Rhein on Energy and Climate

COP 20, the 20th annual climate conference, has started in Lima in a mood of increasing realism. Those who still believe in containing global warming within two degrees Celsius target are becoming rarer. The issue becomes more and more if Humanity will get away with acceptable conditions of survival or succumb to famine, non-ending natural… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The recent revelations about complex financial transactions of some 300 major companies profiting from differentials between corporate income tax bases and rates among member states and specific tax deals reducing their tax bill raise questions about the compatibility of national company taxation regimes with an economic and monetary union. After several fruitless efforts during the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Within a few months oil prices have seen a precipitous decline from $ 100/barrel to $ 70/barrel. While consumers across the globe may rejoice, this development is bound to be judged with serious misgivings by the 2000 diplomats meeting as of today in Lima/Peru for another conference with the objective of containing the emission of… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

On Friday (21 November) Mario Draghi, the ECB President, has provoked fireworks at EU stock exchanges after promising he would do all in his power to push inflation in the Euro – zone up to 2%, the ceiling considered as the “target” for EU and US central banks. Expectations of rising prices may give a… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

For many years Ukraine has wasted huge amounts of energy through exorbitant subsidies on gas consumption, coupled with in-transparent multiple gas prices and large-scale corruption. Due to these factors, Ukraine has become one of the most wasteful energy consuming countries in the world. With household gas prices substantially lower than in any other European country… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

At the Pittsburgh G 20 meeting in September 2009 the heads of government had agreed to phase out subsidies on fossil fuels by 2020. At that time, the global volume of these climate-damaging consumption subsidies amounted to $ 300 annually, mostly in developing and emerging countries. Today, their volume has risen to $500 billion, and… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

About two thirds of the EU member states are using toll systems for financing the construction and maintenance of highways. National governments monitor the rates being charged; and this functions quite satisfactorily. There is no reason for the EU to intervene, except insisting on strict non-discrimination between road users from different member states. This seems… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

From November 3 to 11 Beijing is hosting an APEC Summit, which 20 Heads of Government from the Pacific region will attend. To that end, the local authorities have undertaken utmost efforts to clean up their city, which is one the most polluted on earth. The streets are “empty” because schools, local government, public and… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

With oil prices having declined to less than $90 per barrel, a low level not seen for more than a decade, oil/gas subsidies are becoming a costly affair to countries with high production costs like Russia, Egypt, Yemen, Venezuela, Indonesia. At the same time, due to the lower prices consumers enjoying them will hardly feel… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein