Adaptate News

Alfândega da Fé begins the works regarding the creation of a natural lagoon

Alfândega da Fé has begun the implementation of the pilot action regarding the construction of a natural lagoon.

Since a large portion of the municipal area consists of forests (with fastgrowing hardwoods) and agricultural land it is particularly vulnerable to an increasing number of forest fires. Due to that the main objective of this pilot project is to promote environment cooling, irrigation of agricultural areas and to support forest fires fight.

The intervention will be finished until the end of January 2020.

9 December, 2019
Adaptate News

New guidebook to apply for Project Development Assistance

Many of the signatories to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy have used Technical Assistance (TA) facilities to develop projects in the framework of their Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAP).

In a new guidance booklet, you will find lessons learnt by cities and regions all across Europe which benefited from – or are currently using – one of the TAs with the aim to help future beneficiaries in the application process.

To read the whole news and get the guidebook click here.

25 November, 2019
Adaptate News

Barriers and drivers to urban climate change actions – Take part in a research study!

Recent studies suggest the setting of climate targets can be an important driver of policy action. Yet, we still know too little about the ways in which cities move from identifying problems to setting of climate targets and implementation of climate actions.

To help gain a better understanding of barriers to and drivers behind urban climate change action as well as key actors and strategies that contribute to the implementation of climate change objectives, the University of Hull (UK) and the Covenant of Mayors – Europe Office have designed an online survey that addresses Covenant signatories.

The survey seeks to collect information on objectives, contexts and actors involved in cities that have signed the Covenant of Mayors and hence committed to taking actions in response to climate change.

To read the whole news and answer the survey click here.

25 November, 2019
Adaptate News

Life ADAPTATE project was presented on the 2nd Conference of the Rural World

The Municipality of Mértola held the 2nd Conference of the Rural World in Mértola, dedicated to the theme of Resilience and Sustainability in response to climate change and desertification and the LIFE ADAPTATE project was presented.

The Rural World Days, which took place on the 19th and 20th of November in Mértola, was a moment of joint reflection on the sustainable management of vital natural resources of the territory, such as soil, water and its biodiversity, highlighting the urgency of this transition as a strategy for mitigation / adaptation of the territory to the challenge of climate change.

25 November, 2019
Adaptate News

The MyBuildingisGreen project is committed to adapting buildings to Climate Change

The European project LIFE: MyBuildingisGreen offers nature-based solutions for the adaptation of buildings to Climate Change.

The aim of the project is to address the problem of high temperatures in schools and senior centers, thinking of the most vulnerable groups to rising temperatures caused by climate change.

The project has started by choosing a school as a pilot building, in which prototypes of ‘Nature Based Solutions’ (NBS) will be applied to lower the high temperatures in the beginning and end months of the course.

Subsequently, the conclusions obtained will be replicated to different centres by means of manuals and action guidelines, so that the buildings have the necessary guidelines for the future.

For more information: MyBuildingisGreen

22 November, 2019
Adaptate News

The pilot action of Cartagena is almost finished

In the Pilot Project of the Cartagena City Council, the connection of green areas by means of a pedestrian walkway and connection to an existing bicycle lane has been carried out. In addition, trees have been planted and pergolas have been installed with green roofs, offering neighbours a friendly environment for walking and living together to combat the effects of climate change.

In order to reduce the temperature in these areas, as an adaptation measure to climate change, the widening park has been connected to the side of the language school, with trees and bushes, and the bicycle lane of the Union ring road has been connected to the entrance of the Official Language School. Also next to the school, the dry and sick trees have been removed and replaced, opening more of tree surrounds in a parking area between the connecting areas to reduce the feeling of a heat island.

In addition, a trail has been created with a recreation area for outdoor exercise and the existing car park next to the school and the sidewalk next to the wall has also been planted with trees.

Furthermore, one of the pergolas has been fitted with a bicycle parking area to promote sustainable mobility since it is located next to a primary school.

Finally a meteorological station has been installed to take temperature measurements and a poster has also been placed informing of the actions.

 

22 November, 2019
Adaptate News

Webinar: Monitoring and Evaluating Adaptation Action

The Covenant of Mayors Office is organizing a webinar which will be focus on monitoring and evaluating adaptation actions.

Due to monitoring adaptation action is new for most local authorities, this webinar will start by giving an overview of the monitoring requirements of the Covenant. A presentation by the Development Agency for Marche Region will show how this Covenant Territorial Coordinator is supporting signatories in the novel task of monitoring through the Life Sec Adapt tool.

Besides, the webinar will finalize by focusing on how signatories can improve the monitoring process itself, the Erasmus University Rotterdam showcasing the Reflexive Monitoring Approach developed within the Connecting Nature project.

 

The information about this webinar is described below:

ONLINE

ORGANISER: COVENANT OF MAYORS OFFICE

Taking place online on the 26th of November, from 11:00 – 12:30 CEST

You can register here: https://bit.ly/36I0xOS

6 November, 2019
Adaptate News

Mértola Pilot project under development

Mértola Municipality, within the scope of Life Adaptate project, held on the 16th of October a specific stakeholder meeting regarding the pilot of Projects promotion regarding the creation of a multi-purpose forest based on indigenous species and promotion of the natural regeneration of these species.

The meeting had as main objectives:

  1.  To demonstrate and experiment forest and agriculture good practices, that can contribute to the adaptation to climate change, fire resilience and the fight against desertification.
  2.  To create a space of opportunity for the study, research and preservation of the animal and plant genetic heritage of the Guadiana Valley Natural Park;
  3.  Investigate and identify, in cooperation with relevant partners, forgotten varieties of Al-Andaluz, which can be adapted to the soil and climatic conditions of Mértola, in order to promote a space for their presentation;
  4. To reconcile scientific and demonstration objectives while enjoying a public space of excellence for visitation and recreation, namely at the level of bird watching, hiking, astro-tourism and other forms of ecological tourism.

The meeting was attended by representatives of key entities for the development of the pilot such as CIBIO- Porto University, Forest Association Cumeadas, ICNF, Syntrophic Land Association, among others.

5 November, 2019
Adaptate News

Life Adaptate holds its fifth Monitoring Meeting in Lorca

On September 19th and 20th, the LIFE ADAPTATE project consortium met in Lorca (Murcia) to hold its fifth biannual meeting with the aim of sharing the work carried out in the previous months and to organize the future actions to be carried out.

On the first day of the meeting, the progress of the actions that have been carried out since the last meeting in Alfândega da Fé was presented and the pilot actions of all the partners were followed up. At the end of the day, the whole consortium visited the Lorca pilot action.

During the second day there was a review of the participatory workshops held so far. The state of the development of the adaptation plan was also discussed and the SECAP monitoring tool (SECAP Monitoring Observatory) carried out by IRRADIARE was presented.

To end the meeting, the dissemination and communication activities were reviewed and the next steps were agreed upon.

24 September, 2019
Adaptate News

The future of cities – opportunities, challenges and the way forward

The majority of the global population currently live in urban areas, and this is expected to increase in the future.

The importance and role of cities is increasingly recognised – the future of cities will have a major impact on all our futures as cities are key to achieving global goals.

The report “The future of cities – opportunities, challenges and the way forward” highlights the main challenges faced by cities and the people living within them currently and towards the future.

It also discusses some of the tool’s cities can use to face those challenges.

The issues covered are:

  • environmental impact
  • ageing
  • health
  • housing
  • social segregation
  • new forms of governance
  • mobility

Read the entire article in this link 

27 August, 2019
Adaptate News

LIFE 2019: Calls for proposals

The submission of the second phase for proposals to the Environment subprogramme will take place on 5 September 2019 (submission of the full proposal).

On the other hand, the submission of projects to the Climate Action subprogramme will take place in a single phase: full proposal (September 2019).

 

Types of projects and financing:

Depending on the type of project and the priority area, there are different percentages of financing:

  1. Nature and Biodiversity (Projects of best practices, pilot and demonstration): 60% – 75%
  2. Environmental solutions and technologies, efficiency in the use of resources (Pilot and demonstration projects): 55%
  3. Mitigation and adaptation to Climate Change (Projects of best practices, pilot and demonstration): 55%
  4. Governance and Information in the areas of climate change and the environment (Information, awareness and dissemination projects): 55%

The remaining percentage of the total eligible costs of the project must be covered with the own resources of the project partners as co-financing rate.

 

Deadlines to submit projects in the main areas and budget by priority area:

Area Deadline (Concept Note) Deadline (Full proposal) Budget 2019
Climate 12 – sept-19 ~€ 58 Mill.
Environment and resource efficiency 17-jun-19 Feb-2020 ~€ 78 Mill.
Nature and biodiversity 19-jun-19 Feb-2020 ~€ 128 Mill.
Environmental governance and information 19-jun-19 Feb-2020 ~€ 9 Mill.
Integrated projects (Environment) 5-sept-19 12-mar-2020 ~€ 95 Mill.
Integrated projects (Climate) 5-sept-19 12-mar-2020 ~€ 26 Mill.

For more information click here

27 August, 2019
Adaptate News

Webinar: How to engage citizens in local climate action with online tools

The Covenant of Mayors Office is organizing a webinar which aims to give municipalities an insight into citizen participation on adaptation and sustainability issues through online tools. In particular, they will discuss Digital Social Platforms (DSPs) and for this purpose present the POWER platform through the activities of Leicester City, UK, and the Change the Future platform through the example of Worms, Germany.

Besides, the advantages and challenges of using DSPs will be highlighted and the possibilities of DSPs to achieve adaptation and sustainability goals will be discussed.

 

The information about this webinar is described below:

ONLINE

ORGANISER: COVENANT OF MAYORS OFFICE

Taking place online on the 11th of September, from 14:30 – 16:00

You can register here: https://bit.ly/33MjApK

27 August, 2019
Adaptate News

European Mobility Week 2019 – “Walk with us”

The annual campaign, which takes place from 16-22 September each year, is organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport and seeks to improve quality of life through promoting clean mobility and sustainable urban transport.

This year’s campaign is focusing on safe walking and cycling and the benefits it can have for our health, environment, and bank balance.

More info on the event website: http://www.mobilityweek.eu

23 August, 2019
Adaptate News

Smiltene is finalizing the SECAP

During the summer Smiltene has concluded the procurement process for construction works of pilot action – cleaning of lake “Vidusezers” and reconstruction of hydrotechnical structures. In parallel with the pilot action implementation, reconstruction and improvement of surrounding park will be carried out. Preparatory work for construction has been started.

Meanwhile, on August 9th the second stakeholder meeting was organized, to discuss what measures to include in Sustainable energy and climate action plan. During the 1st meeting, stakeholders were introduced with the most significant climate risks in Latvia and Smiltene, and during discussion direction of potential actions was indicated.  Therefore, in the second meeting the discussion was more specifically about particular measures and ways how to implement them. It is expected that at the end of September the final version of SECAP could be presented to municipal council.

15 August, 2019
Adaptate News

INFO DAY “Adaptation to Climate Change in municipalities”.

On 17th July, the first Info-day took place within the framework of the Life Adaptate project, in which the pilot actions being developed in three of the five municipalities participating in the project, Águilas, Cartagena and Lorca, were presented, as well as the progress of their SECAP.

In addition, the conference showed examples of good practices of adaptation of other cities in the region that are also committed to combating climate change, such as Alcantarilla, Las Torres de Cotillas and Bullas.

During the meeting, the project Compete4SECAP was also presented, which aims at helping local authorities to put their existing Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) into action through the implementation of an Energy Management System and the participation in energy saving competition among municipal buildings.

To complete, the Biodiversity Foundation, participant in the Life Shara project, presented the evaluation and conclusions obtained from this project on the National Plan of Adaptation to Climate Change and the Good Local Adapt project was also presented as another great example of adaptation to climate change.

19 July, 2019
Adaptate News

Monitoring visit of the project monitor

Last 19th of June, the LIFE ADAPTATE project was visited by Asier Rodríguez (NEEMO monitor), for the review and monitoring of the project. During his stay a meeting was held in Lorca with the Spanish project partners, to check the status of the actions and to make a review of the administrative and financial issues.

In addition, during the meeting the pilot action of Lorca was visited, consisting of the creation of shaded areas through the installation of awnings in one of the busiest streets of the city.

25 June, 2019
Adaptate News

ECCA 2019: European Climate Change Adaptation – Working together to prepare for change

Our partners from INFO and IRRADIARE attend the fourth edition of the European Climate Change Adaptation conference, held in Lisbon, to present the LIFE ADAPTATE project.

This conference aims to disseminate the proposed solutions on the topics of adaptation to climate change and prevention and reduction of the risk of disasters caused by extreme events. In order to promote an increase in the resilience of societies, special attention will be given to the transfer of knowledge between science and innovation, governance and good practices.

This event is a good opportunity to create synergies with other projects related to the same subject.

For more information: https://www.ecca2019.eu/

29 May, 2019
Adaptate News

Raising awareness among young people about Climate Change

Climate change is the greatest challenge humanity has faced in its history and to stop it, it is necessary to know how we have caused it. That is why, within the framework of the LIFE ADAPTATE project, educational talks have been given in a total of 19 educational centres in order to make the youngest people aware of the importance of tackling climate change.

In the talks, fundamental concepts such as the greenhouse effect and global warming were explained and the causes and consequences of climate change were presented. In addition, practical activities were carried out through which the students were made to see that everyone, including themselves, is responsible for this climate change.

The LIFE ADAPTATE project and its expected results, as well as the pilot actions that will be carried out in the participating cities, were also presented in all the talks.

It is worth mentioning the interest shown by all the students as they were not only attentive to all the explanations but also proposed very good measures to put an end to climate change.

25 May, 2019
Adaptate News

Lorca begins the installation of an awnings system to generate shaded areas and reduce heat

Lorca has begun the implementation of a pilot action in streets of the historic centre by installing awnings with the aim of reducing the effects of heat waves and urban heat islands. For this, shadow corridors will be created by installing awnings in several commercial areas and a large pedestrian traffic in the historic centre of Lorca, such as Corredera, Alporchones and Almirante Aguilar streets.

This experience will be carried out in the months of May, June, July, August, September and part of the month of October during a period of 3 years, until 2021, to try to measure the temperature and quantify the benefits obtained for the population and the commercial area of these emblematic streets.

The Social Council of the City approved a few months ago unanimously the creation of a Working Group for the drafting of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan “Life Adaptate Project”. This pilot project aims to reduce the risks related to climate in the daily life of the neighbours by decreasing the ambient temperature in the area, making the city more pleasant for pedestrians.

The Mayor of Lorca, Fulgencio Gil, together with the Councillor for the Environment, Mª Saturnina Martínez, supervised this morning the start of the works of placing the canvases integrated in the awnings.

20 May, 2019
Adaptate News

Adaptation webinar series #2: Designing adaptation strategy and action plan

The Covenant of Mayors Office is organizing a webinar which will focus on designing a strategy and action plan for adaption to climate change impacts. In this webinar, city practitioners will present various aspects of this process, including how to identify and prioritize possible adaptation measures, how to engage with citizens and other stakeholders and how to build on existing policies.

A tool which facilitates the identification of adaptation measures to address a range of climate change hazards will also be presented during the webinar.

 

The information about this webinar is described below:

ONLINE

ORGANISER: COVENANT OF MAYORS OFFICE

Taking place online on the 13rd of June, from 10:00 – 12:30

You can register here: https://bit.ly/2VJ0wbm

20 May, 2019
Adaptate News

LIFE CALL 2019

Last April was published the 2019 call of the UE LIFE Programme for the Environment and Climate Action of the, which has an allocation of € 1,657 million for the period 2018-2020.

Sub-programmes and priority areas

The LIFE programme is divided into two sub-programmes, one for environment and one for climate action. For each sub-programme there are three priority areas stablished and each one has different Policy areas. Every policy area contains the work areas which has to be addressed by the projects.

Environment sub-programme:

  • Environment and resource efficiency (ENV-RE).
  • Nature and biodiversity (NAT, BIO).
  • Environmental governance and information (GIE).

The submission of proposals to the Environment subprogram is carried out in two phases. Phase 1: June 2019 (Concept Note), phase 2:  September 2019 (full proposal).

Climate action sub-programme:

  • Climate change mitigation (CCM)
  • Climate change adaptation (CCA)
  • Climate governance and information (GIC)

The submission of proposals to the Climate action sub-programme is carried out in a single phase: September 2019 (full proposal).

For more information: https://bit.ly/2HQjWmq

 

6 May, 2019
Adaptate News

European Green Week 2019

Environmental laws have a huge impact on our life. But to really make an appreciable difference, these EU laws have to be properly implemented.

The next edition of EU Green Week (13-17 May 2019) will focus on the importance of development, monitoring and compliance with environmental legislation.

EU Green Week 2019 will include events across Europe, with the official opening event on 13 May in one of the Member States and a high-level summit in Brussels from 15 to 17 May.

For more information: https://www.eugreenweek.eu/

3 May, 2019
Adaptate News

Life Adaptate holds its fourth Monitoring Meeting in Alfândega da Fé

On April 4th and 5th, the LIFE ADAPTATE project consortium met in Alfândega da Fé to hold its fourth biannual meeting. The objective of this meeting was to share the work carried out in the previous months and to organize the future actions to be carried out.

The first day, the meeting started with the presentation of the progress of the actions that have been ongoing since the last meeting. The team also discussed the status of the six pilot actions that will be implemented in all municipalities participating in the project. During the day, the location of Alfândega da Fé pilot action were visited.

The second day, partners talked about the first participation workshops held in each municipality and about the state of development of the SECAPs.

To end the meeting, the dissemination and communication activities were reviewed and the experiences obtained during the talks on Climate Change carried out in the educational centres of the municipalities participating in the project were presented.

9 April, 2019
Adaptate News

Smiltene will take part in the Covenant of Mayors 2019 Twinning Programme

Amongst over 60 applications received, 12 municipalities and 2 Covenant Territorial Coordinators  have been selected to take part in the Covenant of Mayors 2019 twinning programme.

Smiltene has been chosen to participate in one of the seven peer-to-peer exchanges that will be organised by the EU Covenant of Mayors Office and funded by the European Commission.

Smiltene’s partner in this programme is the municipality of Milos, Greece. Milos has a population of 4,977 inhabitants and is a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors 2030 targets on climate change mitigation and adaptation. They are already implementing their mitigation and adaptation plan, and given Smiltene’s interest in tourism, buildings and energy the match has been quite interesting for the municipality.

Currently, the local authority is planning a preparatory call with both Milos municipality and and the Covenant of Mayors Office project manager to discuss which municipality will be the first hoster as well as the date of the first twinning visit and learning objectives.

Find out more information about the Twining Programme matches in this link.

12 February, 2019
Adaptate News

Our didactic unit is ready to be used!

The current accelerating pace of climate change has become a matter of concern that makes it urgent to act as soon as possible.

The situation has reached such an extent that the scientific community has already warned that climate change is a reality we all are suffering. The current amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere has been exceeding the desirable level for decades, what the planet is capable of absorbing. However, this change can be stoppable and its intensity limited so that the effects are not that damaging. Thus, it is of great importance that countries make decisions and adopt policies in order to adapt to the coming changes and try to slow down the process and reduce its impact.

On the other hand, urban areas play a key role, given that they are responsible for the greatest amount of CO2 emissions, the GHG used as a reference and whose level in the atmosphere is definitely higher than that of preindustrialized times.

For those reasons, LIFE Adaptate project was born in order to contribute to the adaptation of our cities to the impacts of climate change.

Thus, the objective of this didactic unit is to show the increasing importance of climate change and educate the student on the most relevant aspects about this topic.

Either you are a high-school teacher or someone interested in learning more about climate change, feel free to download our Didactic Unit on Climate Change available in four languages.

 

5 February, 2019
Adaptate News

Cooperation is key to improve climate change adaptation across Europe’s border regions

Europe’s border regions and shared maritime areas are facing increased negative impacts due to climate change, but countries and regions responsible for these areas are already taking action at transnational scale to adapt to these impacts according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The analysis ‘Addressing climate change adaptation in transnational regions in Europe,’ gives an up-to-date state of play of how European countries and regions are working together in adapting to climate change impacts in these shared regions, some of which are considered climate change ‘hot spots’ – most vulnerable to changes.

Climate change adversely affects the economy, infrastructure, human health, and ecosystems in these regions and many of these impacts are transboundary.

There are also various EU macro-regional strategies in place, some of which include climate adaptation strategies. These conventions and strategies in many cases include efforts to mainstream adaptation in for example protection and improvement of ecosystems or water management.

Read the entire article in the EEA website

12 December, 2018
Adaptate News

Health benefits far outweigh the costs of meeting climate change goals

According to the World Health Organization, meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone.

The latest estimates from leading experts also indicate that the value of health gains from climate action would be approximately double the cost of mitigation policies at global level, and the benefit-to-cost ratio is even higher in countries such as China and India.

“The true cost of climate change is felt in our hospitals and in our lungs. The health burden of polluting energy sources is now so high, that moving to cleaner and more sustainable choices for energy supply, transport and food systems effectively pays for itself,” says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health. “When health is taken into account, climate change mitigation is an opportunity, not a cost.”

Read the entire article in this link.

12 December, 2018
Adaptate News

How to develop a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP)?

A new guidebook on “How to develop a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP)” has just been released by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

The guidebook is divided into three parts:

  1. The SECAP process, step-by-step towards low-carbon and climate-resilient cities by 2030
  2. Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI) and Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA)
  3. Policies, key actions, good practices for mitigation and adaptation to climate change and Financing SECAP(s)

Find more information in the Covenant of Mayors Website.

12 December, 2018
Adaptate News

COP24: Katowice climate change conference

EU leaders arrived last week in Katowice with a clear objective for COP24: the adoption of clear rules to implement the 

One week before the event, the European Commission adopted a strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050 – A Clean Planet for All.

In this document, the European Commission’s aims to make the EU compatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and to catalyse a profound societal and economic transformation.

Climate neutrality means achieving net-zero GHG emissions, i.e. a balance between emissions and removals (e.g. through carbon sinks such as forests, soils, wetlands, etc.) of greenhouse gases.

Local action is seen as a key pillar in a European enabling framework for the long-term transformation. Cities have a critical role to drive building renovation and sustainable mobility through e.g. better spatial and urban planning.

The strategy also calls for an improved coordination with national, regional and local governments in order to allow for a well-managed, socially fair and just transition that leaves no one behind.

With this bold vision in their luggage, EU leaders have set themselves a clear objective for COP24: they want to leave Katowice with clear rules on how to reach the Paris Agreement targets.

Read the entire article in the Covenant of Mayors Website

12 December, 2018
Adaptate News

Climate Change Adaptation in Murcia Region

Last October, the LIFE ADAPTATE project met with two other climate change adaptation projects approved in the 2016 Life Programme call in the Region of Murcia: LIFE AMDRYC4 and LIFE HEATLAND, with the aim of seeking synergies and possible future collaboration.

LIFE AMDRYC4 main objective is the promotion of resilience to dryland agriculture climate in Mediterranean areas and its sustainable, intelligent and integrated management, as a basic tool for adapting to climate change based on ecosystems (EbA) and strengthening its mitigating role as carbon sinks, so that they are sustainable and persistent.

LIFE Heatland project directly addresses the urban adaptation to the consequences of climate change, in particular, seeks to minimize the effect of the urban heat island (UHI) by using new pavements with less solar storage than conventional ones, which will contribute to a better quality of life and human welfare. The aim of the project is in line with the “Adaptation Strategy of the EU” because it encourages the implementation of innovative adaptation technologies, and materials more climate-resilient construction.

Find out more about both projects in their websites:

https://heatlandlife.eu/

http://lifeamdryc4.eu/en/

 

5 November, 2018
Adaptate News

Project consortium meeting in Águilas

In October, LIFE ADAPTATE project consortium met in Águilas for its third biannual meeting in order to share the work done in previous months.

The meeting started with the presentation of the progress of the different actions that have been ongoing since the beginning of the project.

The team also discussed the state of the six pilot actions to be implemented in all municipalities participating in the project, as well as the first steps to be follow during the development of SECAPs.

Lastly, the meeting included a review of the different dissemination and communication activities that have been performed and the best way to reach larger audience was discussed.

The event concluded with the visit to Águilas pilot action location.

 

5 November, 2018
Adaptate News

Lorca’s pilot action has been presented to the City Social Council

Last 28th of June, Lorca presented its Pilot Action and the works done in the development of the SECAP to the City Social Council . The Council, made up by city representatives of economic, social, neighborhood and professional organizations, is configured as a broad and plural participation body whose purpose is to issue reports, studies and proposals on strategic planning, development local and large urban projects, in order to achieve sustainable development of Lorca.

After the presentation of Lorca pilot action and SECAP, the Environment Committee was invited to take part in the participatory process of the aforementioned SECAP.

21 September, 2018
Adaptate News

Apply now for the 1st Covenant Cities in the Spotlight call!

In order to celebrate the 10th year of the initiative, the Covenant of Mayors is rewarding signatories that have been working actively within the Covenant framework and achieving remarkable progress in their local sustainable energy and climate action.

Signatories will have to submit an overview of their history in the Covenant initiative by completing the application form. The application must include a description of the overall energy and climate policies, and the actions undertaken to implement them.

Covenant Cities in the Spotlight 2018 will award three signatories:

  • 1 small-sized signatory (<10,000 inhabitants)
  • 1 medium-sized signatory (10,000- 250,000 inhabitants)
  • 1 large-sized signatory (>250,000 inhabitants).

Complete the application form before 22nd of September 2018.

Find out more information about the initiative in this link.

20 September, 2018
Adaptate News

Apply now for the European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards!

European Green Capital Award

Starting in 2010, one European city (with 100,000+ inhabitants) is selected every year as the European Green Capital of the year. This award is given to a  city that has achieved several high environmental standards, is committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further sustainable development and can act as a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices to all other European cities.

European Green Leaf Award

The European Green Leaf Award is given to towns and cities with populations between 20,000 to 100,000 citizens, for their environmental achievements and their potential to act as ‘green ambassadors’ for smaller cities.

What are the benefits for winning those Awards?

Applying for these Awards could give you the opportunity to receive expert feedback and guidance on your city’s approach to Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Adaptation, Sustainable Urban Mobility, Sustainable Land Use, Nature, Biodiversity, Air Quality, Noise, Waste  and Water, among others.

Apply by 18 October 2018, 16:00 (CEST).

Find out more in this link

20 September, 2018
Adaptate News

Smiltene begins the reconstruction and cleaning of the Lake Vidusezera

Smiltene municipality has already hired the company “Geo Consultants” for developing the technical project “Reconstruction of hydro technical structure of Lake Vidusezera and lake cleaning in Smiltene”. The deadline for technical project is the middle of November. The company has already made Geological and Geotechnical research. During the research, the geological structure of the area was determined to a depth of 11.0 meters, as well as the composition of natural and artificial soil. The sediment samples for determination of organic matter were removed in Vidusezere water area and 2 complex samples for determination of the content of heavy metals and petroleum products. The analysis was carried out in the accredited laboratory and results of sediment habe been analyzed. The municipality also had meetings with the tehnical project manager, specialists to discuss the methods of restoration of sluice and the most effective method of cleaning the lake.

Smiltene project  team is planning to meet ltd “Ekodoma” in September to discuss  about the development of  it Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP).

20 September, 2018
Adaptate News

Apply now for the Covenant twinning programme!

The Covenant twinning programme offers cities, regions and provinces across Europe the opportunity to take part in twinning exchanges that aim to increase local authorities’ capacity and knowledge to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The programme is open to:

  • All Covenant of Mayors signatories from countries associated to the EU Horizon 2020 programme.
  • All Covenant Territorial Coordinators from the countries associated with the EU Horizon 2020 programme.
  • Not yet signatories or cordinators under the condition that they will sign up to the European Covenant 2030 framework before their first twinning visit.

Local and regional authorities should apply before 14th of September 2018.

Further information can be found in the Covenant of Mayors’ website.

27 August, 2018
Adaptate News

Life Adaptate holds its second Monitoring Meeting in Smiltene

Last week, LIFE ADAPTATE consortium held the 2nd biannual project meeting in Smiltene, one of the six European municipalities involved in the project.

The meeting started with the presentation of the progress of the different actions that have been ongoing during the first months of LIFE ADAPTATE project, including the preparatory actions which have been completed public deliverables available on the project website.

The team also discussed the state of the six pilot actions to be implemented in all municipalities participating in the project, as well as the first steps to be follow during the development of SECAPs.

Lastly, the meeting included a review of the different dissemination and communication activities that have been performed and the best way to reach larger audience was discussed.

The three-day event concluded with the visit of the project monitor from NEEMO, the external support service to the EASME for the LIFE programme.

27 June, 2018
Adaptate News

Project partners visit Smiltene Pilot Action

Last 21st of June, Life Adaptate partners visited the scenario of Smiltene Pilot Action: the Lake Vidusezers, an artificial water reservoir (2.9ha) located 200 meters far from the city centre.

During the following months, the next actions will be carried out in the lake:

  • Deepening and cleaning of the lake.
  • Reconstruction of existing sluices.
  • Slopes restoration in order to avoid further landslides.

Smiltene pilot action is aimed to mitigate these climate change risks:

  • Floods, one of the major concerns in Latvian municipalities. They are caused by summer-autumn rain, prolonged rainy periods, thawing snow in spring and hydro technical structure accidents.
  • Eutrophication caused mainly by algae blooms, which disrupt natural ecological processes in freshwater and can be harmful to animals and humans and cause unpleasant smells in the lake area.

 

Smiltene pilot action is expected to be completed in November 2019.

27 June, 2018
Adaptate News

Competition for the 2021 EU Green Capital and 2020 EU Green Leaf awards!

For the eleventh time, the European Green Capital Award is offering cities of with a population of more than 100,000 inhabitants the opportunity to kick-start its year as a European Green Capital with a reward of EUR 350,000. Likewise, the European Green Leaf Award , open to cities with 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, will award the winner with EUR 75,000 to support its activities throughout the year.

Furthermore, the winners, as well as shortlisted cities, will gain access to the exclusive European Green Capital Network and European Green Network, which will provide them with support, knowledge and best practices. According to previous winners, already the application process proved to be advantageous in itself, as it guided them in better developing and evaluating their actions. Moreover, a great focus on environmental and climate action projects makes the city more attractive for tourists, increases foreign investment and boosts the local economy while, at the same time, creating employment.

How can you become a European Green Capital or European Green Leaf winner?

Check the homepages of the 2021 European Green Capital award and the 2020 European Green Leaf award to find out whether your city is ready to follow in their footsteps. Both awards are open to cities from EU Member States, EU Candidate Countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Read the entire article in the Covenant of Mayors Website

27 June, 2018
Adaptate News

Electric bus fleets to tackle air pollution in cities

Recent studies on air pollution in cities have fuelled the debate on increasing the number of electric vehicles in cities. Deploying electric vehicles (EV) has become a key pillar for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the transport sector, as they are considered to improve air quality, decrease noise levels and contribute to a healthier environment for citizens. Despite those well-known advantages, urban decision-makers are facing several challenges in converting their bus fleets.

The main challenges that local policy-makers have to face when deciding upon the deployment of electric bus fleets, are linked to the complexity of procuring charging infrastructure, limited electricity supply, technical and operational restrictions, as well as economic limitations and cost concerns. Moreover, there is still a lack of trust in the viability of the EV-technology.

Nevertheless, the German Covenant Signatory Münster has decided to become a frontrunner city in terms of electric buses. In 2015, it was one of the first cities to sign a contract with VDL Bus & Coach, including 5 Citeas SLF-120 Electric buses. Four of these had been financed by the EU Commission’s ZeEUS (Zero Emission Urban Bus System) project. The fifth had been financed by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, supplemented by aid money for the development of the charging technology.

Additionally, Münster’s bus fleet will be supplemented by two hydrogen buses in autumn this year. Equipped with a fuel cell on board, those buses produce electricity from hydrogen releasing only harmless water vapour into the environment. Not only are those buses especially environmentally-friendly, they moreover have the same range of conventional diesel buses (400 kilometres). Subsequently, the buses can be charged at the public hydrogen filling station in Amelsbühren.

With an electric bus fleet of seven buses, which account for ten percent of the city’s buses, Münster will be saving not only Co2 emissions, but moreover costs and free up key funds for more investment in safe, clean and sustainable public transport.

Read the entire article on the Covenant of Mayors Website

27 June, 2018
Adaptate News

Webinar: How to design effective policies against energy poverty in municipalitie

The Covenant of Mayors Office, in cooperation with EU Energy Poverty Observatory,  is organizing a webinar that will present a draft guidance for municipalities that can be used to design local energy poverty policies. The guidance takes into account the local circumstances of the municipality such as the local climate, and describes the steps to take towards concrete action. It is based on best practices that were already implemented in municipalities.

The information about this webinar is described below:
ONLINE
ORGANISER: COVENANT OF MAYORS OFFICE
Taking place online on the 4th of July, from 15:30 – 17:00

After the webinar, five interested municipalities will be selected to implement the guidance using the expertise from the EU Energy Poverty Observatory. The selection of municipalities will be based on geographical diversity, capacity and size.

26 June, 2018
Adaptate News

Take part in the public consultation on the adaptation action plan under the EU Urban Agenda!

The Climate Adaptation Partnership under the EU Urban Agenda has just launched a public consultation on its action plan, to which the Covenant community is warmly invited to provide its feedback.

The Urban Agenda for the EU was launched in May 2016 with the Pact of Amsterdam. It represents a new multi-level working method promoting cooperation between Member States, cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders in order to stimulate growth, liveability and innovation in the cities of Europe and to identify and successfully tackle social challenges.

The main objective of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Climate Adaptation is to find the best way to translate the needs of cities into concrete action. Through proposals in the areas of better regulation, funding and knowledge exchange, the Partnership wants to achieve a common awareness level of the urgency climate change carries and develop progressively city capacities to address and adapt to the impacts of such change. Through thematic working groups, the Partnership is defining an Action Plan where every action chosen implemented in urban areas will be assessed in light of the Adaptation Policy Cycle. The cycle consists of four main phases (Assessing Risk and Vulnerability to Climate Change, Select and Planning Adaptation Actions, Implementing Adaptation Actions, Monitoring, and Evaluation), with the multilevel governance support and participation.

With the ongoing public consultation, the Covenant community, for which adaptation is an integral part of their local action plans (SECAPs), receives the vital opportunity to shape and steer the actions of the Urban Agenda Partnership on Climate Adaptation. Participate in the consultation and have your say on the future of climate adaptation in European cities! The Deadline for responding to the consultation is the 17th of August.

Link to the public consultation

26 June, 2018
Adaptate News

Happy World Environment Day 2018!

World Environment Day is the UN’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

“Beat Plastic Pollution”, the theme for World Environment Day 2018, is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. The theme invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health.

While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences. This World Environment Day we’ll be engaging partners from all corners of society and the world to join us in raising awareness and inspiring action to form the global movement needed to beat plastic pollution for good.

Some Numbers about Plastic Pollution are:

• Up to 5 trillion plastic bags used each year
• 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each
year
• 17 million barrels of oil used on plastic production
each year
• 1 million plastic bottles bought every minute
• 100,000 marine animals killed by plastics each year
• 100 years for plastic to degrade in the environment
• 90% of bottled water found to contain plastic
particles
• 83% of tap water found to contain plastic particles
• 50% of consumer plastics are single use
• 10% of all human-generated waste is plastic

For more information about this topic, visit WED website: http://worldenvironmentday.global/en/

5 June, 2018
Adaptate News

Revision for phase 4 (2021-2030)

The European Commission presented in July 2015 a legislative proposal to revise the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) for the period after 2020.

This is the first step in delivering on the EU’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% domestically by 2030 in line with the 2030 climate and energy policy framework and as part of its contribution to the Paris Agreement.

Increasing the pace of emissions cuts

To achieve the at least 40% EU target, the sectors covered by the ETS have to reduce their emissions by 43% compared to 2005.

To this end, the overall number of emission allowances will decline at an annual rate of 2.2% from 2021 onwards, compared to 1.74% currently.

This amounts to an additional emissions reduction in the sectors covered by the ETS of some 556 million tonnes over the decade − equivalent to the annual emissions of the UK.

Better targeted carbon leakage rules

The proposal further develops predictable, robust and fair rules to address the risk of carbon leakage.

This includes:

  • Revising the system of free allocation to focus on sectors at highest risk of relocating their production outside the EU – around 50 sectors in total
  • A considerable number of free allowances set aside for new and growing installations
  • More flexible rules to better align the amount of free allowances with production figures
  • Update of benchmarks to reflect technological advances since 2008

It is expected that around 6.3 billion allowances will be allocated for free to companies over the period 2021-2030.

Funding low-carbon innovation and energy sector modernisation

Several support mechanisms will be established to help the industry and the power sectors meet the innovation and investment challenges of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

These include two new funds:

  • Innovation Fund – extending existing support for the demonstration of innovative technologies to breakthrough innovation in industry
  • Modernisation Fund – facilitating investments in modernising the power sector and wider energy systems and boosting energy efficiency in 10 lower-income Member States

Free allowances will also continue to be available to modernise the energy sector in these lower-income Member States.

Stakeholder input

Stakeholders were involved at various stages in the development of this proposal.

Extensive consultations were carried out in 2014, including

Following these consultations and the analysis of EU climate policy targets for 2030, the Commission carried out an impact assessmentSearch for available translations of the preceding link.

The legislative proposal has been submitted to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions for further consideration under the ordinary legislative procedure.

The public had the possibility to provide feedback on the legislative proposal after it was adopted by the European Commission. Feedback was received from 85 stakeholders and a summarySearch for available translations of the preceding link was presented to the European Parliament and the Council.

11 February, 2018
Adaptate News

Adaptation to climate change

Adaptation means anticipating the adverse effects of climate change and taking appropriate action to prevent or minimise the damage they can cause, or taking advantage of opportunities that may arise. It has been shown that well planned, early adaptation action saves money and lives later.

Examples of adaptation measures include: using scarce water resources more efficiently; adapting building codes to future climate conditions and extreme weather events; building flood defences and raising the levels of dykes; developing drought-tolerant crops; choosing tree species and forestry practices less vulnerable to storms and fires; and setting aside land corridors to help species migrate.

Why should the EU intervene?

Adaptation strategies are needed at all levels of administration: at the local, regional, national, EU and also the international level. Due to the varying severity and nature of climate impacts between regions in Europe, most adaptation initiatives will be taken at the regional or local levels. The ability to cope and adapt also differs across populations, economic sectors and regions within Europe.

The Commission adopted an EU adaptation strategy in April 2013 which has been welcomed by the Member States. Complementing the activities of Member States, the strategy supports action by promoting greater coordination and information-sharing between Member States, and by ensuring that adaptation considerations are addressed in all relevant EU policies.

The EU’s role can be particularly appropriate when climate change impacts transcend borders of individual states – such as with river basins – and when impacts vary considerably across regions. The role of the EU can be especially useful to enhance solidarity among Member States and ensure that disadvantaged regions and those most affected by climate change are capable of taking the necessary measures to adapt.

11 February, 2018
Adaptate News

The EU Emissions Trading System

The EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. It is the world’s first major carbon market and remains the biggest one.

A ‘cap and trade’ system

The EU ETS works on the ‘cap and trade’ principle.

cap is set on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by installations covered by the system. The cap is reduced over time so that total emissions fall.

Within the cap, companies receive or buy emission allowances which they can trade with one another as needed. They can also buy limited amounts of international credits from emission-saving projects around the world. The limit on the total number of allowances available ensures that they have a value.

After each year a company must surrender enough allowances to cover all its emissions, otherwise heavy fines are imposed. If a company reduces its emissions, it can keep the spare allowances to cover its future needs or else sell them to another company that is short of allowances.

Trading brings flexibility that ensures emissions are cut where it costs least to do so. A robust carbon price also promotes investment in clean, low-carbon technologies.

Key features of phase 3 (2013-2020)

The EU ETS is now in its third phase – significantly different from phases 1 and 2.

The main changes are:

  • single, EU-wide cap on emissions applies in place of the previous system of national caps
  • Auctioning is the default method for allocating allowances (instead of free allocation), and harmonised allocation rules apply to the allowances still given away for free
  • More sectors and gases included
  • 300 million allowances set aside in the New Entrants Reserve to fund the deployment of innovative renewable energy technologies and carbon capture and storage through the NER 300 programme

Sectors and gases covered

The system covers the following sectors and gases with the focus on emissions that can be measured, reported and verified with a high level of accuracy:

  • carbon dioxide (CO2from
    • power and heat generation
    • energy-intensive industry sectors including oil refineries, steel works and production of iron, aluminium, metals, cement, lime, glass, ceramics, pulp, paper, cardboard, acids and bulk organic chemicals
    • commercial aviation
  • nitrous oxide (N2O) from production of nitric, adipic and glyoxylic acids and glyoxal
  • perfluorocarbons (PFCs) from aluminium production

Participation in the EU ETS is mandatory for companies in these sectors, but

  • in some sectors only plants above a certain size are included
  • certain small installations can be excluded if governments put in place fiscal or other measures that will cut their emissions by an equivalent amount
  • in the aviation sector, until 2016 the EU ETS applies only to flights between airports located in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Delivering emissions reductions

The EU ETS has proved that putting a price on carbon and trading in it can work. Emissions from installations in the scheme are falling as intended – by around 5% compared to the beginning of phase 3 (2013) (see 2015 figures).

In 2020, emissions from sectors covered by the system will be 21% lower than in 2005.

In 2030, under the Commission’s proposal, they would be 43% lower.

Reports on EU’s progress in cutting emissions

Developing the carbon market

Set up in 2005, the EU ETS is the world’s first and biggest international emissions trading system, accounting for over three-quarters of international carbon trading.

The EU ETS is also inspiring the development of emissions trading in other countries and regions. The EU aims to link the EU ETS with other compatible systems.

11 February, 2018
Adaptate News

A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050

Europe’s key challenges

The EU provides its Member States with a long-term framework for dealing with the issue of sustainability and the cross-border effects of phenomena that cannot be dealt with at the national level alone. Climate change has long been recognised as one such long-term shaping factor where coherent EU action is needed, both inside the EU and internationally.

The Commission recently proposed the Europe 2020 flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe[1] and within this framework it is now putting forward a series of long-term policy plans in areas such as transport, energy and climate change. This Communication sets out key elements that should shape the EU’s climate action helping the EU become a competitive low carbon economy by 2050. The approach is based on the view that innovative solutions are required to mobilise investments in energy, transport, industry and information and communication technologies, and that more focus is needed on energy efficiency policies.

The Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth includes five headline targets that set out where the EU should be in 2020. One of them relates to climate and energy: Member States have committed themselves to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 20%, increasing the share of renewables in the EU’s energy mix to 20%, and achieving the 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. The EU is currently on track to meet two of those targets, but will not meet its energy efficiency target unless further efforts are made[2]. Hence, the priority remains to achieve all the targets already set for 2020.

In order to keep climate change below 2ºC, the European Council reconfirmed in February 2011 the EU objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990, in the context of necessary reductions according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by developed countries as a group[3]. This is in line with the position endorsed by world leaders in the Copenhagen and the Cancun Agreements. These agreements include the commitment to deliver long-term low carbon development strategies. Some Member States have already made steps in this direction, or are in the process of doing so, including setting emission reduction objectives for 2050.

Together with the White Paper on Transport and the Energy Efficiency Plan, this Communication is a key deliverable under the Resource Efficiency Flagship. It presents a Roadmap for possible action up to 2050 which could enable the EU to deliver greenhouse gas reductions in line with the 80 to 95% target agreed. It outlines milestones which would show whether the EU is on course for reaching its target, policy challenges, investment needs and opportunities in different sectors, bearing in mind that the 80 to 95% reduction objective in the EU will largely need to be met internally.

Milestones to 2050

The transition towards a competitive low carbon economy means that the EU should prepare for reductions in its domestic emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990[4]. The Commission has carried out an extensive modelling analysis with several possible scenarios showing how this could be done, as explained in the box below.

