European economy – Europa Site http://europasite.net/ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 02:10:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://europasite.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-05T150327.373-150x150.png European economy – Europa Site http://europasite.net/ 32 32 Column: Funds sell oil at fastest pace in 15 weeks as economic outlook deteriorates: Kemp https://europasite.net/column-funds-sell-oil-at-fastest-pace-in-15-weeks-as-economic-outlook-deteriorates-kemp/ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 01:04:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/column-funds-sell-oil-at-fastest-pace-in-15-weeks-as-economic-outlook-deteriorates-kemp/ Oil and gas tanks are seen at an oil warehouse at a port in Zhuhai, China October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com Register LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) – Investors sold oil last week at the fastest pace since just after Russia invaded Ukraine as a deteriorating economic […]]]>

Oil and gas tanks are seen at an oil warehouse at a port in Zhuhai, China October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

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LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) – Investors sold oil last week at the fastest pace since just after Russia invaded Ukraine as a deteriorating economic outlook outweighed fears over the impact of sanctions on oil supply.

Hedge funds and other money managers sold the equivalent of 71 million barrels in the six largest oil futures and options contracts in the week to June 21 (https://tmsnrt.rs/3u5Dc6W).

The rate of selling was the fastest since the week ending March 8, shortly after the invasion, based on position records from ICE Futures Europe and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

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Sales over the past two weeks totaled 82 million barrels, largely reversing purchases of 99 million over the previous four weeks, as traders’ attention shifted from sanctions to a deepening economic slowdown.

In the most recent week, selling was dominated by the liquidation of existing bullish long positions rather than the creation of new bearish short positions, and by crude oil rather than refined products.

Sales were concentrated in NYMEX and ICE WTI (-35 million barrels) and Brent (-30 million) with small sales of US diesel (-4 million) and US gasoline (-3 million) and insignificant purchases of European diesel (+1 million).

Existing bullish long positions were reduced by 65 million barrels while new bearish short positions were initiated amounting to just 6 million barrels, implying profit taking among formerly bullish fund managers.

The net position on the six contracts has fallen to just 564 million barrels (which is only in the 41st percentile for all weeks since 2013), down from 647 million barrels (56th percentile) two weeks ago.

The ratio of long to short positions fell to 5.68:1 (74th percentile) from 6.68:1 (84th percentile) a fortnight earlier.

Policymakers in North America and Europe are still exploring ways to step up sanctions on Russian crude and diesel exports, which is supporting positions and oil prices.

But the potential impact is more than offset by signs that economies on both sides of the North Atlantic are beginning to weaken, which is likely to weaken consumption of crude and middle distillates.

Associated columns:

– Diesel demand set to fall as economies slide into recession (Reuters, June 23) read more

– Hedge fund oil hikes checked as interest rates rise (Reuters, June 20) read more

– Soaring oil prices show economic cycle slowdown is inevitable (Reuters, June 14) read more

– Brent bulls get boost from EU sanctions on Russia (Reuters, June 13) Read more

John Kemp is a market analyst at Reuters. Opinions expressed are his own.

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Editing by Jan Harvey

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which is committed to integrity, independence and freedom from bias by principles of trust.

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Russian missiles rock Kyiv as world leaders gather in Europe https://europasite.net/russian-missiles-rock-kyiv-as-world-leaders-gather-in-europe/ Sun, 26 Jun 2022 09:16:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/russian-missiles-rock-kyiv-as-world-leaders-gather-in-europe/ Russian missiles hit central Kyiv Officials say the kindergarten and building were hit Ukraine loses key city to pro-Russian forces G7 countries announce Russian gold ban at start of summit Indonesia calls for peace talks KYIV/POKROVSK, Ukraine, June 26 (Reuters) – Russian missiles struck the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Sunday, a day after a key […]]]>
  • Russian missiles hit central Kyiv
  • Officials say the kindergarten and building were hit
  • Ukraine loses key city to pro-Russian forces
  • G7 countries announce Russian gold ban at start of summit
  • Indonesia calls for peace talks

KYIV/POKROVSK, Ukraine, June 26 (Reuters) – Russian missiles struck the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Sunday, a day after a key eastern city fell to pro-Russian forces in a major setback for the country. Ukraine and as world leaders gathered in Europe to discuss new sanctions against Moscow.

Up to four explosions rang out in central Kyiv in the early hours of the morning, in the first such attack on the city in weeks. Two more explosions were heard on the southern outskirts of the city later in the day, a Reuters reporter said.

“The Russians hit Kyiv again. Missiles damaged a building and a kindergarten,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential administration.

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Ukrainian police chief Ihor Klymenko told state television that five people were injured.

As Europe’s biggest ground conflict since World War II entered its fifth month, the Western alliance supporting Kyiv began to show signs of tension as leaders worried about the mounting economic cost, including soaring food and energy prices.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking as Group of Seven leaders gathered for a summit in Germany, said the West must maintain a united front against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“In order to protect this unity, for this to work, you have to have really, really honest discussions about the implications of what’s going on, the pressures that individual friends and partners are feeling,” he told reporters.

“But the price to pay for backing down, the price to pay to allow Putin to succeed, to hack huge parts of Ukraine, to continue his agenda of conquest, that price will be much, much higher.”

