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Look closely enough at last week's European Commission communication on 'moving beyond a 20 percent greenhouse gas reduction' and you will spot a scandal, writes Stephen Gardner.

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European Union climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard made pronouncements in the European Parliament 9 March that mark an abrupt change of direction for European Union climate policy on a number of points, writes Stephen Gardner.

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Greenhouse gasThe Copenhagen debacle shows one thing very clearly: the European Union has minimal political clout to influence international climate negotiations, which are really negotiations about global economic, and therefore political, power, writes Stephen Gardner.

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Feckless wasters of energy beware. From April 2010, large corporations and public bodies in Britain not paying enough attention to their power consumption could find themselves named and shamed under a government scheme called the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), writes Stephen Gardner.

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Power plantsThey're all at it. Governments across the world are responding to economic and financial problems by throwing money at them in the form of stimulus packages – short term spending boosts for 2009-2010 designed to get economic activity motoring again, writes Stephen Gardner.

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The voluntary carbon offset market is resisting recessionary pressures, as buyers respond to criticisms by becoming more demanding, writes Stephen Gardner.

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The European Commission will just before the June 18-19 European Council publish an assessment of the economic stimulus packages tabled by EU member states in the last few months. These were supposed to have been prepared in a coordinated fashion, and to advance broad European goals, writes Stephen Gardner.

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PollutionMore bad news on climate change, writes Stephen Gardner. The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published (May 25) the results of a major reassessment of greenhouse gas emissions data, and has found that annual manmade global emissions went up by an alarming 15 percent in the five short years between 2000 and 2005.

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Business and regulators have responded to calls for a floor price for carbon credits with a fairly resounding "No!" writes Stephen Gardner.

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The initial response to the swine flu outbreak has been to treat the symptoms, not the cause – closing the sty door after the pig has bolted, as it were, writes Stephen Gardner. The Roche pharmaceuticals company will be looking forward to big profits because – as with the 2005 bird flu outbreaks – demand for their tamiflu antiviral drug will go through the roof.

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