Rhein on Energy and Climate

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After the narrow vote by the Parliament, the Icelandic government has immediately submitted its formal application for EU membership on July 17th. The Council will be wise to wait until after the Irish referendum before inviting the Commission to prepare its opinion. Under optimistic assumptions one should assume negotiations to start as of 2010 and… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The European Commission proposal to extend visa freedom to Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia is to be welcomed. The European Council is expected to give its green light as soon as October so that the visa-free access to the EU can become effective by January 2010. The three countries had to work hard for it: issue… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

DESERTEC Takes Off

July 13 2009 may one day be remembered as the start of a new era in renewable energy development. At that date 12 European finance, engineering and electric companies signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of large-scale solar thermal electricity generation in the Sahara, from which to supply Mediterranean and European countries with… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

I cannot resist responding to Svetoslav Apostolov`s long letter to the editor (July 13) concerning the “EU institutions hypocritical fight against climate change“. Basically, he makes three points: – Man made climate change does not take place, but the EU institutions have made it their mantra. – The EU institutions waste energy and therefore behave… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The US Department of Energy expect the share of wind energy to treble from a minuscule 1.4 percent today to still tiny 4 percent of electricity generation in 2030. This projection is based on targets fixed by states. It shows the very long way the USA still has to go towards cutting green house gas… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The G8+5 meeting in l`Aquila was disappointing for all those who had hoped the main green house gas emitter countries, which account for 80 percent of global C02 emissions, would pave the way for a successful outcome of the crucial Copenhagen climate Conference in December. Unfortunately, the gulf between developed and emerging countries remains wider… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, wants to make the fight against climate change a top priority of the Swedish Presidency. To that end, he has proposed that member states introduce a C02 tax as a complement to the December 2008 EU- climate package. He is fully aware that such a tax would not be… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Modern agriculture has become a major emitter of green house gases, in particular methane from animal husbandry, nitrogen oxide from intensive fertiliser use and C02 from mechanical farming. In the USA it accounts for as much as seven percent of green house gas emissions, in the EU the share might be around five percent, but… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The Unthinkable has happened. California, the biggest US state, had to declare insolvency and a state of fiscal insolvency. As of July 1st, it will have to pay in newly emitted treasury bills. Its public debt will rise by another $ 26 billion in fiscal year 2009. Governor Schwarzenegger had desperately tried to convince, first… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Dubai, one of the seven tiny countries of the United Arab Republic (UAE), has been more profoundly affected than other Arab countries by the ongoing financial and economic crisis. Disposing only of limited oil and gas reserves that might be depleted in 20 years, it had wisely started engaging in transforming its economy to the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein