For decades European countries have taxed gasoline, diesel and heating fuels on the simple basis of volume; and tax rates varied substantially among EU member countries beyond commonly agreed minimal rates.
Out of all the countries rocked by revolts and revolutions, one group stands apart. Its members are rich in oil and gas reserves and derive most of their national income not from the taxes levied on their citizens, but from the proceeds obtained from oil and gas exports. This fiscal peculiarity is not restricted to… » read more
It is less than two years since the US Congress was in the middle of a heated debate on climate legislation, including a system for emission trading similar to that of the EU. When President Obama addressed students of the Georgetown University, on a “Blue Print for a secure Energy Future”, on 31 March, he… » read more
Last week’s European Council took the decision to undertake stress tests for all existing European nuclear power plants by the end of the year. After these tests, the decision will be taken as to whether the security is sufficient to run the different nuclear power plants! But all experiences show that such a policy decision… » read more
I recently attended the European Commission, DG Climate Action’s conference on their roadmap to a low carbon economy in 2050. After hearing the European officials saying one thing (long-term targets) and the stakeholders another (short-term needs for funding innovation), I can only conclude that even with the best roadmap, we are definitely lost. And as… » read more
Last week’s European Council took the decision to undertake stress tests for all existing European nuclear power plants by the end of the year. After these tests, the decision will be taken as to whether the security is sufficient to run the different nuclear power plants! But all experiences show that such a policy decision […]
Political leaders of oil-rich countries are far less likely to relinquish power or, in the case of kingdoms, to adopt much-needed constitutional changes.
The arrival of the European Council President will involve heads of government more frequently and intensively in the strategic decision making about crucial policy areas like macro-financial, energy/climate and external policies.
The images of the tsunami and the loss of life in Japan are horrifying. But before the sun set on the second day of this tragedy, Greenpeace International released an obscene, tasteless “I told you so.”
Gasoline and fuel prices have reached their highest level since the summer of 2007 when the oil price had peaked at $ 147/barrel. American consumers suffer more from the hike than Europeans, who are shielded by the revaluation of the Euro and high excise taxes softening the repercussions on fuel/gasoline prices. But US drivers having… » read more
The retiring President of the German Central Bank, Axel Weber, has most recently warned German citizens that the recent and still ongoing German “boom” will be followed by meagre years with the Gross National Product growing by a mere one percent annually, leaving very little room for wage increases.
OVER THE past five years, the US has witnessed a spectacular revival of its gas production thanks to newly developed technologies allowing the extraction of gas by injecting water and chemicals under high pressure and crushing rocks that contain gas at depths of several hundreds (or even thousands) of meters. Today, shale gas amounts to… » read more
‘Islam Awakes!‘ That’s what the news ticker said on the monitors of the press area of the European Council building on 4 February. Mubarak had already announced he was going. The European Council was in its usual secret session, closed to the press and closed to the public. On its agenda the topic of most… » read more
The EU’s use of the precautionary principle has become counter-productive – a tool manipulated by cunning political interests resulting in increased environmental-health risks. Its very raison d’être, to restore trust in science, has been turned on its head by activists and functionaries in the European Environment Agency […]
The EU has in recent months demonstrated that it is stuck between rhetoric on climate change and conflicting industrial interests. While the European Commission’s climate department maintains that the EU’s priority is to lead in climate change measures and take over global green tech markets, its trade people have been busy watering down South Korean… » read more