Greek Debt and the Pipeline

While the European Commission are trying to reach agreement with Greece over the repayment of its debt and Greece is trying to resist European calls for more austerity measures which will inflict more hardship on the Greek people, it is interesting to note that the only positive news for Greece which will create jobs and help the nation towards prosperity comes in the form of a Greek deal with Russia over energy. Continue reading

Another Delay to the RHI

The thermal solar industry was promised by the government that the Renewable Heat Incentive would come into effect on 30th September 2011. This promise was made around two years ago. Like all incentive schemes the government needs to get approval from the European Commission to the incentive package. It expected approval to be rubber stamped but the European Commission has expressed concerns that part of the non domestic RHI – that relating to biomass – has been given too high incentives by the RHI. Thus with EU approval withheld the whole non domestic RHI is held in abeyance. The government is for some reason unable to bring in the non controversial tariffs like that relating to solar thermal because it means changing the proposed regulations and submitting them to Parliament. Continue reading

Access to Justice in Environmental Cases

Courts exist to provide justice. They sometimes get confused and make mistakes, but generally in civilised countries the courts to their best to rule fairly in accordance with the law. It is universally recognised that courts are fallible, and so we have one or more courts to which a dissatisfied party can appeal. Sometimes laws are wrong but the courts cannot usually change laws created by elected politicians, so they enforce bad laws. That is how the system works, imperfectly but it works when matters are brought before the courts. Justice is therefore open to all, but so is the Ritz Hotel, open to all, and like the Ritz, the courts are only available if you can afford to pay the bill. Continue reading

A Road Map Leading Nowhere

Today the European Commission explain its policy (these days called a road map) on reducing emissions. The target is to reduce emissions by 20% (compared with 1990 level of emissions) and many people will be disappointed that the target has not been raised to 30%, or at least 25%, claiming that it will not cost significantly more to reduce emissions by the extra 5% or 10%. The road map leads nowhere. Continue reading