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Dave Keating

Brussels, Belgium
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About Dave
**Available for EU CoronaVirus coverage from home studio**

Dave Keating is an American journalist covering European politics. Having previously covered US politics in Washington, Dave specializes in drawing comparisons between the American federal system and the European Union.

Dave has covered the courtrooms of Chicago, the halls of the US congress, the streets of New York City and the board rooms of the City of London. As a broadcast journalist, Dave has worked as a line producer for a weekly newscast, a show producer for newsmagazine specials and a segment producer for live news panels and interviews.

Outside of journalism, Dave has worked as a documentary filmmaking instructor and directed a weekly talk show in New York. Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University in Film/Television and History. He also holds a Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop Feature Stories
Fact Checking

SMART Security Solutions

07 May 2024  |  www.securitysa.com
Dave Keating discusses the challenges of adopting 'first world' technology solutions in Africa, emphasizing the need for localisation, consideration of infrastructure limitations, and the importance of local support. He criticizes the reliance on international products and providers, which often fail to meet the unique needs of the African context. Keating advocates for leveraging local talent in the ICT space to develop African solutions for African problems, which would also contribute to economic growth and job creation on the continent.

The unnoticed 2009 decision that pushed the UK to where it is today

25 Mar 2024  |  davekeating.substack.com
In 2009, David Cameron, then opposition leader, withdrew the Conservative Party from the European Peoples Party and established the European Conservatives and Reformists group, influenced by the eurosceptic wing of his party. This decision, aimed at securing leadership votes, exemplified Cameron's tendency to prioritize his political career, a pattern culminating in the Brexit referendum. Recently, Cameron, who resigned post-Brexit, was appointed foreign minister by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The EU’s uncertain nuclear future

22 Mar 2024  |  davekeating.substack.com
The first-ever Nuclear Energy Summit was held at the Atomium in Brussels, symbolizing Belgium's commitment to nuclear energy. Leaders from 14 European countries reaffirmed their dedication to the Nuclear Alliance, which faces opposition from Germany and Austria. The alliance, initiated by France, has gained strength following the UK's departure from the EU and the energy insecurity prompted by the war in Ukraine. More than half of the EU member states have joined or support the alliance, highlighting the EU's internal policy alignment on nuclear energy.

EU biofuel policy, stable after two decades of fluctuation?

22 Mar 2024  |  EURACTIV.com
The EU's legislative term since 2019 has seen significant climate legislation, including the Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package, with a focus on decarbonizing transport. The Renewable Energy Directive requires 42.5% renewable energy by 2030, impacting transport with specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas intensity and increasing renewable energy share. The EU's biofuel policy has evolved, with initial promotion followed by restrictions due to concerns over indirect land use change. The European Court of Auditors highlighted the complexity and frequent changes in policy, suggesting a lack of predictability for investments. Stakeholders like the European Biodiesel Board emphasize the need for stability, while EU officials stress the importance of a consistent regulatory framework and acknowledge the need for some targeted modifications. The EU's shift away from Russian fossil fuels has underscored the role of biofuels in energy security.

EU, UK set course for gas boilers phase out

20 Dec 2023  |  energymonitor.ai
The EU and UK governments have announced plans to phase out home gas boilers to reduce carbon emissions, with the EU aiming to end subsidies for fossil fuel boilers by 2025 and require zero-emission new buildings by 2030. However, flexibility in the legislation allows for potential loopholes, such as continued financing for hybrid boilers. NGOs like Friends of the Earth Europe criticize the EU directive for not being ambitious enough, while industry associations like the European Heat Pump Association welcome the clarity it provides. The UK's Future Homes Standard aims for net-zero-ready new homes by 2025, but political uncertainty may affect future legislation. The UK has also canceled hydrogen heating trials, indicating a lack of support for hydrogen-ready boilers. Climate advocates hope for more decisive action from a potential new Labour Government.

EU pushing ahead on cleantech trade battle with China

07 Dec 2023  |  energymonitor.ai
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles, highlighting the EU's stance against unfair trade practices. The EU is also extending trade protections to the wind sector, with non-binding measures to support European wind turbine manufacturers and potential actions against China in the wind sector. The EU's previous trade disputes with China over solar panels have informed current strategies, with the solar industry divided on the best approach to Chinese competition. While some advocate for trade measures, others, like SolarPower Europe, oppose new tariffs and suggest support measures instead. The EU's internal market commissioner Thierry Breton is considering both investigations and support strategies for the solar industry.

COP28: Cities and regions join forces for change

05 Dec 2023  |  www.euractiv.de
At the UN Climate Summit COP28 in Dubai, local authorities are participating alongside national governments to address climate change. Constance Koukoui from Cités Unies France emphasizes the frontline role of municipalities in climate change and natural disasters. Cités Unies and PLATFORMA are promoting climate partnerships, such as between Toulouse, Tunis, and Düsseldorf, and sharing tools developed by Grand Poitiers to assess greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of city diplomacy include partnerships between Lille and Oujda, and Tbilisi's green transport partnership with Leipzig and exchanges with Barcelona and London. Despite successful municipal collaborations, concerns remain that international efforts may overlook the potential of regions. Nino Rukhadze from Tbilisi highlights cities' focus on results over politics. The summit continues until December 12.

