Press. Image of a telephone

Don’t cap renewables and efficiency

Call from renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental associations

The European Council’s guidance from last year for 2030 targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency falls far short of the EU’s potentials.

Without tapping those potentials, the EU will miss out on major benefits for the economy, employment, energy security and climate action. Ending the historic bias towards fossil fuels requires higher ambition on energy efficiency and renewables.

Renewables are already the fastest growing power source around the world. The renewables industry had already created 1.2 million direct and indirect jobs by 2012 and could represent as many as 3.4 million jobs in 2030 in the EU [1]. Like European Commissioner President Jean-Claude Juncker, we want Europe to become the world number one in renewable energies.

Meanwhile, tapping the EU's cost-effective potential for energy efficiency, which stands at 40% by 2030,would cut gas imports by 40%, increase GDP by 4.45% [2] and – coupled with more renewables – allow Europe to deliver well beyond 50% greenhouse gas emissions cuts in 2030 [3].

Europe can’t afford to miss out on these benefits.

That is why upcoming EU legislation must be used to meet the full potentials of renewables and efficiency. Policymakers must recognise that the energy efficiency first principle and renewable energy are complementary to each other and will reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses. Both are needed to ensure a secure and sustainable energy future in line with the EU’s long-term climate commitments.

We mustn’t cap potential.

 

Notes

[1] Ragwitz et al (2009). EmployRES: The impact of renewable energy policy on economic growth and employment in the EU, FraunhoferISl, Munich.
[2] European Commission, Energy Efficiency Communication – impact assessment, 2014
[3] Ecofys,The EU Parliament’s 2030 resolution could achieve emissions reductions of up to 54%, 2014

 

List of suporters:


The Coalition for Energy Savings:

The Coalition for Energy Savings brings together business, professionals, local authorities, trade unions and civil society associations. The Coalition’s purpose is to make the case for a European energy policy that places a much greater, more meaningful emphasis on energy efficiency and savings. Coalition members represent more than 400 associations, 150 companies, 15 million supporters, more than 2 million employees, 1,000 cities and towns in 30 countries in Europe.
http://energycoalition.eu/members

The Renewable Energy Associations:
European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC)
European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA)
European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF)
European Wind Energy Association (EWEA)
Ocean Energy Europe

Climate and Environment NGOs:
Climate Action Network Europe and its members and partners, including:
-European Environmental Bureau
-Friends of the Earth Europe
-Greenpeace EU unit
-WWF European Policy Office
European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS)
Food & Water Europe

NGOs call for strong EU policies to beat the 2030 renewable energy target

Europe must translate renewable energy ambition into law to maintain leadership

[Brussels, 15.06.2015] Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Greenpeace and WWF today called on the European Commission to propose a strong set of policies to ensure all countries contribute to delivering and surpassing the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target.

The call comes as the NGOs publish their overall recommendations for 2030 renewable energy policies and measures [1], based on research by Ecofys [2]. The recommendations come ahead of the EU Sustainable Energy Week stakeholder discussions on the energy governance on 16-18th June, and as Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič conducts an ‘Energy Union tour’ where energy governance will also be debated with national stakeholders.

WWF senior policy officer for renewable energy Imke Lübbeke said: “Europe’s success on renewables has been driven by binding national renewable energy targets. In their possible absence, it will be crucial that an enforceable framework will continue to boost the growth of renewable energy in the EU.”

“The Commission should set indicative national targets for member state governments” CAN Europe renewable policy coordinator Jean-François Fauconnier added. “They would guide national policies to meet and beat their targets for renewable energy.”

Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser Tara Connolly concluded: “A strong and legally binding set of 2030 renewable energy policies is the only way to maintain investor confidence and ensure Europe goes far beyond its unambitious 2030 renewables target.”

The European Commission is currently considering policies to meet the 2030 renewable energy target as part of the EU’s new energy governance framework. EU leaders agreed to scrap binding national renewable energy targets and replace them with a governance framework as part of the deal on 2030 climate and energy targets in October 2014. The deal included agreement on a target for renewable energy to deliver at least 27 percent of Europe’s energy in 2030.

