On March 18, 2013, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Ireland, Marine Institute Ireland, and the Delegation of the European Union, organized an event featuring Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of Marine Institute Ireland. Dr. John Delaney, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington, moderated the discussion and Cathy O’Connor, First Secretary at the Embassy of Ireland, offered opening remarks. Dr. Heffernan argued that the Atlantic Ocean is a largely untapped resource and a potential source of great economic growth for the U.S. and the EU, especially in times of financial distress. He also stressed the importance of close collaboration between Europe and the United States and that their shared interests can be a good starting point for deeper transatlantic maritime cooperation and increasing “blue growth.”

By Caitlin Del Sole, Editorial Assistant at European Affairs

It’s cold now, but the north will warm as summer approaches,  and so will  interest and tension in the Arctic region.  Again, large areas of the polar ice will melt making the Arctic Ocean  much more navigable and exploitable.   The expanding waterways provide an opportunity for new, more direct and less dangerous shipping routes to be developed during the summer months.  As roughly 30% of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil is located in the Arctic, it is an increasingly attractive target of investment and energy. With this new opportunity, however,  comes new challenges of safety, environmental protection and conflicting interests.  For example, the Financial Times reports recently that companies, like ConocoPhillips, have been pressuring Norway to open up more Arctic water for exploration.

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williamnitzeAre United States and Europe,  leaders in the developed world,  diverging or converging on national energy policies?  The question is important since common policies are more likely to set global standards.    But there is no single answer because the answer  differs depending  on which part of the energy sector one is talking about.  Accordingly, I will try to answer the question sector by sector starting with oil and proceeding through natural gas, non-hydro renewable and energy efficiency, and ending with climate change.  It should be noted that oil is used almost exclusively in the transportation sector; natural gas for electricity production and heating; and non-hydro renewables for electricity production.  Energy efficiency and climate change involve both the transportation and electricity sectors.

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On November 29, 2012, The European Institute hosted a seminar following the Arctic Council’s formal Senior Arctic Official meeting in Sweden. This seminar brought together representatives of the Arctic Council’s member states and focused on the evolution of the Arctic’s governance and the prospects for ensuring sustainable economic development in this fragile and resource rich region. Panelists included: Berit Enge, Minister Counselor, Political Affairs, Royal Norwegian Embassy; Dr. John Farrell, Executive Director, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Julia Gourley, U.S. Senior Arctic Official, U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Hannu Halinen, Ambassador, Arctic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland; Fred Larsen, CEO, Lamor; Ida Heimann Larsen, Minister Counselor, Economic, Royal Danish Embassy; Eva Hunnius Ohlin, Environmental Technology Officer, Embassy of Sweden; Sheila Riordon, Minister, Political Affairs, Embassy of Canada and former Canadian Senior Arctic Official; Brian Robinson, U.S. Coast Guard Liaison, Office of Oceans & Polar Affairs, U.S. Department of State; His Excellency Gudmundur Arni Stefansson, Ambassador of Iceland to the United States; and Ambassador Anton Vasiliev, Senior Arctic Official of the Russian Federation. James Graff, Executive Editor of The Week moderated the discussion.

Click here to read Ambassador Vasiliev's remarks.

By Brian Beary, U.S. Correspondent for ”Europolitics”

When the US Congress reconvenes in lame duck-session after the November elections, it is expected to finalize legislation that would authorize the U.S. government to prohibit U.S airlines from participating in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS).  Last month, the US Senate followed the House of Representatives in opposing the airlines emissions measure, and both houses will now have to reconcile the variances in their respective versions.

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