Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Energy & Climate Change

Deeply conservative

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There will be a lot of talk about the extreme right’s entry into the Bavarian parliament and the impact of yesterday’s election on the federal government in Berlin. But the most important fall-out may reside in a significant shift in political semantics. For as long as I can remember, Bavaria has always been described to […]

Between ‘Cynical Idealism’ and ‘Pragmatic Acceptance’ – The Politics of Nuclear Energy in Europe

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In her new book, based on long-standing research on the politics of nuclear energy in the European Union, Pam Barnes, associate researcher at the EU-Asia Institute (ESSCA School of Management) retraces how public perceptions and political discourses on nuclear power have evolved since the signing of the EURATOM treaty in 1957. Researching developments in EU […]

Unless the EU Gets Its Act Together, It Will Lose a Trade War Against Both China and the US

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Based on her prize-winning article in JCER on the Sino-European Solar Panel Dispute, Astrid Pepermans examines how the European Union (EU) risks losing a trade war which China and the US initiated. She argues that the EU must respond by remaining united and sticking to its values of quality and rule-based trade.  Lately, free traders all […]

The Danish government’s new energy plan: green realism & silo thinking

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The Danish government published its long awaited energy plan for 2030 on 30th April. The plan reflects the government’s green realism (see previous blog post), where ‘more environment for less money’ translate into spending and tax cuts for the energy sector. The plan aims to reduce energy taxes and charges, strengthen market regulations, support Danish […]

Prosperity versus pollution in Germany

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The energy transition known as the “Energiewende” in Germany is key to Europe’s economic success in the future. It is not just about putting up wind farms and solar panels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: it is also about using energy storage to create smart energy and transport systems, that will no longer […]

Denmark’s strategy for North Sea oil and 2030 climate targets

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Governments around the world are trying to strike a balance between climate policy and energy policy. This is difficult due to tension between the oil sector and the renewable energy sector, which has created a dualism between climate commitment and energy policies because national energy policies accommodate both fossil fuels and renewable energies. The tension […]

Climate change and war

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An art exhibition in Germany illustrated the tragic price of the migration crisis that is now effecting Europe. The theme of an art installation called Lampedusa 361 was about refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean, while trying to make the sea crossing from Africa to Europe. The installation which has been exhibited in Dresden […]

Is The Paris Agreement on Shaky Legs? How to Ensure Successful Implementation

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What is needed to make the Paris Agreement a success? This blog post focuses on one of the most central but underappreciated elements – the periodic reviews of progress.  States must of course make ambitious and credible contributions in the first place.  But if there is no system to ensure that they are monitored and […]

The politics of (bad) policy design: French solar panels and Northern Irish boilers

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As one previous post on this blog detailed, the current political turmoil in Northern Ireland was sparked by a subsidy for renewable energy production.  Though it is tempting to blame political carelessness, the ongoing RHI scandal prompts a broader reflection about renewable energy policy instruments. Incentives akin to the RHI are relatively common in renewable […]

Water, Agriculture and Renewable Energy

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How could we save Europe, help refugees and fight climate change at the same time? It would be hard to deny that the refugee crisis – caused by wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan – has put a terrible strain on Europe, as millions of people from these war torn regions have sought refuge within […]

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