Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Energy & Climate Change

Ten Years after the French and Dutch ‘No’: How the Two Countries Reinvented their Relationship with Europe

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Ten years ago today, the French voted down the European Constitution Treaty, which was supposed to replace existing EU Treaties and institute key changes such as the appointment of a EU foreign minister. This was followed by an even stronger ‘No’ in the Netherlands three days later. These ‘No’ votes succeeded where the Danish 1992 […]

How UK science shines because of the EU

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For every pound that the UK contributes to the European Union science fund, it gets back £1.40. Why? Because the European Union invests into science projects “on the basis of scientific excellence”. And British scientists are among the best in the world. As Michael Brooks pointed out in his weekly science column for the New […]

Climate Change: Low-Cost Battles

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Talking about climate change should be made a priority. Around the world, there are public outcries about a scarcity of water, which is a basic subsistence that no one should be deprived from. Temperatures across the globe are rising, the number of available farmlands is shrinking, and in California there is a relentless draught. The […]

Can we experiment our way out of climate change?

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As the climate continues to change at alarming rates, many have lost faith in traditional international approaches to address the issue. As a result, climate policy innovation and associated experimentation are en vogue.[1] The thinking goes that if old approaches are perceived to be failing, we need new and innovative ones. The hope is that […]

An Existential Crisis? The European Union, Austerity and Paris 2015

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Since 2010, the European responses to the global financial and economic crises have been dominated by a narrative of austerity. European governments have sought to bolster confidence in their economies by rolling back public spending. Austerity may pose an existential crisis for the European Union (EU), both regarding austerity-hit states being forced to leave the […]

Is the EU’s commitment to the 2°C target unravelling?

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‘2°C is an objective,’ EU Climate and Energy Commissioner  Miguel Arias Cañete said in February 2015, when questioned over the status of the widely recognised target for preventing ‘dangerous’ global warming[1] at this December’s Paris UN climate conference. ‘If we have an ongoing process you cannot say it is a failure if the mitigation commitments […]

Will Britain be left behind by energy storage?

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The prospect of either a UKIP government or a UKIP Tory coalition after the general election in May, could spell disaster for Britain’s renewable energy industry as well as the energy storage industry within the UK. UKIP’s energy policy is built around climate change denial, and the party is planning to repeal the 2008 Climate […]

Policy Entrepreneurs: Key Players in Bottom-up Climate Policy

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As the top-down, United-Nations driven target setting approach to international climate through the Kyoto Protocol approach has increasingly been called into question, many have begun to highlight the advantage of bottom-up approaches. Whereas the top-down approach is analogous to divvying up a pie among different countries, the bottom-up approach means that each country contributes some […]

Climate Change Skepticism in the UK Independence Party

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On 6 May 2005, the day after the UK general election, the Euroskeptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) had much to be concerned about. Despite fielding 558 national candidates, UKIP had no seats in the UK Parliament and had won only nine seats on local councils. Ten years later, things have changed. UKIP currently holds 370 […]

British manufacturer helping to make the German Energiewende a reality

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On 17th February 2015, the British electrolyser manufacturer ITM Power announced it had delivered a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, to the energy company RWE Deutschland AG at Ibbenbüren in Germany. According to ITM Power this was the third rapid response power-to-gas PEM electrolyser installed by ITM Power in Germany. (1.) The delivery of the […]

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