Press. Image of a telephone

The US unveils its pledge for Paris climate talks

[Brussels, 31.03.2015] The US contribution to the Paris climate agreement, filed within the agreed deadline today, should provide impetus for global efforts to tackle climate change, according to Climate Action Network Europe.

CAN Europe stresses that tackling climate crisis requires more ambition. The new report from the NewClimate Institute shows beyond doubt considerable additional benefits of scaling up climate action.

The US climate action commitment towards the Paris agreement announced today reiterates its emission reductions target from last year: 28% below 2005 levels by 2025 [1].

The timely pledge from the US, the second largest emitter globally and a laggard in climate action so far, should add momentum for more climate action around the world. We need other major emitters such as China, Japan or Australia to join the race to set climate targets – Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe said.

The commitments tabled so far move us forward, but governments need to treat the climate crisis with more urgency and seriousness. Both the US and the EU have to scale up their pledges to be in line with a pathway to phasing out fossil fuels by 2050 and keeping temperature rise well below the agreed threshold of two degrees Celsius – Trio added.

A new report from the NewClimate Institute, commissioned by Climate Action Network and the Global Call for Climate Action and published today, shows the benefits of scaling up climate commitments to a trajectory which would phase out the use of fossil fuels and lead to a complete switch to renewable energy by 2050.

If the EU's 2030 climate target was scaled up to deliver an economy powered fully by renewables by mid-century, already by 2030 it would secure around 420,000 new jobs in renewable energy sector, and prevent around 46,000 people from dying prematurely due to excessive exposure to air pollution each year. The EU would also save EUR160 billion annually thanks to reduced fossil fuel imports.

The current EU's 2030 climate target will by 2030 secure 70,000 new jobs, prevent 6,000 premature deaths annually and save EUR30 billion in reduced fossil fuel imports each year.

There are numerous ways the EU could ratchet up its ambition for climate action, from immediate steps to phase out harmful and outdated fossil fuels, to prioritising the deployment of renewables and the reduction in energy demand. Raising the EU's climate targets would spur green job creation and innovation, reduce energy costs and dependency and mitigate health problems related to air pollution. Delays and doing the minimum equals missed opportunities – Trio adds.

The report presents benefits of enhanced climate action also for the US and China. If the US strengthened its climate pledge to meet a 2°C compatible trajectory, by 2030 it could save USD160 billion each year from reduced oil imports in the transport sector, prevent 20,000 premature deaths each year from air pollution and create 180,000 full-time equivalent green jobs in the domestic renewable energy sector.

 

150330 Co Benefits of Climate Action Infographic EU2 web

Notes

[1] The US target equals to 16% reductions below 1990 levels and is far lower than the EU's pledge to reduce emissions by at least 40% domestically by 2030. However, when comparing annual reductions, the US target is more ambitious after 2020. It plans to reduce emissions by 2% every year, whereas the EU will cut them by approximately 1,5%, depending on the level of real emission cuts the EU will be at in 2020.

NewClimate Institute, "Assessing the missed benefits of countries' national contributions": download

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.

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

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

The Energy Union lacks a clear winning strategy

[Brussels, 19.03.2015] European leaders adopted today conclusions on the creation of an "Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy". According to Climate Action Network Europe and its more than 120 members, the agreed conclusions should have provided a much clearer strategy for reducing energy demand and the deployment of renewables, required for the decarbonisation and energy transition of Europe.

The leaders seem to have forgotten that clearly recognising the good and rejecting the bad is what distinguishes powerful strategies from muddled ones – Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe said. Instead of creating a coherent vision for the energy transition, they are running in all directions. If they are serious about climate change, energy security and green growth, they should make a clear choice in favour of energy efficiency and renewables, and move away from harmful and outdated fossil fuels and nuclear power.

The most positive signal from the European Council is that it calls for both "fully implementing and rigorously enforcing existing energy legislation" and "reviewing and developing legislation related to emissions reduction, energy-efficiency and renewables to underpin the agreed 2030 targets; developing a reliable and transparent governance system".

The leaders rightly acknowledged the importance of the full implementation of the EU energy legislation, especially on renewables and energy efficiency – Trio added. The laws provide a robust basis for the deployment of renewables and the reduction of energy use across Europe, but their implementation still lags behind. Countries need to put their money where their mouth is and step up their efforts on delivering the needed energy transition. Both for tackling the climate crisis and for more investor certainty, the current legislation should also serve as a basis of the governance system for the 2030 targets.

Notes

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.