Contact
Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 494 525 738

Notes
[1] CAN Europe, Greenpeace, WWF, “Effective governance for the EU 2030 renewable energy target - NGO policy recommendations” here.
[2] Available upon request.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.

Serbia’s climate action plan undermines prospects of its EU accession

Kolubara A Thermal Power Plant[Brussels, 11.06.2015] Today Serbia has announced its contribution to the Paris climate agreement. The emission reduction the country is planning to achieve are far below the EU’s target. According to Climate Action Network Europe, this undermines prospects of Serbia’s EU accession.

Serbia is the first Balkan country to publish its contribution to the Paris agreement. Today’s announcement happens on the occasion of the EU-Serbia High Level Conference on Climate Change in Belgrade, attended by Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič.

According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, it is a welcome step forward that Serbia, for the first time in its history, decided to take action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This is a direct result of the momentum that is building up towards the Paris Climate Summit, where most countries of the world will present their initial plans to reduce carbon pollution. Unfortunately, as in case of many other countries, Serbia's commitment falls well below of what is needed to avert dangerous climate change.

The pledge announced today has extremely low ambition. Serbia’s target for 2030 is to decrease emissions by 9.8% compared to the 1990 levels. Serbia is one of the most advanced EU candidate countries. According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, this means that it needs to submit a pledge that is in line with the EU 2030 target of at least 40% reduction compared to 1990. Even while decisions on how the effort will be shared among the different EU Member States, preliminary calculations indicate that all EU Member States, including the poorest, will have to reduce their emissions by at least 25% by 2030 compared to 1990.

As Serbia plans to become a member of the EU well before 2030, its climate and energy policies should take into account the EU climate targets. The climate pledge announced today clearly shows lack of true commitment to the EU integration among current leaders of the country - Dragana Mileusnic, Energy policy coordinator for South East Europe at Climate Action Network Europe said. The government has yet again demonstrated its short-sightedness. Serbia will miss the opportunity to reap the co-benefits of ambitious climate action in a form of green jobs, better health of its citizens and reduction of energy imports.

Furthermore, the inventory data which the pledge is based on is questionable. Due to Kosovo’s declaration of independence, emissions in 1990 and in 2030 might have been calculated for a different geographical range. Since Kosovo’s energy mix is based on coal, significant share of Serbia’s planned emission reduction might have already been achieved by the pure fact that coal power plants in Kosovo are no longer located on its territory. This would make Serbia’s target irrelevant.

Serbia’s energy policy is currently at a crossroads, as the country plans a wave of new coal investments, and at the same time struggles to move closer to the EU environmental and climate standards.

Contact

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 494 525 738

Notes

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.

EU Energy Ministers confused about solutions to Europe's energy dependence

[Brussels, 08.06.2015] EU Energy Ministers meeting in Brussels today recognised “indigenous resources” – codename for nuclear, shale gas and coal – as one of the key drivers of European energy security. According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, it is high time for the Ministers to take their pick and clearly acknowledge that the EU's energy dependency can only be tackled in a safe and sustainable manner through energy efficiency and renewables.

Today the Energy ministers' Council held a policy debate on "Implementation of the Energy Security Strategy - Security of supply" and adopted conclusions on the "Implementation of the Energy Union: empowering consumers and attracting investments in the energy sector".

Reacting to the conclusions of the meeting, Jean-François Fauconnier, Renewables policy coordinator at Climate Action Network Europe said:

"Treating hazardous and dirty nuclear, coal and shale gas as solutions to energy dependency is just papering over the cracks. The current energy security of supply concern, mainly due to the EU’s heavy dependence on natural gas from Russia, is first and foremost a heating issue. The EU leaders must clearly focus on reducing the demand for heating by investing in energy-efficiency - Europe's first fuel. Billions of euros can also be saved by reducing imports of fuels thanks to increasing use of renewable energy".

Contacts

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 494 525 738

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.

Media advisory on G7 Summit 7-8 June 2015

Brussels, 4 June 2015 - Climate and energy issues are on the agenda of the upcoming G7 Summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany. Chancellor Merkel has reserved the Monday morning (8 June from 0900 to 1030) for discussing the topics, as climate change is one of the key agenda items for her G7 Presidency. In particular, Merkel wants the G7 to contribute to the international climate negotiations in the run up to the UN climate summit in Paris, in December 2015.

In this media advisory, we aim to highlight several issues at stake, mention the key points for Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, and share information on relevant reports on the G7 that are published this week. CAN Europe will send a press release after the G7 summit.

Key points to be discussed

Long-term goal: Chancellor Merkel probably wants the G7 to agree to

- a goal for phasing out all greenhouse gas emissions during this century;

- a goal of reducing global emissions by 60% by 2050 as compared to 2010 emissions;

- a goal of decarbonising the power sector by the middle of the century.

Within the G7, these goals are not widely shared, especially by the United States, Japan and Canada.

Wendel Trio, director of CAN Europe: “These long-term goals look ambitious but are not enough. We need a complete phase out of emissions from the use of fossil fuels and a phase in of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Setting targets for the whole century will take off any serious political pressure on the process.”

INDCs: With Japan coming in this week, now all G7 members have announced their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCS). Regrettably, they are clearly falling short of what is needed from rich countries to keep global temperature rise below the threshold of 2°C and avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change. Therefore CAN Europe urges the G7 meeting to be used as an opportunity to reconsider the INDCs and step up ambitions.

Press release by CAN Europe on the comparisons of the INDCs: http://www.caneurope.org/media-center/829-g7-climate-pledges-not-in-line-with-climate-science

Climate finance: In 2014 the G7 reaffirmed the pledge for developed countries to mobilize USD 100 billion annually from public and private sources for climate financing by 2020. This goal is still far from being achieved. Through its own recent declaration to double its climate finance from €2 billion a year to €4 billion a year by 2020, Germany is clearly trying to find ways to make progress on the issue of climate finance. While new pledges are not to be expected at the G7 Summit, leaders will be looking at ways to communicate to the rest of the world, and in particular to the Least Developed Countries that the G7 is taking its commitment serious. How that can be done without putting extra public money on the table is unclear.

Wendel Trio: “We support Germany in its efforts to get the necessary amount of climate finance from the G7 and other countries. But I am worried about the small amount of money that has been promised until now, by only a limited amount of countries.”

Coal Finance and Coal Phase-Out: The US has proposed for the G7 to discuss and agree the phase out of coal support through Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). This proposal has the support from France and the UK. However Germany is refusing to put the item on the agenda, in particular given the huge reluctance from Japan to even engage in a discussion.

There is also a domestic problem for Merkel regarding coal. Her government is considering putting a climate levy on highly polluting, old coal power plants in order for Germany to be able to meet its own domestic 40% CO2 emissions reduction target for 2020. This proposal has run into a lot of opposition, in particular from labour unions. While Merkel internationally speaks strongly out on climate action, nationally Merkel has yet to show any support for tackling coal and the proposed law her own Economics minister Gabriel has put forward. If Merkel will not support this levy, Germany as a host country will fail to fulfill its own CO2 reduction targets. Alongside strong growth in renewables, still nearly half of Germany’s electricity production comes from hard coal and lignite burning.

Wendel Trio: “Coal is the low hanging fruit in the fight against climate change, as it is responsible for 43% of global emissions. With a combination of the transition towards renewables, structural energy savings and a functioning system of CO2 pricing, it is possible to phase out coal very soon.”

NGO activities

German civil society organizations are organising a summit in Munich, which includes demonstrations, a mass rally on June 6, a climate camp (June 4-8) as well as a march on the G7 summit (http://g7-demo.de/ablauf/). The focus of these activities will be very broad and climate and energy issues will be one amongst many.

Relevant reports coming out

Under the rug: How governments and international institutions are hiding billions in support to the coal industry (WWF, Oil Change International, NRDC)

Launched on June 2nd, this report exposes for the first time a web of billions of dollars of public finance flowing to support the coal industry each year by way of export support, development aid and general finance. The analysis finds that public finance has played a significant role in supporting coal projects over the last 8 years. The report shows that between 2007 and 2014, more than US $73 billion – or over $9 billion a year – in public finance was approved for coal.

Link to report: http://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2015/05/Under_The_Rug_NRDC_OCI_WWF_Jun_2015.pdf

Coal Atlas: Data and facts on a global fuel (Heinrich Böll Stiftung and BUND)

Also published on June 2nd, the two German organisations presented the global 2015 Coal Atlas that exposes the continuing damaging use of hard coal and of lignite. Germany is even world champion in terms of lignite production and consumption. The EU28 countries subsidise the industry with billions of euros, while climate, the environment and people suffer.

Link to report (in German): https://www.bund.net/index.php?id=22358

Reporting by Euractiv: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/europe-should-keep-its-hands-coal-german-study-says-315077

Let them eat coal: Why the G7 must stop burning coal to tackle climate change and fight hunger (Oxfam)

On June 6, Oxfam will publish an overview of emissions from coal in each of the G7 countries, including calcualations of climate change-related costs in Africa and elsewhere in the world. The report calls upon clear leadership of the G7 to reduce their own emissions, put in place a plant to go beyond coal and to mobilise climate finance.

For an (embargoed) copy of the report, please contact Lucy Brinicombe This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact

Joop Hazenberg, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 496 70 36 38

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.

Press release on outcome of G7

G7: Recognizing need for full decarbonization, but falling short on action to achieve it

CAN Europe is asking for more ambition in the fight against climate change and a 100% renewables target by 2050

[Brussels – 8 June 2015] The G7 Summit in Germany, which ended today, has sent a signal that the world needs to fully move away from fossil fuels. For the first time leaders of the world’s richest countries have spoken out on full decarbonisation of the global economy in this century.

Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network Europe has the following comments on the outcome of the G7 summit.

Outcome

“I welcome the ambition for a full decarbonisation of the global economy. It is good the G7 recognises both the economic benefits of phasing out fossil fuels as well as the cost of inaction, mainly for poor countries. However, to achieve this more action from all G7 countries is needed right now. They need to go faster with reducing their polluting emissions, they need to start phasing out all coal power plants, and they need to provide more finance to fund the transformation in poor countries.”

Action needed now

The G7 Summit makes clear what the world needs to do in the next few months, as we prepare for the UN’s Climate Summit in December 2015 in Paris. CAN Europe is asking chiefly for action on the following three points:

1. Increase the ambition of the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCS). Regrettably, they are clearly falling short of what is needed from rich countries to keep global temperature rise below the threshold of 2°C and avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change. All G7 members need to increase their INDCs, including the European Union to go beyond its pledged 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030.

2. Agree to phase out coal in all G7 countries, including the G7 host Germany. Germany is about to miss its own reduction targets for 2020, as it remains addicted to hard coal and lignite burning, and Chancellor Merkel is not showing leadership on this issue. Coal is the low hanging fruit in the fight against climate change, as it is responsible for 43% of global emissions. G7 countries should put in place plans to pro-actively phase out coal as part of a transition away from all fossil fuels to 100% renewables. This means that also countries like Japan need to abandon plans to build a significant number of new coal power plants.

3. Commit to climate financing. The communiqué falls short of making the concrete commitments needed in order to deliver on climate finance needs. The world’s richest nations need to put their money and cards on the table for climate financing – not only for the annual 100 billion dollar promised by 2020, but also for the period after 2020. Germany is giving the good example by doubling its financial commitments by 2020 – now the rest needs to follow Merkel's footsteps.

Contact

Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 473 170 887

Joop Hazenberg, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 496 70 36 38

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe. CAN Europe represents 44 million citizens who support the work of its members.

Media contact

   Ania Drazkiewicz
   Communications Coordinator
   Direct line: +32 2894 4675
   Email: ania/at/caneurope.org

@CANEurope Latest Tweets

CANEurope OECD chief warns: world should not build any new #coal power plants. They will destroy the climate http://t.co/G0y3vyVH6h
CANEurope RT @eaEnergyEU: Time for pollution pricing to work for the climate. OP-ED by 6 NGOs inc. @CANEurope , @WWFEU , @ChangeSanjeev http://t.co/
CANEurope Six NGOs ask for drastic reform of the #ETS. Instead of putting a price on pollution, it is paying the polluters! http://t.co/71hckvo8Dc

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