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Flamingoes on the salt pans at sunset, Sfax, Tunisia. © WWF-MEDITERRANEAN / E. PARKERA New Global Initiative - Alliances for Climate Action - Unites Domestic Coalitions in Mexico, Japan and the United States Calling for Accelerated Climate Action

Leaders from business, regional government, higher education, and civil society in Mexico, Japan and the United States are joining forces to help accelerate implementation of national climate goals. 

Today, over 35 Mexican entities - including the University of Guadalajara, the local government of the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, the government of the state of Jalisco and the Mexican company Fortius, signed a climate declaration, committing to work hand and hand with the national government to accelerate implementation of its pledge to reduce 22% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and up to 36% with international support. Alongside Japan and the United States, Alianza para la Acción Climática de Guadalajara - whose signatories currently represent over 5 million people -- is the world's third multi-stakeholder climate coalition to be assembled to help deliver and enhance countries' Paris Agreement pledges.

Last month, more than 100 Japanese leaders formed the Japan Climate Initiative in pursuit of a decarbonized Japanese society. The Japan Climate Initiative took inspiration from We Are Still In, which launched in June 2017, and now includes nearly 3,000 signatories, collectively representing 170 million Americans and $6.4 trillion in U.S. GDP.

The Japan Climate Initiative and Alianza para la Acción Climática de Guadalajara are both part of a new global initiative launched today called Alliances for Climate Action (ACA), a global network of domestic multi-sector coalitions committed to supporting the delivery and enhancement of their countries' climate goals. ACA will work collaboratively with We Are Still In in the United States to ratchet up ambition at the domestic level to achieve the Paris Agreements goals.

Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary said, "I am greatly encouraged by today's launching of the Alliances for Climate Action. These initiatives are  clear examples of businesses, local leaders and national governments working together in what I call a new kind of inclusive multilateralism that is critical to achieving the long-term health of the planet, humanity and all forms of life. If we follow the example of these coalitions I believe we can be successful in accelerating ambition to make the Paris Agreement a reality."

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice, said: "There's a new face of climate leadership emerging from around the world: CEOs, university presidents, civil society and leaders from local government and indigenous communities. They are demanding climate action and partnering together to accelerate implementation in key countries. This is a global groundswell and we are all in."

According to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's 2017 Yearbook of Global Climate Action (UNFCCC), current commitments made by non-State actors have the potential to at least halve the emissions gap for 2℃, and reduce the emissions gap to 1.5℃ by as much as one third, it says.  But, realizing additional potential requires more participation and meaningful emissions reductions from non-State actors worldwide.

Members of the new coalition in Mexico are committed to taking action jointly to accelerate the nation's transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society, calling on other actors in Mexico to join them.  

Sergio Graf, Director of the Institute of Renewable Energies of the University of Guadalajara, said: "When the players who make up Mexico's economy double down on their own climate goals, it becomes easier for the nation as a whole to decarbonize. We're committed to doing our part to ensure that Mexico not only meets but exceeds it climate pledge."

Mario Silva, General Director of the Metropolitan Planning Institute in Mexico, said: "We believe that building an inclusive and prosperous society in Mexico that runs on the renewable energies of the future and protects its citizens from the impacts of climate change is a responsibility that we all share. Here in Guadalajara, we commit to working together to bring this vision to fruition through deliberate collaboration among businesses, universities, civil society and governments. Through our individual and collective leadership in climate action, we can go so much farther than we could alone. We invite others in Mexico and beyond to join us."

The Japan Climate Initiative's founding declaration states: "Japan should and can take on a larger role in realizing a carbon-free society, centering on energy efficiency and expansion of renewable energies." Founding members including five companies with 100%  renewable energy targets, and 15 companies with approved science-based targets, including Japanese multinational conglomerates Ricoh and Sony. In the weeks since the launch, more than 50 new organisations have joined the coalition, a clear signal of the growing desire for collaboration on decarbonization efforts.

Sergio Kato, Vice President of Ricoh and Co-Head of Japan Climate Leaders Partnership, a member of JCI, said: "It is time for Japanese businesses to stand up and answer the global call for decarbonization. We can accelerate implementation so much faster by working together across sectors and across countries with the world's leading research institutions and leaders from regional governments. Doing so will build stronger foundations for our national governments to increase their climate targets. This is a model that works for my business and for the safety of the planet."   

