Whatever it takes? Europe forced to speed up its energy transition
04 June 2022 | 1:56 pm
It took the invasion of Ukraine for Europeans to realise that decades of short-sighted energy policy have caught up with them. As Germany strips its former chancellor of parliamentary privileges over his refusal to sever ties with Gazprom, Gerhard Schröder's downfall is a reminder that it's all of Germany and most of Europe that went for a quick buck by buying Russian oil and gas.
As the war in Ukraine continues, US President Joe Biden is heading to Europe to meet EU leaders and attend an emergency NATO summit. His trip will also take him to Poland, which has taken in a vast majority of the 3.6 million Ukrainians who have escaped the conflict.
Russian gas continues to flow into Europe after President Vladimir Putin threatened to cut off supplies unless they are paid in roubles, a demand rejected by European leaders as a breach of contract. However, Putin's decree does include a mechanism under which foreign buyers would set up special accounts at Gazprombank, which would convert foreign currency payments into roubles on their behalf. Plus, workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York could be heading for a landmark victory for organised labour following a vote on whether to unionise.
In 2016, Matthieu Aikins was a journalist living in the Afghan capital Kabul. When the war finally pushed his Afghan friend Omar to flee his homeland and leave everything he knew in a bid to reach Europe, Aikins decided to join him. "The Naked Don’t Fear the Water" is the book that came out of the friends' journey, one that is both extraordinary but also painfully commonplace for the millions of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees who have made similar gut-wrenching decisions to seek out a better life. Aikins joined us for Perspective to tell us more.
Elon Musk had often lamented the red tape that held up Tesla's German factory. But Robert Hermann, CEO of the Germany Trade and Invest government agency, says no country in Europe could have built it faster.
Concern over global food supplies has been rising since Russia invaded Ukraine. Known as "the breadbasket of Europe", Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat and other cereals. But with fierce fighting threatening crops and harvests, authorities say wheat production this year could drop by 30 percent. We take a closer look. Plus, the US Federal Reserve has signalled that it will start selling off its massive haul of bonds to the tune of $95 billion a month, rattling markets.
Indian mystic and visionary Sadhguru is making a 100-day motorbike journey from Europe to India to raise awareness of soil erosion. He told FRANCE 24's Delano D'Souza why he feels his mission is important for humankind. With more than half of agricultural soils are already degraded, Sadhguru warned that "there is no alternative to soil". He also described his own personal journey, saying that he does not see himself as a guru.
The EU is coming to the end of a major experiment in public debate: the Conference on the Future of Europe, an eight-month-long event in which the EU invited its 450 million citizens to share their thoughts on how the bloc might reorient itself to face new challenges. What – if anything – has the conference achieved? Will true change come about? We discuss this with three guests who took part in the Conference itself.
When French voters cast their ballots in the April 24 presidential run-off, the result will be watched well beyond our borders. For now, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are serving up opposing visions of France's place on the world stage. He is for ratcheting up concerted EU sanctions against Vladimir Putin, while she is against any oil or gas embargo.
The past few days have delivered more reports of atrocities committed by the Russian military in Ukraine: women and girls raped, civilians locked up and shot, plus reports of chemical weapons being deployed in Mariupol. Calls continue for more to be done to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the EU, leaders have condemned the Kremlin, decrying the attacks as "war crimes".
Spain’s Alejandro Sanchez, Germany’s Marie-Thérèse Kaiser and Italy’s Fabrizio Busnengo all have two things in common: They are under 35 and are positioning their respective far-right political parties at the gates of power. Each of them shrugs off the dark side of their countries’ history, campaigning with gusto for parties that are less than a decade old: Vox in Spain, Germany's Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and Brothers of Italy. Our correspondents Sarah Morris, Céline Schmitt, Armelle Exposito, Anne Mailliet, Louise Malnoy and Lorenza Pensa report on the new faces of the far right in Europe.
Russian energy giant Gazprom said it would halt gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, raising concerns that Moscow could use energy supplies as blackmail over the conflict in Ukraine.
The rest of Europe may not be at war, but is it ready for the sacrifices of a wartime economy? The Kremlin shutting the gas tap on Bulgaria and Poland may be but a prelude to a brutally swift transition away from Russian gas and oil. Deals will be dropped, money will be lost.
6 hours ago
Two court rulings in Turkey regarding a femicide case, as well as the legality of the country's exit from a key accord against gender-based violence, are being closely watched by women's rights groups.
6 hours ago
Ukraine is facing the challenge of demining territory invaded by Russia. Now it will receive help from the Colombian military, which built its expertise fighting guerilla groups. DW's Johan Ramirez met soldiers who will lend Ukraine their know-how.
6 hours ago
Several Western European countries are facing a sweltering weekend as summer arrives early. Much of Spain, France and Italy have been put on high alert for wildfires.
8 hours ago
French prosecutors said on Wednesday they were investigating a junior minister in President Emmanuel Macron's government after two allegations of rape were brought against her.
8 hours ago
French politics continues to dominate the papers as Emmanuel Macron desperately seeks an alliance to secure a parliamentary majority. The US Senate finds bipartisan support for new gun possession laws for the first time in 30 years. Organisers of the Miss France beauty pageant introduce radical new changes to shake up the contest. Finally, a man escapes his kidnappers by driving erratically on a highway in order to be stopped by authorities.
8 hours ago
Noise rang out across Senegal's capital Dakar on Wednesday evening as people honked car horns and banged on pots and pans in an unusual form of protest organised by the political opposition ahead of legislative elections next month. Senegal's main opposition coalition, Yewwi Askan Wi, asked its supporters to come to their windows, balconies and doorways and clang lids together at 8pm to signal their anger over the disqualification of their candidates list in the upcoming poll.