ZURICH/BRUSSELS, Feb 10 (Reuters) – A vote to curtail
immigration from the EU could cost Switzerland its privileged
access to the European single market, European officials said on
Monday, after Swiss voters narrowly backed the restrictions in a
referendum that has unsettled business.
The vote on Sunday was initiated by the right-wing Swiss
People’s Party (SVP), which has tapped into concerns that Swiss
culture is being eroded by foreigners, who account for nearly a
quarter of the country’s 8-million strong population.
BRUSSELS, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Energy prices have an overstated
impact on the competitiveness of Europe’s businesses, economic
analysis published on Thursday said, countering arguments from
industry that big fuel bills put them at a disadvantage to U.S.
Research by French, German and British economists said while
low energy prices can be an advantage, they are only a small
factor in overall competitiveness. As a result, Europe’s future
depended more on technological innovation as it would never have
the energy resources that have cut fuel bills in the United
BRUSSELS/LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Members of the European
Parliament on Wednesday voted in favour of three climate and
energy targets for 2030, rebuffing a Commission plan for just
one fully binding goal.
The vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France,
has no legal force, but stokes debate before summit talks
between European Union leaders in March on energy and
environment policy and its impact on competitiveness.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Shale gas offers a cheaper way to replace coal and cut greenhouse gas emissions than renewable power, BP’s chief economist said on Tuesday, but dismissed claims that failure to develop it would drive industry out of Europe.
The comments from one of energy’s most senior economists feed into heated debate ahead of a summit meeting of EU leaders in March about whether Europe faces a disadvantage to the United States because of high energy costs.
BRUSSELS, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Environmental campaign groups
have submitted a legal complaint to the European Commission, the
EU executive, for failing to implement a proposal that labels
Canada’s tar sands and other non-conventional fuel as highly
If implemented, the draft law would slow Europe’s imports of
tar sands crude, which scientists say is especially harmful to
the environment. Imports have so far been limited, but are
predicted to increase as new pipelines come on stream.
BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – European Union negotiators face a clash with member states over whether to make all airlines using EU airports pay for their emissions after a parliamentary body on Thursday backed compromise plans to charge carriers for part of their journeys.
Some of Europe’s most powerful countries and international airlines strongly oppose the proposals, which they say are likely to reignite tensions with trading partners such as China and the United States.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Part of a law to promote green energy violates the treaties underpinning the European Union, an adviser to the highest EU court found on Tuesday, stoking political debate about subsidies for renewable power.
The opinion will be considered further by the Court of Justice of the European Union over the next three to six months and could lead to the invalidation of an article of the EU law.
BRUSSELS, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Seven years after it set some
of the world’s most stringent environmental targets, the
European Union is about to revise its long-term goals to take
more account of industry and changed economic circumstances.
Following years of economic turmoil, low growth and rising
energy costs, the EU is looking to strike a balance between
tackling climate change and giving industry room to manoeuvre as
it prepares to unveil new targets on Wednesday.
BRUSSELS, Jan 16 (Reuters) – The European Union’s climate
and energy strategy for 2030 will not include a specific target
on curbing emissions from transport, the fastest growing source
of greenhouse gases in the bloc and the most expensive to cut.
Many in industry and some member states have pushed hard for
a simplified EU climate framework after 2020, when current
policies expire, that ditches existing sub-targets for sectors
such as transport and energy.
BRUSSELS, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Fuel costs will rise in Europe
for the rest of the decade and then start to fall as renewable
energy displaces coal, oil and gas, but consumers are unlikely
to enjoy cheaper bills even then, a draft European Commission
Households and small consumers have borne the brunt of
above-inflation energy price rises, which has stoked fierce
political debate. Across the European Union, politicians have
blamed green subsidies for rising energy bills.