17-21 April 2023

Lhyfe to expand green H2 production with new plant in France

French green hydrogen producer Lhyfe plans to build a new plant in the country’s southernmost region of Occitania in partnership with a local energy and climate agency. The Lhyfe Occitanie project is planned to become operational by the end of this year, Lhyfe said on Wednesday. The hydrogen producer will fund 80% of the scheme, while its partner Are Occitaine will cover the remaining 20%.

(Renewables Now)

France sounds climate change alarm as large wildfire sweeps across border with Spain

France has raised the alarm about the growing risk of forest fires because of climate change after firefighters tackled the biggest blaze of the year so far. France has been afflicted by forest fires for years but they generally used to start later in the year. However, major wildfires in Europe are now starting earlier, becoming more frequent and harder to stop, and doing more damage. 

Droughts that hit France last year have been compounded by shortages of rain this past winter, pouring on even greater risk. French authorities are urging home-owners to chop back and thin out trees and scrubland around their properties and appealing for people to take extra care not to discard cigarettes or otherwise start fires inadvertently.

(Evening Standard)

EU faces legal action after including gas and nuclear in ‘green’ investments guide

The European Union (EU) is facing legal action over its classification of gas and nuclear energy as green investments, as well as the exclusion of some renewable energy sources, in its sustainable finance guidelines. Two separate legal challenges are being lodged on Tuesday at the European Union’s general court in Luxembourg – one by Greenpeace and another by a coalition including Client Earth and WWF.

The legal challenges argue that the European Commission’s decision violates the bloc’s climate commitments and undermines efforts to decarbonize the economy. Eight national and regional Greenpeace organisations including France, Germany and the EU office in Brussels are asking the court to rule the inclusion of gas and nuclear invalid.

The EU’s taxonomy for sustainable finance is a key tool for directing investment toward low-carbon projects and is expected to shape the way companies report on their environmental impact. A judgment is expected in 2025, although participants expressed the hope the court would act faster. “There is confusion in the market, because the current law infringes European law,” Verheyen said, the lawyer hired by Greenpeace.
(The Guardian)