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

New report exposes continued lack of will to implement agreed EU energy efficiency legislation

Coalition of Energy Savings calls on Member States to get serious on implementing the Energy Efficiency Directive

(Climate Action Network Europe is a member of the Coalition for Energy Savings)


Brussels, 16 March 2015 – As EU leaders discuss how to move the Energy Union forward, a new study shows that Member States still have a long way to implement existing energy efficiency legislation. According to the analysis by the Coalition for Energy Savings, national action plans towards reaching the minimum level of energy savings required by the Energy Efficiency Directive continue to lack credibility. Since the Coalition released a similar study last year, Member States had opportunities to update their plans but few improvements were made.

The Coalition for Energy Savings latest assessment of the implementation of Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) shows that most Member States fail to present credible plans on how they will deliver the directive’s requirement to save at least 1.5% end-use energy annually. The analysis shows worrying deviations between the savings reported by Member States and the minimum savings that should be reported if Eurostat data was used, diminishing the impact of the directive. Germany has lowered its savings target by 14% since its last submission in April 2014, without providing an adequate explanation. Alarming is also that some Member States continue to include potentially non-eligible measures in their plans. The UK, for example, has again included measures such as savings from buildings standards in their latest submission. This may not go beyond European minimum requirements and thus will not be eligible.
Denmark and Ireland are the only countries to have presented credible plans to date. Most other submissions consist of incomplete and weak plans that fail to show how Member States will deliver on the agreed targets.

“Europe’s new energy visions will not materialise unless Member States radically change their attitude towards implementing energy efficiency legislation and finally take it as an opportunity to create economic, social and environmental benefits”, said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of the Coalition for Energy Savings.

The sobering findings are backed by an analysis of Member States plans conducted by consultancy Ricardo AEA for the European Commission’s DG Energy.

As a multi-stakeholder Coalition, uniting 26 European business, civil society, professional, trade union and local government organisations, the Coalition for Energy Savings calls on Member States to correctly implement the EED without further delays, making the ‘energy efficiency’ first motto a reality.

coalition twitter poster v 1 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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. energycoalition.eu

Notes for editors
• The full study and a map of countries is available here:
http://energycoalition.eu/20150316

• The study is an update from the Coalition’s study released in April 2014 and available here: http://energycoalition.eu/plans-reach-annual-15-energy-savings-fall-short-credibility-0

• Coalition for Energy Savings Guidebook for A Strong Implementation of the EED: http://energycoalition.eu/guidebook-strong-implementation-0

• European Commission’s website on the Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/eed/eed_en.htm

• Study evaluating the national policy measures and methodologies to implement Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive by Ricardo AEA: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/Final%20Report%20on%20Article%207%20EED_published.pdf

South East Europe should not become a dumping ground for dirty energy projects, say MEPs

[Brussels, 10 March 2015] Last Friday, 6th March, Chairs of the European Parliament Delegations for six* EU accession countries and the Vice-President of the European Parliament sent a letter to Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, urging them to ensure that the reform of the Energy Community Treaty align its members with EU membership requirements.

Civil society organizations SEE Change Net and Climate Action Network Europe would like to thank the MEPs for expressing their sincere concern over the energy future of the countries in South East Europe.

The Energy Community Treaty brings together the European Union and the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova. Its revision process, which entered its final lap, should ensure that the partners comply with all the EU’s relevant environmental, climate and social acquis when developing their energy policies.

Anneliese Dodds, Monica Macovei, Tonino Picula, Eduard Kukan and Alojz Peterle*, delegation chairs for South East Europe countries, as well as Ulrike Lunacek, delegation member and Vice-President of the European Parliament, stated that the Energy Community’s legal framework should create a level playing field on environmental standards, and secure that South East Europe “does not become a dumping ground for dirty energy projects”.

"The social aspects of the Energy Community must be taken into account in any discussion about its future", said MEP Anneliese Dodds. "More has to be done to tackle energy poverty and for the protection of users, especially vulnerable ones, as well as ensuring decent terms and conditions in the workforce", she added.

The MEPs also stressed the importance of proper application of procurement and state aid rules, in order to increase transparency in the region, and urged the Energy Community to make a firm commitment to the EU 2050 Road Map and apply the 2020 and 2030 climate goals as a matter of priority.

"We strongly support the positions of the chairs of delegations regarding the importance of proper application of procurement and state aid rules, as our research has shown that high level corruption in the energy sector in South East Europe is endemic", said Garret Tankosić-Kelly, Principal of SEE Change Net.

"This year all countries are expected to adopt climate pledges for the global climate deal to be signed in December in Paris. MEPs call for climate action in South East Europe coincides with this global move towards more renewable, clean energy systems" said Dragana Mileusnić, Energy policy coordinator for South East Europe at Climate Action Network Europe. "We expect all Energy Community countries to put forth ambitious climate commitments well before the Paris summit", she concluded.

The letter can be found here

Notes

* Correction from the original press release: MEP Alojz Peterle, Chair of Delegation for relations with FYR of Macedonia, co-signed the letter on 10th March, after the publication of this statement, and his name was added consequently.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in 30 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.

SEE Change Net is a Sarajevo-based think tank that campaigns for better governance, a higher quality of life and a more efficient use of resources in South East Europe.

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

Dragana Mileusnic, CAN Europe Energy Policy Coordinator for South East Europe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +32 2 894 46 82

Masha Durkalic, SEE Change Net Communication Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., + 387 33 213 716

The EU’s climate pledge for the Paris agreement sets a low standard for other emitters

Today the EU’s environment ministers signed off the EU’s commitment towards the Paris agreement on climate change. According to Climate Action Network Europe and its over 120 members, the EU’s announcement is a missed opportunity to set a high benchmark for all the pledges to the global deal.

The EU’s 2030 at least 40% climate target agreed by the EU Heads of State and Government last October needed to be translated into a pledge for presentation to the international climate negotiations, due to make a global climate deal in Paris at the end of this year.

Despite some Member States attempting to dilute the EU’s 2030 climate target, the environment ministers requested today that the EU’s commitment will not be lowered. At the same time however, they failed to provide clarity and credibility to the pledge, by not including information on the concrete amount of emission reductions that the EU will make after 2020. They also did not clarify how the EU will unlock the “at least” part of its 2030 commitment.

“It is highly disappointing to see that the EU’s offer does not provide nearly enough clarity on how it will harness progress towards a fossil fuel phase out and 100% renewable energy” – Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network said. “The EU’s current contribution does not specify how emissions from forestry, reductions done before 2020 and reductions abroad will be dealt with. The EU says nothing about these crucial issues, despite calling for other countries to provide pledges that will accurately measure emissions. Its pledge must be updated as soon as possible: the world needs the European Union to set a high standard, not a low one”.

Member States and Commission in conflict over EU’s commitment to the Paris climate deal

Tour EiffelMedia advisory

[Brussels, 4 March 2015] On Friday, 6th March, the EU’s environment ministers will discuss and most likely decide upon the EU's commitment towards the Paris agreement on climate change. On behalf of over 120 members, Climate Action Network Europe highlights the causes of concern regarding attempts to dilute the EU’s pledge.

The Environment Council on Friday will discuss the European Commission’s Road to Paris Communication published last week. The Communication includes a translation of the target to reduce carbon pollution by at least 40% by 2030 adopted by heads of state and government in October last year into a pledge for presentation to the international climate negotiations, due to make a global climate deal in Paris at the end of this year.

“The credibility of the climate target agreed by Member States has been lost in translation. The Commission’s proposal could severely undermine efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It introduces two potential loopholes which could dilute the EU’s climate target by more than 11%” - Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe said.

First, it lacks clarity if the forest management sector will be treated separately and on top of the EU's at least 40% domestic target. Forest management constitutes a large net sink, which means that it removes more carbon than it emits. According to a number of studies, including forest management into the EU target could lower the ambition by more than 4%. Secondly, both in the ETS and the non-ETS sectors, the EU will overachieve its 2020 target, and a large surplus of emission allowances has been accumulated and is expected to grow further. If these allowances are carried-over to the post-2020 period, this surplus could dilute the 40% target by more than 7% in 2030.

“The environment ministers have to ensure that the EU drives a global climate deal which will protect us from the worst impacts of climate change. The progressive Member States will hopefully lead the push for a more ambitious position from Europe ahead of the Paris conference. These include Denmark, who committed to make 100% of their electricity supply renewable, and the UK, who is on the way to completely phase out coal. These countries understand that climate policies can deliver more and better jobs, improved public health and more prosperous economies” – Wendel Trio adds.

The progressive countries will have to counter attempts of some Member States to drop many of the decisions the European Council last October. Some Central European countries try to override Council’s conclusions, by advocating for inclusion of the forest management sector in the target, allowing for international offsets despite clear formulation that the target should be achieved domestically and deleting any reference to “binding” legislation, which will allow to implement the targets.

According to Climate Action Network Europe, the EU needs to not only avoid losing credibility as the climate leader, but, moving forward, it needs to specify how it will deliver the "at least" part of its climate action commitment. The EU’s at least 40% domestic target does not represent a fair and ambitious contribution for keeping warming well below 2°C.


Notes

CAN Europe’s spokespeople will be available for comment on the ENVI Council decision on Friday. CAN Europe will also issue a reactive statement.

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

Media contact

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

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