Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
May 28, 2015

Green investment bonds growing but rules needed to boost appeal

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Engie, the utility formerly known as GDF Suez, this month launched the biggest green bond to date and found it was three times over-subscribed, in what analysts say is a mere baby step towards the maturing of green investment.

A growing number of investors and energy firms say fixed-income bonds are a user-friendly way to raise the huge amounts of capital needed for a transition to lower carbon energy.

May 27, 2015

Carbon tax or trade? Debate loses steam as world embraces both

BARCELONA, May 27 (Reuters) – Tax versus trade is an issue
that has stalked the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) over its
10 years of existence, but is fading in importance as the world
moves towards increased use of both methods of cutting
greenhouse gas pollution.

The European Union set up the ETS in 2005 as a way of
getting round policy-making rules that require the unanimity of
member states to decide on a tax.

May 27, 2015

Deal to phase out rich-world coal export subsidies elusive

BARCELONA, May 27 (Reuters) – The world’s richest nations
are unlikely to reach a deal to phase out subsidies for coal
exports at talks in June, reducing the chances of a new global
climate change agreement at a U.N. conference in Paris,
officials and campaigners say.

The export credits help developed nations supply coal-fired
generation and mining technology to poor nations, a practice
critics say harms attempts to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

May 22, 2015

Norway overtakes Russia as western Europe’s top gas supplier

BRUSSELS/OSLO, May 22 (Reuters) – Norway has overtaken
Russia as western Europe’s top gas supplier, data from state
firms shows, indicating the European Union’s drive to reduce its
dependence on Russian energy is bearing fruit.

The sharp drop in oil prices has been another factor, as
Norway offers more flexible pricing and big buyers held off
buying from Russia in the hope the fall in crude price levels
would eventually filter through to Russian gas.

May 21, 2015

EU told rules on commodity price speculation risk losing their teeth

BRUSSELS/LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – New European Union rules
to crack down on speculation in food and other commodity prices
risk being watered down during final negotiations over detail,
campaigners said on Thursday.

Following the United States’ lead, the 28-country bloc will
set limits on how big a position traders can hold in grains, oil
and other commodities to avoid undue influence over prices.

May 20, 2015

EU says Europe’s bathing waters have become cleaner

BRUSSELS, May 20 (Reuters) – Europe’s inland and coastal
waters have become cleaner and nations such as heavily-indebted
Greece and Cyprus boast some of the most pristine bathing spots,
according to this year’s EU report on water quality, published
on Wednesday.

Compiled annually by the European Environment Agency, the
latest report on bathing waters finds six nations rated
“excellent”: Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, and

May 18, 2015

Saudi Arabian Airlines fined $1.6 million for breaking EU aviation law

BRUSSELS, May 18 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian Airlines has been
fined some 1.4 million euros ($1.6 million) by a regional
Belgian government for breaching EU carbon emissions rules,
making it the first big non-EU carrier to be fined for breaking
the EU aviation law.

The European Union requirement that all aircraft using its
airports pay for carbon emissions caused international outcry
when it was introduced at the start of 2012.

May 15, 2015

Britain risks losing out in carbon debate if it exits EU

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Should Britain vote to leave the European Union it would be relegated to the sidelines over important carbon market reforms vital to safeguarding EU environmental targets over the next decade and beyond.

The Conservative Party’s victory in general elections this month means Britons will be asked to vote on whether to leave the club of 28 EU nations possibly as early as next year.

May 15, 2015

Latvia’s forest gas storage to shape Baltics energy balance

INCULKALNS, Latvia, May 15 (Reuters) – Buried under heavy
clay deep in the Latvian birch forests, sit the giant Soviet era
gas reservoirs whose fate draws together the main players in the
tense energy power game of the Baltics.

A share in the site is for sale, which will dent Russia’s
influence. The asking price from the German stake-seller
deterred Latvia itself from stepping in, leaving a European
Commission-linked fund as the only bidder, government sources

May 13, 2015

EU diplomats approve proposal to start CO2 market reform in 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union diplomats have approved a proposal to begin reforms of the bloc’s carbon market in 2019, Latvia, the holder of the EU Presidency, said on Wednesday.

The proposal to start operating a so-called Market Stability Reserve (MSR) under the Emissions Trading System (ETS) from Jan. 1, 2019, was adopted at a closed-door meeting of diplomats representing the 28 nations of the EU.