EU Energy and Environment Correspondent
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Sep 28, 2010

EU clampdown on gas-guzzling vans suffers setback

BRUSSELS, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Europe’s efforts to wean
itself off costly oil imports suffered a setback on Tuesday when
a European Parliament panel threw out plans for speed limiters
on vans and light trucks.

Parliament sought to reduce costs for automakers, which
suffered a 13 percent hit to sales in 2009 due to the economic
crisis.

Sep 21, 2010

EU’s gas crisis plan clears penultimate hurdle

BRUSSELS, Sept 21 (Reuters) – European plans forcing
countries to prepare for future gas crises were approved by the
European Parliament on Tuesday, but not for a 60-day supply cut
as originally envisaged.
The EU aims to reduce the risks from a possible repeat of
last year’s gas crisis, when a pricing dispute between Russia
and transit country Ukraine cut gas supplies to Europe during
three weeks of freezing weather.

Gas is now flowing normally, but policymakers have not
forgotten numerous scares including the January 2009 crisis and
Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008, when armour came
worryingly close to energy transit pipes.

Sep 20, 2010

EU exec sued over biofuels as suspicions mount

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s biofuels policy could cause unwanted side-effects equal to as much as 1.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases — roughly the annual emissions of Russia or India, official reports warn.

That means biofuels could produce more carbon emissions than gasoline over a 20 year time frame.

Sep 16, 2010

Carbon capturing technology doomed in Europe: study

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Innovative carbon-trapping technology might barely get past the testing phase in Europe after the economic crisis and a shift to green power destroys incentives, a new study warns.

Massive European investment in renewable energy will reduce demand for carbon emissions permits in 2020, dragging down their price and undermining investment in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), says the report “EU Energy Trends to 2030″ by the National Technical University of Athens.

Sep 14, 2010

Europe’s climate chief scolds and praises China

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – China’s climate negotiators are moving too slowly, but the country’s green energy companies are advancing at an “astonishing” pace and threaten to outpace western competitors, Europe’s climate chief said on Tuesday.

Connie Hedegaard’s comments were delivered alongside a warning that Europe would not automatically sign up again to the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol, the main global deal to tackle climate change.

Sep 10, 2010

EU cuts emissions for sixth year, mulls forestry

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union climate experts launched a consultation on Friday into the complex issue of accounting for greenhouse emissions from forestry, and new data showed 2009 emissions fell for the sixth year running.

About 410 million tonnes of greenhouse gases were removed from the atmosphere in 2008 by the EU forestry sector, equal to 8 percent of emissions from the EU’s 27 member states, the European Commission said as it launched the consultation.

Sep 8, 2010

Great apes protected as EU restricts animal testing

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Primates, including mankind’s closest relatives — chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans — have gained new protection after the European Parliament backed a clampdown on animal testing.

“The use of non-human primates should be permitted only in those biomedical areas essential for the benefit of human beings, for which no other alternative replacement methods are yet available,” a new EU law said.

Sep 6, 2010

Banks consider 4 bln euros for Nabucco gas pipeline

BRUSSELS, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Plans for the giant Nabucco gas
pipeline to bring Central Asian gas to Europe took a step
forward on Monday, when the consortium announced the involvement
of three international financial institutions.

The $10 billion project aims to help wean Europe off its
dependency on Russian gas by transporting up to 31 billion cubic
metres of gas a year from the Caspian region to an Austrian gas
hub via Turkey and eastern Europe.

Aug 31, 2010

Poland plays down EU worries over Russia gas deal

BRUSSELS/WARSAW, Aug 31 (Reuters) – A proposed gas deal with
Russia could be finalised within days, Polish Prime Minister
Donald Tusk said on Tuesday, playing down the risk of
intervention by European Union regulators in Brussels.

The deal, not yet signed, covers 10 billion cubic metres of
gas a year for Poland until 2037, as well as gas flowing onwards
to the rest of Europe via the Yamal pipeline.

Aug 24, 2010

Poland’s power plans worry environmentalists

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Poland’s plans to give away tens of millions of carbon emissions permits to new power stations are drawing criticism from environmentalists, but the European Union’s climate chief says she is not worried.

The disagreement highlights Poland’s problems in aligning its high-carbon economy with the EU’s ambitions to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and heavy industry.

    • About Pete

      "Pete Harrison is a Reuters correspondent in Brussels covering the European Union politics of energy, environment and climate change. He is also part of the Reuters team covering international talks to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol."
      Joined Reuters:
      Oct 2000
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish
    • More from Pete

      Publications:
      Red Sea Diving Guide (Lonely Planet, 2004), Reef Fishes and Corals of the Red Sea (New Holland, 2002), Reefs of the Red Sea (Hurghada Environmental Protection Committee, 1998)
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