13/05/2019

More CO2 in the atmosphere today than any point since the evolution of humans

According to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is over 415 parts per million (ppm), far higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years, since before the evolution of homo sapiens. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography measures daily CO2 rates at Mauna Loa along with scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Measurements have been ongoing since the program was started in 1958 by the late Charles David Keeling, for whom the Keeling Curve, a graph of increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, is named. Look more at  Scripps Oceanography

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25/11/2020

Global Climatic Threat and Russian Economy: Searching for the Way. report of SKOLKOVO Energy Centre

The global climate threat is even more topical for Russia, rather than for many other countries. The climate warming in the Russian territory has been 2.5 faster than the global average, and in the Russian Arctic, 4.5 times faster, in the last 40 years. The climate change in Russia has already threatened human health and life, forced people to migrate, brought risks to food safety and infrastructure. However, the climate change problem is not among public policy priorities at both federal and regional levels in Russia, while corporate interest in the carbon footprint reduction is gradually increasing, promoted primarily by European shareholders and investors. At present, the country’s climate regulation is in its infancy. The best-case scenario of the draft Russian low-carbon development strategy envisages the 2050 objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 52% on 1990, which is not ambitious compared  to flagship countries pursuing climate neutrality (zero net emissions of […] more
24/11/2020

BSR Climate Change Dialogue Platform 10th Round-table meeting 10 December 2020, 10:00-12:30 online

The RT meeting will take place on Thursday, 10th of December 2020 between 10:00-12:30 CET, online, using MSTeams. The main theme of the roundtable is New climate risks in Baltic Sea Region with particular focus on integrated coastal protection. Registration to the online meeting is open until 07 December 2020 . Meeting is arranged back-to-back with the meeting of CBSS Expert Group for Sustainable development, starting on the afternoon, same day. Draft Agenda  09:45-10:00 Participants signing up to online meeting. 10:00 Start of the meeting Welcome by the Chair of the meeting (Lithuanian MoE). 10:05 – 10:10 Introduction of the agenda and purpose of the meeting (CBSS Secretariat) Draft Agenda of the meeting with background information will be sent to RT participants together with initial invitation to the meeting. 10:10 – 10:30 CASCADE Overview of climate risk drivers, hazards and consequences in BSR (SEI Tallinn)   One task of the HA […] more
12/11/2020

SWECO Urban Insight: Planning for Climate Adaption

SWECO has launched a  guidance on Key actions for resilient and adaptive cities of the future. According to  experts , mainstreaming and acceleration of climate action has not always followed suit – implementation is not happening at the same rate as planning. Only 26 % of cities in Europe have an adaptation plan, and in 2018 just 17 % had a joint adaptation and mitigation plan. Moreover, the problem is particularly acute in smaller cities, as larger cities (>500.000 inhabitants) represent the largest share of cities with either a mitigation or adaptation plan. They also state that  even when cities have an Adaptation Plan, implementation of those plans is crucially lagging behind.  This Urban Insight report, “Planning for Climate Adaptation”, aims to guide acceleration of climate adaptation in cities at the scale and urgency essential for future sustainability and resilience. For the report SWECO has extensively interviewed and researched key cities at the […] more
09/11/2020

Human Cost of Disasters

Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019 was published to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on October 13, drawing on the Emergency Events Database of the Centre for Research  on the Epidemiology of Disasters, based at the University of Louvain, Belgium. The analysis confirms how extreme weather events have come to dominate the disaster landscape in the 21st century. In the period 2000 to 2019, there were 7,348 major recorded disaster events claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people (many on more than one occasion) resulting in approximately US$2.97 trillion in global economic losses. This is a sharp increase over the previous twenty years. Between 1980 and 1999, 4,212 disasters were linked to natural hazards worldwide claiming approximately 1.19 million lives and affecting 3.25 billion people resulting in approximately US$1.63 trillion in economic losses. Much of the difference is explained by a rise in climate-related disasters including extreme weather […] more
05/11/2020

President Putin approved new climate goal of Russian Federation for 2030

Yesterday, 04.11.20202, The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed decree number 666 on the reduction of Russia's greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 70% of the 1990 level, taking into account the maximum possible absorptive capacity of forests. Experts point out that the new target de facto allows for a significant increase in emissions compared to the current level and will be achieved without additional efforts. Environmentalists consider it "non-ambitious", especially against the background of statements and plans of other countries. The new climate target of the Russian Federation (minus 30% from 1990 by 2030) has been prepared as a "nationally determined contribution" to the Paris Agreement (PC) - recall that the Russian Federation joined it a year ago (see Kommersant dated September 24, 2019 ). The previous goal of the Russian Federation at the time of approval of the PS (in 2015) was minus 25-30% of the […] more
04/11/2020

In September 2020, for the first time in European history, registrations for electrified vehicles overtook diesel

2020 has been a turbulent year for the car market globally, and particularly in Europe. Although car registrations dropped by 29% during the first nine months of the year – to 8.54 million units –there are clear signs that Europe is all set for an electric revolution. In fact, according to JATO’s figures for September 2020, this revolution has already started. JATO Dynamic’s data for 27 markets in Europe shows that the total number of electrified cars registered in September (encompassing pure electric, plug-in hybrids, full hybrids and mild hybrids) was higher than the number of registrations for diesel cars. For the first time in the modern era, alternative-fuelled-vehicles outsold one of the two internal combustion engine (ICE) types. This marks significant change – for just five years ago, diesel cars were a dominant player in Europe.Whilst overall the market posted a timid growth of a mere 1.2% in September, […] more
29/10/2020

EU plans raise the degree of the Russian climate agenda

At the first meeting of the  Climate Committee of the  Russian Union of  Industrialists and Entepreneurs (RUIE/РСПП),  the representatives of ministries and businesses discussed the main directions of Russia’s climate policy for the near future.  The priorities include energy efficiency, support for companies’ projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and an experiment on the carbon market in the Sakhalin Region. Due to the negative reaction from business to any options for stricter carbon regulation, more substantial measures are out of the question. Meanwhile, the climate policy of the Russian Federation is increasingly determined by the EU plans to introduce transboundary carbon regulation. This week, the RUIE sent its comments on the issue to the European Commission, stating that such regulation “is contrary to international agreements and is unacceptable.” Read article of Kommersant (in Russian) here. Press release of  RUIE Climate Committee could be reached here. more
23/10/2020

New Danish climate project shows the way for local commitment to the green transition

20 Danish pilot municipalities are in the process of preparing local, ambitious plans that show the way to carbon neutrality by 2050. With a new partnership, all Danish municipalities are now invited to join in, as collective municipal commitment is vital to reach the national climate efforts. In a completely new climate partnership between the philanthropic association Realdania, the association of Danish municipalities KL and the five regions in Denmark, all of the country’s municipalities are invited to become part of the climate project DK2020. Here they must develop local climate plans with a level of ambition that lives up to the goals of the Paris Agreement. Climate is an important part of the regional and municipal policy agenda in Denmark. For years, the municipalities have worked purposefully to promote the green transition and reduce their CO2 footprint, and the regions have adopted ambitious goals for climate and sustainability. -Related […] more
15/10/2020

New report shows enormous potential for hydrogen and PtX-solutions

The report “Renewable Energy 2.0 – Hydrogen and PtX-Strategy”,  is showing a Danish roadmap on how to establish a hydrogen economy. The report is written by Hydrogen Denmark in an effort to show all Danish and international stakeholders, how both hydrogen and PtX-technologies hold immense potential for the future. Both in terms of boosting the green transition and to obtain the goal of a 70% reduction of green house gasses in 2030, but also as a means to increase export of innovational Danish technological solutions in the field of hydrogen and PtX, as well as to create new, green jobs in the process. The main findings of the report include: Up to 53.000 new, Danish jobs in 2030 Up to 84 billion Danish crowns worth of export of green energy Between 180-315 Danish crowns worth of European investments until 2030 in electrolysers Between 1.350-3.525 Danish crowns worth of export of […] more
13/10/2020

Two new EEA reports look how countries and cities in Europe adapt to climate change impacts

Despite the increasing awareness of climate change impacts and the need to adapt, many of Europe’s cities and towns are struggling to handle the impacts of heatwaves, severe droughts and destructive floods. Two European Environment Agency (EEA) reports published today stress the urgent need for action to improve adaptation and resilience at local and national government levels. Addressing climate change adaptation in cities is increasingly urgent as nearly 75 % of Europeans live in urban areas. This number expected to grow in coming years. Moreover, the way we plan and construct our cities remains unsustainable, the EEA report ‘Urban adaptation in Europe: how cities and towns respond to climate change,’ says. Specifically, continued construction on floodplains, the increased covering of soil surfaces by concrete or asphalt, the small amount of green spaces, and urban sprawl encroaching on wildfire and landslide prone areas are making cities and towns much more vulnerable. […] more
07/10/2020

EU Parliament votes for 60% carbon emissions cut by 2030

The European Parliament voted on Tuesday (6 October) to update the EU’s climate target for 2030, backing a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, up from 40% currently. Lawmakers in the EU assembly voted the proposed amendment on the 2030 target by 352 votes to 326, with 18 abstentions. The text will now be forwarded to the EU Council of Ministers representing the EU’s 27 member states for final approval. The EU’s objective is to wrap up negotiations by the end of the year. European Parliament has gone above the “at least 55 per cent” proposed by the EU Commission., but below 65% reduction by 2030 as proposed by science community. Read more from Euractiv more
18/09/2020

Commission raises climate ambition and proposes 55% cut in emissions by 2030

The European Commission presented yesterday its plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This level of ambition for the next decade will put the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The new target is based on a comprehensive Impact Assessment of the social, economic and environmental impacts. The Assessment demonstrates that this course of action is realistic and feasible. This raised ambition also underlines the EU’s continued global leadership, ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP26). The Commission has today: tabled an amendment to the proposed European Climate Law, to include the 2030 emissions reduction target of at least 55% as a stepping stone to the 2050 climate neutrality goal; invited the Parliament and Council to confirm this 55% target as the EU’s new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, and to […] more
17/09/2020

Lappeenranta is the finalist in the European Green Leaf Award!

The city of Lappeenranta is the finalist in the European Green Leaf award for 2021. The European Green Leaf Award is an annual competition organised by the European Commission for cities of less than 100,000 residents with exemplary and progressive climate policy and actions. Lappeenranta is a pioneer city in renewable energy and clean environment with passionate problem-solving at its forte. The finale of the 2021 Green Leaf competition takes place on 7 October 2020, and the winner will be announced on the following day, 8 October. Lappenranta have ambitious climate policy and a goal to be carbon neutral in 2030. In addition, they have focused on green technology and sustainable development and have not forgotten to share their progress with others: that makes them a fine candidate for the award! #egla2021 #Lappeenranta You can see some concrete actions the City of Lappeenranta has done for the environment here. More information about the European Green Leaf […] more
15/09/2020

2020 May Be Earth’s Warmest Year On Record

Global temperatures in 2020 are on pace for one of the planet’s top two warmest years in 141 years of temperature records, according to separate new analyses. NOAA’s State of the Climate report released Monday found that temperatures in the first six months of 2020 were second warmest of any January-June period, trailing only 2016 in records dating to 1880. Based on this data, NOAA calculated a 36% chance 2020 will end up as the record warmest year. What’s impressive about the warm start to 2020 is the lack of warmth provided by an El Niño. A record-tying strong El Niño lasted through roughly the first half of 2016, giving a boost to global temperatures. This year, we may instead be trending toward a La Niña. NOAA’s latest monthly outlook indicated a roughly 50/50 chance La Niña may develop by fall. Parts of Asia, Scandinavia, western Europe, Mexico, the south Atlantic Ocean and western […] more
08/09/2020

Tackling pollution and climate change in Europe will improve health and well-being, especially for the most vulnerable

Improving the health and well-being of European citizens is more important than ever, with attention currently focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic provides a stark example of the complex links between the environment, our social systems, and our health. A significant proportion of the burden of disease in Europe continues to be attributed to environmental pollution resulting from human activity, according to the EEA report ‘Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe.’ The report, which draws extensively on World Health Organization data on the causes of death and disease, highlights how the quality of Europe’s environment plays a key role in determining our health and well-being. It shows how social deprivation, unhealthy behaviours and shifting demographics in Europe influence environmental health, with the most vulnerable hardest hit. Key findings Air pollution remains Europe’s top environmental threat to health, with more than 400 […] more
04/09/2020

NGO-s report on EU Funds for Green Recovery

A new report published by Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe and CEE Bankwatch Network identifies concrete investment proposals as listed in National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) of 14 Member States to be funded in order to ensure a green recovery. The report titled “EU Funds for a Green Recovery”, comes right after the president of the European Council Charles Michel’s proposal to increase the climate spending target of EU funds from 25% to 30%, and makes it clear that if the EU funds are used wisely, they could both ensure a green recovery and boost climate ambition. Ahead of this week’s European Council meeting where Heads of State will come together to discuss and potentially agree on the next term EU budget, the report analyses investments and measures presented in the NECPs of the following 14 Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, […] more
01/09/2020

Adaptation to health effects of climate change in Europe

Scientific evidence shows that the climate is changing largely as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission. Even if all countries adhere to their current commitments a rise of 3 °C is predicted. Climate change already has negative effects on health. The main impacts on health in Europe are from heat and heat-waves, changing patterns of infectious and vector-borne diseases, and from extreme disasters like floods and fires. The need for making the health sector more resilient to risk at large has been illustrated not the least by the recent COVID-19 crisis. This opinion presents the challenges for the health sector caused by the need for adapting to the increased risks from climate change. The opinion recommends: the integration of health aspects in all policies, across all sectors and governance levels, affected by the climate change adaptation strategies and plans; supporting the capacity and preparedness of the health sector in the […] more
20/08/2020

Russia Sets Ambitious Targets for Low-Carbon Future

Russia is struggling with the approval of a number of legislative changes in order to move to a low-carbon economy and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement . In an interview with Energy Intelligence, Ruslan Edelgeriyev, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin on climate change issues, explains how the Covid-19 pandemic could impact the country’s climate plans and what hurdles Moscow will face in its low-carbon development endeavors. Read intrview here.   more
19/08/2020

Energy District Webinars and Resources of Area21 Project in September

During the last three years, the AREA 21 consortium worked in close cooperation with their local stakeholders to establish future-oriented energy planning at the district level. As the project comes to an end, we are hosting a webinar series to present and discuss the results and further needs and potentials for cooperative energy planning. Registration Open | Energy District Webinars and Resources – Join us for webinars on three main topics:   – 01 September: Webinar “Energy Improvement Districts: an Instrument for Local Cooperation on Energy Efficiency” An introduction to and several examples of the Energy Improvement District (EID) concept as a tool for integrated energy planning and a method to support cities in reaching their emissions reductions goals.   – 08 September: Webinar “Strategic Energy Planning in Urban Districts from a Policy Perspective” A forum on the current issues of energy improvement policy and collaborative processes in the strategic […] more
14/08/2020

The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia has updated the action plan to improve the energy efficiency of the economy

The Ministry of Economic Development sent a draft of an updated comprehensive plan of measures to improve the energy efficiency of the Russian economy for approval by the federal executive authorities. The document was developed on behalf of the Government together with the relevant federal and regional executive authorities, the expert and business community. As measures for the development of energy efficiency financing instruments, it is proposed to remove restrictions on the development of energy service activities, attract “green” investments in energy conservation, and concessional lending for energy efficiency projects, including for the population and SMEs. It is proposed to create a specialized fund to invest in energy efficiency projects. “The updated plan is aimed at improving the energy efficiency of the most energy-intensive sectors of the economy, which consume over 80% of all energy in the country: energy, industry, transport and housing and communal services. Technological renewal of the […] more
10/08/2020

Climate change impacts and adaptation in Europe. JRC PESETA IV final report

The PESETA IV study aims to better understand the effects of climate change on Europe, for a number of climate change impact sectors, and how these effects could be avoided with mitigation and adaptation policies. The JRC PESETA IV study shows that ecosystems, people and economies in the EU will face major impacts from climate change if we do not urgently mitigate greenhouse gas emissions or adapt to climate change. The burden of climate change shows a clear north-south divide, with southern regions in Europe much more impacted, through the effects of extreme heat, water scarcity, drought, forest fires and agriculture losses. Climate change damages the capital stock and affects economic production and the welfare of households. Quantification of these economic effects for river floods, coastal floods, agriculture, energy supply, droughts, windstorms and human mortality, shows that the economic impacts are dominated by human mortality from temperature. However, its contribution […] more
07/08/2020

Public consultation on EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism open until October 2020

The European Green Deal emphasized that “should differences in levels of ambition worldwide persist, as the EU increases its climate ambition, the Commission will propose a carbon border adjustment mechanism, for selected sectors, to reduce the risk of carbon leakage”. Risk of carbon leakage means either that production is transferred from the EU to other countries with lower ambition for emission reduction, or that EU products are replaced by more carbon-intensive imports. If this risk materialises, there will be no reduction in global emissions, and this will frustrate the efforts of the EU and its industries to meet the global climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. A Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) would ensure that the price of imports reflects more accurately their carbon content. This measure will be designed to comply with World Trade Organization rules and other international obligations of the EU. This measure would be an alternative […] more
03/08/2020

Registration for the 14th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA14) is open!

CBA14 will be held as an online event from 21-25 September 2020. IIED and partners are designing a digital event that will enable participants from around the world to share their skills, projects, and experiences with each other via their computer or via a smartphone app. Find out more and register here. Join the CBA Network to stay in touch with the latest updates and to participate in the CBA14 discussions! more
19/06/2020

Public consultation on EU strategy Adapting to climate change open until 20th August

The European Green Deal aims to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent. It also announced the adoption of a new, more ambitious EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change. Climate impacts are already felt throughout Europe and are likely to further increase in intensity and frequency. Without drastic emission abatement measures, continued climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible consequences such as the collapse of natural ecosystems, the erosion of global food security or displacement of people. Against this background, it is important to gather a wide range of stakeholder views for the new Strategy in order to inform the design and policy options explored, as well as the appropriate level of ambition. You can contribute to this consultation by filling in the online questionnaire. Questionnaires are available in some or all official EU languages. You can submit your responses in any official EU language. Questionnaire […] more
16/06/2020

Estonia mapped potential Urban heat islands

Estonian Environment Agency conducted study of Ground temperature estimations based on Landsat-8 (USA) satellite data from the period 2014-2019 in order to map potential heat islands in larger Estonian cities (Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Kohtla-Järve, Narva, Viljandi, Rakvere) and their vicinity. Study report (in Estonian) is available here. Maps of potential Urban heat islands can be downloaded here. Relevant map layers are available also online on the mapserver of Estonian Land Board more
15/06/2020

New green record for Danish electricity: lowest CO2 emissions ever

The Danish emissions from electricity production are now only a seventh of what they were in 1990. With cheaper offshore wind, the trend of lowering emissions is continuing. A new milestone for Danish green energy was reached in 2019: the lowest CO2 emissions from electricity production ever. A Danish-produced kilowatt-hour (kWh) emitted 135 grams of CO2, according to a new report from Energinet (in Danish), the Danish transmissions systems operator. In 2018, the emissions were 194 grams per kWh. “If you look at it historically, it is a really, really low number and it shows the impressive green journey that the Danish electricity system has been on. In 1990, a producing kilowatt-hour emitted over 1,000 grams of CO2 – about seven times as much,” said Energinet’s Hanne Storm Edlefsen, Area Manager for Electrical System Responsibility in a press release. more
04/06/2020

OUR COMMON BALTIC Online Summer Course 29 June – 03 July 2020

The CCB network aims to establish and develop contacts between engaged citizens in all the Baltic Sea countries. The CCB summer course “Our Common Baltic” is a fantastic way for engaged volunteers to get involved, to learn more about the problems and solutions for the Baltic sea catchment and to meet and learn from each others experiences and specific issues in the respective country and local situation. Due to the current circumstances with travel and COVID-19, OCB will be held online this year, with no travel necessary. We are creating a dynamic program to meet this challenge, with excellent presentations and activities to connect you with your Baltic Sea home and neighbours in the program. CCB program limit is 25 participants, and we will begin by considering one person from each member and partner organization, but we could bring more in if we do not fill by our registration deadline, […] more
25/05/2020

CAMS Webinar on strategies and methodologies for merging climate adaptation into energy efficiency projects and nature-based solutions in cities 03 June 2020 from 11-15:30