Germany’s COP28 message undermined by its budget crisis

02 Dec 2023  |  Investment Monitor
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's call for global climate action at COP28 is overshadowed by a domestic budget crisis, exacerbated by a constitutional court ruling that deemed reallocating €60bn in unused Covid-19 debt for climate action unconstitutional. This financial shortfall threatens Germany's climate plans and credibility, as internal government tensions rise and public approval plummets. The ruling coalition faces pressure to find alternative funding solutions, with options ranging from new subsidies to declaring a climate emergency. Meanwhile, Germany's courts demand immediate climate action for transport and buildings, further complicating the government's position.

Germany’s COP28 message undermined by its budget crisis

02 Dec 2023  |  energymonitor.ai
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's call at COP28 for global commitment to end coal and gas use and triple renewable power by 2030 was contradicted by Germany's internal budget crisis, which threatens climate action funding. The crisis arose after a constitutional court ruling deemed reallocating €60bn for the green transition unconstitutional. The ruling has caused a rift within the coalition government, with differing opinions on how to fill the budget gap. The government's popularity is waning, with approval rates at 36% and rising support for parties opposing climate legislation. Germany's climate credibility is at stake as it faces judicial challenges and public disapproval while advocating for international climate action.

COP28: is the UN climate process ignoring the tourism sector?

22 Nov 2023  |  Hotel Management Network
The tourism sector, responsible for 8% of global carbon emissions, is notably absent from the agenda of the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai. Despite its significant environmental impact and economic importance, the sector lacks representation in climate discussions. Industry leaders like Ajay Prakash and Nicanor Sabula emphasize the need for tourism to play a more active role in sustainability efforts. Travel agents are developing green travel packages and promoting less crowded destinations to mitigate environmental damage. However, the challenge remains in balancing economic dependence on tourism with the need for sustainable practices.

COP28: Developing Countries Want Fairer Cleantech Supply Chains

14 Nov 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
The upcoming UN climate summit, COP28, in the UAE will emphasize the role of fossil fuel extractors in the energy transition. The summit will address the need for fairer cleantech supply chains, especially for resource-rich African countries like Nigeria, to avoid repeating the wealth accumulation patterns seen with fossil fuels. Critical minerals like copper and lithium are dominated by China, Europe, and North America, while patents for clean technologies are held by high and middle-income countries. The African Union is advocating for local manufacturing and value creation, with support from the African Minerals Development Center and the African Development Bank. Initiatives include manufacturing batteries in Zambia and Congo with US assistance and the African single energy market projected for 2040. The developed world is urged to collaborate with developing countries to build equitable supply chains, as current industrial policies in the EU and US may divert investment away from these nations.

EC report shows EU risks being sidetracked from climate action

31 Oct 2023  |  Energy Monitor
The EU is struggling to maintain focus on climate action due to the Ukraine conflict, as highlighted in the State of the Energy Union report. The report acknowledges the EU's collective response to Russia's invasion and energy weaponization, including a significant reduction in gas demand. However, it also notes that the EU is not on track for climate neutrality by 2050, with energy security overshadowing climate action. The European Climate Neutrality Observatory's report aligns with the Commission's findings, emphasizing the slow pace of progress and the need for the Fit-for-55 legislative package. Concerns are raised about the EU's RePowerEU plan, which could promote new fossil fuel infrastructure, potentially hindering the transition to climate neutrality.

Iberia in political disarray

30 Oct 2023  |  davekeating.substack.com
In Andalucia, the Party of European Socialists' annual congress coincides with political turmoil in Spain and Portugal. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez were trapped by nationalist protestors, while protests erupted in Spain over Sanchez's amnesty deal for Catalan referendum organizers. Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa resigned amid a corruption probe. Center-right opposition leader Alberto Feijoo denounced the amnesty deal, calling for mass protests. The situation has European dimensions, with EU flags prominent in protests and calls for intervention from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Funding the bioeconomy: Calming investors’ fears

05 Oct 2023  |  EURACTIV.com
Banks and financial institutions are hesitant to invest in bio-based technologies due to perceived risks, despite these technologies' potential to meet environmental and climate targets. Venture capitalists are more willing to take these risks compared to banks. The bioeconomy, involving biotechnology and biomass, faces challenges in scaling up due to a lack of understanding among investors and the need for large, costly facilities. Public assistance and simplified communication are essential to bridge the gap between innovators and financers. The European Union and various stakeholders are exploring ways to provide more certainty for investments, including new funding instruments and sustainability criteria.

The EU is not a bloc

01 Oct 2023  |  davekeating.substack.com
The article critiques the common media practice of referring to the European Union (EU) as a 'bloc,' arguing that this term misrepresents the EU's unique nature and leads to public misconceptions. The author, Dave Keating, emphasizes that the EU is more than a trade or political bloc but less than a country, advocating for the term 'union' as a more accurate descriptor. The article discusses the historical and political complexities of the EU, the impact of media mischaracterization on public understanding, and the consequences seen during the Brexit referendum. It calls for more precise language to better inform the public about the EU's true nature.

Nuclear fusion ‘could be plugged into the grid in ten years’

01 Oct 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reclassified nuclear fusion, providing regulatory certainty to developers and potentially accelerating investment. A breakthrough experiment in December 2022 demonstrated a net energy gain from fusion, spurring further interest and investment. Companies like Commonwealth Fusion Systems are advancing fusion technology, with operational goals set for the mid-2020s. The European Commission supports fusion as part of its net-zero policy, with significant projects like ITER aiming for commercial viability by the 2040s. However, critics argue that the substantial investment required for fusion could be better spent on proven renewable technologies.

What does the Dutch far-right victory really mean?

01 Oct 2023  |  davekeating.substack.com
Geert Wilders' far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) secured a first-place finish in the Dutch election, but with only 37 seats in the 150-seat parliament, it is unlikely he will form a majority government. The PVV's platform, which includes anti-Muslim policies and a desire to leave the EU, has remained consistent over the years. Despite the electoral success, the fragmented political landscape of the Netherlands makes it difficult for Wilders to gain the necessary support to govern.

EU sustainability reporting standards ‘will allow greenwashing’

01 Oct 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
The European Commission's draft for the EU's first sustainability reporting standards has sparked criticism from NGOs and investor groups for potentially enabling greenwashing by allowing companies to determine the relevance of disclosed information. The draft includes phased-in approaches and voluntary disclosures for certain metrics, which stakeholders argue undermines transparency and the goals of the European Green Deal. BusinessEurope and other industry associations express concerns about the complexity and economic impact of the standards. The standards are part of broader EU efforts to define sustainable investment and will be integral to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.

Overtourism is harming the climate. What can be done about it?

01 Oct 2023  |  Airport Technology
Venice and other popular tourist destinations are facing significant environmental and climate challenges due to overtourism. The influx of tourists strains local ecosystems, increases pollution, and exacerbates climate vulnerabilities. Efforts to mitigate these impacts include banning large cruise ships, promoting alternative destinations, and encouraging sustainable travel practices. Initiatives like the 'Slow Flow' project in Venice and similar efforts in Barcelona, the Netherlands, Iceland, Thailand, and Costa Rica aim to distribute tourists more evenly and reduce environmental stress. The travel industry is increasingly recognizing the need for sustainable practices, with companies like Booking.com launching programs to support eco-friendly travel. Studies suggest that minor adjustments in travel patterns could align tourism with net-zero emission goals by 2050.

Consumers must be at heart of EU energy-saving interoperability efforts, says VizLore director

01 Oct 2023  |  EURACTIV.com
Europe faces challenges in connecting and efficiently using new energy-saving technologies. Milenko Tošić, director of innovation at VizLore Labs Foundation, highlights the need for consumer participation and interoperability in energy-saving applications. The European Commission is working on a Common European Reference Framework to address these issues. The InterConnect project, involving 51 European entities, aims to demonstrate advanced solutions but faces challenges such as the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. Effective policy and regulation are crucial to ensure consumer participation and data sharing while maintaining privacy and security.

Time to move beyond Twitter

01 Oct 2023  |  davekeating.substack.com
Twitter, once a platform for diverse and thought-provoking discourse, has become increasingly unpleasant and confusing, especially under Elon Musk's ownership. Journalist Dave Keating, who has used Twitter to share his unique perspectives on European politics, is moving to Substack for more nuanced expression. Keating, an American in Brussels, advocates for a united and strong Europe, free from American dominance. He aims to provide a different lens on European politics and policy, challenging the dominant Anglo-Saxon narrative.

Is von der Leyen running for a second term?

14 Sep 2023  |  davekeating.substack.com
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has hinted at seeking a second term in her final State of the European Union address. The EU's unique presidential selection process means her intentions are less important than the political maneuvering that will determine the outcome. Despite not running as a candidate in the parliamentary election, her future as president remains uncertain, with the European People's Party's (EPP) support being a key factor.

As EU carbon border levy looms, businesses scramble to get ready

11 Sep 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
The EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is set to begin a transitional phase on October 1, targeting carbon-intensive imports to combat carbon leakage. Despite a lenient initial phase, businesses express concerns over preparedness and bureaucratic challenges. German industry associations VCI and BDI, along with Deloitte and the British Chambers of Commerce, have raised alarms about the readiness of companies. The Polish government has legally challenged CBAM, questioning its adoption process and potential economic impact. The EU insists CBAM is WTO-compatible and urges businesses to prepare for compliance, despite uncertainties and potential legal challenges.

The European Council should not have a president

07 Sep 2023  |  davekeating.substack.com
Dave Keating argues that the role of the President of the European Council, currently held by Charles Michel, is problematic due to its nebulous job description and the resulting confusion and inefficiency. He critiques Michel's focus on international presence over organizational duties and suggests that the title and expectations of the role should be changed to 'chairperson' to better reflect its administrative nature. Keating also discusses the history of the position since its creation by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 and the implications of having multiple 'presidents' within the EU structure. He proposes that the Commission President should be the face of the EU and potentially be directly elected by European citizens in the future.

Sustainable Future for European Transport: Levitating MagRail Trains on Existing Railways

06 Sep 2023  |  euractiv.com
Nevomo, a European company, is developing a new generation of High-speed railways with its MagRail technology, which enables levitation on conventional railway infrastructure. This innovation aims to fill a market gap by providing a zero-emission transport mode competitive against aviation for distances ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 km. The technology's levitation capabilities reduce friction, increase efficiency and speed, and can be retrofitted onto existing rail systems in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner. A panel will discuss the social, economic, and environmental impacts, along with potential financing opportunities for MagRail trains.

Will Sanchez stay in power by promising Catalans things he can’t deliver?

01 Aug 2023  |  davekeating.substack.com
In the wake of an inconclusive Spanish election, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's political gamble to call a snap election has left him in a precarious position, with Catalan separatists emerging as key players in government formation. Despite the Popular Party (PP) winning the most seats, they and their far-right ally Vox fell short of a majority, largely due to lingering negative memories of Franco's dictatorship. Sanchez's future hinges on delicate negotiations and promises to the Catalan separatists.

EU freight emissions are the next climate target

26 Jul 2023  |  energymonitor.ai
Frans Timmermans, the EU Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, announced a package of laws targeting greenhouse gas emissions from the EU freight sector, promoting a shift from road to rail and waterways, and standardizing emissions calculations. The package includes incentives for zero-emission trucks, changes to rail capacity management, and the 'CountEmissionsEU' metric. Industry associations like Acea and the Community of European Railways have responded to the proposals, highlighting the need for adjustments to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles and the potential for a modal shift. The proposals will now move to the EU legislature, with uncertainty around progress due to the upcoming EU election and Timmermans' departure.

EU battery law aims to give Europe ‘greenest batteries in the world’

21 Jul 2023  |  power-technology.com
The EU has adopted a comprehensive battery law covering the entire life cycle of batteries, aiming to make batteries produced in the EU the greenest globally. The law includes a carbon footprint declaration, design requirements for easy removal and replacement by consumers, and ambitious recycling targets. It also addresses global competition, aiming to set a standard that could benefit European producers. The law has been welcomed by industry associations and consumer groups, and includes provisions to prevent child labor in the sourcing of raw materials.

Can a new EU law move people from planes to trains?

19 Jul 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
The European Commission is planning a new EU law to promote sustainable travel by making it easier for online booking providers to offer multimodal transport options, including trains. The proposal aims to address the current lack of train options on search engines due to data-sharing issues among transport operators. While some stakeholders, like EU Travel Tech, support the initiative for its potential climate and consumer benefits, others, such as the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), argue it could be counterproductive. The proposal's future is uncertain, especially with the potential departure of Vice-President Frans Timmermans, a key advocate for the original plan.

Spain's electricity market design: the ‘Iberian exception’ for Europe?

13 Jul 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
Spain, under the leadership of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, has taken over the EU Council presidency with the task of concluding negotiations on the EU's electricity market design reform. The reform aims to respond to rising energy prices and establish favorable conditions for renewable energy investment. However, Sánchez's snap election call has cast uncertainty on the agenda. The opposition Popular Party (PP) criticizes Sánchez's 'Iberian exception' policy, which uncoupled electricity prices from gas, and may undo or deprioritize the EU market reform if they win. The EU's electricity market design, last reformed in 2018, faces challenges in providing reliable investment signals for decarbonization, with divergent views among member states on issues like contracts for difference (CfDs) and capacity mechanisms for coal power plants.

Does the EU need a 2040 climate target?

24 Jun 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
The European Commission is considering setting an EU 2040 climate target following a public consultation, with Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans advocating for a legally binding target to ensure the EU stays on track to meet its 2030 and 2050 goals. The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change supports a 90–95% GHG emissions reduction target for 2040. Industry responses to the consultation are mixed, with some in favor or accepting of an interim target, while others express skepticism or call for flexibility. President Ursula von der Leyen faces political challenges from within her own party, the European Peoples Party, which has shown resistance to parts of her Green Deal. The article suggests that while a 2040 target is seen as logical, proposing one may be delayed for political reasons, potentially until after the next European election.

PFAS: How an EU chemical ban could hinder the energy transition

15 Jun 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
A draft proposal to ban per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as 'forever chemicals', has caused concern in the European chemicals industry and among users of these chemicals due to their broad application, including in clean technologies such as electric car batteries, heat pumps, and hydrogen production. While acknowledging the health risks of some PFAS, industry representatives argue the proposed EU ban is too extensive, potentially hindering the energy transition and green objectives. Environmental NGOs and consumer advocates support the ban, emphasizing the health risks and environmental persistence of PFAS. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is considering the draft, with a recommendation expected next year, and a decision by national governments likely in 2025.

Advancing Europe’s Net-Zero Industry: How the race for fossil-free competitive energy will reshape manufacturing value-chains

13 Jun 2023  |  EURACTIV.com
The EU's transition to net-zero is heavily reliant on technologies like wind, solar, hydrogen, and electric vehicles, all of which depend on steel. The EU steel sector is pivotal for decarbonising the European economy and maintaining competitiveness in green steel projects by 2030. Achieving these goals requires cohesive industrial policies and sustainable, low-carbon energy sources. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act is highlighted as a potential model. The EUROFER Conference featured discussions among CEOs, business leaders, and policymakers on incentivising investment in clean tech, preventing carbon and green investment leakage, and enhancing hydrogen capacity and electricity market design to support industrial consumers driving towards net-zero.

Upskilling Hospitality – For more Sustainability and Resilience in Food Supply Chains

07 Jun 2023  |  www.euractiv.com
The hospitality sector, a significant contributor to the EU economy, is facing challenges such as economic recovery post-Covid-19, inflation, high energy costs, and labor shortages. The panel discussion, organized by METRO and media partnered by EURACTIV, addressed the necessary skills for making the hospitality sector more resilient and sustainable, including handling new sustainability requirements, adapting to attract new workforce, and the importance of digital savviness for process optimization and sustainability.

Media Partnership – Soil health & agriculture: Going beneath the surface

29 May 2023  |  EURACTIV.com
Soil is a non-renewable resource crucial for ecosystem functioning and sustainable agriculture. The European Commission emphasizes healthy soils as vital for climate neutrality, a clean economy, and reversing biodiversity loss. Soils face threats like erosion and contamination, but practices such as conservation and regenerative agriculture can transform soil into a carbon sink, enhancing nutrient retention and reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides. The discussion highlights agriculture's role and the tools available to address soil health challenges.

Overtourism is harming the climate. What can be done about it?

19 May 2023  |  Railway Technology
Overtourism is causing significant environmental strain and contributing to climate change, with Venice and Barcelona being notable examples. The phenomenon leads to pollution, resource depletion, and increased vulnerability to climate change effects. Efforts to mitigate overtourism include banning large cruise ships, promoting alternative destinations, and encouraging sustainable tourism practices. Initiatives like Venice's 'Slow Flow' concept and Barcelona's measures to reduce cruise ship traffic aim to distribute tourists more evenly and reduce the carbon footprint of travel. The tourism industry is increasingly aware of the need for sustainability, with travelers showing interest in more sustainable options.

Europe's energy crisis is not over

15 May 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
The European Commission celebrated the one-year anniversary of the REPowerEU plan, which aimed to reduce Europe's dependency on Russian gas. Despite significant achievements, including a reduction in gas imports from Russia and increased LNG imports, concerns remain about the upcoming winter. The mild winter and high energy prices helped reduce demand, but experts warn that the urgency to maintain these measures is fading. The EU needs to implement long-term policies to ensure lower gas consumption and prepare for potential future energy crises. The success of new LNG supplies and demand reductions is uncertain, and further policy support is needed for green technologies and home renovations.

Eurovision Isn’t Shying Away From Politics Anymore

11 May 2023  |  World Politics Review
Liverpool in the U.K. is hosting the 67th annual Eurovision Song Contest, a major live television event that surpasses the viewership of the Superbowl, Oscars, and Grammys combined. This year's contest is seen as an opportunity for Britain to demonstrate a more welcoming attitude towards Europe, complementing the goodwill generated by King Charles III's recent coronation. The contest involves each participating country selecting an artist to perform an original song, with winners chosen by public votes and national juries. Sweden, Finland, and France are the favorites this year, with a potential French victory being particularly notable given the country's historically low engagement with the contest.

The EU Pushes for a Common Playbook to Tackle Corruption

04 May 2023  |  www.worldpoliticsreview.com
The European Commission has proposed harmonizing national criminal laws against corruption and increasing anti-corruption penalties across the European Union. This would include EU-level lawmakers in Brussels, requiring Belgium to harmonize its laws as well. However, Eastern European member states such as Hungary, Poland, and Romania have shown resistance to the EU's interference in their national practices.

Ostend Declaration: Summit’s windy words mask deeper divisions

24 Apr 2023  |  www.power-technology.com
Nine countries signed the Ostend Declaration at the North Sea Summit, pledging to increase offshore wind capacity to 300GW by 2050, doubling last year's commitment. The UK and the Netherlands agreed to build a new electricity cable, LionLink. The EU and Norway signed a 'green alliance', and Belgium and Norway agreed to cooperate on carbon capture. Divisions were evident at the summit's closing press conference, with disagreements on nuclear power and renewable energy dependence, and the notable absence of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Ostend Declaration: Summit’s windy words mask deeper divisions

24 Apr 2023  |  www.energymonitor.ai
Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK signed the Ostend Declaration at the North Sea Summit, pledging to increase offshore wind capacity to 300GW by 2050. The summit saw numerous bilateral deals, including a new electricity cable between the UK and the Netherlands and a 'green alliance' between the EU and Norway. However, familiar divisions emerged, such as Belgium's legal dispute with France over a wind farm and Luxembourg's opposition to nuclear power, which agitated French President Macron. The absence of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the final press conference highlighted disunity among the participants.

The EU Scrambles to Head Off Eastern Europe’s Ukraine Grain Bans

20 Apr 2023  |  worldpoliticsreview.com
Eastern European EU member states, including Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and potentially Romania, have unilaterally banned grain imports from Ukraine, causing tensions in Brussels. These bans are technically illegal under EU law, which mandates that trade policy is set at the EU level. The bans were prompted by a surplus of grain leading to plummeting prices and domestic political repercussions, such as the resignation of Poland's agriculture minister following farmer protests.

Manufacturers brace for EU ‘product passports’ to improve recycling

03 Apr 2023  |  euractiv.com
The EU is preparing to introduce 'product passports' as part of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) to ensure products are durable, repairable, and recyclable. The passports will contain information to aid in recycling, but concerns have been raised about enforceability and the burden on businesses, especially SMEs. The ESPR is currently under debate in the European Parliament and Council of the EU.

ICE Germany Electric Car Concerns & the Proposed Compromise

23 Mar 2023  |  energymonitor.ai
After nearly two years of negotiations, the EU was set to sign a law banning ICE cars from 2035, but German Finance Minister Christian Lindner's last-minute opposition, seeking an amendment for hydrogen-derived e-fuels, has thrown the law's future into question. This has caused a rift within Germany's coalition government and led to the European Commission drafting a compromise. Climate campaigners criticize the move as a loophole that could hinder EV development and favor the oil and gas industry. Most automakers support the original legislation, seeing EVs as a market opportunity, except Porsche, which is investing in e-fuels. The e-fuels industry argues that a hard ban on ICEs would harm the development of a clean e-fuel industry, while critics fear it will be unenforceable and lead to continued fossil fuel use.

Brexit Deal Protects U.K. Electric Car Trade - For Now

27 Dec 2021  |  Forbes
EU and U.K. negotiators reached a post-Brexit deal on Christmas Eve, addressing the contentious issue of electric car batteries. The agreement allows a six-year exemption for electric cars from tariffs, provided they contain no more than 55% non-European components. This grace period aims to give European carmakers time to shift their battery supply chains from East Asia to Europe. Despite this, some automakers, like Nissan, are moving production out of the U.K. due to Brexit-related risks. The deal's impact on the automotive industry highlights ongoing challenges in achieving green transport goals in the EU and U.K.

Live coverage of Liege terror attack for France 24, 29 May 2018

Live coverage of EU-AstraZeneca court ruling for France 24, 19 June 2021

Live coverage of EU Council summit for France 24, 24 June 2021

5G Could Worsen Climate Change, Claims French Government Advisor

21 Dec 2020  |  Forbes
The French High Council on Climate reports that the deployment of 5G technology could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, primarily due to the manufacturing of new devices and infrastructure. The report, commissioned by the French Senate, has fueled opposition from far-left and Green MPs who have called for a moratorium on 5G deployment. In contrast, President Emmanuel Macron remains committed to the rollout, dismissing critics as adhering to an outdated lifestyle. The report also suggests measures to mitigate the environmental impact, such as stricter energy-consumption requirements for electronic devices and internet infrastructure.

Germany’s Merkel Defends The Internal Combustion Engine

27 Nov 2020  |  Forbes
German Chancellor Angela Merkel argued against a European Union ban on internal combustion engines, citing practical limitations. Her comments follow UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's goal to ban combustion engines by 2030. Merkel emphasized the need for realistic legislative proposals from the European Commission. Climate campaign group Transport & Environment advocates for a 2035 phase-out deadline for combustion engines across the EU. Electric car sales in Europe have surged due to stringent emissions limits, expected to represent 15% of vehicle sales by 2021.

Experts Unimpressed With Johnson’s Climate Plan

18 Nov 2020  |  Forbes
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ten-point climate plan has been met with criticism for its lack of detail and insufficient funding. Experts and opposition figures argue that the plan, which includes goals such as offshore wind power, low carbon hydrogen production, and a ban on new petrol or diesel vehicles by 2030, falls short of what is needed to meet the U.K.'s emissions targets. The plan's announcement comes ahead of the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow and the Climate Ambition Summit 2020. Concerns are also raised about the U.K.'s climate ambition post-Brexit. Johnson, who has previously been skeptical about climate change, has acknowledged the issue's severity.

Germany’s Nuclear Exit Stymied By Compensation Concerns

16 Nov 2020  |  Forbes
Germany's supreme court has ruled that the compensation clauses in Chancellor Angela Merkel's plan to phase out nuclear power by 2022 violate the constitution, necessitating further revisions to the Atomic Energy Act. The court found that the current law does not fairly compensate nuclear plant operators like Vattenfall, RWE, and E.ON. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze plans to introduce a revised legislation to meet the court's requirements. Vattenfall, which initiated the legal challenge, welcomed the decision but faced criticism from German lawmakers. The ruling does not affect the overall plan to phase out nuclear power by 2022, but it highlights ongoing legal and compensation issues.

Facing International Pressure, U.K. Set To Unveil 10-Point Climate Plan

11 Nov 2020  |  Forbes
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce a 10-point climate plan next week to showcase at the 2021 COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow. The plan aims to meet the U.K.'s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and includes commitments such as advancing the electric vehicle target to 2030 and ending U.K. funding for fossil fuels abroad. The U.K. is currently investing only 12% of the required funds to meet its Paris Agreement commitments. Johnson, who previously expressed skepticism about climate change, has shifted his stance, acknowledging the overwhelming evidence and impact of global warming.

In Setting 2050 Decarbonization Target, Joe Biden Would Be Joining The World

28 Oct 2020  |  Forbes
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has committed to a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, joining Japan and China in East Asia's push towards decarbonization. This follows criticism of South Korea's previous lack of climate action. The announcement coincides with the US presidential election, contrasting Donald Trump's climate change skepticism with Joe Biden's ambitious climate plan, which also includes a 2050 net zero emissions goal. Financial institutions in South Korea, such as KB Financial Group, Samsung C&T, and KEPCO, have announced their withdrawal from thermal coal. Experts like Rebecca Mikula-Wright of the Asia Investor Group in Climate Change highlight the importance of interim 2030 targets to achieve the 2050 goals and the positive market signal sent by East Asia's commitments.

EU Parliament Votes To Raise 2030 Climate Target To 60%

07 Oct 2020  |  Forbes
The European Parliament has voted to increase the EU's 2030 emissions reduction target from 40% to 60%, surpassing the European Commission's proposed 55%. The vote, which passed by a narrow margin, faced opposition from right-wing groups but was supported by center-left and left-wing factions. The new target requires approval from EU national governments, with discussions set to continue. Climate campaigners have praised the decision, urging member states to adopt the higher target for meaningful climate action.

Some Cities See Air Pollution Surge After Covid Lockdowns

23 Sep 2020  |  Forbes
Air pollution has surged in several major cities following the easing of Covid-19 lockdowns, with New York City experiencing a 33% increase in PM2.5 levels. Other cities like Cape Town and Madrid also saw significant increases, while cities in Asia and Oceania, such as Hong Kong, Sydney, and Singapore, continued to see decreases in air pollution. The report by Instant Offices highlights the dramatic changes in air quality, contrasting the improvements seen during lockdowns with the subsequent rise in pollution as normal activities resume.

EU Proposes To Raise 2030 Climate Target To 55%

15 Sep 2020  |  Forbes
The European Commission has adopted a proposal to increase the EU's 2030 emissions reduction target from 40% to 55%. This proposal will be presented to the European Parliament by President Ursula von der Leyen. While the European Parliament's environment committee suggests a 60% target, and countries like France support an increase, Eastern EU nations, particularly Poland, oppose it. Eurochambers, representing European commerce chambers, also opposes the increase, stating the 40% target is already ambitious. Conversely, over 150 businesses and investors advocate for at least a 55% target, emphasizing the need for clear policies and investment confidence to foster a resilient zero carbon economy.

Shared Electric Bikes Are Being Destroyed - Just When They’re Most Needed

08 Jun 2020  |  Forbes
Uber's destruction of its Jump electric bikes following the sale of its Jump scheme to Lime has sparked global outrage. Videos showing the bikes being crushed have surfaced amid a time when micromobility solutions like eBikes and eScooters are in high demand due to the easing of Coronavirus lockdowns and the need for alternative transportation to avoid public transport. While some cities are reversing restrictions on eScooters, the scrapping of 20,000 to 30,000 bikes has been criticized as an ecological disaster and insensitive act. Cycling advocacy groups and competitors like Billy Bike have expressed disgust, highlighting the environmental claims of Uber's micromobility schemes and the potential use of these bikes for those financially impacted by COVID-19.

Thinking Of Summer Travel? Maybe Think Again

04 Jun 2020  |  Forbes
The European Union is set to launch a website and app to inform citizens about travel restrictions and quarantine rules due to uncoordinated border reopenings. Belgium and France are reopening borders on June 15, with varying quarantine rules for travelers from the UK. The EU's external borders remain closed except for EU citizens and the British during the Brexit transition. Airlines are accused of selling tickets for flights they know will not operate, potentially to improve liquidity. The EU and national governments encourage travel to support the tourism industry, while the UK government advises against non-essential international travel. Air travel will involve strict safety measures, and international train travel will be limited and more expensive due to social distancing requirements.

The Oil Price Collapse Is Already Over

03 Jun 2020  |  Forbes
U.S. oil prices experienced their largest monthly gain in history in May, recovering significantly from the losses during March and April due to the Coronavirus lockdowns and the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The American Petroleum Institute reported a small crude oil inventory draw, which led to a surge in trading, with U.S. Brent crude ending at $39.66. Despite the rapid price recovery, it is uncertain if investors will return to 'business as usual' as global lockdowns end, especially considering the recent boost in renewable energy shares and predictions of growth in renewable power.

Careful When Booking Covid Flights - Some Aren’t Real

29 May 2020  |  Forbes
As travel restrictions ease, consumers are warned to be cautious when booking flights due to suspicions that some airlines are selling tickets for flights they do not intend to operate. An investigation suggests airlines are offering vouchers instead of cash refunds for cancelled flights, a practice that is being scrutinized by the European Commission. The EU is in a dispute with airlines and member states over the enforcement of passenger rights law, which requires cash refunds for cancelled flights. The Commission has recommended making vouchers more attractive to ensure consumer protection.

It Turns Out COVID Isn’t Helping The Climate

19 May 2020  |  Forbes
Despite initial beliefs that the COVID-19 pandemic would benefit the climate due to reduced emissions, a peer-reviewed study by the University of East Anglia published in Nature Climate Change indicates that the impact is minimal. The study found a 17% global reduction in daily carbon emissions at the peak of lockdown, which is insufficient compared to the cuts needed to address climate change. The potential decrease in total emissions for 2020 is estimated at 4-7%, depending on the duration of restrictions, which is less than the 7.6% annual reduction required to prevent a catastrophic temperature rise. The study emphasizes the need for systemic change rather than temporary reductions. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe suggests that post-pandemic recovery should focus on sustainable development, and Cranfield University academics are exploring digital tools to maintain reduced emissions patterns.

EU Unveils Plan To Reopen Tourism This Summer

13 May 2020  |  Forbes
The European Commission has proposed a phased plan to reopen borders, airports, and hotels to resume leisure travel by summer, focusing on safety and sustainability. The plan includes a three-phased approach to lift travel restrictions, guidelines for smartphone contact tracing app compatibility, and health protocols for hotels. Despite the tourism sector's significant contribution to the EU economy and the severe impact of COVID-19, the Commission maintains EU passenger rights law, requiring airlines to offer refunds for cancelled flights. Airlines are disappointed with the Commission's refusal to suspend this law and warn that uncoordinated measures will hinder recovery. The Commission's recommendations are not binding, leading to criticism from the airline industry for a lack of decisive regulatory action.

EU Will Not Impose Green Conditions On Airline Bailouts

09 May 2020  |  Forbes
The European Commission announced it will extend temporarily relaxed state aid rules to allow national governments to bail out companies facing liquidity crises, including airlines, without imposing green conditions. Despite calls from environmental NGOs, the Commission stated it lacks the power to enforce such conditions, which must be set by national governments. The new rules will ban dividends and bonuses for companies receiving aid and require transparency in how the funds are used. France is the only country so far to attach environmental conditions to its airline bailout, requiring Air France to cancel domestic flights that compete with high-speed rail.

12 Countries Ask EU To Suspend Law Requiring Airline Refunds

29 Apr 2020  |  Forbes
Twelve EU countries have requested the European Commission to suspend a law mandating airlines to offer full refunds for canceled flights, proposing time-limited vouchers instead to prevent bankruptcies and encourage future travel. The European Commission maintains the law but faces pressure from national governments and airlines. Consumer advocates argue against forcing vouchers on passengers. The European tourism sector, significantly impacted by the pandemic, warns of potential collapse without summer travel. Discussions continue on balancing consumer protection with airline liquidity, with potential legislative changes under consideration.

Social Distancing Not Viable On Airplanes, Industry Says

27 Apr 2020  |  Forbes
As countries ease COVID-19 lockdowns, Europe's airlines, through an open letter by Airlines for Europe's managing director Thomas Reynaert, assert that social distancing on aircraft is unfeasible and unnecessary. They advocate for harmonized health measures across countries to facilitate international travel. Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary opposes social distancing on flights unless compensated for revenue loss. The European Commission is considering safety measures for air travel, including mandatory face masks and disinfection. Eurocontrol presents two scenarios for the industry's recovery, emphasizing the importance of coordinated measures between countries. The industry faces significant revenue losses, with Eurocontrol estimating a €110 billion loss in 2020.

Live coverage of Barack Obama's final visit to Angela Merkel in Berlin, on Deutsche Welle TV. 18 November, 2016

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