Ukraine’s electric mix is one of the most carbon intensive in Europe. The majority of the country’s electricity is produced by outdated, inefficient thermal and nuclear power plants, whose fuelling is subject to geopolitical pressure.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to a chain of technologies deployed to capture, transport and store CO2 away from the atmosphere, mitigating its warming effect on the climate. For each step in the CCS process, a range of technologies has been developed and tested for different industries and operating conditions, making CCS a complex value chain rather than a single, “off-the-shelf” technology as it is sometimes portrayed.
Maritime shipping is the backbone of the international economy, accounting for more than 90% of world trade. This critical economic weight has recently been illustrated by the Suez Canal blockade of March 2021, which caused major supply chain disruptions on a global scale.
Natural gas is at the heart of a heated debate within the European Union (EU) over whether it should be included in the EU’s taxonomy classifying green investments. Some member states consider its development necessary in order to limit the social and economic costs of their energy transition.
On July 16, 2019, then-candidate to the presidency of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen published a series of political guidelines, stating “we need to tap into private investment by putting green and sustainable financing at the heart of our investment chain and financial system.
In January 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and RTE, French transmission system operator (TSO), published a study concerning the technical feasibility of a power system with a high share of renewables in France towards 2050.
The European Green Deal marks a turning point for energy and climate policy in Europe. Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for the EU as a whole will require an overhaul of the way energy is produced and used, across all sectors and regions. In this context, the coal industry is among the first targeted by policymakers: primarily used in power generation and in industrial processes, coal is a highly carbon intensive energy source, accounting for 31% EU ETS emissions in 2019.
With a strong external dimension, the European Green Deal was designed to be transformational not only for the European Union (EU), but for its partners as well. The EU has for a long time relied on climate diplomacy as an important tool of its foreign policy, with some notable examples of successful cooperation (e.g., cooperation with China, Japan and South Korea on the design and implementation of their ETS systems), and it is only set to increase in importance with the European Green Deal.
EU-Russia relations have sunk to a new low after the poisoning and subsequent arrest of Alexey Nalvany, the prominent Russian opposition figure. The elephant in the room is once again Nord Stream 2, almost finished but as contentious as ever.
After long months during which COVID-19 has dominated every policy agenda in Europe and elsewhere, the roll out of vaccines finally gives policy makers the opportunity to focus on other priorities as well. Beyond the challenge of repairing the economic damage left by lockdowns and mobility restrictions, Europe is expected to deliver on its flagship initiative, the European Green Deal.
Joe Biden made it clear during the U.S. presidential campaign that climate change would be one of the priorities of his administration, after four years in which president Trump loosened environmental legislation and openly stated his skepticism of climate science.