Online Workshop on strategies and methodologies for merging climate adaptation into energy efficiency projects and nature-based solutions in cities is prepared and delivered by IVL Swedish Environment Institute as part of INTERREG BSP financed CAMS Project Platform. CAMS Platform aims to bring in and capitalize results of ongoing EU INTERREG BSR and other EU financing instruments supported energy efficiency projects by gathering and exchanging experiences from the projects and the partner-organisations participating in the platform. Based on existing projects, platform partners will explore how usual energy efficiency measures could be improved and used for increasing resilience of housing and services sector to negative effects of long-term climate change; how energy audits could be improved and made more efficient (and cheaper) for the preparation of the energy efficiency investments by developing accessible database for energy performance criteria of technologies and measures and by developing unified energy performance criteria for multi-story buildings and how to […] more
20/05/2020

Danish government has a new climate action plan until 2030

The Danish government presented their first climate action plan  to find CO2 reductions for the coming decade. The climate action plan contains a portion of the concrete actions to be taken in order to ensure a 70 per cent CO2-reduction by 2030 from 1990 levels. The six main tracks, presented as one of the first concrete plans toward reaching the 70 per cent target, that are invested in are: Energy islands with offshore wind turbines Green fuels and Power-to-X (PtX) Energy efficiency in buildings Green heating by district heating or electric heat pumps Green energy and energy efficiency improvements in the Danish industry Climate neutral waste sector by 2030 The government estimates that the climate action plan can reduce CO2 by two million tonnes. However, in order to reach the ambition of a 70 per cent reduction of CO2 by 2030, a total reduction of just below 19 million tons […] more
19/05/2020

EUROSTAT:In 2019, CO2 emissions from energy use in the EU estimated to have decreased

Eurostat estimates that in 2019, the year before COVID-19 containment measures were widely introduced by EU Member States, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion (mainly oil and oil products, coal, peat and natural gas) significantly decreased by 4.3% in the European Union of 27 Member States (EU), compared with the previous year. CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for some 80% of all man-made EU greenhouse gas emissions. They are influenced by factors such as climate condition s (e.g. cold / long winter or hot summer), economic growth, size of the population, transport and industrial activities. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are generated in the country where the fuels are burned for purposes such as electricity generation, transport, steel production etc. Consequently, imports and exports of energy products have an impact: for example if coal is imported for electricity generation this leads to […] more
11/05/2020

Circular Economy – mission impossible?!

The article  “From elite folk science to the policy legend of the circular economy “of  Mario Giampietro and  Silvio Funtowitz,  recently published in  Volume 109 of Environmental Science & Policy, explores the implications of the widespread success of the term circular economy in the institutional and public debate. The concept of circular economy in itself implies a logical contradiction: on the one hand, the concept acknowledges the dependence of the economy on biophysical flows; on the other hand, the proposed solution—a business model guaranteeing a full decoupling of the economy from natural resources—seemingly ignores that biophysical processes are subject to thermodynamic constraints. A biophysical view of the sustainability predicament—the flows exchanged between the technosphere and the biosphere — is depicted to show that the idea of a full decoupling is simply due to ignorance of the knowledge generated in (inter)disciplinary scientific fields other than the dominant economic one. The success of […] more
30/04/2020

Denmark undertakes large-scale energy efficiency renovations during COVID-19 crisis

Limitations on the Danish construction budget for 2020 have been suspended. This allows for large-scale energy renovations at sports facilities and social facilities that are left empty due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Sports facilities, community centres and other places commonly used in Denmark for social gatherings and sports have been left empty for over a month amidst the COVID-19 crisis. While this has a negative social effect, it might prove beneficial for the green transition. The Danish government has decided to suspend the limit on the construction budget for Danish municipalities, which normally regulates public expenditure. The increased expenditure is expected to amount to around EUR 340 million in advanced investments, while payments to contractors at the amount of EUR 740 million are advanced, writes the Danish newspaper Berlingske. With the opening up of the budget, many sports and social facilities have decided to improve their energy efficiency. “We know […] more
29/04/2020

UN Secretary General António Guterres calls to “prepare enhanced national climate action plans”, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), “to reach net zero emissions by 2050”.