STRATEGIC CITY FALLS

Life had returned to normal in Kyiv after fierce resistance that halted Russian advances early in the war, although air raid sirens sounded regularly across the city.

There had been no major strikes in Kyiv since June.

The city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said on the Telegram messaging app that Sunday’s strike partially destroyed a nine-story building and caused a fire.

“There are people under the rubble,” Klitschko said. “They pulled out a seven-year-old girl. She’s alive. Now they’re trying to save her mother.”

Explosions were also heard on Sunday in the central city of Cherkasy, which has been largely spared from shelling so far, regional governor Oleksandr Skichko said on Telegram.

Russia denies targeting civilians, but Ukraine and the West accuse Russian forces of war crimes in a conflict that has killed thousands, sent millions fleeing Ukraine and destroyed cities.

The strategic eastern battlefield town of Sievierodonetsk fell to pro-Russian forces on Saturday after Ukrainian troops withdrew, saying there was nothing left to defend in the ruined town after months of fierce fighting .

The fall of Sievierodonetsk is a major defeat for Kyiv as it seeks to retain control of the eastern Donbass region, a key military target for the Kremlin.

Moscow says the Donbass provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk, where it has supported uprisings since 2014, are independent countries. He asks Ukraine to cede the entire territory of the two provinces to the separatist administrations.

G7 SUMMIT

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” to provide Russian security and de-Nazify Ukraine. Kyiv and the West say the invasion was nothing more than a land grab.

The war had a huge impact on the global economy and European security, driving up gas, oil and food prices, pushing the European Union to reduce its dependence on Russian energy and prompting Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he would urge his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to start a dialogue during a peacebuilding mission to the warring countries and ask Putin to order an immediate ceasefire.

“War must be stopped and global food supply chains must be reactivated,” Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said before departing to attend the G7 summit.

The United Nations has warned that a protracted war in Ukraine, one of the world’s leading grain exporters, threatens to trigger a hunger crisis around the world.

Seeking to tighten the screws on Russia further, the G7 countries announced a ban on imports of new gold from Russia as they began their summit in the Bavarian Alps. Read more

NATO leaders will hold a summit on June 29-30 in Madrid.

“IT WAS A HORROR”

The fall of Sievierodonetsk – once home to more than 100,000 people but now a wasteland – is transforming the battlefield to the east after weeks in which Moscow’s huge firepower advantage failed. had given only slow gains.

Russian news agency Interfax quoted a representative of pro-Russian separatist fighters as saying Russian and pro-Russian forces also entered Lysychansk from across the river.

Both towns were the last major towns held by Ukrainian forces in the east.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy promised in a video address on Saturday that Ukraine would recover the cities it lost, including Sievierodonetsk.

“We have no idea how long this will last, how many more hits, losses and more efforts will be needed before we see victory looming on the horizon,” he said.

In the Ukrainian Donbass city of Pokrovsk, Elena, an elderly Lysychansk woman in a wheelchair, was among dozens of evacuees who arrived by bus from frontline areas.

“Lysychansk was horrible last week. Yesterday we couldn’t take it anymore,” she said. “I already told my husband that if I died, please bury me behind the house.”

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Reports from Reuters offices; Written by Michael Perry and Alex Richardson; Editing by Edmund Klamann and David Clarke

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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“Without pesticide reduction, we will have a food crisis in Europe” https://europasite.net/without-pesticide-reduction-we-will-have-a-food-crisis-in-europe/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 05:28:08 +0000 https://europasite.net/without-pesticide-reduction-we-will-have-a-food-crisis-in-europe/ EU proposals to halve pesticide use by 2030 — part of its ambitious agenda Farm-to-fork strategy — will finally be presented in Brussels on Wednesday 22 June. The regulation on the sustainable use of pesticides, which is due to be published after three months, will be the first binding European law requiring farmers to reduce […]]]>

EU proposals to halve pesticide use by 2030 — part of its ambitious agenda Farm-to-fork strategy — will finally be presented in Brussels on Wednesday 22 June.

The regulation on the sustainable use of pesticides, which is due to be published after three months, will be the first binding European law requiring farmers to reduce their use of chemicals. It is seen by many as a crucial step in the fight against European complicity in the global climate crisis.

  • Food groups and several member states vehemently oppose tougher rules, and many have lobbied officials to water down the proposals (Picture: Aqua Mechanical)

But agribusiness groups and several member states vehemently oppose tougher rules, and many have lobbied officials to water down the proposals.

The ongoing war in Ukraine has fueled fears of a food crisis, and several governments and parliamentarians have joined the opposition.

In an exclusive interview with Investigate EuropeEuropean Commission Vice-President and Head of the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans explains why legislation is essential to ensure long-term food security and why it should not be sacrificed for short-term gains.

IE: The long-awaited pesticide regulation will be presented tomorrow. Are you worried about what will happen to the overall green strategy?

Timmermans: Well, we have a very difficult situation because of the war in Ukraine. The war poses huge risks to food security in parts of Africa and the Middle East. But using these issues as a reason for not having farm to fork would be killing the long-term health and survivability of our agricultural sector for very short-term considerations.

