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EURACTIV ENERGY and ENVIRONMENT WEEKLY | Illegal logging to cost Poland EUR100k a day in EU fines

 

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT WEEKLY

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

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ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT WEEKLY

Check out our latest coverage in our ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT WEEKLY policy hub or follow our latest updates on @eaEnergyEU
By Frédéric Simon (@FredSimonEU), Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan), Paola Tamma (@paola_tamma)

Illegal logging to cost Poland €100k a day in EU fines[Politics / News] The European Union's top court said on Monday (20 November) Poland would be fined €100,000 a day if it did not stop large-scale logging in Bialowieza Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

EU Parliament set for war over energy efficiency[Energy & Environment / News] Lawmakers in the European Parliament have finalised the text of a crucial energy efficiency law ahead of an important vote on 28 November. But political infighting both between and within the main political groups means the result is far from certain.

Climate finance, the sticking point in COP23[Energy & Environment / News] Rich countries had pledged to raise $100 billion each year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020. As of September 2017, they had pledged just $10.3 billion. And the question of who should pay remains unanswered. EURACTIV reports from the COP23 in Bonn.

World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund proposes ditching oil and gas holdings[Energy & Environment / News] The Norwegian central bank, which runs the country’s sovereign wealth fund – the world’s biggest – has told its government it should dump its shares in oil and gas companies, in a move that could have significant consequences for the sector. EURACTIV's media partner The Guardian reports.

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Disgraceful behaviour by the EU at high-level tuna meeting in Marrakesh[Agrifood / Opinion] While claiming to fight for the oceans and put sustainability first, the European Commission is pushing for the largest total allowable catches of bluefin tuna ever seen, without a solid scientific basis, write Linnéa Engström, Ricardo Serrão Santos and Norica Nicolai.

MPs: UK made grave errors over Hinkley nuclear project[Energy & Environment / News] Britain made "grave strategic errors" in its handling of the Franco-Chinese Hinkley Point nuclear project, a critical parliamentary report concluded on Wednesday (22 November).

Brexit impact on energy markets could be ‘limited’, study says[Politics / News] Brexit could have a limited effect on energy markets in both the United Kingdom and the European Union, according to a new study that is optimistic about the future of energy policy. But the Court of Auditors has warned that experimental energy research could suffer

An agenda for Germany’s ecological modernisation[Politics / Opinion] No matter which parties will eventually form a coalition, Germany’s next government will continue with an agenda of ecological modernisation, writes Arne Jungjohann. Based  on exploratory coalition talks, he explains how such an agenda could look like.

Poland reacts coolly to EU court warning of fines for logging[Energy & Environment / News] Poland reacted coolly to a warning it could incur fines for continuing to log in the BiaÅ‚owieża forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, saying on Tuesday (21 November) its actions were lawful.

Are we there yet? Current state of the smart home market[Digital / Opinion] The smart home is capturing headlines with its futuristic possibilities of smart cars, fridges and thermostats all connected to each other. However, it is important to be realistic. The current state of the smart home is not even close to this vision, writes Paige Leuschner.

Rise of cheap renewables disrupts EU energy plans for 2030[Energy & Environment / News] The rapid fall in costs of wind and solar power, combined with flexible demand technology, could replace “more than half” of coal and gas-powered electricity in Europe by 2030, according to new research published on Tuesday (21 November).

Eurostat gauges EU progress on SDG implementation[Global Europe / News] Eurostat, the European Union statistical office, published on Monday (20 November) a monitoring report on how the EU as a whole implements the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), showing “significant” progress in five of them and “moderate” progress for eight others.

Microplastics, macro problems[Energy & Environment / Opinion] Tackling the visible impact of plastic pollution is one thing. But if we’re serious about finding a long-term solution, revealing the invisible impact is imperative, writes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jocelyn Blériot, calling for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics that are still widely used in carrier bags.

Industry urges Greek government to fix ‘distorted’ renewables market[Energy & Environment / News] The leftist Greek government has clashed with the country's energy providers over the continuation of a special levy (ELAPE) imposed in order to balance the renewable energy sources account, which is a bailout obligation.

Is the CAP fit for purpose? NGOs BirdLife, EEB and NABU publish results of shadow Fitness Check [Sponsored][Agrifood / Video] “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” is an old saying. And it really does apply to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which currently makes up the largest part, almost 40%, of the EU budget.