Welcoming this announcement, and on behalf of the We Are Still In coalition, Kevin Rabinovitch, Global VP for Sustainability and Chief Climate Officer for Mars Incorporated, said: "We commend the public and private sector leaders in Mexico, Japan and the U.S. for committing to accelerate climate action. The science is clear – it will take action from all countries and all companies to tackle climate change. That is why Mars has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by 27% by 2025 and 67% by 2050 from 2015 levels. And it is why we joined We Are Still In, the largest climate coalition in the United States, as members of the Leaders' Circle to catalyze climate action in the U.S. and globally."

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS
  1. The ACA initiative is being jointly advanced by seven international organizations - C40 Cities Climate Leadership GroupCDP, the Climate Action NetworkFundación AvinaThe Climate Group, the We Mean Business Coalition and WWF  – together with leading partners at the national level.   
  2. Japan Climate Initiative and Alianza para la Acción Climática de Guadalajara, and partner effort We Are Still In, are each being coordinated by a subset of organizations at the national level.
  3. Media interested in interviewing signatories from any of the Alliances for Climate Action Initiative should email info@AlliancesForClimateAction.com.          
  4. The main goal of Alliances for Climate Action is to build robust and articulated domestic constituencies for climate action to work hand in hand with national governments to accelerate
nationally determined processes of transformation towards low carbon and climate resilient societies. Alliances for Climate Action provides information and technical support to participating actors at the domestic level to develop actions jointly, engage constructively with national governments, and build domestic public support for accelerated climate action. Alliances for Climate Action also connects domestic coalitions with each other and elevates their voices internationally to encourage other non-State actors and national governments to accelerate climate action and up ambition together.
  1. Japan is ranked 6th in terms of global emissions (Source: WRI CAIT).  Japan's current commitment is found in its climate pledge submitted to the UN in 2015.
  2. Mexico is ranked 10th in terms of global emissions. (Source: WRI CAIT). Mexico's current commitment is found in its climate pledge submitted to the UN in 2015.
  3. Find more information about:
    1. Global Alliances for Climate Action initiative here;
    2. Japan Climate Initiative here;
    3. Alianza para la Acción Climática de Guadalajara here;
    4. We Are Still In here.
Posted: August 17, 2018, 12:00 am
Emria Property Fund is the first African company to adopt a science base target. © Emira Property FundCape Town (19 July 2018). Emira Property Fund has become the first African and South African company to have a greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The SBTi (https://sciencebasedtargets.org/) mobilises companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. It is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
 
Emira's science-based target provides a clear road map that is in line with the ambition of the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming below 2°C. It sets out how much and how quickly the company will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Specifically, Emira intends to achieve the following by 2022: Emira Property Fund commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 13% by 2022 from a 2015 base year.

In terms of the SBTi, science-based targets are validated by technical experts and can help to safeguard a company's growth and profitability by keeping business relevant and competitive during a transition to a low-carbon economy. These targets can also help companies buffer themselves against imminent national policy changes like the South African Carbon Tax Bill, due to be passed in January 2019.

Ten other South African companies have already committed to the international effort to limit global temperature rise with the SBTi, but have yet to have their emissions targets validated. These companies are: Exxaro Resources Ltd; Growthpoint Properties; Mediclinic Southern Africa; Netcare Limited; Pick 'n Pay Stores Ltd; The SPAR Group Limited; Tiger Brands; Tongaat Hulett Ltd; Virgin Active South Africa (Pty) Limited; and, Woolworths Holdings Ltd.

Alex Farsan, WWF Global Lead, Science Based Targets and member of the Science Based Targets initiative steering committee, said: "We congratulate Emira Property Fund on becoming the first South African company to have their emission reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. By setting targets that align their business with global efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, Emira Property Fund is positioning itself to thrive as the global economy transitions to a low-carbon future."

For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org
Posted: July 19, 2018, 12:00 am
Low clouds over the River Danube flowing through the Iron Gate Gorge, Serbia ©  Wild Wonders of Europe / Ruben Smit / WWFBrussels, Belgium - 16 July 2018

What? Ministerial segment of UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF)
When? New York, 16-18 July 2018

Why does this meeting matter?

EU Commissioners Vella and Mimica will represent the EU at the HLPF. The meeting will review progress and make recommendations on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, which the EU signed along with 196 parties in 2015.

Each year, the High Level Political Forum reviews progress on a number of SDGs. The theme of this year's HLPF is: "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies", and it will focus on the following SDGs:

·         Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
·         Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
·         Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
·         Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
·         Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
·         Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

The meeting will produce a Ministerial Declaration. The HLPF meets at Head of State level every four years, i.e. for the first time in 2019.

Has the EU made progress on implementing these SDGs?

For WWF, it is clear that despite committing to the SDGs back in 2015, the EU's ambition on reaching the goals domestically is insufficient. Instead of presenting an overarching implementation strategy, the EU has relied on policy initiatives in particular areas, but even if these are all implemented, they are nowhere near enough to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

The EU continues its internal reflection on the way forward, while urgent action is needed to address the implementation gaps.

WWF assessment & quotes:

"More than 1,000 days have passed since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, but the EU still has no overarching plan for implementation. The EU claims that it is already delivering on SDGs in many areas, but if we look at the goals that are under revision this year, it becomes patently clear that there are considerable gaps that need addressing urgently," said Sally Nicholson, Head of Sustainable Development at the WWF European Policy Office.

"The EU must stop kicking the can down the road and get to work on an overarching and transformative SDG strategy – including climate change, but also bringing in the other SDGs from nature protection to water quality to sustainable consumption and production – which can be rapidly implemented, before many more days tick by. Our lives and well-being depend on it."

SDG 6: Sustainable management of water

Europe's freshwater ecosystems are in a shocking state, with only 40% of Europe's rivers and lakes are in 'good status', according to a recent EEA report. EU member states have a legal obligation under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) to bring Europe's freshwater bodies into 'good status', but since the adoption of the legislation in 2000, they have been failing to implement it adequately.

"We are far off the mark when it comes to sustainable water management in Europe," said Martina Mlinaric, Senior Policy Officer, Freshwater, WWF European Policy Office. "EU member states are failing to make EU water legislation work on the ground, opting instead to bow to vested economic interests and pressure from various industries. The real question is whether today our political leaders in Europe are willing to revive the ambition to protect waters and live up to both their EU and international commitments."

SDG 7: Sustainable and modern energy

The EU has just agreed disappointing 2030 targets for renewables and energy efficiency. The final deals were better than the Commission's original proposals, but are still far off what the Paris climate agreement and the SDGs require. The 32.5% energy efficiency and 32% renewables target, both non-binding, are missed opportunities for climate action and a more sustainable economy, while new bioenergy rules will likely increase emissions compared to fossil fuels.

"Renewables will continue to gain market share because they make economic sense, but the EU has missed its chance to modernise the energy system even faster and to reap the benefits for its citizens and industry", commented Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office. "To play its part in keeping global warming to 1.5°C as agreed in Paris, the EU must aim for zero net emissions by 2040, and this means increasing and strengthening the 2030 renewables and efficiency targets."

SDG 15: Protect & restore terrestrial ecosystems & halt biodiversity loss

Biodiversity loss threatens ecosystems and the human development that depends on them. Europe's rich and diverse heritage is at risk: only 23% of species and 16% of habitats protected under the Habitats Directive are in good health. Under the EU's Biodiversity Strategy 2010-2020, all EU Member States committed to help stop global biodiversity loss, and put the EU Nature Laws at the core of achieving this strategy. However, the Birds and Habitats Directives are not adequately implemented, financed or enforced.

"We do have the legislation in place to halt biodiversity loss in Europe, but not the political will of Member States to follow these laws, nor the necessary enforcement through the European Commission," said Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy officer for WWF European Policy Office. "Nature protection can only work if we tackle the real drivers of biodiversity loss, which means that we need to properly and consistently integrate biodiversity into key economic sectors through agriculture, water, infrastructure and development, and climate and energy policies. This is currently not happening."

SDG 12: Sustainable consumption & production

"Europe's consumption levels and production methods are far from being sustainable, and the EU's footprint impacts on both its own and on other countries' efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals," said Andreas Baumüller, Head of Natural Resources for WWF European Policy Office. "EU demand for commodities such as soy and oil palm is responsible for vast amounts of deforestation and forest degradation in the exporting countries. Addressing this issue, which also includes the impacts of consumption in the EU, is the key to reaching truly sustainable development in Europe."

"This reform of the Common Agricultural Policy post-2020 was announced to have SDGs as a cross-cutting priority that would reshape how we farm in Europe", said Jabier Ruiz, Senior Agriculture and Food Policy Officer for WWF European Policy. "But instead, we are witnessing how sustainability in food and farming is being sidelined in the political debate, which would lead to reinforcing a system that continues to put farmers out of business and nature under ever increasing pressure".

SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation

To meet the SDGs in Europe and to meet Europe's contribution to the SDGs globally, the EU will have to step up its ambition and will have to put its money where its mouth is. Proposals for the next EU Budget to 2027 barely acknowledge the level of investment that will be needed to achieve the 2030 targets of the SDGs and to support these environmental priorities in EU and globally.

"The European Commission's budget proposal is a slap in the face to anyone who expected the EU to be a global leader on sustainable development," said Dr. Andrea Kohl, Acting Director of WWF's European Policy Office. "It beggars belief that so little attention is paid to combating climate change and addressing the loss of biodiversity at a time in which the world is finally fully realising the environmental crisis facing our planet. How is the Commission planning to square this budget with its international commitments on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda?"

Contact:
Sally Nicholson
snicholson@wwf.eu
0492 59 14 01
Posted: July 16, 2018, 12:00 am
Aircraft streaking across the sky © Creative CommonsBERLIN, Germany (28 June, 2018) – In response to the decision from the countries on the UN International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) governing Council on a detailed set of rules to operationalize a plan to curb emissions from international aviation, WWF released the following statements:

 

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy programme, said:

"A policy is only as strong as the rules that govern it. By deciding to credit fossil fuels, the countries have weakened the aviation climate deal's rules and jeopardized airlines' ability to reduce carbon emissions from international aviation at the scale needed to keep global warming to 1.5°C.

 

"While many countries and non-state actors are ramping up climate action, it is extremely disappointing to see countries undermining this global aviation climate policy they agreed to in 2016."

 

Brad Schallert, WWF-US's deputy director for international climate cooperation, said:

 

"Allowing airlines to get credit for lower carbon fossil fuels runs counter to the very purpose the policy: to help aviation take off towards a sustainable future.

 

"There's no place for any type of fossil fuels in a climate protection policy. This aviation climate deal needs an operational plan that helps aviation transition away from fossil fuels, not one that provides a lifeline to fossil fuels interests while undermining budding new sustainable aviation fuels."

 
For further information, contact:  Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org  
Posted: June 27, 2018, 12:00 am
The Climate Vulnerable Forum logo © The  Climate Vulnerable Forum websiteBERLIN, Germany (27 June, 2018) – WWF has welcomed the announcement by The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) that they will host a virtual Summit on 22 November this year, aimed at escalating political momentum for enhanced and scaled up climate action.
 
The announcement was made today by Dr. Hilda C. Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and incoming Chair of the CVF.  The CVF is a global coalition of developing countries working together to combat climate change.
 
Responding to the announcement, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy programme, said:  "Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our world, threatening the delicate web of life that sustains ecosystems and the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.
 
"Our leaders have the power to change this, to be part of history as we shift to a low-carbon world. This starts with increasing climate action reflected in individual country climate plans (or Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs).
 
"So the Climate Vulnerable Forum Summit is a welcome initiative, coming at just the right time. In this year of stepping up climate action, world leaders need to be bold, to act now and at scale, to help ensure that they keep the promise of a 1.5°C degree world alive."
 
For further information, contact:  Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org  
Posted: June 27, 2018, 12:00 am
A wind farm near La Calahorra in Andalucia, Spain, at sunset. © Global Warming Images / WWFBrussels, Belgium - 20 June 2018

EU decision-makers agreed to aim for a net zero emissions economy "as soon as possible" in the early hours of this morning. Reaching net zero emissions is urgent if we are to meet the Paris Agreement objective of keeping temperature rise to 1.5°C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The European Commission, EU Council and Parliament were finalising laws on 'Energy Union governance' - that is, the rules and framework governing climate plans and how the EU's 2030 renewables and energy efficiency targets are met.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office said:
"Finally the EU is waking up to the challenge of climate change. Getting rid of its outdated 80-95% emissions reduction target, and replacing it with a commitment to net zero emissions, is critical for meeting the Paris Agreement goals. The wording agreed this morning is a clear call on the European Commission to come up with pathways to net zero for  2050 and even well before in its mid-century roadmap, due by March 2019."

Disappointingly however, EU decision-makers did not agree on strict rules to ensure the renewables and energy efficiency targets are met.

"The weak rules on enforcing the targets lack teeth. At a time when Europe's renewables investments are shrinking and others are taking the lead in the global market-place, these anaemic rules are the last thing we need," commented Lübbeke.

Yesterday, EU decision-makers agreed on a 32.5% non-binding energy efficiency target, following their deal on a 32% renewables goal for 2030 last week.

Contact:
Alex Mason, Senior Policy Officer (renewables and governance), WWF European Policy Office
- amason@wwf.eu, +32 494 762 763

Sarah Azau, Senior Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office
- sazau@wwf.eu, +32 473 573 137
Posted: June 20, 2018, 12:00 am
UN Secretary General speaking at the UN about the Paris Agreement ratification. © UN PhotoBrussels, Belgium - 19 June 2018

EU decision-makers reached agreement this evening on a 32.5% target for energy savings by 2030. This is higher than the European Commission's original proposal, but lower than the 35% European Parliament wanted and considerably less than what is required to be in line with the Paris Agreement's temperature goals.

Several Energy Ministers, including from France, Italy, Spain and Sweden supported a higher energy efficiency target at their recent meeting, but unfortunately this was not enough for it to become the EU Council's official position. The target can be revised in 2023.

The target is non-binding, contrary to what was proposed by the European Commission and supported by the European Parliament.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office said:
"This low, non-binding 2030 energy efficiency target will go down in the history books as a missed opportunity, despite the best efforts of the European Parliament and several progressive Member States. It puts the EU far off course in terms of the Paris Agreement, climate action, cleaner air and better jobs."

EU decision-makers also reviewed the rule that sets a compulsory level of annual energy savings, but barely increased its ambition. The current rule requires Member States to deliver 1.5% energy savings each year, but because of loopholes such as it not being compulsory to include energy used in transport, it only delivers half of that. The deal reached tonight keeps the existing loopholes and clarifies that with them, the real rate of energy savings Member States will have to deliver is 0.8%.

"What's more, despite the clear need for faster emissions reductions, the energy savings rule is basically the same as before. It's another wasted chance to boost climate action, since the rule is binding and so Member States have to deliver on it," added Lübbeke.

This evening there is another trilogue discussion on the Energy Union governance regulation, which sets the rules and framework for how countries meet their renewables and energy efficiency targets, including on a possible net zero emissions target for 2050. Last week, EU decision-makers agreed on a low, 32% renewables target for 2030 and weak bioenergy rules which will allow ever more trees and crops to be burnt for energy, increasing greenhouse gas emissions even more than fossil fuels would do.

Contact:
Arianna Vitali, Senior Policy Officer (energy efficiency), WWF European Policy Office, avitali@wwf.eu, +32 2 743 88 16
Alex Mason, Senior Policy Officer (renewables and governance), WWF European Policy Office, amason@wwf.eu, +32494762763
Sarah Azau, Senior Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office, sazau@wwf.eu, +32 473 573 137
Posted: June 19, 2018, 12:00 am
Gas power station, Scotland © Global Warming Images / WWFBrussels, Belgium - 19 June 2018

The European Banking Authority should assess whether banks could be made to measure the financial risk of assets like coal, oil and gas, according to a European Parliament committee vote today.

If banks are made to reveal the financial risk of unsustainable assets, the costs of those assets will go up, making them less attractive, so the MEPs' position could be good for the climate.  

MEPs were voting on a package of legislative proposals from the European Commission that aim to make the banking system more stable: the Capital Requirements Regulation and its accompanying directive (CRR-CRD).

MEPs will also consider, in their trilogue negotiations with the EU Commission and Council to finalise the banking laws, whether to include climate risk in the list that supervisors use to challenge banks on financial risks. Doing so would make it much easier to track whether banks are investing in assets which harm or help the climate.

Sébastien Godinot, Economist at WWF European Policy Office commented:
"Reducing financial support for fossil fuels is one of the most effective ways of fighting climate change and moving to a renewable energy system. This is why WWF urges the European Commission and Council to support the Parliament's position on banks and financial risk when the three institutions finalise the capital requirements legislation, and calls on the European Banking Authority to produce its assessment swiftly. 

"We urge MEPs to take their sustainable credentials a step further, and say financial supervisors should include climate risk assessment in their daily work, bringing such risk to front of stage," continued Godinot. "This is hardly a radical position - it is supported by many supervisors themselves! We call on all MEPs to address this issue in the trilogue negotiations." 

Further information:
The EU Council adopted its position on the CRR-CRD on 22 May. The European Parliament approved a negotiating mandate today, which will be formally announced in plenary in the first week of July. Following that, a first trilogue discussion will take place also in July. Since the incoming Austrian Presidency of the European Council has said this file is a priority, it will likely aim for agreement by the end of its term in December 2018. 

If the European Banking Authority report says banks should assess the financial risk of unsustainable assets, the next European Commission could propose legislative changes to this effect. If it did so in the early part of its next mandate, by 2020, these changes would have to be approved by Member States and the European Parliament and could enter into force a few years later.

Contact:
Sébastien Godinot, Economist, WWF European Policy Office
sgodinot@wwf.eu +32 489 461 314

Sarah Azau, Senior Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office
sazau@wwf.eu +32 473 573 137
Posted: June 19, 2018, 12:00 am
Flooded areas of the Dongting Lake, Hunan Province, China. © Michel Gunther / WWFBrussels, Belgium - 13 June 2018

EU decision-makers reached agreement in the middle of the night on an unambitious Renewable Energy Directive with rules on bioenergy that put both the climate and forests worldwide at risk. They adopted a low, 32% renewables target that is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement's goal to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C, and bioenergy rules that will allow ever more trees and crops to be burnt for energy, increasing greenhouse gas emissions even more than fossil fuels would do.

Yesterday, decision-makers failed to reach agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive, with the European Parliament's position remaining more progressive than that of the EU Council.  In the next talks the Council should be ready to move forward and accept a higher binding energy efficiency target and a more effective annual energy savings rule.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office said:
"Going for a renewables target that is barely above business-as-usual is a spectacular failure by the EU. It will undermine jobs, the economy and the climate in one fell swoop. Renewables will continue to gain market share because they make economic sense, but the EU has missed its chance to boost them further through a strong and binding target, and reap the benefits for its citizens and industry.

"And the elephant in the room when it comes to the Renewable Energy Directive is bioenergy", continued Lübbeke. "Despite valiant efforts by the Parliament's Green Rapporteur Bas Eickhout, the EU has adopted rules on biofuels and forest biomass that will likely increase emissions compared to fossil fuels and so make climate change worse. In doing so, EU policy makers have disregarded science and set a terrible example to the rest of the world. They should hang their heads in shame at this disgraceful decision, which WWF believes will in time have to be reversed."

Contact:
Arianna Vitali, Senior Policy Officer (energy efficiency), WWF European Policy Office, avitali@wwf.eu, +32 2 743 88 16
Alex Mason, Senior Policy Officer (renewables and governance), WWF European Policy Office, amason@wwf.eu, +32 494 762 763
Sarah Azau, Senior Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office, sazau@wwf.eu, +32 473 573 137
Posted: June 14, 2018, 12:00 am
Wind turbines © Michel Gunther / WWFEnergy ministers are meeting today in Luxembourg to discuss the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Directives and their 2030 targets, as well as the Governance Regulation. 

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy, WWF European Policy Office commented on the meeting:

"It's great to see that a growing number of countries have spoken in favour of higher energy efficiency and renewables targets. Unfortunately, some others keep hiding behind the word 'flexibility' -  a buzzword of today's Energy Council - to slow down progress on the Clean Energy Package."

"In fact, we need both: high targets and credible, strong measures to implement them, if we are serious about advancing the transition to clean energy in Europe.  To be in line with the Paris Agreement, the EU must increase its overall effort, as well as improve actions in all sectors, as soon as possible."

WWF had called on ministers to revise their positions on the target levels, currently 30% for energy efficiency and 27% for renewables.

The Energy Council's position will be taken forward by the Bulgarian Presidency to finalise negotiations in trilogues - scheduled for 13 June in Strasbourg - with the European Parliament, who is sticking to 35% targets for both efficiency and renewables. On the Governance Regulation the next trilogue is scheduled for the 19th June.
Posted: June 11, 2018, 12:00 am
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