For a long time, the French have considered cycling a sport rather than a way of transport. This has changed in the past years with raising concerns about air quality, climate change and public health. 2020 can be a real turning point with long strikes in public transit as well as government support for a bike system in the aftermath of the Coronavirus crisis. Lisa Tostado takes a closer look.
But there’s fight-back from the old guard – in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own party – as well as from Europe’s so-called ‘frugal four’: Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. Nevertheless, Merkel is going further than ever before in backing the European Green Deal, higher EU climate targets, and renewable energy across Europe. Paul Hockenos has the story.
Covid-19 spread shows up vulnerability at heart of nuclear programmes, with resilience of UK critical national infrastructures undermined. The coronavirus’ effects act as threat multiplier, as David Lowry explains.
A myth is haunting the English-speaking world: Germany allegedly shows that emissions rise because renewables can’t replace nuclear – and that France is right to stick with nuclear. What do the data show? Craig Morris reports
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.