Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Sep 25, 2012

Kingfisher looks to greener customers to spur growth

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Kingfisher (KGF.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Europe’s biggest home improvement retailer, is saving millions by cutting energy usage and avoiding waste, and is counting on equally green and cost-conscious customers to help it beat the economic downturn, its chief executive said.

Speaking in Brussels, where EU officials are finalizing a new EU law on energy efficiency, Ian Cheshire said Kingfisher’s B&Q chain in Britain had saved 34 million pounds ($55 million) over the last five years by, for example, reducing tax payments on landfill, as well as cutting fuel bills.

Sep 20, 2012

Top emitter China agrees to work with EU to cut carbon

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – China, the world’s biggest carbon dioxide emitter, has struck a deal to work with the European Union to cut greenhouse gases through projects including the development of Chinese emissions trading schemes, the European Commission said on Thursday.

The European Union and China have frequently clashed over climate policy and Beijing has flouted EU law requiring all airlines using European airports to pay for their emissions through the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Sep 19, 2012

EU officials hold preliminary talks on propping up carbon market

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – EU technical experts on
Wednesday held a preliminary discussion on proposals to prop up
the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, with Poland standing out as the
sharpest opponent, while the majority of nations took no firm
position, EU sources said.

The closed-door meeting did not get as far as a serious
debate about how many allowances should be withheld from the
next stage of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) beginning next
year, one source said on condition of anonymity.

Sep 18, 2012

EU politicians vote for tough oil, gas anti-corruption law

BRUSSELS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – European Union legislators
have voted for a draft anti-corruption law, echoing rigorous
U.S. rules to make oil, gas and mining firms declare payments
they make in resource-rich nations.

Pressure has mounted on the EU to take a tough line after
the U.S. regulator in August set demanding rules for U.S.-listed
firms.

Sep 17, 2012

EU Commission to cap food-based biofuels in major shift

BRUSSELS/NICOSIA (Reuters) – The European Commission announced a major shift in biofuel policy on Monday, saying it plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5 percent of transport fuel, after campaigners said existing rules take food out of people’s mouths.

Record high global grain prices have intensified calls for changes in EU and U.S. biofuel policies, criticized for snatching away land that should be used for food.

Sep 15, 2012

EU gasoline surplus not shrinking fast enough-draft

BRUSSELS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – EU refineries are not
investing fast enough to shift the balance to diesel production
as the U.S. appetite to mop up surplus gasoline starts to wane,
a draft Commission document seen by Reuters said.

The European Union’s refining sector has struggled against
dwindling profit margins and a structural imbalance, which
requires it to import products to meet growing diesel demand,
while exporting unwanted gasoline.

Sep 15, 2012

Enforcing single EU energy market is a priority-draft

BRUSSELS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The EU’s executive “as a
matter of priority” is enforcing its single energy market laws
it says in a draft text, seen by Reuters, that states its
determination to create a barrier-free market-place, which has
angered dominant gas supplier Russia.

Early this month, the European Commission announced it had
opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive market
practices by Russia’s Gazprom.

Aug 3, 2012

Europe’s plan to control Azeri gas supply in jeopardy

LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s plan to secure and control a supply of Azeri natural gas, backed by legal agreements, is in jeopardy as Azerbaijan joins forces with Turkey to own and operate the main export pipeline.

By creating a so-called Southern Corridor to bring in large volumes of central Asian gas, the European Commission hopes to reduce dependence on Russian gas and avoid supply disruptions caused by disputes between Russia and Ukraine over gas deliveries via Ukrainian territory.

Jul 29, 2012

German energy U-turn powers EU Saharan dream

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, July 29 (Reuters) – Germany’s decision
to abandon nuclear energy and dwindling domestic subsidies for
renewables have stoked a dazzlingly ambitious plan to expand
Europe’s energy market into North Africa, with an array of giant
solar and wind plants glinting in the desert sun.

Desertec, a German consortium set up in 2009, envisages
Europe will import up to a fifth of its electricity from solar
and wind parks in North Africa and the Middle East by 2050.

Jul 26, 2012

U.S. ups the pressure on European Union in airline row

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Washington will ratchet up the pressure next week to find a global solution to a bitter row over an EU law that makes airlines that use European airports pay for carbon emissions.

In the U.S. Senate, the powerful commerce committee will hold a vote on Tuesday on a bipartisan bill that would make it illegal to comply with the EU law.