The Chinese dream: Jeremy Rifkin and the economic conquest of Eurasia

Leaders from China and 16 Central and East European countries on the high-speed train from Shanghai to Suzhou

While the EU is mired in conflicts between east, south and west over over finance, climate policy and refugees, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is wooing 16 Central and Eastern European leaders at a China-CEE summit in Suzhou. It is all part of the Chinese dream of creating a Jeremy Rifkin-esque infrastructurally and digitally integrated economic space spanning the vast Eurasian continent, writes journalist Pepe Escobar. Some years from now German … [Read more...]

The curse of lignite: the long-term underdevelopment of Germany´s second largest mining region

lignite strip mining in Lusatia (photo Andreas F Butz August 2015)

The government of the German State of Brandenburg wanted to buy the lignite mines and power plants from Vattenfall in the Lusatia region to keep them open. The left-far-left coalition was motivated by economic reasons: to prevent job losses and de-industrialisation. But statistics show that Lusatia is actually worse off both economically and socially because of the presence of lignite mining, write Conrad Kunze and Anika Zorn, Social Scientists … [Read more...]

Carbon Tracker: fossil fuel companies risk wasting up to $2.2 trillion in the next decade

photo: Carbon Visuals

Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI), the NGO that invented the concept of “stranded assets” (or “the carbon bubble”) has today published a new report warning that, as a result of climate policies, “no new coal will be needed, oil demand will peak around 2020 and growth in gas will disappoint industry expectations”. According to CTI, over $2 trillion of new and existing investment is in danger of being wasted over the coming decade if governments and … [Read more...]

What Paris is likely to deliver


Prospects look bright for the Paris Climate Summit. The sole fact that this year’s COP (Conference of the Parties) will start with the government leaders meeting instead of finishing with it, as was usual in the past, is promising, writes Rolf de Vos of Ecofys. According to De Vos, if the more than 80 world leaders who will gather in Paris, including Obama, Xi Jinping, Modi and Putin, will get the Summit off to a good start, the work of two … [Read more...]

Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Chief Rosatom: “The future belongs to fast-neutron reactors with closed fuel-cycle”

22-25-npp Rosatom

"Globally there are no alternatives that can replace nuclear power", but with the growth of renewables, "the demand for very large nuclear reactors will drop". That is the view of Kirill Komarov, First Deputy CEO of the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom. "Fast-neutron reactors with a closed fuel cycle will secure baseload and low and medium capacity reactors will serve balancing needs", says Rosatom's "number two"  man in  an exclusive wide-ranging … [Read more...]

The case against Nord Stream 2

gas pipeline

By opening up an additional route for cheap Russian gas to Germany, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project may look like a good deal for Europe. However, its advantages are primarily short term, writes Agata Loskot-Strachota of the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) in Poland. In the longer term the pipeline increases the possibilities for Russia’s excessive influence on the European gas market, undermines the policy goals of the Energy Union, and … [Read more...]

EU’s first State of the Energy Union report: how it will deliver on climate and energy goals for 2030

Berlymont, European Commission (Credit: Eoghan OLionnain, via Flickr)

The EU’s first-ever “State of the Energy Union” report is determinedly optimistic on progress, but offers little new information and appears to take just a small step towards resolving the biggest challenge of all: uniting national interests around EU priorities. Published by the European Commission on 18 November, the report is accompanied by a whole suite of studies in areas from energy security to climate action. The package sets out … [Read more...]