Implementing carbon pricing mechanisms (CPMs) that impose fees on emissions in the power and industrial sectors can be a powerful tool to affect current production and consumption patterns. Under last year’s Sofia Declaration, Western Balkan countries pledged to align their climate change mitigation efforts with the EU targets and programs. Policy makers have declared pricing carbon to be one of the most important instruments in the effort to concretize political promises. However, the Western Balkan region has limited experience with carbon pricing initiatives – and only Albania and Montenegro have taken their first tentative steps so far. Daniel Muth has the details.
As Kosovo’s new coalition gets down to business, the young state has the chance to wean itself off its long-standing coal dependency. But will the government, which came into power in March this year, seize the opportunity to turn a green agenda into reality for Kosovo? Granit Gashi has the story.
In its so-called taxonomy, the EU seeks to define the economic activities that can be considered sustainable. Pro-nuclear lobby groups and countries are fighting tooth and nail for nuclear energy to be one of the lucky recipients of this label. Germany could block this plan, but the fact it wants fossil gas labelled as “sustainable” suggests that the entire issue could degenerate into horse-trading. Julian Bothe (.ausgestrahlt) surveys the fault lines of the debate.
A total solar eclipse on December 14th left the Chilean south briefly in the dark. Between local indigenous groups and the solar industry, the event was affronted with respect and ingenuity. Vera Dickhoff takes a closer look.
In addition to other profound impacts, the corona virus has offered global energy markets an unprecedented natural experiment. Collapsing demand for conventional energy fuels and inelastic supply responses have depressed oil prices that are now being incorporated into forward energy planning. This adverse investment accelerator effect is now expected to bring forward the so-called “peak oil” milestone, significantly shortening the profitable lifecycle of known oil reserves. Thus a global health crisis has given us only a foretaste of what we can expect over a longer time horizon, as climate risk continues a slower but more inexorable ascent. Simply put, the rising social cost of carbon will exert the same effect on conventional energy demand, compounded by the emergence of ever more affordable renewable substitutes. Furthermore, the international push for a ‘green recovery‘ in the aftermath of the pandemic is perceived to hasten the end of the oil era. Oyuna Baldakova and David Roland-Holst report
Europe’s economy is well placed to benefit from the fledgling global hydrogen economy and should decisively follow through with its hydrogen strategies, says Veronika Grimm, a member of Germany’s council of economic experts, one of the country’s most important advisory committees. “We are in a very strong position in Germany and Europe when it comes to hydrogen and synthetic fuels, and we should keep that advantage,” Grimm told Clean Energy Wire. “It’s very important to create, on an ambitious timeline, the energy policy framework conditions that make hydrogen-related investments attractive for european companies,” said Grimm, who is also a member of Germany’s freshly launched hydrogen council dedicated to supervising the implementation of the country’s recent hydrogen strategy. In this interview, Grimm talks about her expectations for a global hydrogen economy, its implications for industries across the globe, and why she thinks the coronavirus crisis might speed up the transition rather than slowing it.
The European Union (EU) is planning to tax carbon-intensive products as a strategy to decrease global emissions and avoid carbon leakage. But will exporters be able to adapt? Lilia Maximova, Gabriela F. Kilpp, Natalia Koto, and Bárbara Martins take a look.
Lots of people the world over believe that fracking is banned in Germany. This view is shared by climate and environmental activists and promoted as a positive example. But unfortunately it is not quite true. Although Germany likes to be seen by the international community as a model of green and climate-friendly behaviour, it does in fact explicitly permit fracking in some cases. Furthermore, there is a risk that the restrictions that do exist could be eased or even lifted completely as early as next year. Andy Gheorghiu, an independent campaigner and consultant for climate and environmental protection, explains.
All over Europe, people are rising up to fix climate breakdown – demanding urgent transformation to a fair, fossil free future. Communities, cities and people are at the forefront of building community-owned renewable energy, creating green jobs, and tackling energy poverty. Here is one such story from the frontlines of climate hope, from Ukraine. Susann Scherbarth reports for Friends of the Earth Europe