The first round of POWERPOOR Training Programmes for the first Energy Supporters and Mentors has been just completed!

The first Training Programmes especially designed for the POWERPOOR Energy Supporters and Mentors have been successfully implemented in 6 POWERPOOR pilot countries – in Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Portugal and Spain. Similar training programmes will be held in the coming months in the other two pilot countries, Estonia and Croatia.

During these training activities, we discussed about the phenomenon of energy poverty, the concepts, and the policies available to alleviate it at national and European level in conjunction with the POWERPOOR project’s approach and goals.

The role of Energy Supporters and Mentors and the POWERPOOR’s Energy Poverty Alleviation Toolkit was extensively analysed.

By the end of July 2021, the first Energy Supporters and Mentors will be also certified and will be fully ready to support and engage energy poor households at local level.

Read more about this news: https://mailchi.mp/dacb10a03f06/1st-powerpoor-news-update-5178082.


Save the date - Workshop "Energy Poverty: Why is it important and how can municipalities fight it?"

9 September, 14:00 to 15:30 | Online | (EN)

The current pandemic has shown the urgent need to tackle energy poverty if we are to create a social Europe that meets the needs of all its inhabitants. Municipalities also have a key role in making energy services such as heating and cooling affordable by setting up and supporting measures that contribute to using less energy and empower citizens to reduce energy poverty. This workshop will explore the key drivers and barriers to alleviate energy poverty as well as solutions in a municipal setting. 

The Workshop will be moderated by Eva Suba, who welcomes questions on the topic: https://www.climatealliance.org/events/international-conference/2021-programme/2021-programme-9-september.html#c4277

Registration: https://www.climatealliance.org/events/international-conference/2021-registration.html


Save the date: ECOS Members & Experts Training

Another year the annual ECOS Members & Experts Training goes online! You have an exclusive opportunity to find out all about civil society defending the environment in standardisation. The training will be held on 14. October 2021.

You can register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpcO6hrz4oG92ix96OIMrRZ__gPTJI5oaB.


New Report on Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss! They must be tackled together, not separately

Slowing global warming and stemming the loss of biodiversity have been viewed as independent challenges for years. But a new landmark report concludes that climate change and the rapid decline of natural ecosystems are intertwined crises that should be tackled together if international efforts to address either are to succeed.

The report, released Thursday, was written by 50 of the world’s leading experts on biodiversity and climate change, representing two major international scientific groups collaborating for the first time: the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The findings emerged from a workshop held in December and months of subsequent research, and come as leaders gear up for two major upcoming United Nations conferences, one focusing on biodiversity and the other on climate change.

“Human-caused climate change is increasingly threatening nature and its contributions to  people,  including  its  ability  to  help  mitigate  climate  change.  The warmer  the world  gets, the less food, drinking water and other key contributions nature can make to our lives, in many regions” said Prof. Hans-OttoPörtner, co-chair of the Scientific Steering Committee. “Changes in biodiversity, in turn, affect climate, especially through impacts on nitrogen, carbon and water cycles,” he said.

“The evidence is clear:  a sustainable global future for people and nature is still achievable, but it  requires transformative change with rapid and  far-reaching actions  of  a  type  never  before  attempted,  building  on  ambitious  emissions reductions. Solving some of the strong and apparently unavoidable trade-offs between climate and biodiversity will entail a profound collective shift of individual and shared values  concerning  nature –  such  as  moving  away  from  the  conception  of economic  progress  based  solely  on  GDP  growth,  to  one  that  balances  human  development  with  multiple  values  of  nature for  a  good  quality  of  life,  while  not overshooting biophysical and social limits.”

The  authors  also warn  that  narrowly-focused  actions  to  combat  climate  change  can  directly  and  indirectly  harm  nature and  vice-versa,  but  many  measures  exist  that  can  make significant  positive contributions  in  both  areas.  Among  the  most  important  available actions identified in the report are:

