• 5 minutes Mike Shellman's musings on "Cartoon of the Week"
  • 11 minutes Permian already crested the productivity bell curve - downward now to Tier 2 geological locations
  • 17 minutes WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 1 day The Discount Airline Model Is Coming for Europe’s Railways
  • 10 hours Desperate Call or... Erdogan Says Turkey Will Boycott U.S. Electronics
  • 37 mins Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 19 hours Pakistan: "Heart" Of Terrorism and Global Threat
  • 5 hours Renewable Energy Could "Effectively Be Free" by 2030
  • 6 hours Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 1 day Venezuela set to raise gasoline prices to international levels.
  • 18 hours Are Trump's steel tariffs working? Seems they are!
  • 2 days Batteries Could Be a Small Dotcom-Style Bubble
  • 2 days Newspaper Editorials Across U.S. Rebuke Trump For Attacks On Press
  • 2 days France Will Close All Coal Fired Power Stations By 2021
  • 2 days Don't Expect Too Much: Despite a Soaring Economy, America's Annual Pay Increase Isn't Budging
  • 2 days Scottish Battery ‘Breakthrough’ Could Charge Electric Cars In Seconds
Alt Text

Oil Majors See Profit In Carbon Capture And Storage

carbon capture and storage technology…

Alt Text

Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Set New Record

The average concentration of atmospheric…

Alt Text

An Unexpected Carbon Tax Proposal

Dyed-in-the-wool, rock-ribbed Republicans have proposed…

Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham is a freelance writer on oil and gas, renewable energy, climate change, energy policy and geopolitics. He is based in Pittsburgh, PA.

More Info

Trending Discussions

EU Weakens Climate Deal To Keep UK, Poland On Board

EU Weakens Climate Deal To Keep UK, Poland On Board

European Union leaders have agreed to a landmark deal to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 15 years.

The agreement, reached Oct. 24, calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. European Council chair Herman Van Rompuy called the deal the “world’s most ambitious, cost-effective, fair climate energy policy (ever) agreed.”

It also sets a target for the 28-member bloc to obtain 27 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, as well as make a 27 percent improvement in energy efficiency over a business-as-usual scenario. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the agreement puts the EU in the “driving seat” for next year’s international climate negotiations in Paris.

While the key targets sound ambitious, the specifics were watered down in order to gain the approval of several countries that were dragging their feet. In particular, the United Kingdom was not keen to see a deal that had too much teeth. That’s because of a small but vocal anti-EU minority party in the UK, known as the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Several members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said Britain has been “taken hostage” because of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s fear of UKIP.

Related: No Shale Revolution For Europe

UKIP has pilloried the climate negotiations and opposes a deal, with many of its top party officials on record as having denied the science of climate change in the past. Opposing a European-wide deal fits into the party’s broader mission of pulling the UK out of the European Union. UKIP’s rise in recent years has David Cameron pandering to the party’s populist right-wing tendencies, critics say. The Prime Minister surely didn’t see his position enhanced when the EU suddenly told Britain to pay an additional 2.1 billion euros into EU coffers by next month because of unexpected improvements in the British economy.  

UKIP has tried to raise fears around the energy efficiency mandate, saying that it would result in European bureaucrats regulating ordinary parts of people’s lives, such as banning vacuum cleaners. “The UK has a cost issue, certainly, but this is also all about UKIP and the whole media saga around vacuum cleaners and hair dryers,” one European diplomat said. The debate has echoes of how America’s Tea Party has fought the government over new efficiency standards for light bulbs.

UKIP’s influence was enough to water down the energy efficiency target from 30 percent to 27 percent, and crucially, make the target voluntary instead of binding.

On the renewable energy target, Cameron had more of a substantive disagreement. He hopes to meet the emissions reduction target of 40 percent by 2030 using energy sources such as nuclear power. Two new reactors slated for construction at Hinkley Point in the UK with a combined capacity of 3.2 gigawatts are expected to come online in 2023. This would allow the UK to go a long way towards meeting the emissions target without renewable energy. On the other hand, British opposition is also due to the fact that it is far behind the rest of the bloc in installing renewable energy.

Related: Is The UK The Most Energy Secure Country In The EU?

Poland was the other potential spoiler, and many feared Warsaw would veto the deal all together. Poland still gets about 90 percent of its electricity from coal, making a transition to cleaner energy much more difficult. “My government will not agree to documents that would mean additional costs for our economy and higher energy prices for the consumers,” Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz proclaimed earlier this month.

Leading a bloc of former Soviet Union countries, Poland won concessions from the rest of the EU to provide financial support to ease the transition to cleaner energy. Under the agreement, richer EU countries will likely provide financial assistance for energy upgrades in Eastern Europe.

Again, the deal is a bit weak considering that the EU may hit its 2020 goal – reducing emissions by 20 percent – several years early. Moreover, it may not be strong enough to keep the EU on track to meet its mid-century target of 80 to 95 percent reductions.

On the other hand, relative to the rest of the world’s major polluters, the EU is way ahead of the curve.

By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Bob on October 28 2014 said:
    Hi Nick:

    With polls showing Republican about to take the Senate, do you foresee any of the following:
    Quick Keystone pipeline approval (TransCanada and Oil sand producers to benefit),
    Crude export ban lifted,
    Fast tracked LNG export approvals,
    Roll back of EPA regs,
    Opening up further drilling licenses off coasts and GoM,
    No relaxation of sanctions against Iran & Russia
  • John Scior on November 09 2014 said:
    TO hat benefit are these treaties if the manufacturing that is associated with the CO2 emissions is merely shifted from one country that adheres to the reduced CO2 emissions to another county where they are not constrained by the treaty or have no desire to follow its standards.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News