suffering because of the health costs
linked to vehicle exhaust fumes.

Feb 26, 2013

EU lawmakers back suspension of airline carbon payments

BRUSSELS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers on
Tuesday backed a Commission plan to suspend for a year a law
that would make all airlines using EU airports pay for their
carbon emissions, and urged U.S. President Barack Obama to
accelerate a global deal.

International fury at the EU law led Climate Commissioner
Connie Hedegaard last year to propose a temporary exemption for
intercontinental flights.

Feb 25, 2013

EU leaders give Kiev until May to prove it wants to look West

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU leaders on Monday gave visiting Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich until May to show his nation had made progress towards political reform if it is serious about clinching a free trade deal which would move it away from Moscow’s orbit.

Both the European Union and Ukraine are keen to cut their dependency on gas giant Russia, but Ukraine has yet to make a clear choice between closer EU ties or tighter links with Moscow.

Feb 25, 2013

European energy policy falters amid economic downturn

BRUSSELS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Economic crisis has bought time
to tackle the problem of unreliable and costly European power
but raised the risk that no one will pick up a 1 trillion euro
($1.3 trillion) bill to improve the supply network, a new report
has found.

The European Union’s economic woes have crushed energy
demand, which means that the market is oversupplied for now.
However, this also leaves big utilities short of cash.

Feb 22, 2013

U.S. offers airspace-based emissions regime

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS, Feb 22 (Reuters) – A U.S. proposal for
curbing aircraft emissions would exclude time spent flying over
international waters, an approach that some environmental groups
say is too timid in addressing the rise in greenhouse gasses
from the aviation sector.

The proposal, seen by Reuters, would cover just a quarter of
aviation emissions, according to some estimates, and is in sharp
contrast to a European Union law that would require all airlines
to pay a carbon fee for the entire flight if departing or
arriving at EU airports.

Feb 22, 2013

EU member states say biofuels limit needs more thought

BRUSSELS, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Limits must be imposed on the
use of biofuels made from food crops, leading EU member states
France and Britain said on Friday, while questioning the detail
of a Commission proposal for a 5 percent cap.

Concern that some biofuels create more problems than they
solve led to a major policy shift in September when the EU
executive announced plans to limit the use of crop-based
biodiesel and bioethanol to 5 percent of total transport fuel