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Is this fine by the Flemish government appropriate? As of January 2009, all new residential houses in Flanders must be audited by the Flemish Energy Agency (VEA). This is to ensure that energy use is kept within appropriate limits. Houses are rated according to their so-called E-level, which must be less than 100 to receive… » read more

EU climate lead in peril

For how long will the EU’s self-acclaimed “climate leadership” survive the Obama revolution? Could a “green” Obama administration pose a bigger challenge to the EU’s climate credentials than the temporary backlash of the financial crisis? Who will win the race for the new “eco-competitiveness”? These questions are hard to answer for the moment but there… » read more

Whoever wins the US Presidency today will be facing the ultimate challenge: steering a self-destructing Western-based economic growth model through a painful transition towards a new global sustainability. This is a task far beyond any past Apollo project. These are indeed historical elections and it is appropriate that the whole world is watching. Although the… » read more

Friends of Europe’s annual energy summit (held on 30 October) saw tough exchanges between CCS defenders and the renewable energy sector but kept dodging the real question: can we solve the climate/energy crisis without questioning our economic growth and development paradigm? Energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs, as expected, defended his commission resolve not to “deviate” from… » read more

Stop blaming the bankers

In times of crisis, people always need scapegoats in order to avoid having to look at one’s own responsibilities and this financial crisis is no different. But blaming bankers is a bit too easy when one looks at this crisis from a systemic and sustainability point of view. We have all enjoyed living beyond our… » read more

Spending on “green infrastructure” will be the key to avoiding a severe recession according to a new study published by Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division. The report will scare the climate sceptics who are still hoping that the financial crisis will kill the world’s climate efforts and the EU’s climate/energy package. Necessity and opportunity should… » read more

The energy-and-climate-crisis deniers are having a hell of a party these days. The financial crash has raised their hopes that global warming, peak oil and all the other “humbug” will finally be kicked off the political agenda. One climate policy “monitor” even served us the ludicrous title: “EU: saving the economy or saving green dreams?”… » read more

This week’s UN summit on biodiversity ended with some hopeful results but there is still a lack of full awareness that protecting the planet’s eco-systems is much more than a moral obligation. “We have a moral obligation to be careful stewards of the planet for future generations”, said EU Commission President Barroso in his speech… » read more

After EU policymakers’ disenchantment with biofuels (see EurActiv: MEPs seek reduced biofuel commitments), it is time to find the new “silver bullet” to tackle the climate and energy crisis. During two conferences held in Brussels this week, lobbyists for carbon capture and storage (CCS) pulled out all the stops to convince us that governments should… » read more

A few pointers to some must-read reports or articles which I discovered in the last ten days: Nicholas Stern’s latest report “Key elements of a global deal on climate change“: not much different from his 2006 Stern review for the UK government but rings the alarm bell a bit harder as very little has really… » read more

This blog was very silent last week because I was in Washington DC participating in a fascinating two-day climate and energy conference organised by the Transatlantic Platform for Action on the Global Environment (T-PAGE). This dialogue forum was created to facilitate debate among members of EU and US civil society on climate and energy policies… » read more

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