So you’re insisting that now is a good time to set pesticide and fertilizer reduction targets, and to force farmers to change the way they do farming?

When will he force them? Not tomorrow, not this year, not next year. We take a perspective of 2030, 2040, 2050. And if we don’t defend this perspective now, what will their business model be? Can they continue with this level of pesticide use? We cannot afford to postpone. We must take action to deal with the real and pressing problems of farmers. But the actions we take must not destroy our long-term vision of a healthy and sustainable agricultural sector.

You know, I’ve been here for 30 years. Each time something is proposed in the agricultural field, it’s always the same reaction: “Report, derogation, not for us, for someone else”.

Meanwhile, 70% of soil in the EU today is in an unhealthy state, and 80% of that soil is agricultural land or grassland. These are scientific facts. We are losing pollinators so quickly. It is a bigger threat to our long-term food security than the conflict in Ukraine, because 75% of major food crops depend on animal pollination. 5 billion euros per year in Europe depend directly on animal pollination. Please disconnect the immediate crisis from the long-term adaptation we need.

The regulation will propose a 50% reduction in pesticide use in Europe by 2030 and introduce binding national reduction targets. This is the first time that mandatory targets will be introduced for pesticide reduction. Why are they needed?

Well, we need binding goals because we’ve tried before with non-binding goals, and those aren’t getting us anywhere. Binding targets give certainty to industry and the agricultural sector. And besides, our fellow citizens push us to do it. There is a huge and growing understanding that ecocide is a direct threat to us.

Referring to the ’emergency crisis of war’, the Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture is set to allow more farming in ‘areas of ecological interest’, giving the green light to the use of pesticides and without the obligation of crop rotation. How does this square with the prevention of ecocide?

Any waiver, any deviation from the long-term policy should only respond to immediate concerns and emergencies. The right treatment only comes after the right diagnosis.

The problem is the logistics issue, you can’t get grain and corn from Ukraine and Russia to Africa and the Middle East. So that’s where we need to focus our efforts. This recent plan is to build silos to advance transportation.

And here we have to use international instruments, especially the World Food Program, to get enough money and projects for Africa. This is our immediate emergency. For me personally, it doesn’t make sense to use protected areas to produce even more raw materials because of this. By the way, one of the effects of this crisis and the incredible fertilizer prices is that organic farming has become more profitable because they don’t need Russian gas to make the fertilizers.

You are facing a strong backlash from the agri-food sector. How do you respond to these concerns?

The main question here is how to involve the whole of society in this debate. If we keep the discussion within the group of people who have very clear interests, then of course the discussion is different. I think we are about to change. The Common Agricultural Policy has been a matter for insiders for 30 to 40 years. And now you see that our citizens are waking up, as they woke up to the climate crisis. We have to prove to the farming community that there is a benefit to them there.

Young farmers understand, they really understand. And they want to be part of it. The farming community is not monolithic on this issue. But of course the agribusiness complex is mobilizing, and we have a very, very divisive debate, which I feel like I have with them all the time.

I never attacked anyone at Copa-Cogeca [the farmers’ lobby in Brussels] personally, but the president of Copa-Cogeca makes a point of attacking me as a person all the time. I wonder why this level of aggression towards me. Is it because I’m right? Could this be the reason?

Some Member States argue that if Europe introduces stricter rules, so should other countries. Do you consider this a legitimate request?

I do. If we have high standards for how agricultural products are produced in Europe, these farmers should not face unfair competition from agricultural products which do not have to comply with these high standards. That said, we must also be careful not to penalize farmers in the poorest countries on the planet.

The European Commission spends a tiny sum on programs that support the change of the traditional agricultural model. Why is that?

It’s like trying to change course on Earth’s biggest oil tanker. It takes time. The only thing I need to do immediately is to avoid that we go back to the old course, even if there are corrections now. And the point you raise is extremely valid. If you look at the total Common Agricultural Policy budget and then look at what is being spent to go in the right direction, it is such a small part of the total. We have to change it.

But changing course has an immediate effect on many farmers in the European Union. You must have them on board. And vested interests scare them into thinking that what we’re doing is going to cost them their livelihood. While I am firmly convinced that if we do not do what we propose, in 10, 15 years, the problem of biodiversity will be so horrible that agriculture will no longer be sustainable in Europe. And then we will really have a food crisis in Europe.

Denmark has taxed pesticides based on their toxicity, which has led to less use of the more dangerous ones. Could it be a pan-European model?

I think it’s an interesting idea. But we have to take into account that the difference between Member States is so great that what works in Denmark does not necessarily work in Italy or Spain. So I’m a little cautious, but any good idea is an idea worth exploring.

The pesticide reform proposal is only the start of negotiations with member states and parliament. Are you ready to fight?

I am absolutely sure that we have the majority of our fellow citizens behind us. Political leaders in Europe are reluctant to engage in this debate because they know it is very easy to lose voters if they are seen as not helping farmers. I want to help farmers, but I want to help them in a sustainable way, not only for tomorrow, but also for ten years and twenty years. And for that, we have to become sustainable.

Investigate Europe’s new investigative series, ‘Silent Death: Europe’s deep-rooted pesticide problem and a biodiversity crisis’, will be released with media partners across Europe on Friday 24 June.

