Rhein on Energy and Climate

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During the last five years the USA has witnessed a spectacular revival of its gas production, thanks to newly developed technologies allowing to extract gas by injecting water and chemicals under high pressure and crushing rocks that contain gas in several hundred or even thousand meter depths. Today shale gas amounts to almost one tenth… » read more

Posted by EuroGoblin

By making use of its veto power the USA has rejected, February 18th, a draft Resolution introduced by the group of Arab countries condemning and declaring illegal all Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories. All the other 14 members of the Security Council have supported the Resolution. This is a serious incident, in particular in… » read more

Posted by EuroGoblin

For the last 50 years Turkey and the EU have been toying around with EU membership. But at the beginning of 2011 they are not really advanced to the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Negotiations for accession have been going on without enthusiasm for the past five… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

It has taken the “Arab Uprising” for the EU to re-discover its southern neighbours! It is most welcome for EU foreign ministers and Heads of government to have a serious discussion on how to help them starting or consolidating their transition towards democracy, the respect of basic freedoms, the rule of law and market economy.… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Tar sands represent the most climate-damaging fossil energy. They are found in huge quantities in the Canadian province Alberta. Because of their low concentration ( 3 percent fuel components), their conversion into oil requires gigantic movements of soil . The production of gasoline/fuel from tar sands is therefore both costly and energy-intensive. Including the energy… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After two years of deliberations the European Parliament has its given green light to a Commission proposal for tightening emission standards for light commercial vehicles, vans and mini-trucks. The approval by the Council will be no more than a formality so that light commercial vehicles can become subject to similar rules as passenger cars, for… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

60 years after the project of European integration was begun, the outlines of a comprehensive energy policy are finally visible. The European Council Conclusions of February 4th have been a decisive corner stone on what is a very long and still incomplete march. It has taken dramatic transformations in global energy and climate conditions to… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After almost two years of informal preparations, hardly noticed by anyone outside Switzerland or specialised trade policy circles, China and Switzerland have formally launched negotiations for a free trade agreement, in a meeting of their respective trade and economy minister that took place in Davos on January 28, 2011. This event would not be worth… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Before the end of March the EU heads of government are scheduled to make the European Financial Stabilisation Fund (EFSF) “water-proof” by raising its intervention capacity beyond the present € 440 billion. This is likely to happen through additional guarantees from the few EU countries enjoying an AAA rating and additional payments from non-AAA countries.… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein