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EU climate policy: Energy market integration as political disintegration?

EU climate policy: Energy market integration as political disintegration?
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Author: Mathis Hampel Poland is proving to be a major veto player in the Union threatening to opt out of the EU climate pact. Even more so than its predecessor, the newly elected conservative Polish “Law and Justice” (PiS) one-party government is on collision course with the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reduction, energy efficiency and […]

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Cradle-to-cradle™ and the circular economy: are we kidding ourselves on consumption?

Cradle-to-cradle™ and the circular economy: are we kidding ourselves on consumption?
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Author: Mathis Hampel “Imagine a world in which all the things we make, use, and consume provide nutrition for nature and industry—a world in which growth is good and human activity generates a delightful, restorative ecological footprint.”[1] This is how the former Greenpeace chemist Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough envision their ideal world. The […]

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COP21, success or failure?

COP21, success or failure?
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Author: Mathis Hampel 2015 ends with a cracker. While you are reading these lines 25 000 delegates are trying to leave their mark at the 21st UN climate summit, the Conference of Parties (COP21) – whose outcome won’t surprise anyone. Because the heavy lifting has already been done. A text was negotiated in the years […]

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In search of finality: two degrees of global warming

In search of finality: two degrees of global warming
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On June 8, the G7 agreed on the notorious two degrees target of global warming. In a rare moment of agreement, politicians, environmentalists and corporations signaled their approval of a ‘policy’ which is diversionary at best and socially regressive at worst. Author: Mathis Hampel The global target by which global average temperature should be limited […]

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“Leave it in the ground” – A divestment in ideas

“Leave it in the ground” – A divestment in ideas
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The failure of top-down technocratic climate policy to accelerate decarbonization of the economy has provoked environmentalists to experiment with the idea of divestment in fossil fuel corporations. However arousing excitement among the Left, good intentions don’t always make for good policy. Author: Mathis Hampel The opposite of investment, divestment is the removal of one’s investment […]

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Trust through transparency?

Trust through transparency?
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There is a general sense that our political institutions are experiencing a crisis of trust. Only recently, the Luxembourg tax scandal – under Jean-Claude Juncker the country signed secret tax deals with 350 international companies – caused a public outcry. Indirectly related to this crisis are the many transparency provisions with which the European Union […]

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Energy-related CO2 emissions stabilized in 2014 – so what?

Energy-related CO2 emissions stabilized in 2014 – so what?
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Thus far global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stabilized or decreased only in times of economic downturn, for example in 2008/09. The stabilization of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2014 when the global economy grew by 3% comes as a total surprise. What to make of this news? Author: Mathis Hampel The “iron law of […]

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What are you switching off at Earth Hour?

What are you switching off at Earth Hour?
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I once shared a house with an environmentally hyper-friendly lady. Nothing went to waste, no energy was left unused. Her carbon footprint ruled her life. On Earth Hour she would turn all our lights and energy-consuming devices off, before stepping outside in the hope that our neighbours too would be cast in darkness. Today she […]

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