Toothless targets in EU’s renewables project

first_imgOfficials are gearing up for a brutal debate as they try to hammer out a final text over the next months.“What we are looking for is enough flexibility to shape our energy policy to take into account our specificities,” one official from a CEE country said on condition of anonymity.Several EU countries have already circulated informal papers on the topic, either warning against a monitoring mechanism that is too strict or advocating for robust and binding legal frameworks.The U.K. and the Czech Republic wrote in a joint paper at the beginning of the year that the governance system should be “light touch and non-legislative so as to respect member states flexibility over its choice of measures and technologies.”The same line of argument also comes from countries such as Poland and its neighbors who worry that tough rules could harm their industries.However, in a paper issued over the summer, Germany said there should be “consequences” if countries cannot meet renewables targets. While potential penalties are not spelled out, the uncertainty “constitutes a significant incentive” for member states to pledge a low level of renewables so that they aren’t punished later, according to the paper. Two campsEnforcing compliance is still missing from the draft Council conclusions put out by Luxembourg, said Arno Behrens, head of energy and research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies, a think tank.The text mentions a system allowing for “timely corrective action to be taken,” if countries are falling short. But it isn’t clear what would happen if the collective 27 percent renewables target isn’t reached, he added.“It shows that those member states that want the least binding approach are very well represented in this document,” said Behrens. “It is granting maximum flexibility to member states at the moment to avoid the difficult issues.”The problem is that the draft is trying to find a balance between the two camps.“They try to cater to both sides and are trying to build bridges where they can,” said Katharina Umpfenbach, senior fellow at the Berlin-based Ecologic Institute.Energy ministers will meet in Luxembourg on November 26 to discuss the EU’s 2030 energy and climate goals. But other countries keener on slashing emissions and switching to solar and wind, like Germany, Denmark and Sweden, want a tougher system to ensure that everyone is doing their fair share.The worry is that while the EU may reach its promised target by 2030, it could do so thanks to expensive and painful steps by some countries, while others free-ride and do much less.The dispute — known as “governance” — goes to the heart of the division of powers between Brussels and member states.Luxembourg, which holds the presidency of the EU’s Council of Ministers, has spelled out its ideas for how to finesse the issue in a first draft of conclusions submitted September 1. The goal of the Luxembourg presidency was to present a methodology for drafting national plans. Officials say the idea was to move away from political discussions and towards more technical ones.National climate and energy plans should outline a country’s goals and “set out a realistic indicative trajectory for the achievement of these targets and objectives,” says the draft.Light touchThe seven-page document emphasizes the need for regional cooperation and calls on states to submit progress reports every two years. National representatives have until September 10 to send in their feedback. The first working group meeting is scheduled for September 15.center_img The EU has pledged that 27 percent of its energy will come from renewables by 2030 — but now the fight is over how individual countries are supposed to pitch in to reach that goal, addressed in a draft proposal issued by Luxembourg this week.At issue is how much flexibility member states should have when drawing up their national climate and energy plans, which will be key in reaching the collective target, and how strong the European Commission’s role should be in monitoring progress.Some countries, especially the U.K. and central and eastern Europeans, want a soft, non-legislative approach which would not interfere with their right to decide their energy mix.  In other words, it would allow the U.K. to continue building nuclear power plants and exploring for shale gas, while coal would continue to play an important part in Poland’s power generation.last_img read more

DLP retains power if general elections are held today- survey

first_imgLocalNewsPolitics DLP retains power if general elections are held today- survey by: – May 29, 2017 Share Share Sharing is caring! Tweetcenter_img Share 557 Views   3 comments D.L.P – redU.W.P – purpleUndecided – yellowA nation-wide scientific survey of Dominican electors, commissioned by Alex Bruno in April 2017, shows that the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) would retain power if general elections are held today, although the United Workers Party (UWP) has gathered support.Bruno, who is a pursuing a Ph. D in political science at the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs Florida International University, released the results of the survey to the media on Monday 29 May 2017.In the scientific survey, Bruno sought to answer the question: ‘Which Political Party will win Dominica’s next General Parliamentary Elections’ and efforts were concentrated on 13 out of 21 constituencies.“According to this survey data I conclude, with 95% confidence, that 58% of the sample agree the Dominica Labour Party will win (+/- 3.91) the next Dominica General Elections,” Bruno wrote in the statement to the media.He wrote that this survey “stemmed from a professional desire to present independently responsible scholarly information on political candidate electability, with the view to determining which party may form the next government of the island of Dominica”. It is the second poll conducted by this agency; the first was the by-election snap poll in the Soufriere Constituency in May 2016. “We correctly predicted the results of that race. This second poll however is our first nationwide effort,” Bruno wrote.Participants were asked the following questions (in that order):1. Should general elections be held today, which political party candidate, in your opinion, will win your constituency?2. Should general elections be held today, which political party will most likely form the government?3. Do you think that issues surrounding the Citizen by Investment (C.B.I) program will have any influence or effect on the result of the next general elections?4. In your view, which political leader of the major parties is more persuasive, credible and believable?5. Which political party has the strongest message?6. Will you change your vote, meaning will you switch and vote for a different party/candidate if you had to vote today?7. For which candidate/party did you vote at the last elections?Bruno informed that on average, 60 – 75 samples were taken in each constituency, and the information collected was analyzed by the polls commissioner and statistically presented by trained professionals. Only the data collected during the polling period, April 14 – 30, 2017, was used in the presentation of the following results. “At the end, a little over 800 registered voters were polled with a margin of error of +/- 3.91%. The standard formula was used to arrive at this figure,” Bruno wrote.The results are as follows;“The results of a scientific survey suggest that the D.L.P will hold on to governing power in the parliament of Dominica should elections be held today.Respondents were of the opinion that the D.L.P will retain eleven (11) seats; the Vieille Case, Portsmouth, Cottage, Grand Bay, Paix Bouche, Colihaut, Salybia, La Plaine, Soufriere, Castle Bruce and Mahaut constituencies.The Petite Savanne constituency is a contingency seat which could also be called for the D.L.P, based on polling data – albeit inconclusive.It was also the opinion of the respondents that the United Workers Party (U.W.P) will hold on to its six (6) currently held seats: Marigot, Salisbury, Wesley, Roseau Central, Roseau North and Roseau South, while becoming more competitive in Morne Jaune which this poll declares as a toss-up seat. The U.W.P could grab the Morne Jaune seat within the margin of error if the majority of the undecided vote goes U.W.P’s way.The U.W.P also polled competitively in the St. Joseph and Roseau Valley constituency. St. Joseph was found to be the constituency with the highest level of undecided voters/respondents in each of the seven polling categories, and may very well swing either way. St. Joseph is certainly the seat which seems most vulnerable.So, if the poll results hold, the D.L.P shall win the next general election (should it be held today) with a reduced mandate of twelve (12) seats, while U.W.P can possibly take nine (9) seats”.However, Bruno noted that the UWP winning nine seats “will require a herculean task which is somewhat impeded by the incoherent messaging of the opposition party, and compounded by the public legal distraction of its leader, Mr. Lennox Linton”.The scientific electoral poll can be downloaded here: Scientfic Electoral Poll with GRAPH – DOMINICA 2017 (1)last_img read more