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Germany steps up measures to save gas as Russia slows supply to Europe https://europasite.net/germany-steps-up-measures-to-save-gas-as-russia-slows-supply-to-europe/ Sun, 19 Jun 2022 12:45:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/germany-steps-up-measures-to-save-gas-as-russia-slows-supply-to-europe/ BERLIN — Germany will restart coal-fired power plants and offer incentives for companies to reduce their consumption of natural gas, marking a new stage in the economic war between Europe and Russia. Berlin unveiled the measures on Sunday after Russia cut gas supplies to Europe last week as it retaliated against European sanctions and military […]]]>

BERLIN — Germany will restart coal-fired power plants and offer incentives for companies to reduce their consumption of natural gas, marking a new stage in the economic war between Europe and Russia.

Berlin unveiled the measures on Sunday after Russia cut gas supplies to Europe last week as it retaliated against European sanctions and military support for Ukraine.

These measures, which are part of a broader strategy initiated after the invasion of Ukraine, aim to reduce gas consumption and divert gas supplies to storage facilities to ensure that the country has sufficient reserves to spend the winter.

The gradual reduction in gas supplies from Russia has raised the specter of a potential fuel shortage if Europe enters winter with less than full stowed. It also raised prices, putting additional pressure on economies that are already struggling with high inflation and rising borrowing costs and facing the prospect of a recession.

Nord Stream, the main channel for transporting Russian fuel to Europe, reported a sharp drop in gas supplies.

“It’s obviously Putin’s strategy to shake us up, drive up prices and divide us. We will not allow this. We will defend ourselves with determination, precision and reflection,” said Robert Habeck, German Minister of Economics.

A natural gas storage facility in Germany. The gradual reduction in supplies from Russia has raised the specter of a possible fuel shortage.


Photo:

David Hecker/Getty Images

Gazprom blamed the shortfall on missing turbine parts that were stuck in Canada due to sanctions. European officials and analysts dismissed the explanation.

Germany imports about 35% of its gas from Russia, up from 55% before the war, and uses most of it for heating and manufacturing, according to German government estimates. Last year, natural gas power generation accounted for about 15% of total public electricity in Germany, Habeck said, adding that gas’s share of power generation is likely to have fallen this year.

To accelerate the decline of gas in the energy mix, Mr Habeck outlined a number of measures the government was taking to reduce gas dependence and build up reserves for the coming winter.

In a U-turn for a leader of the environmentalist Green Party, which has campaigned to reduce the use of fossil fuels, Mr Habeck said the government would give utility companies the power to expand the use of power stations in the coal.

This would ensure that Germany has an alternative energy source, but would further set back the country’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“It’s bittersweet,” Mr. Habeck said of the need to rely on coal. “But in this situation, you have to reduce gas consumption. Gas tanks should be full before winter. This has the highest priority.

Legislation regarding the use of coal is expected to be approved on July 8 in the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament, Habeck said. The measure expires on March 31, 2024, by which time the government hopes to have created a sustainable alternative to Russian gas.

Mr Habeck also said the government would introduce an auction system which would incentivize industry to reduce consumption.

The government has not released any details on how the auction will work, but Mr Habeck said it would start this summer.

Mr Habeck said the new measures are aimed at diverting dwindling gas supplies from Russia to storage reservoirs for use during the winter. Germany aims to have its gas storage facilities 90% full by December. Currently, gas storage facilities in Germany are around 56% full, Habeck said.

These measures are in addition to a variety of previously announced measures aimed at reducing Germany’s dependence on Russian gas. According to plans drafted earlier, the government could ration gas for industrial users if it ran out in winter.

Rising oil prices helped push the national average price of a gallon of gasoline to $5 for the first time, leading to increased inflationary pressure in the US economy. Photo illustration: Todd Johnson

The government has made arrangements to buy gas from non-Russian sources and is accelerating construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in the North Sea near Wilhelmshaven.

Mr Habeck said two of the four special vessels planned to convert liquefied natural gas that can be injected into the German grid would become operational this winter, allowing the country to resupply itself with gas independently from Russia.

Write to William Boston at william.boston@wsj.com

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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Live Updates: Putin Says Russia Withstood Worst Western Sanctions https://europasite.net/live-updates-putin-says-russia-withstood-worst-western-sanctions/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 13:23:56 +0000 https://europasite.net/live-updates-putin-says-russia-withstood-worst-western-sanctions/ The European Commission has recommended Ukraine candidate status for EU membership. Ursula von der Leyen, chair of the commission, said on Friday that the EU executive believes Ukraine should be granted status provided it continues to carry out reforms to bring it into line with regulations. of the EU. These reforms include the rule of […]]]>

The European Commission has recommended Ukraine candidate status for EU membership.

Ursula von der Leyen, chair of the commission, said on Friday that the EU executive believes Ukraine should be granted status provided it continues to carry out reforms to bring it into line with regulations. of the EU. These reforms include the rule of law, the fight against corruption and its judicial system.

“Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the country’s aspirations and determination to uphold European values ​​and standards,” von der Leyen told reporters, noting that the EC had “very carefully” assessed “the merits” of her candidacy.

Kyiv applied for membership soon after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Although an important step, the committee’s opinion must now be endorsed by each of the 27 EU member states at a leaders’ summit next Thursday and Friday.

Some countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands and Portugal, have expressed doubts about the decision, and discussions are not expected to be straightforward.

Ukraine’s bid received a significant boost on Thursday with the joint visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to Kyiv, where the EU’s three most powerful leaders endorsed his desire to join the bloc.

However, even if Ukraine is granted candidate status by the 27 countries next week, it will face a long and arduous process before it becomes a member of the EU.

The last country to join the EU, Croatia, took nine years to become a member after gaining candidate status in 2004, while North Macedonia has officially been a candidate country since 2005. Albania, the Republic North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey is also a candidate country.

Von der Leyen also said the commission had recommended candidate status for Moldova, under similar conditions as Ukraine. However, she said Georgia’s status as a candidate country should only be granted after taking further steps to meet EU requirements.

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Investors expect interest rates to rise by 0.75 percentage points https://europasite.net/investors-expect-interest-rates-to-rise-by-0-75-percentage-points/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 13:48:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/investors-expect-interest-rates-to-rise-by-0-75-percentage-points/ The European Central Bank said it had decided to accelerate the development of a new “anti-fragmentation” device after its emergency meeting on Wednesday, but provided few details. “The pandemic has left lasting vulnerabilities in the euro area economy which indeed contribute to the uneven transmission of our monetary policy normalization across jurisdictions,” the ECB said. […]]]>

The European Central Bank said it had decided to accelerate the development of a new “anti-fragmentation” device after its emergency meeting on Wednesday, but provided few details.

“The pandemic has left lasting vulnerabilities in the euro area economy which indeed contribute to the uneven transmission of our monetary policy normalization across jurisdictions,” the ECB said.

The central bank disappointed investors last week by offering few details on how it would prevent “fragmentation” within the bloc, with financially fragile member states like Italy facing significantly tighter financial conditions than others.

The ECB said on Wednesday it would “apply flexibility in the reinvestment of maturing repayments in the PEPP portfolio, with a view to preserving the functioning of the monetary policy transmission mechanism.”

The central bank is under pressure to support southern European economies like Italy, Spain and Greece, whose borrowing costs have soared as the ECB prepares to end its pandemic stimulus. Under this multi-trillion-euro program, the ECB bought sovereign and corporate bonds, which helped contain lending costs for governments, households and businesses.

Market volatility intensified after the ECB’s meeting last week, when it announced its intention to stop buying bonds in the coming weeks and raise interest rates to contain the surge in inflation.

Read the full ECB statement from Wednesday here.

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Environment Stories: Malala Joins Climate Protest and More https://europasite.net/environment-stories-malala-joins-climate-protest-and-more/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 13:18:52 +0000 https://europasite.net/environment-stories-malala-joins-climate-protest-and-more/ This weekly roundup brings you some of the top environmental stories from the past seven days. Headlines: Fiji Defense Minister warns climate change is biggest security threat; Malala joins Friday climate protests; investors push for a global farm emissions plan; New Zealand to put a price on cattle burps. 1. News in brief: Top articles […]]]>
  • This weekly roundup brings you some of the top environmental stories from the past seven days.
  • Headlines: Fiji Defense Minister warns climate change is biggest security threat; Malala joins Friday climate protests; investors push for a global farm emissions plan; New Zealand to put a price on cattle burps.

1. News in brief: Top articles on the environment and climate change to read this week

According to Fiji’s Defense Minister, Inia Seruiratu, climate change is the biggest security threat in the Asia-Pacific region. “On our blue continent of the Pacific, machine guns, fighter jets, gray ships and green battalions are not our main security concern,” he said during the Shangri-La Dialogue, the most high meeting on security in Asia. “The greatest threat to our very existence is climate change. It threatens our hopes and dreams of prosperity.”

Canada has launched a credit system for greenhouse gas offsets on June 8, a large part of its plan to reduce carbon emissions, starting with a set of rules stipulating how projects can generate tradable credits by capturing gas from landfills. The government said protocols for four other sectors, including agriculture and forest management, are underway. It will also begin developing protocols for carbon capture technology, which Canada’s highly polluting oil industry is betting on to reduce emissions, this summer.

The Japanese government said on June 7 that it would ask households and businesses to save as much electricity as possible during peak summer consumption season to mitigate a potential power crisis. The measure was set at a meeting of cabinet ministers as three regions, including Tokyo, are expected to see their excess generation capacity – the level below which supply shortages and blackouts are possible – fall. to almost 3% in July.

Investors managing $14 trillion have urged the United Nations to create a global plan to make the agricultural sector sustainable and reduce one of the biggest sources of climate-damaging emissions, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

How farm shows have changed over the past 20 years.

Image: FAO

European Parliament lawmakers voted on June 8 in favor of a effective EU ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, rejecting attempts to weaken the proposal to accelerate Europe’s switch to electric vehicles. The vote confirms a key pillar of the European Union’s plans to reduce net global warming emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels – a target that requires faster reductions in emissions from industry, energy and transport.

Aerial surveys of methane plumes spouting from landfills, power plants and oil fields in California have led to reduction in the leakage of the powerful greenhouse gasthe state air regulator and a nonprofit group said June 8.

2. “Girls’ education is a climate solution”: Malala Yousafzai joins the climate protest

The fight against climate change is also a fight for girls’ right to educationmillions of whom lose access to schools due to climate-related events, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai told Reuters on June 10.

Yousafzai was speaking outside Sweden’s parliament where she joined environmental activists Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate in one of the Friday climate protests that have taken place there weekly since 2018 and sparked a global movement.

In 2012, the now 24-year-old survived being shot in the head by a Pakistani Taliban gunman after being targeted for her campaign against Taliban efforts to deprive women of education. She went on to become the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for education.

Climate change is an urgent threat requiring decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing heightened climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats high on the list.

To limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policymakers and civil society advance short-term and long-term global climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.


The World Economic Forum Climate Initiative supports scaling and accelerating global climate action through public and private sector collaboration. The Initiative is working on several work streams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions for the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policymakers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of a more secure climate.

Contact us to get involved.


Due to climate-related events, millions of girls are losing their access to school. Events like droughts and floods have a direct impact on schools, displacement is caused due to some of these events,” Yousafzai said in an interview.

“Because of this, girls are the most affected: they are the first to drop out of school and the last to return.”

During the protest, Yousafzai recounted how his own education was cut short by climate change when his school and many others in the locality were flooded.

Yousafzai, Nakate and Thunberg all highlighted how women, especially those in developing countries, have been disproportionately affected by the climate crisis and can be part of the solution if empowered through education.

3. New Zealand sets price for sheep and cow burps to reduce greenhouse gases

New Zealand published on June 8 a draft plan to put a price on agricultural emissions in an effort to tackle one of the nation’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases, the belching of sheep and cattle.

The proposal would make New Zealand, a major agricultural exporter, the first country to make farmers pay for livestock emissions, the environment ministry said.

New Zealand, with a population of 5 million, has around 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep.

Nearly half of its total greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, mostly methane, but agricultural emissions have already been exempted from the country’s emissions trading scheme, prompting criticism. criticism of the government’s commitment to stopping global warming.

According to the draft plan, drawn up by representatives of the government and the farming community, farmers will have to pay for their gas emissions from 2025. Short-lived and long-lived agricultural gas will be priced separately, although only one measurement to calculate their volume will be used. .

“There is no doubt that we need to reduce the amount of methane we put into the atmosphere, and an effective emissions pricing system for agriculture will play a key role in how we achieve this,” said the Climate Change Minister James Shaw.

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Ukraine hopes that joining the EU common customs and payment areas will be the next step in its integration into the EU https://europasite.net/ukraine-hopes-that-joining-the-eu-common-customs-and-payment-areas-will-be-the-next-step-in-its-integration-into-the-eu/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 17:59:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/ukraine-hopes-that-joining-the-eu-common-customs-and-payment-areas-will-be-the-next-step-in-its-integration-into-the-eu/ Ukraine hopes that joining the EU’s common customs and payment areas will be the next step on the country’s path to European integration. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said this during a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukrinform reports, citing the Prime Minister’s words Telegram channel. “Ukraine is rapidly moving closer […]]]>

Ukraine hopes that joining the EU’s common customs and payment areas will be the next step on the country’s path to European integration.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said this during a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukrinform reports, citing the Prime Minister’s words Telegram channel.

“Ukraine is rapidly moving closer to the European Union and hopes that joining the EU common customs and payment areas will be the next step in our European integration. I am grateful to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, for this upcoming visit and support to our country,” Shmyhal said.

He said he discussed with von der Leyen the provision of non-repayable grants to Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses, a recovery plan and the intention to rebuild Ukraine according to European standards. The prime minister assured him that the state was continuing its reforms.

“At the moment, the Ukrainian army is rapidly approaching NATO standards. We are implementing the Green Deal, actively digitizing all public services and hoping that in the near future the EU will approve the membership of the Ukraine to the Joint Customs Transit Regime of the NCTS. We also hope for a positive decision on the inclusion of our country in the SEPA single payment area, the free roaming zone and, of course, the granting of the status of EU candidate,” Shmyhal stressed.

All of these, he added, are practical steps in Ukraine’s integration into the European Union, which will strengthen both sides and help Ukraine defeat the enemy.

Von der Leyen arrived in Kyiv on Saturday to meet Zelensky and discuss Ukraine’s progress towards EU membership.

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At Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing, Portman urges Biden administration official on joint US-EU efforts to reduce Europe’s dependence on the Russia https://europasite.net/at-senate-foreign-relations-subcommittee-hearing-portman-urges-biden-administration-official-on-joint-us-eu-efforts-to-reduce-europes-dependence-on-the-russia/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 22:42:34 +0000 https://europasite.net/at-senate-foreign-relations-subcommittee-hearing-portman-urges-biden-administration-official-on-joint-us-eu-efforts-to-reduce-europes-dependence-on-the-russia/ June 9, 2022 | Press Releases WASHINGTON DC – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) pressed the head of the Department of State Amos Hochstein to get updates on the current efforts of the US-EU Energy Security Task Force to […]]]>

June 9, 2022

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Press Releases

WASHINGTON DC – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) pressed the head of the Department of State Amos Hochstein to get updates on the current efforts of the US-EU Energy Security Task Force to reduce Europe. dependence on Russian fossil fuels and strengthening European energy security. Senator Portman pointed to the roughly $870 million in energy revenues from Europe that continue to fund the Russian war machine, enabling the Kremlin’s continued assault on Ukraine. Portman acknowledged Europe’s efforts to reduce its reliance on Russian energy, most recently through its sixth sanctions package which included a partial ban on Russian oil, but called for more action to curb those. income. He also spoke of the importance of building energy capacity and infrastructure in Europe, such as liquefied natural gas, hydrogen and nuclear energy technology, including through funding from the US International Development Finance Corporation. and the EXIM Bank.

A transcript of Senator Portman’s interrogation can be found below and the video can be found here.

Senator Portman: “Well, thank you first, thank you to the witness, President Shaheen and Ranking Member Johnson for holding this hearing. This is really an important topic. We are now in the 106e day in the war against Ukraine. I just met a group of Ohioans who are Ukrainian-Americans who are very frustrated with what they see in Ukraine, Russians having superior weapons, and then our sanctions against Russia, global sanctions, are not as effective that they should be. I focused a lot on this issue of energy because that’s where most of the money comes from to finance the war machine. $870 million a day, roughly, from Europe alone in the coffers. With large profit margins, it allows Putin to continue waging this war without the kind of consequences that I hope we could set up. It is therefore good that the European Union is beginning, over a period of six to eight months, to wean itself off Russian oil, but too little, too late. So that’s my biggest concern is that we’re not doing what we need to do to make Putin’s regime feel the pain. 10-12% reduction in their economy, 40-50% reduction in the Ukrainian economy, for example, in the last 106 days. Mr. Hochstein, I understand that you are currently a senior member of the US-EU Energy Security Task Force and again I have said positive things about this, but I have also said that they need to act faster. Can you please provide us with a brief update, maybe you have already done this, and specifically what is in this work plan? We haven’t seen publicly what’s in the work plan. I would love for you to provide me with updates on the progress of this working group as we move forward, but I wonder if you could give us a report, perhaps you have already done so today and that I missed it, especially on the workbench.

Mr. Amos Hochstein, Presidential Coordinator, US Department of State: “Of course, senator. The working group, we have a mechanism called the US-EU Energy Council, which deals with a sort of long-term relationship between the US and the EU. The task force was therefore not created to disrupt this long-term work, but rather to tackle immediate problems. I co-chair the working group with the Head of Cabinet of European Commission President von der Leyen, Bjoern Seibert. We are looking at two parallel things that we want to achieve through this working group. One is to immediately increase the amount of gas entering Europe. We have committed to try, from the United States, to increase that by 15 BCM this year. It is not just LNG from the United States, but from the United States using our diplomatic efforts and creative thinking to supply this gas by pipeline and LNG from around the world. I think we are making significant progress towards this goal. Second, we want to be at a place where we can increase Europe’s LNG supply by 50 billion cubic meters by the end of the decade. But to do this, Europe must take its own steps. It has to build the infrastructure, which it has not done. And he signed contracts – be prepared to sign long-term contracts. You see the work being done in Germany, they have announced the creation of two new LNG terminals. They’re going to have three or four floating LNG terminals for the interim. It should start working – a few should start working by the end of this year. These are the commitments on which the task force has begun to work.

Senator Portman“Can I interrupt you there? I’ve heard so many different estimates of how long it will take to set up these import terminals. You say it could happen in the next six to eight months? »

Mr. Hochstein: “So there are different types of terminals. So there’s the full-time land terminal that takes years to do. It takes five years to build. But in the meantime, if you can get a ship to come, dock in your port, you have an interconnection to build a short pipeline, it can be done in less than a year. So we are going to see some of them in Germany. Accelerate, an American company, has just signed a contract with Finland. It’s going to have one hopefully in October connected to Estonia and then moved to Finland to cater to the Finland-Estonia Baltic markets. So those are the kinds of things we’re going to try to do. We have worked with the Norwegians and there is already an announced increase of five BCMs from an LNG field and terminal in Norway which is now online. It is in its final phase. This will make about five BCMs. Working in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, Israeli gas passes through Egypt and Jordan on its way to Europe as well. So those are the kinds of things about gas, but secondly, as I talked about a little earlier, we also need to reduce gas demand by using much better technology, efficiency standards – there are things we can do right away, some with American companies, some with Asian companies that have the technology to do it. Europe buys 140 BCM of gas pipeline from Russia. It’s not something that’s easy to replace in today’s market. »

Portman: “Are we going to reach our goal of adding 15 this year?”

Mr. Hochstein: “I believe him.”

Portman: “And I see that between January and April, we increased our LNG exports by around 18%, of which around 74% went to Europe. Is there enough infrastructure to be able to absorb what we are sending – these increased quantities? »

Mr. Hochstein: “So for now, yes. But if you look at all the terminals available today, the capacity is full. That’s why we’re working with them on how to address capacity? And there may be another LNG terminal that we can put in place by the end of the year in Albania, so we’re trying to see what we can do with the available infrastructure, the increase in the immediate infrastructure, as well as the long-term infrastructure, and then ensure that the gas is available to supply it.