Climate justice not on the menu in Bonn[Energy & Environment / News] Climate activists and indigenous leaders gathered last week (16 November) to raise awareness about the human rights aspect of climate action. They lamented the lack of substance in climate talks, while people are already dying due to the direct effects of climate change.

Luxembourg seeks to become Europe’s green finance hub[Energy & Environment / News] At the COP23 summit in Bonn, Luxembourg's finance and environment ministers joined with directors of the European Investment Bank to launch a de-risking mechanism that will allow financing of climate-friendly projects. 

France and the Netherlands call on EU to up climate action[Energy & Environment / News] As COP23 draws to a close, non-state actors were the few offering hope. The Netherlands and France also want to revise upward European ambition on climate action for 2030. EURACTIV France reports.

Financing the IPCC: How Macron got away with spending so little[Energy & Environment / News] France has made no announcements at COP23, except for financing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose operating budget varies between €5 and 8 million. EURACTIV France reports.

Anti-coal drive at UN climate talks stalked by pro-coal White House[Energy & Environment / News] Countries launched a coal phase-out initiative Thursday (16 November) at UN climate talks in Bonn, offering an antidote to the defence of Earth-warming fossil fuels by US President Donald Trump's administration.

Smart Logistics and Salt [Sponsored][Energy & Environment / Video] Smart logistics and transport are the future for the salt business.

Finding climate ambition outside of Europe[Global Europe / Opinion] Yesterday at the Bonn climate summit, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica underlined the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the support needed to rebuild a fully climate-resilient nation. Maeve McLynn describes how rich nations can help.

Radiator valves: A simple trick to achieve CO2 targets in the building sector[Energy & Environment / Opinion] Energy savings can be very low cost and easy. You can cut bills, energy imports and CO2 emissions through individual room temperature control, for example through thermostatic radiator valves. Sarah Brückner explains.

Slovakia dragging its feet on EU clean mobility plan[Transport / News] While the European Commission is pushing to accelerate the deployment of low-emission vehicles, Slovakia – a little-known automotive ‘superpower’ in Europe – continues to drive in the slow lane, EURACTIV.sk reports.

Climate change fight is great opportunity for Europe’s labourers[Global Europe / Opinion] For decades, labourers were presented with a false choice: good jobs or a clean environment. They were told that efforts to cut pollution would kill jobs—that they had to choose between clean air and the economy. Now we know better, insists Kathleen Van Brempt.

WindEurope: ‘Consumers are still paying for yesterday’s renewables’[Energy & Environment / Interview] Wind turbines installed up to fifteen years ago required heavy state subsidies, usually in the form of feed-in tariffs, remarks Giles Dickson. But this is no longer the case, he says, urging governments to use market-based systems like auctions, which guarantee stable revenues.

UN chief: Migration ‘highly desirable’ if managed humanely and responsibly[Global Europe / Interview] For the first time, the Paris Agreement acknowledged climate change causes migration. At COP23 in Bonn, the big question is how to address it, William Lacy Swing said in an interview with EURACTIV.com.

No excuse to pollute: Why coal is on trial in Greece[Health / Opinion] Illegal pollution from coal power plants is an issue all over Europe - the latest plants facing legal action are in Greece. It’s time for all of Europe’s governments to move beyond the dirtiest source of energy, insists Eleni Diamantopoulou.

America’s ‘other half’ steps up climate efforts[Energy & Environment / News] On Tuesday (14 November) at COP23, America’s “other half” presented its efforts to fight climate change in spite of the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. 

COP23 in search of a leader[Energy & Environment / News] Between coal-addicted Germany, and France that brings ideas but no new commitments, and the EU entangled in its contradictions, the political weight of this COP turned out lighter than expected. EURACTIV France reports.

EU tempted to bypass Poland to meet climate commitments[Energy & Environment / News] The EU’s Climate Commissioner has said that the bloc will do all it can to overcome Poland's refusal to sign the Doha Amendment, which represents the second part of the pre-2020 Kyoto Protocol. EURACTIV France reports.

Carbon markets back in vogue at COP23[Energy & Environment / News] Carbon markets have become a vital piece of common ground for defenders of the climate. The tool is gradually extending around the world, bringing with it higher revenues. EURACTIV France reports.

Sweden tops climate action index, Ireland underwhelms[Global Europe / News] Ireland is the worst performing EU member state on climate change action, according to a new report that has ranked 60 of the world’s major countries in order of commitment to emissions reductions and other tenets of the Paris Agreement.

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