Climate change was again placed at the centre of global diplomacy over the past weeks as diplomats and ministers gathered in Bonn for the latest annual round of United Nations climate talks. COP23, the second “conference of the parties” since the Paris Agreement was struck, promised to be a technical affair as countries continued to negotiate the finer details of how the agreement will work from 2020 onwards. Jocelyn Timperley of Carbon Brief covers the summit’s key outcomes.
Michał Olszewski has long written about the Polish conservative government trying (and failing) to bail out coal, and maintain energy independence. But these expensive and polluting practices could be coming to an end. Slowly but surely, the energy transition emerges in Poland.
Donald Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement is not the end of the world. Cities and towns are moving ahead in localising the energy transition but to fully harness their potential, local governments need to be empowered and equipped with the right tools, argues Philipp Thaler.
Renovating existing buildings and making sure new builds are fit for purpose are the crucial tenets of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which the European Parliament’s industry committee voted on last week. Sam Morgan of Euractiv.com takes a closer look.
Germany has been seen as a leader in renewable energy in the European Union, but there is still a long way to go. To revitalize both European and German energy transitions, Rebecca Bertram proposes three strategies for Germany’s new government to put in place at the EU level: better goals, binding goals, and the long-awaited coal phaseout.
Ireland has set some important emissions reductions goals for 2050 – but greenhouse gases from agriculture remain a stumbling block. In addition, Ireland’s share of renewables in the energy mix is relatively low. Claire Dupont takes a look at what the country can do to jump-start the energy transition.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy efficiency is the one energy resource that every country possesses in abundance and is the quickest and least costly way of addressing energy security, environmental and economic challenges. Stefan Jungcurt elaborates on recent initiatives which have sought to boost energy efficiency.
Since the 1950s, the Euratom Treaty has encouraged large investments into nuclear energy projects and funding for nuclear research. In all this time, the treaty was never revised to suit present-day demands. The trend towards cheaper renewable energy is ignored, while millions of euros that go towards nuclear research are legitimated. Cordula Büsch takes a look at why the Euratom treaty needs to be reformed, if not abolished.
The political changes in Poland have claimed ecology as another victim. For conservative politicians, ecology is just a dangerous whim and they would very happily spend the money allocated to it elsewhere. Michał Olszewski takes a critical look.
When Germans cast their vote in the national elections on September 24 they will also be deciding on the direction of the country’s energy policy. Arne Jungjohann takes a look at how German politics may help, or hinder, the energy transition.