Rhein on Energy and Climate

Archives for Trade & Industry

Policy makers should stop talking about “climate policy”. It is energy policy that matters to preserve the global climate. It should secure our energy supply without causing havoc to environment. It is still too much focused on providing low-priced energy. Climate scientists tell us convincingly that Humanity must stop emitting greenhouse gases long before the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The decision by BP to sell off 4.6 GW capacity of wind power plants and projects in North America puts an end to an expensive dream to combine renewable with fossil energies that has cost BP some $ 6.5 billion since 2005. Through their investment in 16 wind farms across nine US States, BP had… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Europe finds itself in a process of relative de-industrialisation. The share of manufacturing in the GDP keeps falling. Few are the EU countries where manufacturing accounts for 30 per cent of GDP, the global average, let alone that of China (47 per cent), the world` s industrial power house. With a share of only 19… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Quietly and without the rest of the world taking much notice, China has managed during the last 20 years to establish a global monopoly over rare earths. Today, the country mines 95 percent of the global production of these minerals, which are essential for manufacturing many high-tech products from wind turbines to missiles, hybrid cars… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

At their last preparatory meeting for the Copenhagen Climate Conference the EU environment ministers, October 20-21, have agreed to offer a 95 percent reduction of their green house gas emissions until 2050. This is praiseworthy; but it remains void of meaning unless the EU comes up with answers on three critical questions: What concrete steps… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Politicians have little time to think and therefore often come up with bizarre ideas. One of these is the carbon border tax proposed by President Sarkozy and favoured also by other politicians in Europe. A carbon border tax is an instrument for protecting European industries against imports of carbon-intensive products like cement, steel, aluminium or… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The generation of electricity has traditionally been in the hands of municipalities, in Europe, or small private companies, in the USA. This business model belongs to the past. In the future power generation – and separately transmission – will be concentrated in the hands of big transnational companies operating globally. European companies have been the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Following in US footsteps the EU has been negotiating a free trade agreement with Korea during the last two years, which is on the point of being finalised. If signed and ratified by both parties it would progressively abolish duties and other import obstacles on a bilateral trade volume of some $ 100 billion within… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After having been cut off twice in the last three years from Russian gas supplies, the EU is getting finally serious with improving its short-term gas supply security. Member states have started discussing to put in place a system of short-term storage, similar to the emergency oil storage installed after the first oil crisis in… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Between 1995 and 2007 the EU has almost doubled its membership, from 15 to 27 members, accepting more new member states than ever before within a very short time span. This rapid expansion has not been preceded by the necessary strengthening of its institutional functioning, in particular its decision making capacity. Since 2004, the EU… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein