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Blog Posts: europe

  • Tougher Greenhouse Goals Could Cut EU’s Gas Imports in Half

    Later this week, the European Council will decide on a target to further reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

    At issue is whether the Council will decide to reduce emissions by “at least 40 percent” from 1990 levels—leaving the door open to increase ambition in negotiation with other countries—or cap reductions at just 40 percent, locking in a lower goal and possibly influencing other countries to do the same.

  • 33 Cities Test New Framework for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories

    A growing number of countries and companies now measure and manage their emissions through greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories. Cities, however, lack a common framework for tracking their own emissions—until now.

    Thirty-three cities and communities from around the world started pilot testing the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions Pilot Version 1.0 (GPC Pilot Version 1.0) last month. The GPC represents the first international framework for greenhouse gas accounting for cities. It was launched in May 2012 as a joint initiative among WRI, C40, and ICLEI in collaboration with the World Bank, UN-HABITAT, and UNEP.

  • Energy Roadmap 2050: ‘Europe can decarbonise’

    This post originally appeared on the website of the Zero Emissions Resource Organization (ZERO) on December 16, 2011. ZERO is a partner in the Open Climate Network.

    The European Commission has announced the adoption of its Energy Roadmap 2050, which explores the challenges of decarbonising the European Union while ensuring security of energy supply and economic competitiveness.

    The roadmap’s analysis concludes that decarbonisation of the energy system is "technically and economically feasible" and that energy efficiency and renewables are a critical part of the mix. Its analysis is based on scenarios created by combining, in different ways, the four main decarbonisation routes – namely, energy efficiency, renewables, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

  • How Germany Plans to Succeed in a Nuclear Free, Low Carbon Economy

    This piece was written by Felix Matthes, Oeko-Institut, and Jennifer Morgan, WRI.

    Germany has taken some fundamental energy decisions in recent months, ones that are interesting for other countries to study and learn from. The most "famous" decision recently has been to phase out nuclear power in the next ten years. This move builds on years of debate and a societal decision after Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident to move away from nuclear energy.

    There has been much less focus, however, on the phasing in of other sources of energy. Nor has there been much focus on how Germany can remain the economic powerhouse of Europe, and the world's second largest exporting country, while removing a significant source of energy from its grid.

    This phase-in story is vital to understand, especially taking into account that Germany plans to meet ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets while it phases out nuclear power. So, how will this work?

  • Should America Follow Europe's Lead on Energy?

    This post originally appeared on the National Journal Energy & Environment Experts Blog.

    As the United States sorts out its next moves on energy policies to enhance long-term security and strengthen its economy, policymakers will need to weigh both benefits and risks of various energy sources. Looking at what other countries are doing is a good place to start. European countries’ recent moves have one thing in common: each is moving to cleaner energy sources and greater energy efficiency.

  • ‘Red Sludge’ Wake-up Call for Investors and Financial Institutions

    Hungary’s toxic ‘red sludge’ is a stark reminder of why mining companies need to better disclose their water-related risks.

    On October 4th, the wall of a wastewater reservoir for the Ajka alumina processing plant broke, sending 35 million cubic feet of corrosive ‘red sludge’ downhill into nearby villages and ultimately the Danube River. This ecological disaster has claimed eight lives and devastated many more by destroying homes, livestock, and crops. Meanwhile workers are rushing to build emergency dams to stem a second flood that is expected to occur should another wastewater reservoir wall collapse.

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