If Europe can deliver an ambitious and effective Energy Union, we will deliver a range of crucial goals; more independence, a secure supply of energy, a more sustainable economy, with Europe once again leading the development of green technologies. Putin and many of the other energy exporters outside the EU, who have grown wealthy on our addiction to fossil fuels, will be willing us to fail; but this is a fight we cannot afford to lose.
Everyone is portraying it as a game of poker. They couldn't be more mistaken. It seems impossible to get Greece off the front pages of the newspapers. And so it should be. The current untenable situation poses an existential threat to the European Union. Many are treating this as a game of bluff and double bluff...
New Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is cutting a dash as he jets around Europe economy class. It certainly makes a change to see a leader so seemingly down to earth even if I think he'd look more credible with his shirt tucked in. But as the rest of the Eurozone wonders how to solve a problem called Syriza what are the rights and wrongs of this situation and where can the solution be found?
Left-wing Syriza lead by Alexis Tsipras has not wasted time after winning the Greek elections: he formed a coalition with the right-wing anti-bailout Independent Greeks and the new government is now involved in a very high-stakes game of chicken with the Troika (the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF).
MEPs, campaign groups and EU citizens know that having an ambitious and united approach to energy policy is a no-brainer, and part of that should be equipping buildings to do the hard work of cutting energy consumption for us. It's time now to convince the Commission and our governments to go that step further to creating a strategy that truly benefits people and planet.
For a region with a strong history of energy production, it is really exciting that the North East is carving out its place as a clean energy technology hub for the UK. It is great that companies are investing in building new energy production sites and providing some of the new power capacity needed to decarbonise our energy supply and industries.
It looks as if 2015 could turn out to be Europe's Year of the Insurgents... More than at any time since the end of the Cold War, Europe needs clear, determined leaders who can calm voters' anger and offer reassurance that better times are coming, especially for those who have been hardest hit by the age of austerity. Anger, fear and intolerance of minorities are a highly dangerous mix - we have seen before where they can lead when populist politicians fan the flames. The coming year will be a test that Europe must not fail.
Think of a 'foreign fighter'. Are they a young male, aged between 19-29, probably of Middle Eastern origin, and possibly a Muslim? Are they associated with the concern and debate over Syria and Iraq? To most people it's more than likely that this is the image that comes to mind. This isn't necessary wrong, but it's definitely not completely accurate.