  • Stopping the loss and degradation of carbon – and species-rich ecosystems on land and in the ocean, especially forests, wetlands, peatlands, grasslands and savannahs; coastal  ecosystems  such  as  mangroves,  salt  marshes,  kelp  forests  and  seagrass  meadows;  as  well  as  deep  water  and  polar  blue  carbon  habitats. The report highlights that reducing deforestation and forest degradation can contribute to lowering human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, by a wide range from 0.4-5.8 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year.
  • Restoring species-rich  ecosystems.  The authors  point  to  evidence  that  restoration  is  among  the  cheapest  and  quickest  nature-based climate mitigation  measures  to  implement  –  offering  much-needed  habitat  for  plants and animals, thus enhancing resilience of biodiversity in the face of climate change,  with  many  other  benefits  such  as  flood  regulation,  coastal  protection,  enhanced   water   quality,   reduced   soil   erosion   and   ensuring   pollination. Ecosystem restoration can also create jobs and income, especially when taking into consideration the needs and access rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
  • Increasing sustainable agricultural and forestry practices to improve the capacity to adapt to climate change, enhance biodiversity, increase carbon storage and reduce emissions. These include measures such as diversification of planted crop and forest species, agroforestry and agroecology. Improved management of cropland and grazing systems, such as soil conservation and the reduction of fertilizer use, is jointly estimated by the report to offer annual climate change mitigation potential of 3-6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
  • Enhancing and better-targeting conservation actions, coordinated with and supported by strong climate  adaptation  and  innovation. Protected areas currently represent about 15% of land and 7.5% of the ocean. Positive outcomes are expected from substantially increasing intact and effectively protected areas. Global estimates of exact requirements for effectively protected and conserved areas to ensure a habitable climate, self-sustaining biodiversity and a good quality of life are not yet well established but range from 30 to 50 percent of all ocean  and  land surface  areas.  Options to improve the positive impacts of protected    areas    include    greater    resourcing, better management    and    enforcement, and improved   distribution   with   increased inter-connectivity between these areas. Conservation measures beyond protected areas are also spotlighted – including migration corridors and planning for shifting climates, as well as better integration of people with nature to assure equity of access and use of nature’s contributions to people.
  • Eliminating subsidies that support local and national activities harmful to biodiversity – such as deforestation, over-fertilization and over-fishing, can also support climate change mitigation and adaptation, together with changing individual consumption patterns, reducing  loss  and  waste, and  shifting  diets, especially in rich countries, toward more plant-based options.

The report authors stress that while nature offers effective ways to help mitigate climate change, these solutions can only be effective if building on ambitious reductions in all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. “Land and ocean are already doing a lot – absorbing almost 50% of CO2 from human emissions – but nature cannot do everything,” said Ana María Hernández Salgar, Chair of IPBES. “Transformative change in all parts of society and our economy is needed to stabilize our climate, stop biodiversity loss and chart a path to the sustainable future we want. This will also require us to address both crises together, in complementary ways.”

Highlighting the significance of the co-sponsored workshop, Dr. Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC, said: “Climate change and biodiversity loss combine to threaten society – often magnifying and accelerating each other. By focusing on synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation, this workshop advanced the debate on how to maximize benefits to people and the planet. It also represented an important step in collaboration between our two communities.”

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world. Biodiversity loss and climate change are both driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforce each other.  Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together.

Find more information here.

Text source:


Students' reflections on climate change: Analysis of the questionnaire conducted within the project "My effective school 7"

Society for Sustainable Development Design is implementing the project “My effective school 7” in the Elementary School Lovre pl. Matačić “. The project is implemented with the financial support of the City Office of Economy, Energy and Environmental Protection of the City of Zagreb from April 1 to December 31, 2021. Objective of the project is to effectively bring students closer to topics related to climate change through educational games.

 

In the scope of the project “My Effective School 7”, DOOR conducted a short survey among teachers and students who participated in lectures as part of last year’s “My Effective School 6” project. The aim of the short research was to investigate the impact of the “My Effective School 6” project on students and teachers; more specifically what they have learned, what has interested them most and how we can bring young people more effectively closer to topics such as sustainable energy, global warming and greenhouse gases, reducing our own carbon footprint and mitigating climate change.

Students from 5th to 7th grade participated in this short research. All students confirmed that the lecture was interesting, that they learned something new and that they now know more about these topics, with 80% of students saying they want to know more about these topics, 92% would recommend the lecture to someone else, 76% of them talked to their friends or parents about these topics after the lecture, and 48% of them went after the lecture to look for more information on these topics.

Topics that were most interesting to them in the lectures were:

64% of students stated that they were interested in the mentioned topics before the lecture, and that even after the lecture those topics became even more interesting to them. Students were informed about climate change topics in the following ways:

To the question: About what would you warn your friends/parents given what you have learned in the lecture?”, most students answered that they would warn them about environmental pollution and the effects of climate change and responsible behavior towards nature. They would also tell them that they had to reduce their own carbon footprint, sort and recycle waste and use as little energy as possible. It is especially interesting that students would recommend to other people that they need to be more interested in these topics. They would also warn them to beware of infectious diseases when traveling in warmer regions, to use cars as little as possible and not to buy too much, to use fewer plastic bags (or not to use them at all), as well as to consume less water and watch more how they behave towards Earth as it becomes increasingly ill due to ill-treatment.

