EU Energy and Environment Correspondent
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May 11, 2011

EU divided over nuclear plants’ resistance to attack

BRUSSELS, May 11 (Reuters) – Europe’s nuclear safety tests
should be strengthened to include man-made crises, such as
terrorist attacks or aeroplane crashes, European Commission
President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday.

European leaders agreed in March to subject Europe’s 143
reactors to “stress tests”, to guard against disasters such as
the one at Japan’s stricken Fukushima plant.

May 11, 2011

Letter reveals EU fight over toxic chemicals

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European chemical companies have warned the watchdog that oversees them that it could face legal action if it publishes the names of manufacturers of the most toxic substances in a growing environmental dispute.

The warning was contained in a letter from chemical industry group Cefic to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki, released after Reuters invoked freedom-of-information laws.

May 10, 2011

China airlines seek exemptions from EU CO2 trade

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – China’s aviation industry body has told the European Union it opposes the inclusion of Chinese airlines in the bloc’s carbon emissions market from 2012, an EU source said on Tuesday.

“There were useful discussions with China’s Air Transport Association on Friday, but they indicated they opposed being included in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS),” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

May 3, 2011

Europe’s biofuel dispute splits the industry

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A divisive European debate over the green credentials of biofuels has stalled investment and threatens the future of some producers, but could also create lucrative opportunities, companies said on Tuesday.

After a two-year investigation, the European Commission has decided that the complex issue of “indirect land use change” (ILUC) can lessen carbon savings from biofuels. In July it may announce moves to curb the least sustainable — possibly by raising an EU-wide sustainability benchmark.

Apr 27, 2011

Major polluters say 2011 climate deal “not doable”

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters do not expect a legally-binding deal to tackle climate change at talks in South Africa in December, two leading climate envoys said on Wednesday.

U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern and European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard played down the chance of a breakthrough after a meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF), an informal group of 17 countries including the world’s top polluters, China and the United States.

Apr 4, 2011

Exclusive: Canada warns EU of trade conflict over oil sands

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Canadian government has stepped up lobbying in Europe for its highly-polluting tar sands industry, repeating its threats of trade conflict, a leaked letter shows.

The letter dated March 18 to Europe’s commissioners for climate, trade and energy follows Canada’s denial it threatened to scrap a free trade deal unless the European Union alters planned environmental laws.

Apr 4, 2011

Steel industry plans challenge to EU carbon rules

BRUSSELS, April 4 (Reuters) – European Union steel industry
body Eurofer said on Monday it planned a legal challenge to
draft EU methodology for including steel plants in Europe’s
carbon emissions market.

Eurofer says the European Commission’s draft rules do not
properly implement laws that would allow the industry’s most
efficient 10 percent of factories to get free pollution permits
after 2013. The draft rules were agreed in October.
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Apr 1, 2011

Fears hit EU nuclear plans, boost gas prospects

BRUSSELS/VIENNA (Reuters) – Japan’s nuclear crisis will speed the elimination of nuclear power from some European countries and render many planned projects too risky, ultimately increasing Europe’s dependence on gas.

The depth of change, however, still depends on how quickly Japan can stabilise the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Apr 1, 2011

Analysis: Fears hit EU nuclear plans and boost gas prospects

BRUSSELS/VIENNA (Reuters) – Japan’s nuclear crisis will speed the elimination of nuclear power from some European countries and render many planned projects too risky, ultimately increasing Europe’s dependence on gas.

The depth of change, however, still depends on how quickly Japan can stabilize the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Mar 29, 2011

EU rules hinder Poland’s plans for new coal power

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Poland appears to have lost its fight to exempt new coal-fired power stations from paying for European Union emissions permits, an EU document showed on Tuesday.

Poland had planned to give away tens of millions of free carbon emissions permits to new power stations as it struggles to align its high-carbon economy with the EU’s ambitions to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

    • 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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