Tag Archives: Climate Policy and Regulation

The EU says it doesn’t need Nord Stream 2, but only Germany can block it | Instant News


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union does not need the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for its energy security but any decision to stop a project bringing Russian natural gas to Germany must come from Berlin, a senior European Commission official said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A worker is seen at the gas pipeline construction site Nord Stream 2, near the city of Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia, June 5, 2019. REUTERS / Anton Vaganov

The $ 11 billion pipeline project led by Russian state energy company Gazprom, whose completion is more than 90%, will double the capacity of an existing submarine pipeline passing through Ukraine and eliminate Kyiv’s transit costs.

The project pits Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, against central and eastern European countries that say it will increase the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas.

“For the EU as a whole, Nord Stream does not contribute to the security of supplies,” Ditte Juul Jorgensen, director general of the Commission’s energy department, told lawmakers on the European Parliament’s industry committee.

Investments over the past decade in other pipelines, liquefied natural gas import terminals and interconnectors in Europe have secured sufficient supplies to meet the bloc’s energy needs, he said.

Any decision to stop the project must be made by Germany, said Juul Jorgensen.

“Actually stopping development requires a decision at the national level. That is not a decision that can be taken at the European level, “he said.

Nord Stream 2 is facing increased scrutiny as European relations with Russia deteriorate over the treatment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The European Parliament last month asked the European Union to stop building a pipeline in response to Navalny’s arrest.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin, in large part symbolic action on the issue.

Despite US sanctions on the pipeline, Berlin is sticking to Nord Stream 2, which it says is a commercial project.

(This story adds the dropped “official” word)

Reporting by Kate Abnett; Edited by Sonya Hepinstall

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Brazil will be ‘key player’ in climate summit, talks – White House | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addresses reporters at the White House in Washington, USA, January 25, 2021. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Brazil will be a key player in climate negotiations with the Biden administration, the White House said Thursday.

“This is a huge priority for President Biden and that’s why he asked his good friend, former Secretary (John) Kerry, to lead our international climate efforts, and of course Brazil will be a key partner in that,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a press conference.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden said Brazil’s rainforests were being “torn down” and the countries proposed offering Brazil $ 20 billion to stop deforestation or face “economic consequences”.

Reporting by Nandita Bose and Doina Chiacu; Edited by Leslie Adler

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New Zealand will decarbonize public buses, importing low-emission cars in a climate boost | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand will decarbonize public buses by 2035 and introduce a law this year to import clean cars to reduce emissions and fuel costs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday, as New Zealand pushed its carbon neutral target on the year 2050..

The government will also mandate lower-emission biofuels throughout the transportation sector and only buy zero-emission public transport buses starting in 2025, Ardern said.

“Tackling climate change is a priority for the government and remains a core part of our COVID recovery plan. We can create jobs and economic opportunities while reducing our emissions, so this is a win-win for our economy and climate, ”Ardern said.

Ardern, who returned to power in October handing the biggest electoral victory for his center-left Labor Party in half a century, called climate change the “nuclear-free moment of our generation.”

“This will be an area of ​​continued action, but we are now moving to implement the important election promises,” Ardern said, adding the government would get more advice from the country’s climate commission by mid-year.

The government will introduce a law this year to import only low-emission cars to prevent up to 3 million tonnes of emissions by 2040 and will consider an incentive scheme to help people switch to clean cars.

New Zealand last month declared a climate emergency with its public sector pledge to be carbon neutral by 2025. It asked government agencies to measure and report emissions and offset emissions they could not cut by 2025.

Nearly half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, primarily methane, while transportation is the second highest.

Proud of being one of the most beautiful and beautiful countries in the world, New Zealand introduced a climate change curriculum at its school last year.

Reporting by Renju Jose; Edited by Leslie Adler

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The Australian PM is reluctant to commit to a medium term climate goal: The Australian | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan, 17 November 2020. REUTERS / Issei Kato

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian government is in no rush to sign a net zero carbon emission target by 2050, although it recognizes the importance of working towards that goal, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an interview published on Saturday.

Morrison’s conservative government, in a surprise policy shift last month, said it would achieve its 2030 carbon emissions pledge under the Paris climate agreement without counting carbon credits from over-achieving previous climate targets.

