Rhein on Energy and Climate

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In 2013 weather conditions in Europe have been marked by high instability and unpredictability. It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the seasons. In March winter weather prevailed, in December spring time. The rain distribution has become very uneven, with heavy rains causing massive inundations, especially in Northwestern Europe. Strong and frequent winds have become… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

With his recent interview in “Il Fatto Quottidiano” on Italy’s future economic policy, the newly elected Secretary General of the Democratic Party Matteo Renzi has aroused mixed feelings in Italy and other EU countries. He pleads for a radical shake-up, slashing Italy’s bloated bureaucracy, cutting its rampant unemployment and reforming its labour legislation and educational… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After six months of tough negotiations, the EU has reached a compromise for the Co2 emission ceilings applicable to passenger cars over the next decade. The new regulation will be applicable as of 2021, one year late than initially foreseen. It will fix the average ceiling of Co2 emissions at 95 g/km – compared to… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After 300 years of common history Scotland wants to separate from the United Kingdom. Alex Salmond, the popular leader of the Scottish National party, has presented a 700 page White Paper on November 27 setting out the case; and in September 2014 the Scots will be invited to vote on their independence by way of… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

On June 13 2013 the UN Population Division has published a major upward revision of its 2050 and 2100 population projections. This has gone widely unnoticed in Europe, though it will have a big impact on Europe if history will confirm it. Until 2050 global population is now projected to reach 9.6 billion, 2.4 billion… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The 19th climate conference in Warsaw will be remembered for not having brought Humanity any closer to a successful climate accord. Posterity will recall it more for discord than agreement: discord with Australia, Japan and Poland for backtracking on their climate targets and walk-out of the environment associations for lack of progress towards the signature… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

European industry is afraid of losing its international competitiveness because of a rising gap between European and American gas and power prices. EU prices for gas, it is claimed, amount to just one third of US shale gas prices. This enormous price differential is bound to undermine the competitiveness of European energy-intensive industries. They will… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The 10th November 2013 is likely to enter EU history as the day when an overwhelming majority (483 against 141 and 34 abstentions) of MEPs passed a resolution calling for a single location of the EP. To this end, Article 341 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Institutions, according to which the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The top UN climate official, Ms. Christiana Figueres, has been of an unprecedented “bluntness” when telling coal industry officials that “coal must change rapidly and dramatically”. Her declaration was echoed by a statement distributed by 27 leading scientists from across the world urging that most fossil energy energy reserves have to stay in the ground… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

It has never happened before in any of the preceding climate conferences! Delegates take to hunger strike! Demonstrations have become more vociferous: against Polish coal-fired power plants, Australia scaling back climate targets to ridiculous five per cent reductions of C02 and Japanese further rise of C02 emissions! Finally, Warsaw has shown the beginning of an… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein