Rhein on Energy and Climate

Humanity will be unable to combat climate change without profound transformations in the way it generates energy. Two such transformations have been recently announced, one in Singapore, the other in USA. In Singapore, a team of scientists of the Nanyang Technological University have developed a new type of ultra-fast recharging batteries which are claimed to… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

During the last years international organisations from IMF to IEA have called for the abolition of subsidies on oil and gas consumption. At its meeting in September 2009, the G20 has also agreed to phase them out in the medium term. Without much avail; most governments concerned continue to ignore these calls, whatever the negative… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After seven years of negotiations Bulgaria has signed a provisional contract with the US company Westinghouse to build a 1 GW nuclear power plant to complement the 3.8 GW nuclear capacity of the 40 year old Soviet-built Kozloduy plant, reserving the final decision to the summer of 2015 after detailed cost-benefit analysis. Bulgaria`s record in… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Germany is in the beginning of its nuclear phase-out to be completed by 2022. To that end, it has to replace nuclear power accounting for 18% of its electricity supply, compared to more than half from coal, by higher energy efficiency and renewable energy. It will also have to close some 30 conventional coal- and… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

In 2009 Antonio Sobre, one of Brazil’s leading climate scientists, warned his citizens that if the country did not stop deforestation it would experience a catastrophe in five years. Five years later, in October 2014, the centre and south-east of the country is experiencing its worst drought since 50 years. Sao Paulo, with 12 million… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Since the UN Climate Summit meeting in New York the prospects for halving the rate of tropical deforestation by 2020 and stopping it altogether by 2030 look pretty bright,with 40 major international companies and the US, EU, Canada and Norway lending their support to a global forest initiative. Forests constitute a major carbon reservoir and… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kiev, has recently warned his citizens that they might have to do with home temperatures of no more than 16° during the next winter in order to cope with gas and coal shortages, due to the tense economic and financial situation of the country. For the average European, let alone… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The UN Climate Summit on September 24, 2014 has once again underlined the threat of global warming and climate change for future generations but stopped short of responses to what constitutes the overriding challenge for Humanity. A mobilisation event is not enough, even if the thousands of people that flocked the streets in USA and… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

On September 18, the UN Security has unanimously passed a resolution, co-sponsored by 131(!) governments, calling the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone a “threat to international peace and security” and asking countries world-wide for urgent medical personnel and supplies to contain the outbreak. UN and WHO have waited nine months after… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Poland has been a laggard in European Climate Policy. Its substantial coal reserves, second to those of Germany, and a powerful coal lobby have prevented the country for a long time from waking up to the climate challenge. No wonder that coal continues to account for more than half of its energy consumption and more… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein