After twenty years of negotiations, the European Union is in the process of advancing one of the world’s largest free trade agreements with four states of Mercosur. The planned agreement suggests a political path that veers towards a worsening of the international climate crisis. Kathrin Meyer discusses the questionable contents of the political act, which will solidify inequality amongst the trade partners and enable the expansion of environmentally harmful methods.
In the run-up to the EU elections, German Environmental Minister Svenja Schulze has now said that she supports French President Macron’s climate plan, including a floor price for carbon. And Chancellor Merkel has now joined her in calling for “carbon net neutrality” by 2050. But the market can’t fix everything, says Craig Morris.
A European Commission proposal to phase-out regulated prices of electricity looked set to win approval from EU member states until the ‘yellow vest’ movement swept across France and nipped it in the bud. Frédéric Simon takes a deeper look behind the scenes.
Rather than allowing itself to be dragged into Donald Trump’s destructive trade games, the European Union should turn them on their head, by introducing a CO2 levy, including border adjustment. Such a response would help protect the environment and boost the EU’s own international clout. Barbara Unmüßig and Michael Kellner take a look.
Despite calls from French President Macron to implement additional carbon taxes, the German coalition government refuses to hold polluters accountable. “We say no to a price on CO2,” say CDU members, once again punting on climate change leadership. L. Michael Buchsbaum goes in-depth.
To continue leading the Energiewende it started, Germany now needs to follow other progressive nations and announce a swift coal exit. But the “Coal Commission” tasked with structuring the coal phaseout seems to be dragging its feet. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes a look.
The new third generation (EPR) nuclear reactor is being built in France and Finland and is also proposed in the UK. A similar design went into operation in South Korea in December 2016 – but it remains the only one running commercially worldwide. That could change soon, however, as Craig Morris explains.
The energy transition not only needs to reduce carbon emissions, but also strengthen communities. The gap between social sciences and natural sciences must be breached. Craig Morris explains why.
Ramping – when power plants adjust their output according to market needs – is crucial in an energy system that includes renewables. So can nuclear reactors ramp enough to accommodate significant shares of wind and solar? Craig Morris takes a look.
The New York Times says they are “positive for energy users.” But Germany’s newspapers Handelsblatt and Der Spiegel say that Germans are paying neighboring countries to take excess power off their hands. Who is right? Craig Morris investigates.