 

After the lectures within the project “My effective school 6”, students applied the acquired knowledge by helping to preserve the environment and nature by separating and recycling waste in homes and parks, not using plastic bags and separating the rest of fruit and vegetable waste into compost. They have also helped mitigate climate change by reducing water and electricity consumption, and by cycling and consuming less meat to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Teachers are also mostly satisfied with the lectures and find them interesting and useful and they suggest that topics such as ‘Forms of energy in my home’, ‘How to reduce energy consumption?’, ‘How can I help reduce climate change?’, ‘Global warming and greenhouse gases ‘and ‘Adaptation to climate change’ should be more represented in the school curriculum.

For more effective knowledge acquisition, they suggest that lectures need to have more everyday examples from students’ lives and that they should be held more frequently, including practical workshops on the same topic, also using multimedia content, especially short videos on climate change and everyday harmful habits that affect climate change, and brochures.


State of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the EU

Following the EU’s adoption of a new climate 2030 target (both with a higher number but also with a different scope), and keeping in mind the upcoming launch of the European Commission’s Fit for 55 Package you may be interested in the attached update from CAN Europe which shows where emissions actually are in the EU, but also get some further understanding of the EU’s budget approach of its climate legislation and the different targets and reporting strands the EU has.

Update provides actual emission changes for each Member State for:
• emission reductions excluding removals for 2018 and 2019;
• net emission reductions including removals (reflecting the new 2030 climate target) for 2018;
• emission reductions in the sectors covered by the Effort Sharing Directive (ESD) for 2019.

You can find the update here: https://door.hr/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/state-of-ghg-emissions-in-the-EU.pdf.


Is the EU Recovery and Resilience facility enabling a green recovery?

Analysis of recovery plans and measures in 15 EU states shows that national recovery plans are currently falling short of ambitions to “build back better”. The EU’s green recovery is anything but secured. Decisions taken in the coming weeks, especially during the official review of national plans, can help realign the EU towards a green recovery, and are an important credibility test for the European Green Deal and the European Commission.

The EU’s €673bn Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) provides a unique opportunity to bring forward much-needed public investments for the implementation of the European Green Deal. EU leaders agreed that recovery spending would need to effectively support the green transition, with 37% of member state plans earmarked for green investments. The Green Recovery Tracker, a joint project between the Wuppertal Institute, E3G, and national experts, has been analysing Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) to see whether they live up to this ambition.

This background briefing summarizes three key insights from our analytical work on recovery measures in 15 EU countries to date and outlines recommendations based on those:

  1. Many national recovery plans are in danger of missing the 37% climate spending target. The Commission’s review of the plans is a crucial moment for realigning the EU with a green recovery, and the Commission should not hesitate to scrutinize member state submissions closely.
  2. There are significant risks that measures that look green at first glance may end up supporting fossil fuels. Many plans still include measures not aligned with the green transition. The milestones and targets that are negotiated between the Commission and national governments are an important instrument for providing clarity on where exactly recovery funding will be used and ensure that it advances the green transition.
  3. Most recovery plans are not aligned with the EU’s new 2030 climate target and are not used to accelerate the climate transition in line with the new target. This shows that scrutiny not just of investments but also of reforms included in RRPs, including on the links between RRP development and national energy and climate policy such as NECPs, is crucial.

You can read key findings here. 

Text source: Is the EU Recovery and Resilience facility enabling a green recovery? – E3G


Baseline Assessment Report on the current state of energy poverty

As part of the POWERPOOR project, a report was prepared on the current state of energy poverty in 8 pilot countries of the project (Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Hungary, Portugal and Spain). The quantitative and qualitative data contained in the Report are basic data that can be used to define target areas for alleviating energy poverty and preventing its symptoms.

This report is structured as follows:

  • Section 2 presents energy poverty baseline in eight POWERPOOR pilot countries
  • Section 3 presents an analysis of the existing adopted national policy frameworks that include energy poverty targets covers and analysis of the specific sectoral policy measures in each country and serve as a general framework in the 8 POWERPOOR pilot countries
  • Section 4 presents a review of stakeholders’ roles in participation and support of POWERPOOR activities
  • Section 5 presents the summary of all data relating to the POWERPOOR toolkit taking into consideration energy poor households/subgroups recognised as vulnerable groups of citizens or considered to be experiencing or facing risk of energy poverty.
You can read the full Report here. 


Join us at Adriadapt final Conference - save the date 8th June 2021

Save the date: 8th June 2021

The Conference addresses practitioners and local actors involved or interested in local climate resilience and aims at showcasing ADRIADAPT achievements and discuss perspectives for creating systematic support and access to knowledge for these policies.

The conference is organized by CMCC and the ADRIADAPT Consortium.
The ADRIADAPT Project is co-funded by the INTERREG CBC Programme Italy-Croatia.

Please pre-register at the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItdu-vrD4qHdU36zoNchCJKrkAZ9zOZvcb.

Your request will have to be approved by the host before you receive the confirmation email containing the information about how to join the Conference.


NECP Tracker reveals: the EU needs better plans to implement the enhanced climate and energy targets

Comprehensive revision and implementation of Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) will play a key role in achieving higher climate and energy ambition in the EU by 2030. While NECPs still need to be updated in order to be aligned with and implement the EU’s higher climate and energy ambition, it is still important to make sure that Member States are on track to implement their current Plans and ready to step up their game.

The NECP Tracker tool launched today by the Unify project reveals data to monitor the implementation of 10 Member States’ current NECPs. The tool covers Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, and it looks into greenhouse gas emission reduction pathways, sectoral emission reduction indicators and some energy transition indicators for these countries. Through comparing the most recently released data (from 2018 or 2019 depending on the country) with NECP trajectories, it gives a clear indication of where Member States stand in terms of implementing targets and trajectories from their current NECPs.

Nationally binding emission reduction targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation, as well as nationally binding renewables and energy efficiency targets will play a crucial role in achieving the EU’s enhanced climate target. The NECP Tracker proves this claim by showing how difficult it becomes to monitor sectoral policies and hold Member States accountable when these targets and trajectories are missing.

Zélie Victor, from Réseau Action France said : “The NECP tracker is an opportunity to monitor and compare EU Member States’ performance on climate action and hold them accountable. Results show that some Member States are clearly off track to reach their current targets and far from being aligned with the Green Deal objectives. The European Commission should increase national binding targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation but also propose nationally binding renewables and energy efficiency targets if the EU is serious about its climate ambition. There is also a clear need to strengthen the climate governance structure to ensure that updated NECPs are aligned with the EU’s enhanced climate and energy policies. In the coming years, the NECP tracker will keep monitoring progress in order to prevent Member State Governments from procrastinating climate action.”

Wendel Trio, from Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “National Energy and Climate Plans will play a key role in implementing increased climate ambition in Europe. The European Commission’s upcoming “Fit for 55” proposals must set the scene for strengthening nationally binding climate and energy targets in NECPs.

This tool shows where Member States fail and why we desperately need to keep nationally binding targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation covering emissions from road transport, buildings and agriculture.”

Wojciech Szymalski, Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation, Poland: “ The NECP tracker shows that Poland is currently not doing as much as other Member States. We are sailing in the same boat and the rows should row in harmony. There is a huge wave of transformation ahead of us : the NECP tracker tells us how huge it is. Poland needs to step up its climate action in the sectors which have been long neglected, such as heating, transport or agriculture.”

Ana Márquez, from SEO/BirdLife Spain said: “To reach its economy-wide 2030-target, Spain should have an annual rate reduction of around 3.1%, but the emissions curve has practically not changed since 2013. On one hand, further efforts need to be done in all economic sectors, since while some are already reducing their emissions, others continue to increase them. Likewise, these efforts should be aligned with the increased EU target of at least 55% net emissions reductions. On the other hand, with its current trend, Spain could reach its 2030 national energy efficiency objective and is also on its way to delivering its 2030 renewable energy target”.

Katerina Davidova, Centre for Transport and Energy, Czechia: “The Czech Republic has until now had very unambitious climate targets, but even then it didn’t manage to fulfill all of them. Now we see the trajectory of Czech emissions needs to go steeply down in the upcoming 10 years, but the NECP is not doing enough to achieve it. Apart from very slow development of renewables, the Czech Republic also has a huge problem with its emissions from land use and forestry – which have become emission contributors as opposed to sinks. If this worrying trend persists, the country will struggle to reach its 2030 targets.”

Text source: https://unify.caneurope.org/2021/05/12/necp-tracker-reveals-the-eu-needs-better-plans-to-implement-the-enhanced-climate-and-energy-targets/

Please click here to download main takeaways from Member States’ NECPs here.