The European Commission is expected to publish its proposal for a long-term EU climate strategy on Wednesday, 28 November. This proposal will set the stage for negotiations among European governments about how much the EU should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and what action it should take to make sure it achieves the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. The IPCC’s recent report says that the next 12 years are critical to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Just ahead of the world’s foremost summit on climate change, COP24, 16 European leaders have called upon all countries of the world to commit to review the levels of ambition of their Paris Agreement pledges by 2020, in light of the findings of the IPCC Special Report.
The Polish Ministry of Energy presented today its draft national energy policy 2040, whose orientation obviously stands in the way of the Paris Agreement as well as EU’s energy targets by 2030. It also turns a blind eye on the ever decreasing costs of renewable technologies, wind power in particular.
The transport and industry committees of the European Parliament voted today on the future Connecting Europe Facility after 2020. While this EU fund should enable infrastructure that connects Europe’s citizens with clean energy and sustainable transport, MEPs turned a blind eye on the need to exclude fossil fuel subsidies from the fund.
Today, the Climate Vulnerable Forum - a forum of countries who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change - are holding the first Virtual Climate Summit of Heads of State and Government. Several European leaders are joining the 24-hour event, adding momentum for urgent climate action ahead of COP24.
Shifting financial flows is crucial to global efforts to combat climate change. The European Commission claims that its proposals for the post-2020 EU budget are in line with the Paris Agreement. However, support for fossil fuels remains in the pipeline of future budget negotiations, as revealed today in the ‘EU Toxic Funding Awards’.
The Polish electricity grid operator has just published the official preliminary results of the first capacity market auction in Poland to award contracts to power plants from 2021 onwards. Capacity mechanisms, which are supposedly intended to ensure supply in case extra power is needed, are often used as backdoor subsidies for the most uneconomic power plants, which are also the least efficient and most polluting. As such, they are a source of additional profit for the utilities on top of their regular revenues from the actual supply of electricity.
In a letter to the European Commission sent last week, environment ministers representing 10 EU Member States have called upon the EU’s executive to clearly support a target of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050 and propose a higher 2030 target in the draft long-term climate strategy to be published on 28 November.
European coal companies including RWE, EPH, and PGE, continue to push the cost of dirty energy onto society, with air pollution from their coal plants burdening people across Europe with both health problems and billions in costs, according to modelling detailed in a new report.
The General Court of the European Union has decided today to annul the European Commission’s decision not to raise objections to the aid scheme establishing a ‘capacity market’ in the United Kingdom. The ruling puts into question many capacity mechanisms in place across Europe, including the Polish capacity market which is based on the UK model.