Rhein on Energy and Climate

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Geir Haarde, the Icelandic Prime Minister has constituted a commission to examine the possibilities for EU membership. His Independence Party will consult on membership as soon as January 2009. This development comes in the wake of the collapse of the Icelandic banking system, which has profoundly shaken the country. A formal request for membership would… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The arrival of President OBAMA on the global political scene will lead to a thorough re-assessment and redirection of US foreign policy. One area where this redirection is overdue is international population policy. For the Bush Administration global population growth was not an issue. The White House ignored it. Never mind the increase of world… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

In the aftermath of the first oil crisis, 1975, the French President Giscard d`Estaing had the clever idea to invite the heads of government of what were then the major economic powers – USA, Japan, Germany, UK and Italy – to an informal fire chat at Rambouillet Castle to discuss about the global economic system.… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Humanity can rejoice. Finally, we have a real chance for seriously tackling global climate change. After eight terrible years of stalemate under the Bush Administration, which in the beginning even refused to acknowledge the fact of climate change, the USA is about to make volte-face in energy and climate policy. President-elect Obama has fully grasped… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Traditionally, one Commissioner has been responsible for all environmental issues, and another one for energy issues. This division of portfolios was perfectly adequate before climate change became the all-encompassing policy issue for both energy and environmental policies. In the recent past, the division of competences has not been propitious, leading to in-house fights between “climate… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Ukraine is a major emitter of C02, comparable to Spain. It is therefore laudable that the government aims at reducing C02 emissions at the same rate as the EU, i.e. 20 percent by 2020. That should be feasible provided the country focuses on its huge potential for raising energy efficiency. Like all former socialist countries,… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After years of booming sales and profits the European automobile industry finds itself confronted with a “consumer strike”, forcing manufacturers to temporarily close down plants and send their personnel into unpaid vacations. In view of the high market saturation in most European countries this situation was overdue and the steep decline of sales in the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein