Rhein on Energy and Climate

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Germany prides itself with being the most progressive country in the world in effectively fighting climate change. It has managed to cut C02 emissions by 20 percent between 1990 and 2007, largely thanks to ending extraordinary energy waste in former communist Eastern Germany and a big push for wind energy. Germany is therefore already fully… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

At the NATO meeting in Bucharest, the USA has failed to reach a consensus on Ukrainian membership. Still, the Bucharest Declaration makes Ukrainian membership a long-term NATO objective. Ukraine is deeply divided on its future relation with NATO, as recent demonstrations in Kiev witness. Russia strongly rejects the country’s NATO Membership; it feels that it… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The doubling of nominal oil prices is more effective in curbing climate change than the Kyoto Protocol and any climate policy measures taken so far. Politicians are therefore wrong and inconsistent when they try to dampen the impact of higher oil and gas prices. This goes for European heads of government or ministers, who propose… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

I. Humanity is towards a global cataclysm. It will be impossible to contain the rise of global temperature within the EU target two centigrade, unless the major emission countries take draconian and urgent action, without further delay. During 2002-06, global C02 emissions have been rising at an average annual rate of 3.6 percent, a bit… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Less than half of the Irish electorate has spoken: By a margin of 100 000 votes it has rejected the Lisbon Treaty. The no-votes express a bizarre mix of misconceptions and ressentiments, that had little or nothing to do with the treaty, which virtually nobody had read. It was un unreadable document, like any text… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

“We are committed to take strong leadership in combating climate change”: That was the key message from Heiligendamm in June 2007, with the German chancellor in the Chair. A year later, the G8 ministers of energy met in Aomori, Japan, in order to prepare the Hokkaido G8 meeting at the end of July. They had… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

At its “historic” March 2007 meeting, the European Council has solemnly proclaimed the European Union’s firm intention to cover 20 percent of its primary energy consumption from renewable sources. Nine months later, the Commission has submitted a draft directive for implementing this target by appropriate national action plans. Reaching the 20 percent target by 2020… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Avoid Plebiscites

On June 12, Irish voters will pronounce themselves on the Lisbon Treaty. It will be the 6th time since 1972 that the Irish electorate is called upon to give its assent to changes of the EU Treaties. Ireland is the only EU member state to indulge in an extensive use of referenda, which follows from… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has called upon humanity to invest $ 45 000 billion in the coming four decades in alternative energies and halve global CO2 emissions by 2050. The bulk of that huge investment will have to take place in emerging countries, in particular China, India and Russia. It is there that the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Many countries continue subsidising the use of petrol and fuel, among these most oil producing countries, China and emerging countries like India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. The level of subsidies is generally quite substantial. Prices for petrol and fuel may be subsidised to less than half of, in the case of oil producers like… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein