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Commission's Paris proposals useful, but insufficient

[Brussels, 25 February 2015] The European Commission’s proposals for the EU’s contribution to the Paris Climate Summit announced today advocate for a strong, legally binding outcome of the international climate negotiations. On behalf of over 120 organizations, Climate Action Network Europe welcomes the push for the legal form, but calls for more clarity on the amount of greenhouse gasses the EU will emit between 2021 and 2030.


"Legally binding outcome of the Paris negotiations will provide greater certainty that countries deliver their commitments” – Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe said. “At the same time, the Commission does not specify Europe's contributions to bridging the gaps in international climate finance and short-term emission reductions. Without addressing these, getting any deal in Paris will be very difficult”.


An important chapter of the Commission’s proposal is the elaboration of the EU's post-2020 emission reduction target to be submitted to the UN by the end of March, the so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).


"The amount of greenhouse gases that the EU will be allowed to emit after 2020 remains unclear” – Trio added. “The proposal does not close potential loopholes which can dilute the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target by up to 4,5%, according to conservative estimations. Given emissions are projected to be at minus 25% in 2020, if reductions in 2021 start from minus 20%, the Member States will not have to make any efforts in the first years. Moreover, using the weak accounting rules for the forestry sector would prolong the functioning of coal power plants. This is not acceptable. It will be now more difficult to expect other major emitters to provide transparent commitments”.


CAN Europe regrets that the Commission has not indicated how the EU could move beyond 40% domestic emission reductions. For the EU's contribution to be truly equitable and adequate, it should aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 95% by 2050. This means that emissions need to be reduced by at least 55% by 2030.


CAN Europe urges Member States to improve the Commission's proposal.

European Parliament takes a step to knock out Europe’s toxic tonnes…later rather than sooner

ep ets[Brussels, 24 February] Today the European Parliament’s environment committee took the first steps to reform the EU’s Emissions Trading System. Following intense pressure from forward looking investors and civil society, policymakers agreed to curb the total amount of pollution permits in the system that would otherwise flood the market by 2020. This is expected to result in a stronger carbon price signal in order to let the polluter pay and support climate friendly investments in Europe. Policymakers unfortunately failed to agree to a timely start of the new Market Stability Reserve which will only become operational by 2019.

Sam Van den plas, Climate Policy Officer WWF added: “Policymakers are finally tackling the surplus of pollution permits that have plagued the EU carbon market for many years. This vote prohibits around 1.7 billion back-loaded and unused allowances from flooding the carbon market by 2020 which is a welcome step to ensure that these toxic tonnes do not continue to linger over the EU ETS in the coming years.”

“Postponing necessary reforms until 2019 is simply irresponsible in times of a climate crisis. It is now up to the Council to ensure that it does not take another four years before EU policymakers come to the rescue. Every year we wait with setting up the reserve, the surplus that is suffocating the EU carbon market will grow bigger, pushing EU’s cornerstone climate instrument closer to the brink of collapse.” stated Femke de Jong, Policy Officer at Carbon Market Watch.

Anja Kollmuss, EU ETS Policy Coordinator at CAN Europe said “Today’s vote is an important first step to revive the ailing carbon market. Politicians strengthened the lukewarm proposal by the Commission, and showed that they understand that strong European-wide climate actions bring benefits to European citizens. The next step must be to permanently remove excess pollution permits at the upcoming revision of the EU’s carbon market.”

The EU ETS has suffered for many years with extremely low carbon prices due to the massive oversupply of pollution permits in the system. The Market Stability Reserve is necessary to improve the overall functionality of the Emissions Trading System. Designed to reduce the impact of shocks in supply and demand for emission allowances, it automatically adjusts the volume of available allowances in the EU’s carbon market (EU ETS) to avoid an over- or undersupply of these allowances.

G20 finance ministers urged to end subsidies for fossil fuels

power station emissions cc 2009[Brussels, 9th February] 39 non-governmental organizations urge the finance ministers attending today's G20 meeting in Istanbul to take immediate steps to eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels, and use these funds for climate action.


According to Climate Action Network Europe, one of the signatories of the letter sent to the G20 finance ministers, the G20 summit is a test of the EU's role in international climate negotiations set to make a global deal in December.

 

France, Germany, Italy and the UK, who participate in the G20, in 1999-2011 allocated at least EUR 68bn in subsidies to fossil fuel production [1]. These funds seriously undermine efforts to combat climate change. It is five years since the G20 pledged to phase out 'inefficient' fossil fuel subsidies in an effort to slow down climate change, but to date little progress has been made. Last week, France took the first step by reaffirming its commitment to stop all coal financing abroad through export credit agencies, a move that should be enacted immediately.

"The world cannot use the large majority of known fossil fuels and maintain a stable climate"- Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network said. "EU finance ministers should play a leading role in ensuring that the G20 takes immediate steps to fulfill its commitment to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies. This will allow the EU to strengthen its role in international climate negotiations and improve the odds of a successful climate agreement in Paris".

