The climate, ousted by the economic crisis for a while, is now back on the forefront of the world’s stage, with the next COP21 in the radar. For the first time, the G20 has spoken, last week, in favor of a "resolute and effective" action for climate. On November 12, China and the United States announced their joint ambition to adopt a plan for reducing their GHG emissions. Last but not least, the European Union adopted last month its strategy for the energy and climate policy for 2030. But, some questions are still unsolved and, for Europe, the main problem is that its main instrument to promote the development of low-carbon technologies - the famous carbon market - is still in bad shape… and it becomes urgent to reform it deeply.

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  • Germany, time to choose !

    So far, the electricity supply/demand balance has always been ensured in Europe. But from this year, for some European countries, things might even become more complicated in case of a harsh winter... Many others should also face to the same situation starting from winter 2016, when the first effects of European directives forcing the closure of selected thermal power plants will be felt. In sum, in a European electricity system increasingly interconnected, the security of supply should be threatened in the medium term, at the European level. Hence, the debate currently ongoing in Germany on the means to improve the functioning and design of the energy market...

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    The energy transition is a highly topical issue here in France, with the “energy Transition Law” underway. But it is also a process that has been undertaken by several other EU countries. If Germany is constantly quoted as an example - good for some, risky for others - it is however not the only state that initiated big reforms in this area. Thus, the UK approach is also interesting to analyze, as a country that resolutely decided to combine ecological ambitions and economic pragmatism...

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    Even before it actually started, the new European Commission proposed by Jean-Claude Juncker already has to pick up the pieces. The start of the hearings of the Designated-Commissioners shows that we are far from unanimity on the 27 portfolios dedicated to each commissioner.. Last Wednesday, Miguel Arias Canete had to fight hardly to try to convince he might be a good Commissioner for both energy, and climate issues. The "verdict" is expected tomorrow ... and the battle is far from being won !

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  • Security of supply : Risks exist also for electricity

    If for the moment, the concerns about security of supply in Europe are mostly focused on gas supplies, due to the Ukrainian crisis, they may unfortunately quickly arise also on electricity supplies. The UFE, aware of those concerns for a long time, engaged itself and its German Partners to work together, under an industrial approach and a strongly European perspective, on tools which could be used to complete the current organization of the electricity markets and contribute to a better security of supply...

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  • Mogherini-Tusk : a clever compromise to face euroscepticism ?

    Gathered in the Extraordinary European Council meeting in Saturday, Aug. 30, the member states finally agreed on the distribution of the last "European Top jobs" for the 2014-2019 legislature. Succeeding Herman Van Rompuy, Donald Tusk, the current Polish Prime Minister, was appointed as the new President of the European Council, while Federica Mogherini, the current Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, became the new "Mrs. CFSP" * succeeding Catherine Ashton. If the vote finally took place without a hitch, this consensus has been obtained by the Member States sometimes deeply divided, reflecting primarily a clever compromise ... and ambitious, too ?

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  • A new president for the European Commission... but still no European energy strategy for 2030

    The European Heads of State and Government, meeting within the European Council on the 26th and 27th of June in Ypres (Belgium), were to discuss the EU strategy on energy security, and the next framework for European energy policy for year 2030. However, at the end of an intense Council, it seems that the efforts were mostly focused on reaching an agreement on the name of the next European Commission President, rather than on the EU energy policy. Yet, there is an urgent need to act ...

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    Completely overshadowed by the fight against climate change, competitiveness is back on the European agenda : The European Commission talks now about an imperative industrial renaissance in the EU. The competitiveness gap of Europe, usually referred to its relation to China, India or Brazil, but is also concerns today the increasing gap between EU and the US (A country with the same economic maturity !). However, as Competitiveness can be assessed in many ways, reflections now focus on a key point : energy...

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  • Climate and Energy Policy 2030 : The European Commission emphasizes the fight against CO2 emissions

    Without offending the supporters of three binding targets (CO2, RES, and energy efficiency) for the European Energy Policy framework for 2030, the Commission finally opted for a more pragmatic approach. Learning from the failures and dysfunctions of the "3x20strategy”, set in 2008 by the third Climate and Energy Package, the Commission has clearly decided to refocus its strategy on the fight against greenhouse gas emissions, among which CO2 represents approx. 75%.

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