Portman: “Well, it looks like we’re not going to have enough gas to replace, as you say, this incredible dependency that they’ve unfortunately developed with Russia. So think outside the box, and then I’ll finish my questions. Thank you guys for your indulgence. What else – I mean you mentioned there’s efficiency. That’s great. They’re already more efficient than us. There are technologies to help with that. One thing that some of these countries are still using, nuclear, France in particular, Romania. I was just in Romania last week. They’re going from 20% to 40% nuclear. By the way, they want help from us. Please help us with the EXIM bank to provide them with the loan they need to make this happen. They are a bit frustrated with us. Since they left the Chinese company and have decided to come with us, we need to help them more. But what can we do and else? Hydrogen technology – I mean, is there anything else we can do to kind of leapfrog? Otherwise, it looks to me like we’re going to be playing a catch-up game.

Mr. Hochstein: “I completely agree. So first of all I think they are not necessarily more efficient than us. I think we are more efficient.

Portman: “I’m talking about residential and commercial efficiency standards.

Mr. Hochstein: “Yeah. Me too. Well the standards are there, but because they don’t use things like smart thermostats -“

Portman: “Okay, good, so there’s an opportunity to do more.”

Mr. Hochstein: So we are working with the US private sector and others to see how we can scale up and make the adjustments to these technologies to make sure they match European models. I want to address Romania because I think it is of crucial importance. We have supported their efforts on SMRs, on modular reactors. They are right to be frustrated with us. I am in direct contact with them. I think it’s key for us to support advanced nuclear, and not just traditional, but also SMR. I think Czech Republic, Romania, Poland – see whatever we can do to be helpful there. They need our financial support, not just the EXIM bank. There are feeding studies that need to be done that we should help fund through DFCs, DFCAs, etc. existing. We must therefore take this step of electrification and then of supplying electricity.

Portman: “Well, thank you for being an advocate to go forward aggressively there since they made the decision to go with us rather than China. We have to step up. It will be a model , as you say a model for the region. They have also built cellular power in places like Moldova that desperately need it and don’t want to be so dependent on Russia and factories in Transnistria. So thank you very much for your advocacy in favor of this and let us know if we can be of help.

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EU oil embargo: little impact expected on the Austrian economy – Vindobona.org https://europasite.net/eu-oil-embargo-little-impact-expected-on-the-austrian-economy-vindobona-org/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 12:43:54 +0000 https://europasite.net/eu-oil-embargo-little-impact-expected-on-the-austrian-economy-vindobona-org/ In a report published by the Austrian National Bank (OeNB), the organization tries to estimate to what extent the Austrian economy will be damaged by the planned embargoes on Russian oil and petroleum products and how inflation in Austria will develop in coming years. The background is the EU’s sixth sanctions package presented on May […]]]>

In a report published by the Austrian National Bank (OeNB), the organization tries to estimate to what extent the Austrian economy will be damaged by the planned embargoes on Russian oil and petroleum products and how inflation in Austria will develop in coming years.

The background is the EU’s sixth sanctions package presented on May 4, which envisages an embargo on Russian crude oil and Russian petroleum products as its focal point. This is to be phased in by the end of 2022, but a final deal has so far failed due to Hungary’s lack of consent.

In principle, it should be noted that Austria’s direct dependence on Russian oil supplies is very low. Nevertheless, a certain indirect dependence via processed oil products cannot be ruled out, as well as a risk that the much more relevant Austrian oil imports from Kazakhstan will be affected, as these are routed via Russia.

In its forecast, the OeNB assumes that the embargo will mainly affect the Austrian economy via the expected price increases on the world crude oil markets.

Due to a drastic drop in Russian crude oil on the world market (to the expected extent of 50% of total Russian crude oil exports), oil prices are expected to increase by 15% to 23%. The calculations assume a full embargo from mid-2022, and the effects on oil prices should gradually diminish over time.

The impact of the embargo announced so far on oil production in Russia and oil exports to Europe is unclear. According to the IEA3, in April 2022, Russia’s oil production was almost a million barrels, or around 10%, below its pre-war level. In addition, oil production from OPEC+ countries in the Middle East as well as the United States should offset the decline in Russian oil for the time being.

Low direct dependence on Russian oil

As with natural gas, only a small part of Austria’s domestic consumption of crude oil and downstream products is supplied by domestic production, with the majority being imported. Produced or imported crude oil is then processed at the Schwechat refinery, but at the same time fuels such as gasoline and diesel are imported directly.

The primary use for products made with crude oil is transportation. In this regard, oil outages have a different impact than natural gas outages. The outage would mainly affect the traffic sector and therefore the transport sector and thus fuel supply bottlenecks, as many products could no longer be transported.

While Austria’s direct dependence on Russian oil supplies is low, its indirect dependence is much greater. Kazakh crude oil is transported via the CPC pipeline, which runs north from the Caspian Sea and then crosses Russian territory to Novorossiysk, where it is shipped to this Russian port on the Black Sea.

In the event of a further escalation of the conflict between Russia and Europe in the context of an oil embargo, effects on these deliveries cannot be excluded.

OeNB Austrian National Bank

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