Signatories of the letter point out that phasing out fossil fuel subsidies would generate more funds for national and international climate action. Last year countries raised slightly less than 10% of the first tranche of the Green Climate Fund, which should provide USD 100bn-a-year by 2020. This fund is crucial for tackling the impacts of climate change in developing countries and making a full transition to renewable energy.

"The EU has announced a push to make climate action its strategic priority for the G20 and G7 summits, in order to draw up an ambitious global deal to tackle climate change in Paris at the end of this year" – Trio added. "Now it's the time to show it is serious about its commitment. If the problem of a lack of climate finance remains unsolved, it can severely compromise chances for a strong agreement in Paris".

Letter to Turkish G20 President on fossil fuel subsidies here

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

[1] Climate Action Network Europe, CIDSE, Missing pieces, Steps to phasing out dirty fossil fuel subsidies in Europe, December 2014 

Lima climate talks postpone crucial decisions

More action required before the next climate summit in Paris

[Lima, Peru - December 14, 2012]

At the end of the UN Climate Summit in Lima, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe1 stated:

"The limited progress that was achieved in Peru, in particular on the provision of financial support to poor countries to adapt to climate change, or repair the damages from extreme weather events, is a big let down after the positive signs that came from the New York Summit and recent announcements about emission cuts and financial pledges."

"Very limited progress was made on how to deal with emission reductions after 2020. Crucially, we’ll be able to see whether governments are doing enough to keep global temperature rise well below the catastrophic 2°C they’ve agreed to avoid. For Europe, it is an opportunity, before Paris, to increase the EU greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2030 beyond the agreed weak 40% level.”

"Although the $10 billion pledged to the Green Climate Fund was a welcomed step forward, the agreement gives no clarity on what comes after this 10 billon. Our environment ministers need to work with their finance colleagues to spell out the sources of finance available and work out how they will deliver the rest of the promised money in a clear, predictable and measurable way. This is one of the most pressing issues for developing countries."

"No progress was made in Lima on closing the current emissions gap between what countries plan to do by 2020, and what is needed to keep temperature rise well below 2°C and avoid dangerous climate change. The EU has to ramp up its emission reductions efforts before 2020, by phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, ensuring the objective to reduce energy consumption by 20% is reached and engaging in a real reform of the failing Emissions Trading Scheme."

 

Contact: 

Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +51 954 999 357

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  +48 514 32 67 80

Matthew Keys,  CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +44 7812052475

 

Notes:

[1] Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 25 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.

CAN Europe is the European node for CAN-International, a worldwide network of more than 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) committed to limiting human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

Climate Change Performance Index: Global Shift Needs Further Action

 
logo canE-logo-1 
 

 

Cover CCPI 2015Global CO2 emissions rise at lower rates, giving some reason to hope for limiting climate change

Canada and Australia worst performers of all industrialised countries

Lima (8. Dec. 2014). Global emissions have reached a new peak, but recent developments indicate a new readiness for action on climate protection. This is the message of the 10th edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI); a ranking of the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide published by Germanwatch and CAN Europe at the UN Climate Conference in Lima today.

"We see global trends, indicating promising shifts in some of the most relevant sectors for climate protection", says Jan Burck (Germanwatch), author of the Index. "The rise of emissions has slowed down, and renewables are rapidly growing due to declining costs and massive investments."

In some countries like Denmark (Rank 4), Sweden (Rank 5) and the United Kingdom (Rank 6) the result is decreasing emissions. On the other side of the globe China, the world's biggest emitter, shows improvements in the efficiency sector and massive investments in renewables. Most recent developments indicate China's decade long coal boom seems to be over, offering new hope for global climate protection.

"Data showing declining emission growth rates together with promising political signs, suggesting that we are able to stabilize global emissions. The Paris Climate Summit in 2015, where countries will make new commitments for climate action, could be a turning point in this respect" – adds Burck.

In Europe, the Index shows a mixed picture: "Many EU countries ranked high this year, but others, like Poland (Rank 40) and Bulgaria (Rank 41) scored poorly because of their opposition to further steps nationally and in the EU," explains Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe.

"Neither the current 2020 nor the new 2030 climate target are in line with the reductions needed by Europe to avert catastrophic climate change and achieve 100% renewables by 2050. To do this, Europe must meet its target to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020 against projections, phase out all fossil fuel subsidies immediately, and agree on a fundamental reform of its Emissions Trading Scheme before the Paris Climate Summit”, Trio concludes.  

One of the biggest winners in the new Index is Morocco. It jumped into the Top Ten because of its extraordinary renewables policy. With a very good international climate policy evaluation, Mexico also ranks among the Top 20.

In Canada (Rank 58) nothing has changed and nothing is going forward at the state level. For industrialised countries, this bad performance is only beaten by Australia (Rank 60),where the new conservative government reversed the climate policies previously in effect. In between these two, Kazakhstan (Rank 59) and at the very bottom Saudi Arabia (Rank 61) comprise the bottom four.

About CCPI:

The CCPI is a tool designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. On the basis of standardised criteria, the Index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that are together responsible for more than 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. The first three ranks are left out because no country is acting enough to prevent dangerous climate change. (More about the methodology can be found in the brochure “The Climate Change Performance Index – Background and Methodology”).

Climate Change Performance Index 2015:   https://germanwatch.org/en/ccpi

 

National scorecards and a list of national expert contacts are available upon request.

 

Contact for media:

In Lima (please do not phone before 3 pm CET):

Jan Burck, Germanwatch, Author of the Index, +51 948 037 417, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wendel Trio, CAN Europe’s Director, +51 954 999 357, wendel@caneurope

In Bonn:

Stefan Küper, Germanwatch Press Officer, +49-228 60 492 23, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In Brussels:

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator, +32 02 894 46 75 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Germanwatch, based in Bonn and Berlin (Germany), is an independent development and environmental organisation which works for sustainable global development. Germanwatch actively promotes North-South equity and the preservation of livelihoods.

Website: www.germanwatch.org/en

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 25 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.

Website: www.caneurope.org



EU countries spending billions of public funds on dirty fossil fuels

EU countries spending billions of public funds on dirty fossil fuels

Top ten EU Member States have poured at least €78 billion euro into fossil fuel production since 1999, according to new research.

Missing-PiecesNew research shows that the ten richest EU member states have poured at least 78bn billion euro into propping up the polluting fossil fuel industry.1 The report, produced by CAN Europe2 and CIDSE3, was presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. It calls on the EU and other developed countries to spearhead the elimination of the use of fossil fuels as soon as possible, and no later than 2050. Achieving the elimination of fossil fuel use means that the financial subsidies provided to the fossil fuel industry must be phased out immediately.

Of the countries analysed, the five biggest fossil fuel subsidisers were:

    1. Germany with €47.5bn;

    2. UK with €12.8bn;

    3. France with €7.6bn;

    4. Spain with €5.8bn;

    5. Poland with €4.2bn.4

A lack of transparency and obligatory reporting on fossil fuel subsidies means these numbers are likely well below the true number. The ranking might be inaccurate as some countries are clearly more untransparent than others. In particular Austria, The Netherlands and Sweden have huge improvements to make in their reporting on fossil fuel subsidies.

 The report also recommends governments redirect the money saved by halting fossil fuel subsidies towards addressing the impacts of climate change, as well as increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries. As floods, droughts and other climate impacts increase, there is a clear need to ramp up support for the most vulnerable countries affected whilst also catalysing efforts to address one of the root causes of climate change – fossil fuels.

“Subsidising fossils fuels, one of the biggest causes of climate change is, incompatible with the EU’s commitment to avoiding catastrophic climate change,” said Maeve McLynn, policy officer at CAN Europe. “If we are going to have a clean energy system by 2050 then funding should be stopped immediately and phased out completely by 2020 in the EU,” she added. 

In contrast to the huge subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, the EU only started delivering climate finance in 2010. The overall contribution to climate finance amounted to just €7.34bn between 2010 and 2012. In addition, EU Member States are falling short of reaching their fair share of the agreed 100 bn dollar goal for climate finance by 2020.

“The money that goes to developing countries to help them cope with climate change is tiny when compared to the billions spent in fossil fuel subsidies,” says Meera Ghani, Policy and Advocacy Officer for Climate Justice in CIDSE. “We should not make already rich polluting companies richer with public money, instead we should support low carbon development and climate resilience where it matters most. The EU needs to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to measures that will help us stay well below the 2 degree threshold.”

A major finding of the report is that several systematic barriers exist to the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies and use. There is no agreed global or European definition for subsidies, commitments made have been voluntary and no agreed reporting method has meant little or no progress on phase out. The report calls on the EU to implement a reporting mechanism and facilitate access to information on subsidies.

“Having a clear definition for fossil fuel subsidies, regular financial reporting and greater transparency on data are three crucial missing pieces in phasing out fossil fuel use and subsidies,” concluded Maeve McLynn, CAN Europe policy officer.

 

Download the report here: http://caneurope.org/resources/doc_view/2493-missing-pieces-steps-to-phasing-out-dirty-fossil-fuel-subsidies-in-europe

NOTES

1. The findings show that the ten wealthiest EU countries (by GDP) have spent at least €78bn on fossil fuel production subsidies between 1999-2013. This is a minimal figure and does not necessarily include externalities or export credit agency funds.

2. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 25 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.

3.  CIDSE is an alliance of Catholic development agencies.

4. All figures are based on data available between 1999-2013

Contacts

Maeve McLynn, CAN Europe Policy Officer - Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: +32 494 525 737 (In Lima. Local number +51 9 727 402 49)

Meera Ghani, CIDSE Climate Justice Policy Officer - E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: + 32 2 233 37 56

Matthew Keys, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator- Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: +32 497 700 372

Markus Drake – CIDSE Media and Communications Officer Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: +32 2 028 240 73

Media contact

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

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