Europe’s Crazy Climate Policy Is Threatening Forests And Wildlife

EnvivaEurope’s appetite for wood pellets could lead to more carbon pollution for decades to come, while also putting some of the East Coast’s most productive wildlife habitats at risk. In Georgia, where most of the trees for wood pellets are grown on pine plantations, natural forests are rapidly disappearing as landowners see new opportunities to make money, said Ben Larson, forestry and bio-energy program manager for the National Wildlife Federation. –Joby Warrick, The Washington Post, 2 June 2015

EU energy policies have long exposed tensions between countries wedded to fossil fuels and those more committed to going green. Those splits have appeared again during preparations for an upcoming  EU energy ministers meeting. And after weeks of discussions and squabbles over the conclusions for the June 8 meeting — the first since the bloc’s leaders formally endorsed the Commission’s energy union strategy in March — the result is unlikely to do anything to bridge this widening divide. An issue that will have to be dealt with in coming months is how to bring in the 2030 targets, which have been spelled out for the EU as a whole, but are not yet divided into binding national goals. –Kalina Oroschafkoff, Politico, 2 June 2015

The last full-length set of international climate talks before the year-end summit in Paris got started June 1 with United Nations officials and delegation leaders seeking to downplay expectations for the scheduled 11 days of negotiations. But with six of the world’s 10 largest emitters yet to submit Intended Nationally Determined Contributions little effort is expected during the next two weeks to persuade countries to take on more ambitious goals. –Eric J. Lyman, Bloomberg BNA, 1 June 2015

Generous taxpayer subsidies for onshore wind farms will be cut off earlier than expected, effectively preventing thousands of turbines from being built, under plans being considered by Amber Rudd, the energy secretary. The proposals will set out for the first time how the Conservatives will implement their manifesto pledge to end any new public subsidy for onshore wind farms – amid concerns that turbines are unpopular with local communities. The action follows similar moves taken to curb subsidies for solar farms last year. –Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 31 May 2015

Finland’s incoming government has effectively “shut the door” on new wind farms by reducing the ceiling for projects that can qualify for feed-in support by almost 500 MW, the Finnish Energy Industries Association said on Thursday. —Montel News, 28 May 2015