The European Environmental Agency just published the updates on the shares of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption across Europe. Nearly every European country fully met or even exceeded their targeted shares of renewable energy.  Only Netherlands did not meet its goal, while Luxembourg just about met its target. But Luxembourg’s performance is nevertheless really disappointing. I am going to argue that the only serious policy option for Luxembourg is to increase its renewables in energy target and thereby start to become energy independent.

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pollutionThe recent 2016 EU Air Quality Report nicely shows  that air quality in Europe has been improving since 2000 across nearly all indicators. Whenever I can present a graph like the one on the right, I am happy. It makes me smile. I feel things are improving and my kids have a chance at a better future. With all the recent terrible events out there, the rise of right-wing attitudes and the many wars that are still being fought, these are finally good news.

BUT, like oh so many times, there is a catch. In fact, there are two catches.

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Conference announcements:

As usual you can find the important dates in the calendar on the right

  • 6th FAERE workshop on the economics of green innovation is now available (see the attachment). MINES ParisTech (Paris, France) on 5-6 December 2016. You can obviously participate without presenting a paper. There is no registration fee, but you need to register by sending an e-mail to matthieu.glachant@mines-paristech.fr.
  • 10th Belgium Environmental Economics Day (BEED 2017), February 24 2017, KU Leuven, Campus Brussels. submission deadline: January 7th 2017, send email to sandra.rousseau@kuleuven.be
  • 5th International Symposium on Environment and Energy Finance Issues, Paris, 22-23 May 2017; deadline for paper submission 5th March 2017 https://isefi.sciencesconf.org/. Eric Strobl, Cees Withagen and myself organize the environmental economics part of this conference
  • The Institut D’Economie Industrielle (IDEI) and Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) are pleased to launch the Call for papers for the 11th Conference onThe Economics of Energy and Climate Change” in Toulouse on June 6-7, 2017. Submission deadline: January  22,  2017
  • 23rd Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and
    Resource Economists EAERE, Athens, 28 June – 01 July 2017, Papers should be submitted here. The deadline for paper submissions is 31 January 2017. Paper submitters will be notified as to the outcome of the peer review process on 30 March 2017
  • 8th International Research Meeting in Business and Management, Nice, 5-6 July 2017; deadline for paper submission 15 April 2017. Eric Strobl, Cees Withagen and myself we will organize the environmental economics subconference
  • For those who have missed the recent Sustainability workshop in Rouen, here is a video of the presentations: https://webtv.univ-rouen.fr/channels/#2016-2nd-workshop-sustainability

Many questions have been asked about the reasons behind #Brexit, about why Trump made it into oval office, the recent surge in right-wing political power in Europe, and I think the answers tend to be wrong. I think the answer to why these decisions were taken is really simple: Because their right-wing politicians provide the most convenient answer. And that is dangerous. Let me elaborate.

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Last evening I attended a discussion, organized by the Mouvement Écologique (Luxembourg’s biggest organization for sustainable development), about the possible direction that Luxembourg should take when it comes to its future. Invited speakers were Professor Reinhard Loske and Professor Harald Welzer, and the moderation was done by the never-fatigued Blanche Weber. In this post I will discuss what Luxembourg’s politicians should think about when they discuss policy options that influence Luxembourg’s future.

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Hinkley Point is a big mistake and even worse it seems to be getting the green light from the UK government. After Brexit this is now the second major, long-lasting political wrongturn by our friends from the island this year. I just received this statement from Tom Burke, chairman of the well-known climate think tank E3G, which he allowed to be published in its entirety:

Following reports today that the Government is about to give the green light to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, E3G, a leading climate change think tank, said it would be a hugely expensive strategic mistake, using expensive 20th century technology that would soon be obsolete.

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