Currently generating over a fifth of the nation’s electricity, in September the Romanian government announced a coal phase-out by 2032. Though supported by various EU funds and intended to pave the way towards mid-century carbon neutrality, Romania’s energy transformation plan is far from emissions free. Despite vast renewable potential, Bucharest intends to replace most of their lignite plants with fossil gas and eventually “clean” hydrogen. In this blog, based on field research funded by a Fellowship from the International Journalists’ Program, lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum takes us to both Romania’s coalfields and speaks with Romanian Ministry of Energy State Secretary, Dan Drăgan.
Six years on from the cheers, claps and cries to welcome the Paris Agreement, global temperatures and emissions are rising, as dusk settles on the promise the agreement holds for planet Earth. It’s fading hope is today matched with faltering efforts to implement its Article 6. Michael Davies-Venn argues that failures to reach agreements on Article 6 illustrates an unfortunate mistake of conceiving of an imminent global environmental crisis as an economic problem. This misconception, he says, creates an illusion that an international carbon market is a suitable climate change solution.