Rhein on Energy and Climate

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Humanity is lost in a fatal inconsistency. At the very moment when the COP 19 in Warsaw is supposed to define the path towards a low-emission future that would prevent global temperatures from rising beyond two centigrade, the IEA “2013 World Energy Report” projects global energy demand to increase from 13 billion tons oil equivalent… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Energy policy will not be a central issue in the beginning election campaign for the Bundestag. The nuclear question that dominated the 2009 elections has been settled by the decision to close all nuclear reactors by 2022,supported by all parties. There is an extraordinary level of agreement in German society and consequently among parties on… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The recent mass demonstrations in Brazil have been propelled by public investment in mega football stadiums for the World Cup at the expense of desperately needed repair and maintenance of schools, hospitals and public transport. This raises the more general issue for rich and poor countries: how should sports stadiums be financed? Since Roman times,… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The European Patent Office in Munich has announced a 4 per cent rise of patent registrations in 2012, reaching a total of 258 000. This reflects a globally improved business climate, intensive international research activity and the attractiveness of the European Patent Office as a place to register inventions. A closer look reveals that the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would harm our children and future generations. America must lead the transition towards sustainable energy.” That is what President Obama has pledged to the American nation January 20th 2013, when he was officially sworn in for his second term. Will… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Since the start of the European integration in 1958 agriculture has absorbed more political and financial resources than any other sector. Despite the small and decreasing number of people that agriculture employs (some five per cent of EU labour force) it has always received the lion’s share of EU budget expenditures, though this share has… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

On 19th December 2012, the Commission has submitted a new piece of legislation aiming at less smoking in Europe. Its 60 page proposal responds to the 2005 “WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control”, which calls on parties to reduce tobacco use and demands from member countries and the EP for better harmonisation of anti-tobacco programmes,… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Judging by the New Year Messages of Heads of government around the world, climate change will range far behind employment, fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and competitiveness among the top priorities in 2013, whether in Europe, USA or Asia. The global society seems to have forgotten the floods, droughts, wild fires and other climate-related disasters in… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein