Energy, science and technology

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    EU governments should place greater emphasis on infrastructure projects in their efforts to tackle climate change

EU governments should place greater emphasis on infrastructure projects in their efforts to tackle climate change

The European Union has positioned itself as one of the most proactive global organisations on climate change, with its Member States participating in an Emissions Trading System designed to progressively limit greenhouse gas outputs. Corentin Cohen writes that while the EU has chosen to place most of its focus on using taxation to discourage emissions, there are a number […]

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    Far from driving businesses away from Europe, EU climate policy has the potential to generate future growth for European industry

Far from driving businesses away from Europe, EU climate policy has the potential to generate future growth for European industry

A common criticism of EU climate policy is that it makes conditions more expensive for European businesses, which may encourage companies to relocate to other parts of the world. Andrzej Ancygier writes that much of this criticism is overstated. He argues that providing concrete long-term climate goals would provide more security for businesses, and that EU climate policy can also […]

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The European Commission should implement fair pay policies for research grants to stop the ‘brain drain’ from eastern Europe

A significant proportion of the EU budget is spent on research grants aimed at encouraging research and innovation across Europe. Michael Galsworthy argues that while this funding is vital for supporting research, particularly in those states struggling from the consequences of the financial crisis, there is a substantial East-West divide in terms of how it is distributed. One of the […]

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The difficulties in negotiating a joint European energy policy might ultimately help drive the transition to renewable energy sources.

While most European countries agree on the need to move toward renewable energy, there is little agreement on how this should be achieved. As Andreas Grimmel writes, efforts to negotiate a joint European energy solution have not only been beset by problems, but risk impeding individual states, such as Germany, from pursuing their own transition policies. Despite these difficulties, however, […]

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Policies aimed at encouraging the take-up of green cars may have unexpected results on both emissions and markets.

Road transportation currently contributes to 19 per cent of CO2 emissions in Sweden, a figure that is higher than the EU’s average. From 2007 to 2009, the Swedish government put in place a Green Car Rebate to encourage people to buy lower emission cars. Cristian Huse and Claudio Lucinda assess the effectiveness of the policy, finding that while it did […]

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The case for a European low-carbon economy

In order to protect its future prosperity from the effects of climate change, Europe must move away from its current high-carbon path, to one built on sustainable growth and clean sources of energy. Lord Nicholas Stern makes the case for European governments to lay out a clear vision for a low-carbon economy. He argues for measures that include decarbonising the […]

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Consolidating the European Space Policy requires an evolution of its governance, which is currently structured around three main types of actor.

In 2007 a formal European Space Policy was established following discussions between the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA). Lucia Marta provides an overview of the development of European space policies and their current governance structure. European space policy governance is often conceived of as a ‘triangle’ between the EU, ESA, and national space agencies. Despite the achievement of […]

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Multinational enterprises in Germany have a greater level of local engagement and links to regional innovation systems than those in the UK.

How can multinational companies be successful and innovative in their operations abroad? Using case studies, Simona Iammarino finds that those multinational organisations that have less centralised structures tend to be more involved with regional innovation networks. Looking at successes in Germany, she argues for more policy initiatives aimed at supporting regional innovation, such as talent management and graduate retention schemes.  […]

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The European Commission must support and stimulate the research and innovation needed to take Europe out of the crisis.

Could the Eurozone crisis and austerity lead to a lost decade for millions of Europe’s citizens? Jonathan Grant and Helen Rebecca Schindler write that in the face of the crisis, Europe must invest in research and innovation. With an annual budget of over €10 billion for research and development, the European Commission must now play a leading role in stimulating […]

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Low-carbon innovation has risen in Europe, but the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme may not be the main factor in this growth.

The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was launched in 2005 as a major part of Europe’s strategy for tackling climate change. As Raphael Calel and Antoine Dechezlepretre write, at its launch, there were fears that the scheme would not offer sufficient incentives to encourage research in low carbon technologies. Based on an analysis of European companies before and after […]

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Contrary to national stereotypes, French workers are more productive than their German counterparts and only marginally less productive than American workers.

Recently, the CEO of a US manufacturer commented that his company would not invest in a factory in France due to concerns over the productivity of local workers. Surprised by these comments, Bob Hancké looked into statistics across Europe for labour market productivity and hours worked. He finds that French workers are nearly as productive as their American counterparts, and […]

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Fracking and Willetts: two stories to watch in 2013

Steve Fuller looks back on 2012 and picks out two stories from the end of the year which he will be watching intently in 2013. The implications of two stories from the end of 2012 are worth watching in 2013. The first story has global consequences. It concerns the terms on which a global climate agreement was reached in Doha in early […]

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Far from being a drag on growth, environmental policy can actually help drive it

Michael Jacobs argues that green growth speaks directly to the economic priority of governments. Environmental policies, as well as tackling environmental costs, can address other market failures which inhibit growth, help boost aggregate demand, stimulate employment, and drive innovation. Over the past four years the concept of ‘green growth’ has burst onto the international policy scene. A term rarely heard before […]

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Instead of simply paying for losses, Europe should institute cost-effective adaptation measures to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

Climate change is no longer an abstract concept, but one that is costing Europe and the world in both human and economic terms. Writing that climate change could cost the world trillions every year within a few decades, Annika Ahtonen argues for more policies from Europe geared towards helping member states and regions adapt to climate change, rather than the […]

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Five minutes with Marietje Schaake MEP on ACTA and the role of the internet in politics: “The mere existence of the internet has the potential to improve human rights in the European neighbourhood and beyond.”

In July, the European Parliament voted against the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The agreement, which sought to develop international standards for managing copyright infringements, had been strongly criticised on the basis that it would limit internet freedoms and reduce civil liberties. In an interview with EUROPP editor Chris Gilson, Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake, who has been called ‘Europe’s most […]

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Invest in brains, not buildings, to raise scientific output and impact

Which is more valuable to the creation of scientific knowledge, high quality scientists or first-class facilities? Fabian Waldinger looks at the dramatic effects of the Nazi expulsion of Jewish scientists and the Allied bombing of university buildings and discovers that brains had more impact than buildings. At the moment, many countries such as Brazil, South Korea, and especially China, are […]

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Policy-makers are often unnecessarily timid in imposing climate change regulations

When governments design policies to reduce firms’ greenhouse gas emissions, are they too lenient on heavy polluters that claim such measures will damage their ability to compete in the global economy? Using European and UK survey data, Ralf Martin, Laure de Preux and Ulrich Wagner assess the UK’s experience with the climate change levy. The idea that people who are responsible […]

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Investing in project bonds to support infrastructure development may help to return the Eurozone to growth

Although costly for public authorities, construction projects undertaken through the private finance initiative (PFI) tend to be well-managed on the private sector side, delivering predictably high returns to investors. Against this background, and despite the desire of policy-makers to invest in infrastructure, the sector is facing a severe credit crunch. Mark Hellowell argues that, while EU-backed project-bonds may offer a solution […]

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Low-carbon innovation is up in Europe, but not because of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme

Since the introduction of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), there has been a surge in low carbon technology. Yet, Raphael Calel and Antoine Dechezleprêtre argue that this increase in low carbon innovation has not been a result of the ETS. Their research indicates there is actually little difference in patenting rates for low carbon technologies between countries that are and are not part of the […]

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A veto of the European Parliament against ACTA would be a way for MEPs to reassert themselves against member states.

Recent months have seen protests across Europe against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which seeks to protect intellectual property. Valentin Kreilinger argues that the European Parliament now has an opportunity to take into account the views of Europe’s citizens and veto the agreement, meaning that the agreement would have to be renegotiated. At the end of March, the International Trade […]

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