But in an interview with The Australian newspaper, Morrison said he would not take his new 2030 or 2035 emission reduction targets to the United Nations main climate conference in Glasgow in November.

“It’s about whether you can produce hydrogen at the right cost, it’s about whether (carbon capture and storage) can be done at the right cost, whether we can produce low-emission steel and aluminum at the right cost,” the paper quoted Morrison as saying.

“That’s how you get to net zero. You don’t get there just by having a commitment. That’s where the discussion should lead, and I think (US President Joe) Biden’s administration is giving the opportunity to really pursue that with a little enthusiasm. “

Australia’s emissions are now projected to be 29% below 2005 levels by 2030, compared with the Paris agreement target to reduce carbon emissions of between 26% and 28%, based on recent growth in renewable energy and what could be achieved under A $ 18 billion ($ 14 billion) technology investment plans outlined by the government in September.

“We all want to be there,” said Morrison. “It’s not about politics anymore, it’s about technology.”

He added that the timetable for committing to a net-zero-emissions target would depend on “where the science is and where our assessments are based on technology”.

($ 1 = 1.2960 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Lidia; Edited by William Mallard

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The Biden presidency set the stage for broader global progress in climate policy | Instant News


(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After US President-elect Joe Biden takes office – and as more countries struggle with climate impacts – policies addressing global warming are expected to start appearing on various world bodies by 2021, climate diplomats said on Thursday.

That could include the World Trade Organization preparing to deal with disputes over a planned “carbon boundary tax” – tariffs on imports from countries that do not tax emissions at the source – and the UN Security Council addressing climate-related threats.

For security officials, “climate change is no longer a multiplier of threats – it is a threat”, said John Podesta, former US President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and adviser to former US President Barack Obama, in an online event.

Veteran Democratic politician Biden will take office on January 20 and has promised a comprehensive green agenda to fight climate change, both in the United States and globally.

Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action, said government groups such as the G7 and G20 are likely to consider more ambitious climate policies after climate-skeptical US President Donald Trump is not there to block efforts.

This could potentially lead to efforts towards a global agreement on phasing out high carbon energy, as well as a regulatory framework for sustainable finance, he predicted.

In a growing number of international forums, “climate voices can be present, whatever the larger topic is being discussed there,” he said. “That’s very important.”

Podesta said Biden’s appointment of John Kerry, Obama’s former secretary of state, as his special envoy for climate suggests the new US president intends to push for international climate action as strong as domestic climate policy.

Biden is likely to initiate action to return the United States to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change – which Trump issued last year – on his first day in office, Podesta said.

He also promised to hold an international summit within the first 100 days of his term aimed at pushing for greater global ambitions to tackle climate change.

But drafting a new US national contribution to the Paris Agreement may take until late spring or early summer, Podesta said, to ensure that what has been promised internationally fits into domestic climate plans.

Biden said he wanted to put the United States on track to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035, and have net zero emissions across the economy by 2050, in line with new pledges by countries from Japan to South Korea.

FINANCE FOR VULNERABILITY?

Tina Stege, climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, a low-lying Pacific atoll nation, said having an ambitious US contribution to the Paris Agreement quickly was key to pushing forward the ambition that other nations need more.

“We are catching up. We are in a deep hole, “said Stege, whose country leads the” High Ambition Coalition “which is pushing for stronger global efforts to reduce emissions.” The US is critical to driving ambition and action. “

Countries like hers – which are only 2 meters (6.5 feet) above sea level – also need quick financial assistance to adapt to warming-driven sea level rise, he said.

“The need for adaptation is not being met, even as the need to adapt to climate change is increasingly pressing,” he added.

During his campaign, Biden said he would seek to fulfill financial promises to the international Green Climate Fund, $ 2 billion of which was not delivered by the Trump administration.

The move may now be easier after Democrats took control of the US Senate following the recent second round of elections in the state of Georgia, giving them more control over spending.

“The new government has the potential to make financial commitments that give countries like myself a chance to fight,” said Stege.

Reported by Laurie Goering @lauriegoering; edited by Megan Rowling. Appreciate the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a Thomson Reuters charity. Visit news.trust.org/climate

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