To combat the COVID-19 pandemic and the “looming existential threat of climate disruption”, the only credible response is “brave, visionary and collaborative leadership” anchored in mutilateralism, the UN Secretary General António Guterres, said on Tuesday, during an international discussion focused on climate change. In planning the coronavirus pandemic recovery, there is “a profound opportunity” to steer the world on “a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind”, the Secretary-General said. “By making the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient growth, we can create a world that is clean, green, safe, just and more prosperous for all”, he emphasized. As such, he proposed six different climate-related actions that countries can take, to shape the recovery: 1. Deliver new jobs and businesses through a green and just transition while accelerating the decarbonization of all aspects of the economy. 2. Use taxpayers’ […] more
23/04/2020

Public consultation on EU Commission 2030 Climate Target Plan

The European Green Deal aims to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent. To this end, the Commission intends to increase the EU’s 2030 target for greenhouse gas emission reductions to at least -50% and towards -55% compared to 1990 levels. Revising the current 2030 target upwards puts us on a more gradual pathway towards becoming climate-neutral by 2050. It also helps to pace and focus transition efforts from now until 2050 and ensure EU’s leadership role in addressing global challenges in a sustainable way. The consultation, open from 31.03- 23.06.2020, aims to collect opinions on the desired ambition level of climate and energy policies, necessary actions in different sectors and specific policy design to increase climate ambition by 2030. It also aims to gather further information, including roadmaps, policy briefs and studies relevant for deeper greenhouse gas emission reductions.   You can contribute to this consultation by filling in […] more
17/04/2020

Is Europe living within the limits of our planet?

Thie freshly publiched EEA-FOEN report explores two key questions related to Europe’s long-term environmental and climate ambitions: how to define a ‘safe operating space’ for Europe, and whether Europe’s environmental footprint is currently smaller or larger than its estimated ‘safe operating space’. A comparison of European footprints with European  limits for the selected planetary boundaries shows that  the European footprints exceed the European limits  for three out of four Earth system processes, namely  for the nitrogen cycle (expressed as nitrogen losses in  this report) and the phosphorus cycle (expressed as  phosphorus losses) — that is, for both biogeochemical  flows considered — and for land system change  (expressed as land cover anthropisation. Report can be downloaded here. more
08/04/2020

Estonian Finance minister proposes to leave EU CO2 scheme

Estonian Finance minister Martin Helme  has formalized his call for Estonia leaving the European Union’s CO2 trading system by writing to Minister of the Environment and co-party member Rene Kokk. In his formal letter, which codifies comments Helme made on Monday 6th  April, 2020, Helme has asked Rene Kokk to investigate options for Estonia to leave the European Union emissions trading system (ETS), even on a temporary basis. Helme argues that this would lead to reduced electricity prices and as such be a means of mitigating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Helme asked in his letter 1) What steps must be taken to exit the Estonian trading system? and 2) What are the possible consequences of leaving the trading system and their direct and indirect effects on the Estonian state and companies as participants in the trading system?, according to ERR’s online news in Estonian The Estonian government has already […] more
23/03/2020

More than bears – an intependent website on Climate Change in Russia

A new website of news from social and physical climate scientists based in Russia or working on Russian climate projects has become operational. Website  will spotlight cutting edge and scientific research related to the  climate change in Russian Federation, bringing scientific findings to the public debate. The authors claim that the site is independent . Nottingham Trent University has provided funding for a year to support a small amount research hours for the project, majority of  input to the site would carried out on a voluntary basis.   You will find link to the website here more
20/03/2020

The Commission’s proposal for the first European Climate Law

With the European Climate Law the Commission proposes a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The EU Institutions and the Member States are bound to take the necessary measures at EU and national level to meet the target, taking into account the importance of promoting fairness and solidarity among Member States. The Climate Law includes measures to keep track of progress and adjust our actions accordingly, based on existing systems such as the governance process for Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans, regular reports by the European Environment Agency, and the latest scientific evidence on climate change and its impacts. Progress will be reviewed every five years, in line with the global stocktake exercise under the Paris Agreement. The Climate Law also addresses the necessary steps to get to the 2050 target: Based on a comprehensive impact assessment, the Commission will propose a new […] more
26/02/2020

The European Commission launched a public debate about the EU’s upcoming Climate Law

The European Commission launched a public debate about the EU’s upcoming Climate Law on Tuesday (28 January), with a view to enshrining the bloc’s 2050 “climate neutrality” target into binding legislation before the UN climate conference in Glasgow later this year. Europe faces a climate emergency and “we’re not wasting any time,” said Frans Timmermans, Commission vice president in charge of the European Green Deal. “My fundamental point is: we can do this. We have the science, we have the technology, and we can certainly find the money,” the former Dutch foreign minister told a conference in Brussels, aimed at kick-starting public discussions on the EU’s upcoming Climate Law. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has promised to table a European Climate Law during her first 100 days in office and eventually enshrine the EU’s climate neutrality objective for 2050 into hard legislation. According to the Commission, the new law “will […] more
13/02/2020

