[Brussels, 4 March 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE] – CAN Europe  supports the EU Environment and Energy Ministers who this week called for a speedy agreement on the EU’s proposed 2030 climate and energy policy framework. Ministers from the Green Growth Group  have urged heads of state and government to agree on the core elements of the framework when they meet on March 20th at the EU Council meeting.
"We find it impossible to believe the EU would delay a decision on this package. After all, discussions have been ongoing for months already while climate impacts continue to mount across Europe,” said Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe. “We completely agree with those Ministers who spoke out that a decision must be made this month. Delaying an agreement would send the wrong signal to the international community, which is waiting for the EU to retake a leadership role as a first step towards an international climate agreement in Paris next year.”
“In addition, the ambition of the proposal must be raised across the board,” Trio continued. “A 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction target is just business-as-usual and not enough to keep us below 2 degrees of global warming. Similarly, much more can be done than what the Commission has proposed on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Both are cornerstones of further development of Europe’s green economy.”
The framework proposal, which was released in January by the European Commission, does not guarantee that the EU will meet its fair share of the world’s commitment to keep global temperature rise below 2° C, as agreed in 1996.  It also lacks detail on several important elements, including how efforts on greenhouse gas reductions and renewables would be shared and achieved by Member States.
In January, NGOs sounded the alarm in front of the Berlaymont building in Brussels, sending out a Climate SOS to European leaders to put the EU's climate policy back on course.  We call on European leaders to re-inject this proposal with the ambition needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.
1- Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is a coalition of more than 120 NGOs in over 25 European countries working to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.
2- The Green Growth Group is an informal grouping of like-minded energy, climate and environment Ministers from 13 EU Member States: UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia and Estonia. The Group is “working together with a view to exploring, promoting and pursuing a cost-effective and growth-enhancing ambitious EU low carbon agenda.” Their statement on the 2030 package can be found here:
3- A -40% GHG target is based on IPCC's 2007 report, which assumed both a peak in global emissions by 2015 and for global emissions to drop to 44 GtCO2-e by 2020. UNEP estimates emissions to be at 52 GtCO2-e at best. Therefore, to stay below 2 degrees, UNEP recommends more ambitious pathways post 2020, in line with the upper end of the EU target to reduce emissions by 80-95% by 2050. A -40% by 2030 target would put the EU on a pathway to only -80% by 2050.
CAN Europe briefings analysing the EU’s proposal in terms of GHG reductions, renewable energy and energy savings can be found on our website: http://www.caneurope.org/resources/latest-publications/690-eu-2030-briefings
CAN Europe’s position on the 2030 framework can be found here: http://caneurope.org/resources/publications/position-papers/doc_download/2313-post-2020-eu-climate-and-energy-targets-numbers-nov-2013
4- Photos from the NGO action are available for download from CAN Europe’s Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/caneurope/12088566056/in/set-72157640044492355/
[Brussels, 22 January 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE] – CAN Europe  is deeply disappointed with what promises to be an unambitious white paper from the European Commission on the EU's 2030 climate and energy framework, which will be released today in Brussels. If its ambition is not raised, this paper could lock the EU into such a low level of climate action it would make keeping the EU's international pledge to stay below 2 degrees of global warming all but unattainable. 
"This proposal is not in line with science or even the Commission's own analyses of the multiple benefits of swift
climate action," said Wendel Trio of CAN Europe.  "In order to keep its international climate pledges, the EU
must adopt three ambitious, binding targets for greenhouse gas reductions, renewable energy and energy savings.
Sadly, such ambition is lacking in this paper."
The White Paper represents a significant ratcheting down of Commission President Barroso's past aspirations for EU climate policy. Before the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, Barroso said the "most important issue" was to have binding targets from developed countries. 
"As climate impacts increase, globally and here in Europe, it is unthinkable to decrease EU climate ambition," Trio
continued. "Furthermore, a weak or voluntary renewables target will not provide the investor certainty we need to
kick-start the green economy, create jobs and reduce the cost of decarbonisation."
Today NGOs sounded the alarm in front of the Berlaymont building in Brussels, sending out a Climate SOS to European leaders to put the EU's climate policy back on course.  We call on heads of state and government to re-inject this proposal with the ambition needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. CAN Europe is calling for binding EU-wide targets of at least 55% greenhouse gas reductions, 45% renewable energy share and 40% energy savings.
1- Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is a coalition of more than 120 NGOs in over 25 European countries
working to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.
2- A -40% GHG target is based on IPCC's 2007 report, which assumed both a peak in global emissions by 2015
and for global emissions to drop to 44 GtCO2-e by 2020. Neither will happen - UNEP estimates emissions
to be at 52 GtCO2-e at best. Therefore, to stay below 2 degrees, UNEP recommends more ambitious
pathways post 2020, in line with the upper end of the EU target to reduce emissions by 80-95% by 2050. A
-40% by 2030 target would put the EU on a pathway to only -80% by 2050.
3- Commission's 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap: ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/roadmap/index_en.htm
Analysis of the impact assessment of the 2030 white paper by the Wuppertal Institute:
4- Excerpts from a 2009 speech by Barroso about the importance of binding targets: http://
5- Hi-res photographs from today's action in front of the Berlaymont will be available from 15:00 today at
6- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions reap large health co-benefits. Improvement in air quality leads
to lower rates of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and economic gains as health care expenses
decrease, while productivity increases. Contact a spokesperson from the Health and Environment Alliance
(HEAL), listed above, for more information.
[16 December 2013] – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – CAN Europe and WWF welcomed today’s final approval by EU ministers for the “backloading” measure that will temporarily withdraw 900 million pollution permits from the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). After almost a year and a half of wrangling, the temporary “quick fix” for the glut of permits on the EU’s carbon market finally nears implementation with EU Member States backing the measure by an overwhelming majority.
“The final approval of the carbon-market fix is a step in the right direction but it is only a patch up solution. These toxic permits will now hang as the sword of Damocles over the EU ETS and risk causing a second carbon price crash if they return to the carbon market,” said Sam Van den plas, Climate Policy Officer at WWF. “What we need is structural reform measures for the EU ETS that include a supply mechanism to remove pollution permits from the market permanently before 2020.”
The backloading measure will delay from auction 900 million pollution permits, which will return to the market before 2020. Putting this number in perspective, at the end 2012 the total surplus accumulated on the EU’s carbon market reached almost two billion.
“The oversupply of pollution permits remains a ball and chain for EU climate ambition and a threat to environmental integrity of the upcoming climate and energy package,” said Julia Michalak, EU Climate Policy Officer at CAN Europe. “Any new proposals for EU climate policy will be seriously undermined without deep ETS reform.”
The European Commission is scheduled to publish proposals for structural reform of the EU ETS and a climate and energy policy framework for 2030 in mid-January. The EU must provide the signals needed for investor confidence to help the EU stay on the road to decarbonisation.
In order to revive the EU ETS, CAN Europe and WWF are calling for permanent removal of at least 2.2 billion allowances before 2020 and an increase in the annual emission reduction trajectory to at least 2.6%. The next climate and energy package must include ambitious, binding targets of at least 55% greenhouse gas emission reductions, 45% renewable energy and 40% energy savings by 2030.
Why must the ETS be fixed?
- The EU ETS is currently not functioning as envisaged. The scheme is neither contributing in a cost-effective manner to the EU’s climate objective of 80-95% emission cuts by 2050, nor accelerating the required low-carbon transition, and is therefore failing to meet its principal policy objectives.
- With back-loading and ETS structural reform in place, auctioning revenues for all Member States would increase significantly between 2014 and 2020. With the right policy choices, these funds can mobilise investments in clean and resource-efficient technologies in the power sector and industry as a whole.
- A restored carbon price signal will accelerate the modernisation of the power sector especially in central and eastern European Member States, which are obliged to invest the monetary value of the free allowances in the upgrade of their power systems.
- Back-loading will not decrease Europe’s competitiveness. In addition to a 100% free allocation of allowances, industrial sectors supposedly at greater risk of ‘carbon leakage’ (the flight of carbon intensive industries to lesser regulatory regimes) - such as steel, cement and glass production - may receive state aid in compensation for increased electricity prices resulting from CO2 costs passed on by power producers. Back-loading will not decrease the surplus of allowances held by many companies.
[Brussels, Strasbourg, 10 December 2013] - Today in Strasbourg, the European Parliament confirmed the position it adopted on 3rd July to amend the EU ETS (Emissions Trading System) Directive to allow the backloading proposal to move forward. Changing the ETS Directive enables delaying auctions of 900 million pollution permits in order to temporarily correct the massive oversupply on the EU’s carbon market.
EU Member States already indicated support for the backloading proposal by an overwhelming majority on 8 November. On Monday 16 December the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers will confirm EU Member States’ support for the measure. CAN Europe and WWF fully support the proposed delay of emission allowance auctions as an important first step towards deeper reform of the EU’s carbon market. However, backloading must be immediately followed by more long-lasting ETS structural reform, starting with cancellation of backloaded allowances. In addition, the EU must come forward with ambitious, binding climate and energy targets for 2030 to ensure the right investment signals are in place to make the EU ETS effective.
Quote from Sam Van den plas, Climate Policy Officer, WWF European Policy Office
“The backloading proposal is finally coming closer to becoming reality and EU Member States must now swiftly move to confirm today’s vote. However, this agreement will not offer a permanent solution to revive the EU’s carbon market. The vast oversupply of pollution permits will still threaten the economic and environmental integrity of the current and future climate and energy package.”
Quote from Julia Michalak, EU Climate Policy Officer, CAN Europe
“Without a strong proposal for an EU climate and energy package for 2030, the EU ETS will not be saved. A binding target of at least 55% greenhouse gas reductions for 2030, accompanied by binding, ambitious RES and energy efficiency targets, is necessary to ensure the market won’t remain oversupplied for another one and a half decades. A strong 2030 package is key for ETS structural reform”
MEDIA ADVISORY: Report launch
[Brussels, 4 December 2013] - CAN Europe has just launched an exciting new publication, This is Climate Change in Europe. It brings together dozens of sources ranging from the IPCC, national adaptation plans, UN studies, official NATO documents and many more to provide, for the first time, a summary of current and pending climate impacts in Europe, on a country-by-country basis.
The latest IPCC report offers again a stark reminder of the risks of a warming world: all regions are facing negative impacts on people's lives and health, our planet and our prosperity. Europe and the rest of the developed world cannot continue to ignore the impacts of climate change, as extreme weather events are no longer restricted to far off, exotic places. This report brings that point home, outlining impacts happening or already in the pipeline in each European country. CAN Europe’s colourful new publication highlights the climate impacts hitting Europe from a variety of perspectives, including ecological, health and food security, discussing the latest science, climate impacts in different sectors and foreseen loss and damage related to climate change in various European regions.
The publication is available for download by pasting this link into your browser:
For more information, please contact: vanessa/at/caneurope.org
Vanessa Bulkacz, CAN Europe Communications Manager, +32 494 525 738