George Hay is an associate editor in Breakingviews’ London office, covering commodities, the Middle East and general financial policy issues. Prior to that he was Breakingviews’ European Financial Editor, and also worked as a correspondent for AFX News and United Business Media. He has an undergraduate degree from Edinburgh University, a Graduate Diploma in Economics from Birkbeck, University of London, and his work has been recognised at the UK’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards.
Madrid’s $3 bln raid on the coffers of its power sector is a clear climate-change own-goal. The political sensitivity of energy prices means it won’t be Europe’s last. The bigger risk is Brussels watering down the carbon-trading scheme partly responsible for gas prices soaring.
The Scandinavian state is on track for a left-wing coalition pledging to do more on climate change after eight years of conservative rule. But rapid cuts to national hydrocarbons output aren’t likely. Given Norway has a $1.4 trln wealth fund, it can afford to go beyond gesturing.
The rising cost of the fossil fuel in Europe risks bigger energy bills for households. Public ire would make it harder to secure a decent deal at November’s global climate summit. Politicians can avoid that by taking steps to shield the poorest from the costs of decarbonisation.