This analysis of different scenarios shows that domestic emission reductions of the order of 40% and 60% below 1990 levels would be the cost-effective pathway by 2030 and 2040, respectively. In this context, it also shows reductions of 25% in 2020. This is illustrated in Figure 1. Such a pathway would result in annual reductions compared to 1990 of roughly 1% in the first decade until 2020, 1.5% in the second decade from 2020 until 2030, and 2 % in the last two decades until 2050. The effort would become greater over time as a wider set of cost-effective technologies becomes available.

Modelling approach for the 2050 roadmap

The results and findings presented in this Communication are based on a comprehensive global and EU modelling and scenario analysis on how the EU could shift towards a low-carbon economy by 2050 against the backdrop of continued global population growth, rising global GDP and varying global trends in terms of climate action, energy and technological developments.

A set of global projections were used to look at global impacts of climate action, how it relates to the energy sector, agriculture and deforestation. Furthermore, impacts on the EU’s competitive sectors were projected to assess the possible risks of ambitious actions in the context of fragmented global action on climate.

Detailed EU projections were made within a wide set of potential future scenarios, focussing on the sensitivity regarding assumptions on global fossil fuel price developments and rate of technological innovation to analyse the sectoral contribution, including from agriculture and other land uses. While there are always uncertainties relating to long term projections, results have been made more robust by developing a wide set of scenarios with different assumptions.

Future modelling improvements could consider better representation of the impacts of climate change itself, as well as energy storage and smart grid solutions for distributed generation.

Figure 1 illustrates the pathway towards an 80% reduction by 2050, shown in 5 year steps. The upper “reference” projection shows how domestic greenhouse gas emissions would develop under current policies. A scenario consistent with an 80% domestic reduction then shows how overall and sectoral emissions could evolve, if additional policies are put in place, taking into account technological options available over time.

Figure 1: EU GHG emissions towards an 80% domestic reduction (100% =1990)

Emissions, including international aviation, were estimated to be 16% below 1990 levels in 2009. With full implementation of current policies, the EU is on track to achieve a 20% domestic reduction in 2020 below 1990 levels, and 30% in 2030. However, with current policies, only half of the 20% energy efficiency target would be met by 2020.

If the EU delivers on its current policies, including its commitment to reach 20% renewables, and achieve 20% energy efficiency by 2020, this would enable the EU to outperform the current 20% emission reduction target and achieve a 25% reduction by 2020. This would require the full implementation of the Energy Efficiency Plan[5] presented together with this Communication, which identifies measures which would be necessary to deliver the energy efficiency target. The amount of currently allowed offsets would not be affected.[6]

The analysis also shows that a less ambitious pathway could lock in carbon intensive investments, resulting in higher carbon prices later on and significantly higher overall costs over the entire period. In addition, R&D, demonstration and early deployment of technologies, such as various forms of low carbon energy sources, carbon capture and storage, smart grids and hybrid and electric vehicle technology, are of paramount importance to ensure their cost-effective and large-scale penetration later on. Full implementation of the Strategic Energy Technology plan, requiring an additional investment in R&D and demonstration of € 50 billion over the next 10 years, is indispensable. Auctioning revenue and cohesion policy are financing options that Member States should exploit. In addition, increasing resource efficiency through, for instance, waste recycling, better waste management and behavioural change, as well as enhancing the resilience of ecosystems, can play an important role. Also, continued effort to strengthen research on climate mitigation and adaptation technologies will be required.

Low carbon innovation: a sectoral perspective

The Commission’s analysis has also explored pathways for key sectors. This analysis looked at a range of scenarios assuming different rates of technological innovation and different fossil fuel prices. They produced largely convergent results with respect to the magnitude of reductions needed in each sector in 2030 and 2050 as indicated by the ranges presented in Table 1. The development of sectoral policy options will have to go into greater depth on costs, trade-offs, and uncertainties.

Table 1: Sectoral reductions

GHG reductions compared to 1990 2005 2030 2050
Total -7% -40 to -44% -79 to -82%
Sectors  
Power (CO2) -7% -54 to -68% -93 to -99%
Industry (CO2) -20% -34 to -40% -83 to -87%
Transport (incl. CO2 aviation, excl. maritime) +30% +20 to -9% -54 to -67%
Residential and services (CO2) -12% -37 to -53% -88 to-91%
Agriculture (non-CO2) -20% -36 to -37% -42 to -49%
Other non-CO2 emissions -30% -72 to -73% -70 to -78%

A secure, competitive and fully decarbonised power sector

Electricity will play a central role in the low carbon economy. The analysis shows that it can almost totally eliminate CO2 emissions by 2050, and offers the prospect of partially replacing fossil fuels in transport and heating. Although electricity will increasingly be used in these 2 sectors, electricity consumption overall would only have to continue to increase at historic growth rates, thanks to continuous improvements in efficiency.

The share of low carbon technologies in the electricity mix is estimated to increase from around 45% today to around 60% in 2020, including through meeting the renewable energy target, to 75 to 80% in 2030, and nearly 100% in 2050. As a result, and without prejudging Member States’ preferences for an energy mix which reflects their specific national circumstances, the EU electricity system could become more diverse and secure.

A wide range of existing technologies will need to be widely deployed, including more advanced technologies, such as photovoltaics, that will continue to become cheaper and thus more competitive over time.

Energy specific scenarios and the means of achieving such decarbonisation, while ensuring energy security and competitiveness, will be examined in the Energy 2050 Roadmap. This will build on the established EU energy policy and the EU 2020 Strategy.

The EU ETS will be critical in driving a wide range of low carbon technologies into the market, so that the power sector itself can adapt its investment and operational strategies to changing energy prices and technology. For the ETS to play this role on the identified pathway to 2050, both a sufficient carbon price signal and long-term predictability are necessary. In this respect, appropriate measures need to be considered, including revisiting the agreed linear reduction of the ETS cap[7]. Other tools, such as energy taxation and technological support may also be appropriate to ensure that the power sector plays its full part.

Given that the central role of electricity in the low carbon economy requires significant use of renewables, many of which have variable output, considerable investments in networks are required to ensure continuity of supply at all times[8]. Investment in smart grids is a key enabler for a low carbon electricity system, notably facilitating demand-side efficiency, larger shares of renewables and distributed generation and enabling electrification of transport. For grid investments, benefits do not always accrue to the grid operator, but to society at large (with co-benefits for consumers, producers, and society at large: a more reliable network, energy security and reduced emissions). In this context, future work should consider how the policy framework can foster these investments at EU, national and local level and incentivise demand-side management.

Sustainable mobility through fuel efficiency, electrification and getting prices right

Technological innovation can help the transition to a more efficient and sustainable European transport system by acting on 3 main factors: vehicle efficiency through new engines, materials and design; cleaner energy use through new fuels and propulsion systems; better use of networks and safer and more secure operation through information and communication systems. The White Paper on Transport will provide a comprehensive and combined set of measures to increase the sustainability of the transport system.

Up until 2025, the main driver for reversing the trend of increasing greenhouse gas emissions in this sector is likely to remain improved fuel efficiency. Emissions from road, rail and inland waterways could in fact be brought back to below 1990 levels in 2030, in combination with measures such as pricing schemes to tackle congestion and air pollution, infrastructure charging, intelligent city planning and improving public transport, whilst securing affordable mobility. Improved efficiency and better demand-side management, fostered through CO2 standards and smart taxation systems, should also advance the development of hybrid engine technologies and facilitate the gradual transition towards large-scale penetration of cleaner vehicles in all transport modes, including plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles (powered by batteries or fuel cells) at a later stage.

The synergies with other sustainability objectives such as the reduction of oil dependence, the competitiveness of Europe’s automotive industry as well as health benefits, especially improved air quality in cities, make a compelling case for the EU to step up its efforts to accelerate the development and early deployment of electrification, and in general, of alternative fuels and propulsion methods, for the whole transport system. In this respect, it is not surprising to see also automotive industries in the US, Japan, Korea and China increasing their investments in battery technology, electric vehicles and fuel cells.

Sustainable biofuels could be used as an alternative fuel especially in aviation and heavy duty trucks, with strong growth in these sectors after 2030. In case electrification would not be deployed on a large-scale, biofuels and other alternative fuels would need to play a greater role to achieve the same level of emissions reduction in the transport sector. For biofuels this could lead, directly or indirectly, to a decrease of the net greenhouse gas benefits and increased pressure on bio-diversity, water management and the environment in general. This reinforces the need to advance in 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels and to proceed with the ongoing work on indirect land use change and sustainability.

The built environment

The built environment provides low-cost and short-term opportunities to reduce emissions, first and foremost through improvement of the energy performance of buildings. The Commission’s analysis shows that emissions in this area could be reduced by around 90% by 2050, a larger than average contribution over the long-term. This underlines the importance of achieving the objective of the recast Directive on energy performance of buildings[9] that new buildings built from 2021 onwards will have to be nearly zero-energy buildings. This process has already started, with many Member States implementing stricter energy performance standards for buildings. On 4 February 2011 the European Council, taking account of the EU headline target, decided that from 2012 onwards all Member States should include energy efficiency standards in public procurement for relevant public buildings and services. By the end of 2011, the Commission will present a Communication on “Sustainable Construction” setting out a strategy on how to boost the competitiveness of this sector while improving its environmental and climate performance.

