In a major upset to fossil fuel naysayers, the European Union (EU) has backed 32 major gas infrastructure projects worth €29 billion. The move would mean Europe will now burn fossil fuels for generations while adding 338 GW capacity to the region’s natural gas infrastructure system. To make matters worse, under the EU’s funding programme, taxpayers may have to pay up to 50% of the cost of the projects.
The projects, which are based in a long stretch spanning from Ireland to Croatia, have been deemed ‘unnecessary’ by consulting firm Artelys and environmentalists have called out the EU’s ‘hypocrisy’ over the climate crisis and questioned any imagined success of the European green deal.
Paris Agreement: Only 3 countries meet deadline to upgrade climate plans
Nine months to Cop 26 in Glasgow and almost all the countries missed the informal February 9 deadline to upgrade their climate goals as per the Paris Agreement. So far, only three countries – Marshall Islands, Suriname and Norway – which account for 0.1% of global emissions, have submitted their plans.
UK appoints Alok Sharma as new COP 26 president
Days after UK’s former energy minister Claire O’Neill was sacked from her role as COP 26 president, the Boris Johnson government appointed former secretary of state for international development Alok Sharma as her replacement. Sharma has now been elevated to the role of secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy. Sharma has worked on climate mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, which will be useful during negotiations at COP 26, but he is still considered to be a sceptical choice because of his poor voting record on green issues in parliament.
EU may levy tax on imported goods with heavy carbon footprint
The EU is mulling a carbon border tax to be imposed on imported goods that have a heavy carbon footprint. This tariff is aimed at countries that have a lower carbon emissions price as compared to the EU. Experts are also viewing the tax as a ‘powerful weapon’ that the EU could use in future climate trade wars, especially against Britain post Brexit.