Category Archives: Uncategorized

Energy conservation finally taking centre stage…except in the media

At the end of October I attended two very different conferences: the FT Renewable Energy summit and a seminar at the Overseas Development Institute on “Learning lessons from low carbon development”. I can’t possibly cover everything I’ve heard there in a short blog entry (plus as a freelance journalist, I have the privilege of being among a dwindling group of people that still actually gets paid for writing articles – and I have been commissioned to write a couple of those…).

One thing really struck me: at both events, energy conservation emerged as a big theme, in a way that is relatively new in these circles.   Continue reading Energy conservation finally taking centre stage…except in the media

European aid policy at crossroads

I was very lucky to attend the 2-day “EU change makers” high level conference at the Overseas Development Institute in my last 2 weeks at Bond. The event provided an excellent overview of the main issues and challenges facing the international development sector in Europe and was attended by senior stakeholders from governments, think tanks, NGOs, and a couple of politicians. Continue reading European aid policy at crossroads

IEA sees staggering growth of renewables

I have been writing an article for a new publication soon to be launched by the editorial group that publishes Sun & Wind Energy magazine, and as part of the research I read a report that the IEA launched a few days ago – the  Medium Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012. I am definitely very familiar with renewable energy issues, and used to hearing about its massive growth. Yet, I found some of the illustrations in the report genuinely staggering. Continue reading IEA sees staggering growth of renewables

How to increase funding for “cinderella” environmental issues

I’ve recently come across a very interesting report: “Where the Green Grants Went”, published by the UK Environmental Funders Network. The basic finding can be summarised very simply: environmental campaigns don’t get enough funding, given the massive scale of the crisis we are facing, and compared to the much larger funding that goes to other societal issues.  Continue reading How to increase funding for “cinderella” environmental issues

No deal in Copenhagen…but hey, energy consumption stops growing

As world leaders leave Copenhagen, where millions of people’s hopes about a fair, absolute and binding deal on climate change were shattered, I think we can all do with some good news to lift our morale.

The Joint Research Center of the European Commission has published a report on electricity consumption and efficiency trends in the European Union. Among the report’s most striking conclusions are that over the period 2004-2007 the final energy consumption in the EU-27 Member States decreased, while electricity end-use consumption in EU-27 continued to grow, but at a lower rate than the economic growth. The researchers directly attribute part of these positive developments to the effectiveness EU energy efficiency policies, although they stress there is still a lot to do.  Continue reading No deal in Copenhagen…but hey, energy consumption stops growing

The unsustainable nature of British Euroscepticism

I can highly recommend investing half an hour to listen to this video of a lecture by Lord Wallace – one of the clearest, most comprehensive overviews of British Euro–scepticism I’ve ever heard – outlining its historical origins and the challenges it poses to the UK government when it deals with the EU, and in particular the difficulties it will create for a likely future Conservative government.  Continue reading The unsustainable nature of British Euroscepticism