Efforts will need to be strengthened significantly over time. Today, new buildings should be designed as intelligent low- or zero-energy buildings. The extra cost of this can be recovered through fuel savings. A greater challenge, however, is the refurbishment of the existing building stock, and in particular how to finance the necessary investments. Some Member States are already pro-actively using structural funds. The analysis projects that over the next decade investments in energy-saving building components and equipment will need to be increased by up to € 200 billion. Several Member States have already implemented smart financing schemes, such as preferential interest rates for leveraging private sector investments in the most efficient building solutions. Other private financing models must be explored.

As in the transport sector, shifting energy consumption towards low carbon electricity (including heat pumps and storage heaters) and renewable energy (e.g. solar heating, biogas, biomass), also provided through district heating systems, would help to protect consumers against rising fossil fuel prices and bring significant health benefits.

Industrial sectors, including energy intensive industries

The Commission’s analysis shows that GHG emissions in the industrial sector could be reduced by 83 to 87% in 2050. The application of more advanced resource and energy efficient industrial processes and equipment, increased recycling, as well as abatement technologies for non-CO2 emissions (e.g. nitrous oxide and methane), could make a major contribution by allowing the energy intensive sectors to reduce emissions by half or more. As solutions are sector-specific, the Commission sees a need to develop specific Roadmaps in cooperation with the sectors concerned.

In addition to the application of more advanced industrial processes and equipment, carbon capture and storage would also need to be deployed on a broad scale after 2035, notably to capture industrial process emissions (e.g. in the cement and steel sector). This would entail an annual investment of more than € 10 billion. In a world of global climate action, this would not raise competitiveness concerns. But if the EU’s main competitors would not engage in a similar manner, the EU would need to consider how to further address the risks of carbon leakage due to these additional costs.

As the EU develops its climate policy framework, there will be a need to continue to monitor and analyse the impacts of these measures on the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries in relation to efforts by third countries, and to consider appropriate measures where necessary. The Commission’s analysis confirms earlier findings that the current measures provide adequate safe-guards in the current context and notes the findings on options for addressing carbon leakage as set out in the Communication of May 2010, including on the inclusion of imports into the ETS[10]. The extent to which the existing, adequate safeguards are sufficient will continue to be kept under close review in relation to efforts by third countries. The Commission remains vigilant in order to maintain a strong industrial base in the EU. The Commission will continue to update the list of sectors at risk of carbon leakage as foreseen in the EU ETS Directive[11]. Clearly, the best protection against the risk of carbon leakage would be effective global action.

Raising land use productivity sustainably

The Commission’s analysis shows that by 2050 the agriculture sector can reduce non-CO2 emissions by between 42 and 49% compared to 1990. The sector has already achieved a significant reduction. More reductions are feasible in the next two decades. Agricultural policies should focus on options such as further sustainable efficiency gains, efficient fertiliser use, bio-gasification of organic manure, improved manure management, better fodder, local diversification and commercialisation of production and improved livestock productivity, as well as maximising the benefits of extensive farming.

Improved agricultural and forestry practices can increase the capacity of the sector to preserve and sequester carbon in soils and forests. This can be achieved, for instance, through targeted measures to maintain grasslands, restore wetlands and peat lands, low- or zero-tillage, to reduce erosion and allow for the development of forests. Agricultural and forestry are also providing the resources for bio-energy and industrial feedstocks, and this contribution is bound to increase further.

The above elements will be further addressed in the Common Agriculture Policy legislative proposals for 2013, of which the positive impacts have not yet been taken into account in the analysis, as well as the forthcoming Bio-economy Communication[12].

After 2030, the rate of emission reductions in the agricultural sector could slow down, in part because of increased agricultural production due to the growing global population. However, it is important to note that, by 2050, agriculture is projected to represent a third of total EU emissions, tripling its share compared to today. Its importance in terms of climate policy is, therefore, set to increase: if it does not achieve the projected emissions reductions, other sectors would need to reduce even more, which would come at a high cost. The farming sector is also potentially at some risk of carbon leakage, so changes in production and trade patterns should not in the longer-term undermine global reduction of emissions.

The analysis also considers implications for the agricultural and forestry sector in a global perspective. In 2050, the world will have to feed around 9 billion people. At the same time, tropical forests will have to be preserved as an essential component of tackling climate change and preserving world biodiversity. In addition, mitigation efforts are expected to increase demand for bio-energy alongside existing and increasing demand for feed for animals, timber, paper production and bio-industries. The dual challenges of global food security and action on climate change need to be pursued together. In order to cope with these increased land use requirements in the EU and on a global scale sustainable increases in the productivity delivered by diverse agricultural and forestry systems (both intensive and extensive) will need to continue at rapid pace, not least in developing countries. Any negative impacts on other resources (e.g. water, soil and biodiversity) will need careful management. Accelerating climate change could endanger these productivity improvements in a world of insufficient action on climate change.

This also underscores the need to consider all land uses in a holistic manner and address Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) in EU climate policy. The Commission is preparing an initiative on this issue later this year. In addition, paper and wood products should be reused and recycled more to reduce pressure on land use.

The analysis took account of global trends towards a greater share of animal products in nutrition. Reversing existing trends of food waste and re-orienting consumption towards less carbon intensive food would be desirable.

Investing in a low carbon future

A major increase in capital investments

Various forms of low carbon energy sources, their supporting systems and infrastructure, including smart grids, passive housing, carbon capture and storage, advanced industrial processes and electrification of transport (including energy storage technologies) are key components which are starting to form the backbone of efficient, low carbon energy and transport systems after 2020. This will require major and sustained investment: on average over the coming 40 years, the increase in public and private investment is calculated to amount to around € 270 billion annually. This represents an additional investment of around 1.5% of EU GDP per annum on top of the overall current investment representing 19% of GDP in 2009[13]. It would take us back to the investment levels before the economic crisis. Investments today will determine the future competitiveness of economies. In this context, it is interesting to note the much larger shares of GDP allocated to investments in China (48%), India (35%), and Korea (26%) in 2009[14], showing emerging economies’ need to build up infrastructure but also the potential in leapfrogging towards a competitive, low carbon economy.

Unlocking the investment potential of the private sector and individual consumers presents a major challenge. While most of this extra investment would be paid back over time through lower energy bills and increased productivity, markets tend to discount future benefits, and disregard long-term risks. A key question is, therefore, how policy can create the framework conditions for such investments to happen, including through new financing models.

In the implementation of the 20% energy efficiency target, the Commission will have to monitor the impact of new measures on the ETS in order to maintain the incentives in the ETS rewarding low carbon investments and preparing the ETS sectors for the innovations needed in the future. In this respect, appropriate measures need to be considered, including recalibrating the ETS by setting aside a corresponding number of allowances from the part to be auctioned during the period 2013 to 2020 should a corresponding political decision be taken. This would also ensure that the contribution to the energy efficiency target would be made in a cost efficient manner in both, the ETS and non-ETS sectors.

Additional public private financing mechanisms are key in order to overcome initial financing risks and cash flow barriers. Public finance through innovative financing instruments, such as revolving funds, preferential interest rates, guarantee schemes, risk-sharing facilities and blending mechanisms can mobilise and steer the required private finance, including for SMEs and consumers. In this way, limited public finance can leverage a multitude of private sector investments[15]. The European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as dedicated funding in the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework should play a role in providing additional financing for energy efficient and low carbon technologies.

Increasing domestic investments provide a major opportunity for increased productivity, added value and output from a wide range of EU manufacturing industries (e.g. automotive, power generation, industrial and grid equipment, energy–efficient building materials and the construction sector), which are key industries for the creation of future growth and jobs.

Beyond the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, which are the key benefits of the shift to the low carbon economy, this transition will bring a number of other essential benefits.

Reducing Europe’s energy bill and its dependency on fossil fuel imports

Taken over the whole 40-year period, it is estimated that energy efficiency and the switch to domestically produced low carbon energy sources will reduce the EU’s average fuel costs by between € 175 billion and € 320 billion per year. The actual cost saving depends on the extent to which global action on climate change is undertaken. In a scenario of global climate action, less fossils fuel would need to be imported into the EU and the cost of what would still be imported would decline.

If the rest of the world does not take coordinated action, however, a major benefit of EU action would be to protect the economy against high fossil fuel prices. The analysis, as well as the IEA World Energy Outlook 2010, clearly demonstrates that fossil fuel prices are indeed projected to be significantly higher in case of limited global action. This is not only a long-term issue. Even following the recession in the Western world, oil prices are about twice as high as in 2005. The IEA estimated that the EU has seen its import bill rise by $ 70 billion from 2009 to 2010, and that further rises in the foreseeable future are probable. As we experienced in the ’70s and early ’80s, oil price shocks can lead to inflation, increasing trade deficits, reduced competitiveness and rising unemployment.

In 2050, the EU’s total primary energy consumption could be about 30% below 2005 levels. More domestic energy resources would be used, in particular renewables. Imports of oil and gas would decline by half compared to today, reducing the negative impacts of potential oil and gas price shocks significantly. Without action the oil and gas import bill could instead double compared to today, a difference of € 400 billion or more per annum by 2050, the equivalent of 3% of today’s GDP[16].

New jobs

Investing early in the low carbon economy would stimulate a gradual structural change in the economy and can create in net terms new jobs both in the short- and the medium-term. Renewable energy has a strong track record in job creation. In just 5 years, the renewable industry increased its work force from 230 000 to 550 000. Also for the construction sector low carbon investment offers large short-term job opportunities. With some 15 million employees in the EU, it was particularly hard hit by the economic crisis. Its recovery could get a significant boost through a major effort to accelerate the renovation and building of energy efficient houses. The Energy Efficiency Plan confirms the large job creation potential from promoting investments in more efficient equipment.

In the longer-term, the creation and preservation of jobs will depend on the EU’s ability to lead in terms of the development of new low carbon technologies through increased education, training, programmes to foster acceptability of new technologies, R&D and entrepreneurship, as well as favourable economic framework conditions for investments. In this context, the Commission has repeatedly emphasized the positive employment benefits if revenues from the auctioning of ETS allowances and CO2 taxation are used to reduce labour costs, with the potential to increase total employment by up to 1.5 million jobs by 2020.

As industry takes advantage of the economic opportunities provided by the low carbon economy, the need to ensure a skilled work force, especially in the construction sectors, technical professions, engineering and research, becomes more pressing. This will require targeted vocational training of the existing work force towards “green-collar” job opportunities, addressing emerging skills bottlenecks and fostering these skills in education systems. The Commission is currently working on assessing the employment effects of greening the economy, for instance through the implementation of the Agenda for New Skills and Jobs.

Improving air quality and health

Action to reduce GHG emissions would importantly complement existing and planned air quality measures resulting in significantly reduced air pollution. Electrification of transport, and the expansion of public transport, could strikingly improve air quality in Europe’s cities. The combined effect of GHG reductions and air quality measures would bring about more than 65% lower levels of air pollution in 2030 compared to 2005. In 2030, annual costs of controlling traditional air pollutants could be more than € 10 billion lower, and in 2050 close to € 50 billion could be saved every year. These developments would also reduce mortality, with benefits estimated up to € 17 billion per year in 2030, and up to € 38 billion in 2050. Moreover, public health would be improved, with a reduction in health care costs and damage to ecosystems, crops, materials and buildings. These gains will be important also in the light of the comprehensive review of the EU Air Quality Policy, foreseen for 2013 at the latest, where the aim is to maximise co-benefits with climate policy and minimise negative trade-offs.

The international dimension

The EU with little more than 10% of global emissions will not be able to tackle climate change on its own. Progress internationally is the only way to solve the problem of climate change, and the EU must continue to engage its partners. By formulating and implementing ambitious domestic climate change policies for more than a decade, the EU has brought many other countries on board. The situation today is fundamentally different than at the end of 2008 when the EU unilaterally adopted its Climate and Energy Package. At COP15 in Copenhagen, world leaders agreed that global average temperature should not rise more than 2°C. Today, countries representing more than 80% of global emissions have pledged domestic targets under the Copenhagen Accord and the Cancun agreements. For some countries, delivering on these pledges will require stronger action than currently envisaged.

This concrete action, sometimes more ambitious than what countries would be ready to commit to internationally, is driven to a significant extent also by other domestic agendas: to accelerate innovation, increase energy security and competitiveness in key growth sectors and reduce air pollution. A number of Europe’s key partners from around the world, such as China, Brazil and Korea, are addressing these issues, first through stimulus programmes, and now more and more through concrete action plans to promote the “low carbon economy”. Standstill would mean losing ground in major manufacturing sectors for Europe.

In the coming years, implementing these pledges will be a key step in globalising climate change policies. The EU should use this opportunity to strengthen its cooperation with its international partners, including to work towards a gradual development of global carbon markets to support efforts of developed and developing countries to implement low-emission development strategies, and ensure that all climate financing contributes to “climate proof” development opportunities.

However, swift implementation of the pledges made since Copenhagen would only achieve part of the reductions needed. A recent report by UNEP estimated that their full implementation would reach 60% of the required emission reductions until 2020. If no firm global action is taken against climate change, temperatures might increase by more than 2°C already by 2050, and more than 4ºC by 2100. In order to avoid this scenario, science indicates that by 2050 global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced by at least 50% compared to 1990. With the preparation of this Roadmap, the EU is taking a new initiative to stimulate international negotiations in the run-up to Durban. In this way, the Roadmap is an integral part of a wider strategy to deliver on the objective to keep the global average temperature increase below 2ºC compared to pre-industrial levels. When cooperating with its partners, the EU should take a comprehensive approach intensifying bilateral and multilateral engagements on the broad range of aspects across sectors that touch upon climate policy.

Conclusions

The Commission’s detailed analysis of cost-effective ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 has produced a number of important findings.

In order to be in line with the 80 to 95% overall GHG reduction objective by 2050, the Roadmap indicates that a cost effective and gradual transition would require a 40% domestic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 as a milestone for 2030, and 80% for 2050. Building on what has already been achieved, the EU needs to start working now on appropriate strategies to move in this direction, and all Member States should soon develop national low carbon Roadmaps if not already done. The Commission is prepared to provide some of the necessary tools and policies.

Second, the analysis also shows that with existing policies, the EU will achieve the goal of a 20% GHG reduction domestically by 2020. If the revised Energy Efficiency Plan would be fully and effectively implemented meeting the 20% energy efficiency target, this would enable the EU to outperform the current 20% emission reduction target and achieve 25% reductions. This Communication does not suggest to set new 2020 targets, nor does it affect the EU’s offer in the international negotiations to take on a 30% reduction target for 2020, if the conditions are right. This discussion continues based on the Commission Communication from 26 May 2010[17].

Third, as well as reducing the threat of dangerous climate change as part of ambitious global action, deep reductions in the EU’s emissions have the potential to deliver benefits in the form of savings on fossil fuel imports and improvements in air quality and public health.

Fourth, the Roadmap gives ranges for emissions reductions for 2030 and 2050 for key sectors. To realise these milestones as cost-effectively as possible, and to maximise benefits for EU manufacturing industries, the implementation of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan is of crucial importance. Considering the important labour market implications, the New Skills and Jobs Agenda will need to support the transition process.

The Commission intends to use the Roadmap as a basis for developing sector specific policy initiatives and Roadmaps, such as the 2050 Energy Roadmap and the upcoming White Paper on Transport. The Commission will initiate the appropriate sectoral dialogues. The Commission will continue to ensure that the EU ETS remains a key instrument to drive low carbon investments in a cost-efficient manner. It will also remain attentive to the risk of carbon leakage in order to ensure a level-playing field for industry.

As part of the development of the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework, it will also examine how EU funding can support instruments and investments that are necessary to promote the transition to a low carbon economy, taking into account the specificities of sectors, countries and regions.

The Commission invites the other European institutions, Member States, candidate countries as well as potential candidates, and stakeholders to take this Roadmap into account in the further development of EU, national and regional policies for achieving the low carbon economy by 2050. Internationally, the Commission will present the 2050 Roadmap to its global partners in order to stimulate international negotiations working towards global action, and will foster cooperation with countries in the EU’s neighbourhood on measures to promote a resilient low carbon economy.

[1]           COM(2011) 21, see: http://ec.europa.eu/resource-efficient-europe

[2]           Energy Efficiency Plan – COM(2011) 109.

[3]           Taking into account necessary efforts from developing countries, this will allow a global reduction of 50% in emissions by 2050.

[4]           Domestic meaning real internal reductions of EU emissions and not offsetting through the carbon market.

[5]           Energy Efficiency Plan – COM(2011) 109.

[6]           As agreed by the emissions trading Directive 2003/87/EC (as amended by Directive 2009/29/EC) and the effort-sharing Decision (Decision 406/2009/EC).

[7]           Directive 2003/87/EC as amended by Directive 2009/29/EC foresees a linear reduction of the cap of 1.74 percentage points per year. This reduction is legally enshrined in the ETS and continues after 2020.

[8]           See also Communication “Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond – A blueprint for an integrated European energy network” – COM(2010) 677.

[9]           Directive 2010/31/EU.

[10]         COM(2010) 265.

[11]     Article 10a (13) of Directive 2003/87/EC as amended by Directive 2009/29/EC.

[12]         Commission Work Programme 2011, European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable bio-based economy by 2020.

[13]         Eurostat, National accounts.

[14]         World Bank, Indicators.

[15]         If it constitutes State aid, public funding should be in line with State aid compatibility rules.

[16]         The level of reductions in the bill for fossil fuel imports depend on future fossil fuel price developments and diversification of supply sources.

[17]         COM(2010) 265.

11 February, 2018