Rhein on Energy and Climate

The division of Commission services into one dealing with energy policy and another one with climate change policy has always been an artificial one: to influence climate change policy makers have to rely on energy policy. It is therefore positive to recombine the two sides of the coin under a single command and put an… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Mr. Abbot`s new liberal-conservative government has been elected on the promise to abolish the carbon tax on mining, coal power and air transport companies introduced by his predecessor to contain excessively high Australian green house gas emissions. As of first July 2014 the carbon tax has been formally repealed. The new government claims that electricity… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

During the last 50 years global energy demand has risen at an unprecedented pace and is expected to continue rising further in the wake of growing world population and prosperity. These trends are not sustainable. The energy resources (coal, oil, gas, uranium) are finite and burning them is bound to accelerate climate change to a… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

For years Bavarian politicians have been pushing for highway user fees for non-German cars. Now they may have come closer their goal. On 7 July, the German transport minister (CSU) has presented his plans, which should be turned into legislation before the beginning of 2016. They foresee the introduction of mandatory vignettes for passenger cars… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The new Egyptian President, Fattah el-Sissi, has inherited a country in political, social and economic disarray. Starting with demographic growth of 1.7%, all major data indicate unsustainable trends: a budget deficit of 10% of the GDP, a public debt close to 100% of GDP, a 9% inflation rate and an explosive balance of payment gap.… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

One of the strange phenomena of the European integration process is the slowness with which transnational business has replaced traditional structures. Business, whatever sector, has stayed for a long time where it had been before 1958. While intra-European trade has flourished companies did not feel much need to join hands with neighbouring competitors and prepare… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Europe is enjoying a level of price stability and low interest rates rarely seen since the end of World War II. Wages, pensions, rents etc. do not require permanent adjustments to rising prices, an advantage we are not fully appreciating. Citizens are no longer deceived by monetary illusions. The Euro has lost very little of… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

After very long, extensive and complicated negotiations the EU has finally signed the association and free trade agreements with three countries south of Russia on June 27th 2014. All the three consider this signature only as a step toward their final goal of joining the European Union. This desire is perfectly logical. Experience tells them… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Among the four basic freedoms the EU offers its citizens free movement of labour has traditionally lagged behind, due to cultural and linguistic obstacles and, above all a natural of human longing to stay close to their home. The economic crisis with its unprecedented high unemployment rates, especially among young people, and high income differentials… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

With the presentation on June 18th of a comprehensive energy transition programme the French energy minister has started to fulfil promises made during the 2012 Presidential election campaign. The programme is a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion on European energy and climate policy beyond 2020 and the preparation for the decisive international climate conference… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein