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The latest climate change news from WWF

UNFCCC flags outside the Bonn International Conference Centre. © WWF/Naoyuki YamigishiCOP26, the annual meeting of climate negotiators, has been postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis. The meeting was scheduled to be held in Glasgow from 9 – 20 November this year.

The announcement came via a statement on the UK government website yesterday.

Responding to the announcement, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice said: 
 "Under the circumstances, the decision to postpone COP26, is unavoidable. Our collective priority must be to put health and lives first which is why we must treat Covid-19 seriously. 

"But climate action must remain a non-negotiable global priority. That means we must also focus on creating low-carbon job opportunities and increasing our societies' economic and ecological resilience. This means countries must continue their work to step up ambition to tackle the climate crisis in a socially fair way, by decarbonizing economies and energy systems, increasing nature-based solutions and addressing unsustainable agriculture and deforestation, including through any economic recovery effort. It is especially vital that countries align all recovery and stimulus packages with climate science. 

Ester Asin, Director of WWF European Policy Office said:
"The EU is a crucial player in implementing the Paris Agreement. The understandable postponement of COP26 does not give the EU a licence to kick its own climate action down the road. Now more than ever, the EU must show leadership by drastically increasing its 2030 climate goal before September 2020. Action today to drive a socially fair shift to a climate-neutral Europe will make our economies and societies more resilient in future"

Contact:
Imke Lübbeke
Head of Climate and Energy
WWF European Policy Office 
iluebbeke@wwf.eu 
+ 32 2 743 88 18

Sarah Azau, 
Media Manager 
WWF European Policy Office 
sazau@wwf.eu
+32 473 573 13
Posted: April 2, 2020, 12:00 am
UNFCCC flags outside the Bonn International Conference Centre. © WWF/Naoyuki Yamigishi
(GLAND, Switzerland) 1 April 2020 - COP26, the annual meeting of climate negotiators, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. The meeting was scheduled to be held in Glasgow from 9 – 20 November this year.

The announcement came via a statement on the UK government website today.

The statement said: "This decision has been taken by representatives of the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), with the UK and its Italian partners.

"Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow by the UK in partnership with Italy, will be set out in due course following further discussion with parties.

"In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible."

Rescheduling will ensure all parties can focus on the issues to be discussed at this vital conference and allow more time for the necessary preparations to take place. We will continue to work with all involved to increase climate ambition, build resilience and lower emissions, the statement said.

Responding to the announcement, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice said:  "Under the circumstances, the decision to postpone COP26, is unavoidable. Our collective priority must be to put health and lives first which is why we must treat COVID-19 seriously. 

"But climate action must remain a non-negotiable global priority. That means we must also focus on creating low-carbon job opportunities and increasing our societies' economic and ecological resilience. This means countries must continue their work to step up ambition to tackle the climate crisis in a socially fair way, by decarbonizing economies and energy systems, increasing nature-based solutions and addressing unsustainable agriculture and deforestation, including through any economic recovery effort. It is especially vital that countries align all recovery and stimulus packages with climate science. 

"There are important and specific opportunities for job creation in the net-zero economy in labour intensive sectors such as digital infrastructure, insulation and energy efficiency, sustainable public transport, solar PV deployment in cities and ecosystem restoration, among others. 

"The current alarming situation we are facing also underlines the need for urgent action to halt the imminent loss of lives from the climate crisis and to rebalance our relationship with nature. 

"We are all on this planet together. Countries are stronger working together, and international cooperation based on creating socially, economically and ecologically resilient societies is the best option to resolve present and future crises such as COVID-19 and the global climate crisis."
 
For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org
 
Posted: April 1, 2020, 12:00 am
Fridays for Future activists march to demand greater climate action from their governments.  © Fridays For Future (Pixabay)

 

As part of the Paris Agreement countries must submit revised national climate plans in five year cycles. According to the agreement, countries should submit a second round of plans (or Nationally Determined Contributions - NDCs) in 2020 to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

 

In 2015, 184 countries submitted national climate plans. This first round of plans put the world on a path to warm by 3°C or more. Now, there is an urgency for these second round of plans to have enhanced ambition if we are to have a chance of keeping to the 1.5°C global temperature goal set out in the Paris Agreement - and what the science assessed by the IPCC is shown to be safer for people and nature compared with 2°C or more warming. So far, 107 countries have indicated they will submit enhanced plans in 2020. The Marshall Islands, Suriname, Norway and Moldova have so far submitted their second round plans, all enhancing their ambition. Japan is the first of the big emitting countries to submit its plan and it is unchanged from its first submission.

 

Responding to the news, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice said: "It is deeply disappointing that Japan, as the world's third largest economy and the world's fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, could not find the political will to step up its climate actions in submitting its second national climate plan to the United Nations. Instead of setting the pace, they have lowered the bar.

 

"A true test of a country's commitment to the Paris Agreement is whether their second round plans will be aligned to 1.5°C. We have known since 2015 that the first round of plans was setting the world on a path to warm by 3°C or more. 

 

"Japan has wasted an opportunity to show climate leadership. They have failed their citizens and the people of the world by rushing to submit their NDC without substantial improvements.

 

"The signal sent by this submission is that Japan is not willing to tackle the climate crisis meaningfully. What they have submitted is an affront to their previous climate leadership and  to what we all know science says needs to be done. It is particularly galling since Japan is the first of the big emitters to submit their national climate plans.  

 

"We urge all big emitting countries to submit revised plans aligned with 1.5°C. The current health crisis facing the world is giving us a glimpse into what is possible when governments have the political will to take action - and greening recovery and stimulus efforts aligned to sustainable development  is necessary and desirable. 

 

"Humans need to better understand and respect that ecosystems are the cradle of our lives, livelihoods and security.  There are a number of trends that have led to increasing frequency of certain disease outbreaks, but science shows that climate change and biodiversity loss are contributing factors. 

 

"Climate change remains a massive and very foreseeable crisis that is already unfolding at a (scientific) pace unprecedented in human history. We need all tools at our disposal to take action. Being cross-sectoral in nature, national climate plans give us one of the best opportunities to shift towards a more resilient economic development." 

 

Naoyuki Yamagishi, leader of the climate and energy group for WWF-Japan said: "Japan missed another opportunity to show leadership for decarbonization. Instead it sent a completely wrong signal to the international society implying it is ok not to enhance ambition at this crucial moment. No, this is NOT OK in the face of a climate crisis.
"Submitting an unchanged Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) now for the sake of meeting the 9  to 12 month deadline has no legal basis and possibly discourages other countries efforts to seriously consider enhancing NDCs.
"Japan's government should have listened to the positive voices expressed in the statement by Japan Climate Initiative (JCI), which was signed by 248 organizations including business companies, local governments and other organisations who urged the government to enhance its NDC.
"The only possible remedy now is to start an open and transparent process to discuss how to (
NOT whether to) enhance its NDC with a clear time schedule."

 
For further information contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org 

 
Posted: March 30, 2020, 12:00 am
The Bukit Tigapuluh, or

Under the Paris Agreement, countries can take more ambitious action on climate change by updating their climate plans (Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) in 2020. A new set of recommendations from WWF explores how these climate plans should include the opportunities offered by Nature-based Solutions. 

Nature-based Solutions are ecosystem conservation, management and restoration interventions designed to address a wide array of societal challenges, while also benefiting biodiversity and human well-being. Recently, Nature-based Solutions have emerged as essential tools to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

To help countries in their efforts to take more ambitious climate action, WWF reviewed current guidance from several institutions on using Nature-based Solutions for climate change and how nature-based solutions were featured in existing NDCs.

From this review, we developed 8 simple recommendations that, if followed, will help countries show strong commitments to Nature-based Solutions.

This guidance was developed as a contribution to the NDC Partnership and made possible by the Support Project for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPA), which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenrarbeit (GIZ) and funded by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) under its International Climate Initiative (IKI).

 

 
Posted: March 23, 2020, 12:00 am
Saraf, 8, sits on a submerged car outside her family home, flooded by a tidal surge in Chaktai, Chittagong. © Jashim Salam / WWF-UKMarch 10, 2020: Today, the World Meteorological Organization Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019 report confirmed that last year was the second warmest year in recorded history, and that 2010-2019 was the warmest decade on record.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice said: "The exceptional events of 2019, which are becoming more and more common - from melting sea ice, the warming of our oceans and Poles to devastating fires and floods - are telling us that the current speed of warming is unprecedented in geological time scales. It is affecting every corner of our planet, it is affecting nature and it is affecting people's lives and livelihoods in devastating ways.

"The evidence for climate change's dire impacts is clear and the science behind this State of the Climate 2019 report must inform governments´ enhanced climate pledges this year and 1.5˚C aligned targets by all Non-State Actors if we are going to collectively meet the targets set in the Paris Agreement. We are in a critical year for action - the longer we wait, the harder the challenge of addressing the climate crisis is going to get. And if we don't address this crisis boldly now and in the crucial window of opportunity ahead, the safest option we know - staying below the 1.5˚C guardrail to protect our planet - will slip away."

Vanessa Perez-Cirera, deputy leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice said: "Nature is a critical ally in the fight against climate change. Yet, wherever we look, nature's warning signs are flashing red. Rising temperatures are pushing natural systems to their limits, disrupting the delicate web of life on which species and people depend. We already know what must be done – we must rapidly decarbonise our energy, transport and industry; develop climate resilient and net-zero agricultural systems; and invest in ecosystem restoration across the globe."

"The world must now recognise the urgency of the environmental catastrophe we are facing — and our politicians must take decisive action, at home and internationally, and act swiftly to address this."
Posted: March 10, 2020, 12:00 am
Inside a textile factory © VITASThe EU's new industrial strategy, published today, is an important step on the road to climate-neutrality, making a clear link to the need to decarbonise Europe's economy. The strategy contains elements to clean up Europe's highest emitting sectors, such as steel, cement and chemicals. Notably, it refers to the need to create new markets for zero-carbon technologies and recognises the 'energy efficiency first principle'.  But detailed measures are missing.

The strategy also mentions the launch of a Just Transition Platform to support carbon-intensive regions and industries, which is crucial for a socially fair transition. 

However, in order to reach the climate neutrality goal while maintaining competitiveness, the strategy must do more. It needs to set clear intermediate and long-term targets, as well as pathways for the industry to reach them, implement an 'Independent Observatory' including civil society to monitor the progress of Energy Intensive Industries towards decarbonisation, and define sustainable criteria and targeted uses of hydrogen. 

Camille Maury, Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office said:
"European industry has a make or break role in our battle against climate change. This industry strategy is a first plan for how to decarbonise while remaining competitive, but it needs more work, for example setting target dates for decarbonisation. What's more, the hydrogen alliance is too vague over what is considered 'clean', opening the door to harmful gas investments."  

The strategy is part of a package released with a small and medium-size enterprises (SME) strategy, a Single Market Barriers Report, as well as a Circular Economy Action plan to be published on 11 March 2020. The Industrial Strategy  now passes to the European Parliament and the Council for discussion. The EU Parliament is planning an own initiative report on the strategy. It will decide in the coming months if the file will be a shared competence between the Energy (ITRE) and Environment (ENVI) Committees - or if ITRE only will lead.

See WWF and Carbon Market Watch's ten asks on the strategy.

Contact:
Camille Maury
Policy Officer
WWF European Policy Office 
cmaury@wwf.eu 
+32 483 76 50 32

Sarah Azau, 
Media Manager 
WWF European Policy Office 
sazau@wwf.eu
+32 473 573 137
Posted: March 10, 2020, 12:00 am
Nuclear plant in the background, Antwerp, Belgium © © Michel Gunther / WWFThe EU's finance sector will take strides for the climate if the European Commission follows just-published expert advice. Investments in nuclear power, gas and some types of bioenergy should not be counted as sustainable under the EU forthcoming rules or 'taxonomy', according to the Commission's technical expert group (TEG)'s report today. 
 
The TEG also wants the taxonomy to include a category of unsustainable investments, which WWF has been repeatedly calling for, to show the worst economic areas for the planet.
 
However, the report is too lax on areas like forestry and hydropower, and still includes types of bioenergy which increase emissions compared to fossil fuels, like purpose grown biofuel crops, tree trunks and stumps.
 
Sébastien Godinot, economist at WWF European Policy Office said:
"This is a thorough and mostly science-based set of proposed criteria, which would rightfully put an end to polluting fossil fuels,  nuclear and bioenergy being greenwashed. Further work is now needed from the Commission to tighten up criteria on bioenergy, forest management and on  hydropower, given the damage dams do to fish and freshwater ecosystems."
 
See WWF's overview of how ten priority areas fare in the final TEG report, below. These are areas which were identified by WWF and other NGOs for the TEG interim report in September 2019. 
 
The EU Commission is presenting this report to the public on Thursday 12 March, then it will begin assessing the technical taxonomy criteria, based on the TEG's proposal. The Commission is due to publish the final climate rules for the taxonomy before the end of 2020.
 
More information:

WWF preliminary analysis of the TEG final taxonomy report on ten priority issues: seven areas to improve, three to support
 
WWF strongly welcomes the TEG call for a complementary brown taxonomy.
 
Seven areas to improve

Economic activities for which the criteria need to be tightened 
  1. Bioenergy manufacture and its use for heat and power
WWF welcomes the fact that the TEG criteria for manufacture of bioenergy have been improved, by making clear that the criteria in the Renewable Energy Directive are not science-based and completely inadequate, and by instead taking an approach based on feedstock. They are still not strict enough however and should be tightened further to exclude tree trunks and stumps and purpose grown biofuel crops.
 
        2.   Biofuels and biogas for transport

There are types of biofuels permitted in the transport sector that are not allowed in the heat and power sectors and that will typically increase emissions compared to fossil fuels – so-called 'low-ILUC biofuels'. Fossil-based biofuels are also allowed. These criteria should be harmonised with the criteria on the manufacture of bioenergy.
  1. Hydropower
WWF believes that the TEG criteria should be tightened for hydropower within the EU, where the already existing 20.000+ dams are disrupting freshwater ecosystems and cheaper, low carbon, low impact and viable alternatives exist. Greenfield hydropower plants should therefore not be developed in Europe anymore, refocusing on retrofits. Outside Europe the EU stringent standards should be followed and the emission threshold of 100 gCO2/KWh decreased.
  1. Forestry
One of the main concerns is the lack of action to protect natural forests against deforestation. Afforestation or reforestation of forests is insufficient to replace forests lost to deforestation. Protecting, restoring and enriching biodiversity should therefore be an underlying requirement.
 
      5.   Cross-cutting 'do no significant harm' criteria on biodiversity

WWF raised initial concerns about the interim TEG taxonomy report, that have been adequately addressed by the TEG: it mainstreamed the 'do no significant harm' minimum requirement for most economic activities that they should not harm protected areas like UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Key Biodiversity Areas. But the Do no significant harm criteria for infrastructure still need to be improved further.
 
Economic activities to remove from the EU sustainable taxonomy
  1. Vehicles and vessels that can burn fossil fuels
It is impossible to monitor whether a vehicle has only used biogas or biofuels. The thresholds should therefore be improved to ensure that vehicles and vessels that can burn fossil fuel (including gas) are removed from the EU taxonomy.

       7. Livestock


It is challenging to robustly assess greenhouse gas emission from livestock, hence intensive livestock activities should be excluded from the EU taxonomy for the time being, to explore the issue in a deeper way. Organic livestock could be an exception.

Three areas to support

Economic activities that were rightly excluded
  1. Nuclear power
Nuclear power is rightly excluded by the TEG as it significantly harms the taxonomy's pollution objective.
  1. Fossil fuels (including gas)
Fossil fuels clearly operate on emissions that are far beyond the 100 gCO2/kWh threshold identified by the TEG. They are therefore rightly excluded from the taxonomy.
  1. Incineration / waste to energy
The TEG has rightly excluded incineration as it undermines upper-tier activities of the waste hierarchy which are more protective of the climate.
 
What is the EU taxonomy?

It is a system which aims to select some economic activities as environmentally sustainable. 
 If it works properly, the EU taxonomy will help determine the sustainability of all activities and stop financial players falsely labelling unsustainable investments as climate-friendly. For example, the taxonomy is expected not to include gas power and nuclear power. The taxonomy's classification should inform public and private investment decisions, and it is a new powerful tool  to make the EU economy environmentally and socially sustainable.
 
The taxonomy will also serve as the basis for other EU projects, such as the EU Ecolabel, which shows which products and services are green. Therefore, it is crucial that the technical criteria are built in a rigorous, science-based way that respects our environmental targets and planetary boundaries.
 
The report by the European Commission's 'Technical Expert Group' - which WWF was part of - contains suggested criteria for the EU taxonomy.  
 
Statement signed by over 50 NGOs on the ten priority areas for the taxonomy (September 2019)
  
Contact:
Sébastien Godinot
Economist, WWF European Policy Office
+32 489 46 13 14
sgodinot@wwf.eu
 
Sarah Azau
Media Manager, WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 57 31 37
sazau@wwf.eu
Posted: March 9, 2020, 12:00 am
The EU Industrial Strategy must be a comprehensive plan which links competitiveness and climate neutrality © PixabayWhat's happening?

Ursula von Der Leyen's Commission presidency reaches its 100th day on 10 March. But the environment and climate measures rolled out so far - from the sustainable investment plan to the EU climate law proposal - do not match up to the European Green Deal rhetoric. 
 
The 100th day itself will be marked by the publication of the Commission's proposed industrial strategy. The decarbonisation element of this - which for WWF should be front and centre - will be the first test of the EU's climate law, which makes climate neutrality by 2050 legally binding.
 
Ester Asin, Director of WWF European Policy Office said:

"After its first one hundred days, the new Commission is starting to lose its shine. While the executive's rhetoric is as ambitious as ever, its reality does not match up. The Commission's proposals to date fail to respond to the environmental emergency, with the recent climate law just the latest example. 

However, Ursula von der Leyen and her team can still increase the EU's ambition on both climate action and nature restoration, ahead of a series of crucial international summits taking place later this year. Their first opportunity is the industrial strategy due on Tuesday, the 100th day itself. The strategy needs to take bold steps to clean up EU heavy industry and bring it in line with our climate targets.

Further critical moments include the proposals for the EU Biodiversity strategy and the Farm to Fork strategy later this month. 

Over the coming months, the European Parliament and Member States will also have the chance to further strengthen the proposals that are now on the table."

What will WWF be looking out for in the industrial strategy?

In WWF's view, the strategy must be a comprehensive plan which links competitiveness and climate neutrality. It must encourage investment to rapidly shift to zero-carbon technologies and create new markets for low and zero carbon products to reach climate neutrality on time.

To do this, the strategy must propose:
 
  1. Setting up an independent observatory to set targets and monitor EU industry progress towards decarbonisation 
  2. Supporting strong EU and national innovation policies on zero- carbon technologies 
  3. Creating markets for zero-carbon technologies
  4. Supporting and defining sustainable and targeted uses of renewable Hydrogen 
  5. Setting out stringent conditions and criteria for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) 
  6. Promoting circularity and material efficiency 
  7. Implementing emission performance standards
  8. Improving the carbon pricing framework 
  9. Implementing a Border Carbon Adjustment (BCA) only as an alternative to free allocations 
  10. Ensuring a Just Transition Mechanism that excludes fossil fuel investments
More on WWF's work on industrial decarbonisation

What have been the key elements of the European Green Deal to date?

European Green Deal Communication (11 December 2019)
This gave new impetus for action and shows that Commission recognises the environmental challenges the world is facing, setting out a package of fifty policy measures dealing with climate, biodiversity, circular economy and food. However, only the concrete legislative and policy proposals expected in the months after would show the extent to which the Commission is actually committed to heeding scientific recommendations for urgent and far-reaching transformational change.

Sustainable Investment Plan (14 Jan 2020)
Widely considered as the first real test, no new money is put forward to help the EU get climate neutral, protect and restore its endangered nature, and move to a sustainable economy. Instead, the plan only brings together funds which already exist, except for €7.5bn of additional finance to help support the Just Transition. 

Just Transition Mechanism (14 Jan 2020) 
This may be a step closer towards a climate neutral Europe, but as long as Member States do not need to show by when and how they will get free from gas, oil and coal, this is not a 'just' transition.

Commission 2020 Work Programme (29 Jan 2020)
The EC Work Programme for 2020, lacks urgency on climate and deforestation. WWF especially criticised the delay in increasing the 2030 climate target to the third quarter of 2020, and the missing detail on regulatory measures to promote imported products and value chains that do not cause deforestation and forest degradation.

EU Climate Law (4 March 2020)
The EU's proposed climate law lacks desperately-needed urgency. It puts Europe on an essential course to net zero emissions, by setting it as a target for 2050 at the latest. However it does nothing to reduce emissions drastically in the short-term, which is crucial to fight the climate crisis. 

 
What is yet to come?

New Circular Economy Action Plan (11 March 2020)
If everyone lived like an EU citizen, we would need 2.6 planets. To achieve a true circular economy, the EU will have to reduce the total environmental and resource footprint of its production and consumption. As an overarching headline target, the new Action Plan must set out to halve the EU's material footprint by 2030. Such a target would guide any policies and laws yet to be announced and ensure Europe uses no more than its fair share of global resources.

EU Biodiversity Strategy (25 March 2020)
In order to address the galloping loss of nature, the EU Biodiversity Strategy will need to propose a set of legally binding targets and commitments. It must show how the EU will make progress on implementing and enforcing key environmental legislation and will need to propose a new law which ensures nature in Europe will be restored for the benefit of biodiversity and climate. It must also address the key drivers of biodiversity loss, like intensive agriculture and forestry, unsustainable fisheries and hydropower development, which have a devastating impact. The strategy also needs ambitious, smart and enforceable targets.

Farm to Fork strategy (25 March 2020)
The Farm to Fork strategy will need to be fully aligned to the EU's climate, biodiversity and health targets, setting in a real transformation of the agricultural sector. Amongst others, the strategy will need to call for a significant reduction in the use and risk of pesticides and fertilisers and promote sustainable diets.
Posted: March 6, 2020, 12:00 am
The proposed climate law gives the European Commission powers to set an emissions trajectory the EU should follow beyond 2030. © Lawrence Murray / WWF-Aus05 March 2020 - The European Commission published a proposal for the EU's first ever climate law on 4 March. By setting a target for 2050 at the latest, the EU's proposed climate law puts Europe on an essential course towards net zero emissions. However, the proposal falls far short of what the climate emergency requires. It fails to include measures that would reduce emissions drastically, now.
 
Putting the climate neutral goal into legislation sends a strong signal – both to other countries and to investors. But we are facing a climate emergency, so it is what happens today, and in every area, that matters. The climate law must make policies in other areas compatible with the EU's climate targets. It must ensure rapid emissions cuts delivered in a socially just and fair manner so that the EU makes real progress on the path to climate neutrality.

"The climate law is likely to shift the EU's climate governance from a legal approach to developing a new and deeper political framework. Given the chance, it will be robust enough to deliver change in all EU Member States. Although Central and Eastern European governments usually strongly oppose binding targets, WWF Central and Eastern Europe hopes that these countries will support ambitious goals in the final version and show more determination to tackle climate change. The proposal includes a new balance of power, with specific rights and responsibilities designed to deliver results every five years," says Georgi Stefanov, Climate and Energy Practice Lead, WWF-Bulgaria.

The proposed climate law contains a review every five years of the EU and Member States' progress towards climate neutrality, starting in 2023. The law would also give the European Commission powers to set an emissions trajectory the EU should follow beyond 2030. 

Crucial elements that should be included to tackle the climate emergency are:
  • A target in line with science to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 65% by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2040. The law should also contain a separate target for removing CO2 from the atmosphere by restoring forests and other ecosystems - something on which it is completely silent;
  • A ban on all fossil fuel subsidies, tax breaks, advertising and other benefits for coal, oil and gas;
  • Changes to make EU policies in other areas - for example on gas infrastructure, farm subsidies or bioenergy - consistent with climate goals. The law requires the Commission to assess this issue, but only for the period after 2030; and
  • A commitment to set up an independent scientific body to scrutinise the EU's targets and its plans and policies to tackle the climate emergency.
"The climate law is likely to shift the EU's climate governance from a legal approach to developing a new and deeper political framework. Is it robust enough to deliver change in all Member States, although Central and Eastern European governments usually strongly oppose binding targets. The new climate law includes a new balance of power, with specific rights and responsibilities designed to deliver results every 5 years. This is something very needed in countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary where the governments are not really ambitious to achieve results," says Georgi Stefanov, Climate and Energy Practice Lead, WWF-Bulgaria.

More information:Contact:
Georgi Stefanov
Climate & Energy Practice Lead,
WWF-Bulgaria
gstefanov@wwf.bg
Tel: +359 2 950 50 40
 
Alex Mason
Senior Policy Officer
WWF European Policy Office 
amason@wwf.eu  
+32 494 762 763

Sarah Azau
Media Manager 
WWF European Policy Office 
sazau@wwf.eu
+32 473 573 137
 
Posted: March 5, 2020, 12:00 am