Climate: EU reaches agreement to reform carbon market

Brussels (AFP) – End of free “rights to pollute” for manufacturers, taxation of emissions related to heating and cars, a social fund for the transition: On Sunday, the EU has reached an agreement on a comprehensive reform of its carbon market, the centerpiece of the European climate plan.

After tough talks, negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states agreed to raise the reform’s ambitions and expand its scope. The multi-faceted reform, proposed by the European Commission in July 2021, should make it possible to meet the ambitious greenhouse gas reduction objectives of the EU’s climate plan.

The carbon market will gradually be extended to the maritime sector, to emissions from intra-European flights and, from 2028, to waste incineration sites, subject to a favorable study by Brussels. (December 18)

Doha threatens Brussels, “relations and gas at risk”

Brussels (ANSA) – Qatar is sharply warning the EU about the risks of a breakdown in relations, starting with gas supplies. A week after the corruption scandal rocked the European Parliament, Doha issued a statement warning of a possible negative impact on relations with the European Union, speaking of a “discriminatory restriction” with regard to the exclusion from all legislative work and the ban of Qatar’s delegates to the European Parliament. “It will have a negative effect on regional and global cooperation and ongoing talks on energy, poverty and security,” reads the statement, which accuses the Belgian authorities of using “inaccurate information”.

“We firmly reject the accusations that associate our government with misconduct: Qatar was not the only party mentioned in the investigation, yet our country has been criticized and attacked exclusively.” Doha has started a massive expansion in liquefied natural gas (LNG) production right when the EU seeks to diversify supplies from Russia. In the summer, Qatar signed wide-ranging agreements, also with Eni, for the North Field Expansion project. Within the scope of this project, LNG production will increase by 48 million tons per year in 2025-2027, bringing total annual exports to 126 million tons, about the total amount of pipeline gas and LNG supplies from Russia to Europe.

Meanwhile, the investigation by the Belgian authorities is in full swing. Belgian judge Michel Claise requested from the Milan prosecutor’s office to obtain the Italian bank accounts of former MEP and founder of the non-governmental organization Fight Impunity, Antonio Panzeri, as well as those of his daughter Maria Dolores Colleoni, of the International Trade Union Confederation Secretary General, Luca Visentini, and of Francesco Giorgi, Panzeri’s former parliamentary assistant and former European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili‘s partner.

The Guardia di Finanza allegedly searched Panzeri’s home for documents related to accounts in Italy, but also abroad, at Lift bank in Brazil, opening the possibility of a South American trail. At Claise’s request, checks by the Aosta Prosecutor’s Office are also underway on alleged money laundering carried out in the purchase of an apartment in Cervinia by Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, the founder of the NGO No Peace without Justice, who is under arrest as well. (December 18)

Environment Minister Brežan at COP15: Slovenia leads by example in biodiversity conservation

Montreal (STA) – Slovenia is committed to ambitious targets in its efforts to counteract the decline in biodiversity and is leading by example with more than 40 percent of protected areas. This was stated by Environment Minister Uroš Brežan at the opening of the 15th Meeting of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) on Friday.

In his address, Mr. Brežan underlined the responsibility of all countries to halt biodiversity loss. As part of a team of the EU and the Member States , the Minister attended the preparatory meeting for the high-level negotiations on mobilizing resources for biodiversity.

Brussels announced that the EU, together with several member states and other countries, had joined forces at the conference “to significantly increase biodiversity funding from all sources.” The European Commission has doubled EU international funding for biodiversity to 7 billion euros for the period 2021-2027. (December 16)

This is a compilation of the European coverage of enr news agencies. It is published Wednesdays and Fridays. The content is an editorial selection based on news by the respective agency.