Rhein on Energy and Climate

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After two years of debate the Council of Transport ministers has arrived at a political compromise concerning the Commission proposal for charging the external costs – air pollution, noise and congestion –caused by lorries. This will be the first time that heavy duty lorries will subject to the principle “polluter pays”. It is a big… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Quietly and without being noted by the wider public, EU institutions have started to address the consequences climate change may have in Europe. European climate policy will therefore in future follow a dual track: mitigation, which has so far been in the limelight, and adaptation. This approach signals the rising awareness of policy makers that… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

With one month to go before the opening of the 16th ministerial climate conference in Cancun, the EU Environment Council, meeting on October 24th, has defined its expectations and “negotiation directives”. The “Council Conclusions” adopted to that end contain a lot of exaggerated hopes, couched in an excessive technical jargon. Who would not agree that… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

On October 9th 2010, the 192 member governments of the ICAO have agreed on a resolution to address C02 emissions from air traffic, which has rightly been dubbed “historic”. It calls upon • a 2 percent annual improvement of fuel efficiency up to 2050; • the development of C02 standards of aircraft engines by 2013;… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

On an ordinary October day 2010 the international media carried four reports concerning EU activities: EU moves to block a Polish deal with Russia; EU claims victory over aircraft C02 emissions; EU Parliament to extend motherhood vacation to 20 weeks; EU Presidency proposes compromise over environmental levies on trucks. Each of these apparently trivial and… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

US militaries have for a long time warned of the impact from climate change global security and, more directly, of the security risks resulting from excessive US dependence on imported oil from an unstable Middle East. But recently, as the New York Times reports, the Army has taken concrete steps towards weaning itself off fossil… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

In two months another climate conference will take place. Formally it will be the 16th meeting of the “Contracting Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change” (COP 16). Nobody following climate issues has high expectations for its outcome. That makes it different from Copenhagen. After the failure of the climate legislation package in… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The EU has been in a process of permanent enlargements since its very beginning in 1958. In 2010 it is negotiating with two more candidate countries: Croatia and Turkey. It has given membership promises to six West Balkan countries (Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo). In the East, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia also cherish… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The Philippine President Aquino has angered the Catholic Church in his country by announcing his intention to make contraceptives freely available to couples who cannot afford them. This incident did not happen in the 20th century but at the end of September 2010! No other single institution in the world has been responsible for so… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein