Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Dec 22, 2012

Tougher EU sanctions against Iran come into force

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Rigorous new sanctions against Iran’s banking, shipping and industrial sectors took effect on Saturday, as part of the European Union’s effort to force Tehran to scale back its nuclear program.

The sanctions, agreed in October, entered EU law with their publication in the European Union’s Official Journal on Saturday.

Dec 21, 2012

Russian and European leaders trade barbs on energy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia’s president and European Union leaders failed to narrow wide differences on Syria, immigration and a string of other issues at a summit on Friday marked by testy exchanges over their biggest bone of contention, energy policy.

At the close of hours of talks, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso gave President Vladimir Putin a public lecture defending the bloc’s energy regulation, and the Russian leader responded by telling him he was “emotional” and “wrong”.

Dec 21, 2012

Russian anger at energy law blocks EU summit progress

BRUSSELS, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Russian anger at an EU energy
law blocked progress at talks between Russian President Vladimir
Putin and European Union leaders on Friday.

Putin, on his first visit to Brussels since his re-election
as president in May, was greeted by four topless women,
protesting against civil rights curbs in Russia and shouting
“Putin, go to hell”. They were bundled away by police.

Dec 19, 2012

Austria, Finland, Germany object to EU energy law interpretation

BRUSSELS, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Austria, Finland and Germany
have written to EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger
objecting to interpretation of a new EU energy savings law drawn
up by Commission officials.

After months of intense debate, the Energy Efficiency
Directive was agreed in June to improve the bloc’s record on
energy savings.

Dec 18, 2012

EU competition finds no carbon storage winner

BRUSSELS, Dec 18 (Reuters) – The first round of a European
Commission contest to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS)
projects failed to find a winner, the EU’s executive said on
Tuesday, deepening doubts the technology can emerge soon to help
cut emissions.

CCS developers will be able to re-submit bids for a second
round, which Environment Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said
should be concluded within a year.

Dec 17, 2012

Carbon market fix a boost for most in EU: Commission note

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU countries will get an estimated 59 percent increase in revenue from the sale of carbon allowances over the next three years if plans to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) are implemented, an internal commission note said.

Some countries, such as Poland, would see an initial drop in income because of its decision to hand out free permits to its power generators to shelter them from the cost of paying for their emissions.

Dec 14, 2012

EU considers more free CO2 permits for steelmakers -sources

BRUSSELS, Dec 14 (Reuters) – The European Commission is
considering whether to hand out more free pollution allowances
for the steel sector next year to counter the risk the industry
could be driven out of Europe, EU sources said.

The cost of carbon on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has
collapsed to record low levels under the burden of excess
supply. Earlier this month, it hit a new low of 5.61 euros a

Dec 10, 2012

Top Obama men join UN quest to curb airline emissions

DOHA, Dec 10 (Reuters) – A more than decade-long quest for a
global plan to curb airline emissions is likely to pick up speed
this week, with a meeting set for a new high-level team of
officials, including two U.S. government advisers.

The meeting has been scheduled for Dec. 12-13 in Montreal
after a stand-off between the European Union and non-EU nations
over a law to include all airlines that use EU airports in the
EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The law has stirred threats of a
trade war.

Dec 10, 2012

US, China turned EU powers against airline pollution law

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The European Union’s landmark effort to charge foreign airlines for carbon emitted on flights in and out of Europe was already failing by the time French President Francois Hollande shared his deep concerns with the European Commission chief in October.

The U.S. aviation industry had mustered fierce political opposition, China was threatening to withhold aircraft orders from Airbus and the most influential European nations feared retaliation against their national carriers. Chinese and Indian airlines refused to submit emissions data; U.S. lawmakers were readying a law that could make it illegal to pay the tariff.

Dec 9, 2012

Despair after climate conference, but UN still offers hope

DOHA, Dec 9 (Reuters) – At the end of another
lavishly-funded U.N. conference that yielded no progress on
curbing greenhouse emissions, many of those most concerned about
climate change are close to despair.

As thousands of delegates checked out of their
air-conditioned hotel rooms in Doha to board their jets for
home, some asked whether the U.N. system even made matters worse
by providing cover for leaders to take no meaningful action.