Climate change impacts in Europe

Climate change is happening now and will get more serious in the future, even if global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions prove effective. However, the impacts will be much less severe if efforts to reduce emissions are successful in keeping the global temperature increase well below 2°C (as required by the Paris Agreement). Any higher emissions scenario would lead to considerably greater climate change. Extreme weather and climate-related hazards such as heat waves, floods and droughts will become more frequent and intense in many regions. This will lead to adverse impacts on ecosystems, economic sectors, and human health and well-being. Therefore, minimising the risks from global climate change requires targeted actions to adapt to the impacts of climate change, in addition to actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Adaptation must be tailored to the specific circumstances in different regions and cities of Europe.   The maps prepared by the […] more
11/02/2020

European Green Deal Explained

At Baltic Leadership Programme  on Energy Efficiency final module meeting in Riga, on February 11th, 2020,  organized jointly by Swedish Institute, Latvian Ministry of Economics and CBSS, the  Advisor to European Commission Mārtiņš Zemītis presented how European Green Deal will help to achieve  European climate,  energy and economic development goals recently agreed by European Council. See presentation here: European Green Deal and Energy Efficiency more
06/02/2020

Danish Power Company Ørsted to become carbon neutral by 2025

Ørsted, recently ranked the most sustainable company in the world, will become carbon neutral by 2025. This will make Ørsted the first major energy company to reach net-zero emissions in its energy generation – far ahead of science-based decarbonisation targets for limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Additionally, Ørsted has established a target of achieving a carbon neutral footprint by 2040. During the last ten years, Ørsted has transformed from a company with fossil fuels at the core of its business, to a pure-play renewables company. Ørsted has gradually dismantled its traditional fossil fuel-based business and built a new business in renewable energy which is now one of the biggest green energy companies in the world today. As the leading developer of offshore wind, Ørsted has installed one third of all offshore wind turbines globally. By eliminating carbon emissions from its energy generation and operations, the company has reduced its carbon […] more
27/01/2020

Climate refugees have right to seek asylum

The UN Human Rights Committee has determined that countries cannot deport people who have sought asylum due to climate-related threats. The historic ruling marks the first decision by a UN human rights treaty body based on a complaint filed by an individual seeking protection from the effects of climate change.   Ioane Teitota from the Pacific island nation of Kiribati lodged the complaint in 2015 after being deported from New Zealand when his asylum application was denied. Mr. Teitota argued that his right to life had been violated, as rising sea levels and other destructive effects of climate change had made his homeland uninhabitable. He said he was forced to migrate from the island of Tarawa, to New Zealand, due to impacts such as a lack of freshwater due to saltwater intrusion, erosion of arable land, and associated violent land disputes which had resulted in numerous fatalities.   While the UN Committee determined that Mr. Teitota’s right to life had not been violated as sufficient protection measures had been implemented in Kiribati, member Yuval Shany said: “Nevertheless, this ruling sets forth new standards that could facilitate the […] more
15/01/2020

Lack of progress on Energy Efficiency in Russian Federation

In the latest state report on energy conservation and energy efficiency in the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Economy states: over the past ten years, the energy intensity of GDP has decreased by only 9%, and over the past four years it has not decreased. All progress in reducing energy intensity was achieved in 2000–2008 due to structural changes in favor of less energy intensive types of economic activity. “In 2018, by 2007, the energy intensity of GDP decreased by 12%, although the 2008 presidential decree demanded that it be reduced by at least 40% by 2020. “If the average rate of decline in energy intensity of GDP for 2007-2018 is maintained at 1.1% per year, it will only be possible to reach the target value of 40% by 2043,” the ministry concludes. The Government report on energy efficiency (in Russian) can be downloaded from here. more
15/01/2020

Climate Now: 2019 was warmest year on record in Europe

The latest information from the Copernicus Climate Change Service shows temperatures were over 1.2 degrees Centigrade above the 1981-2010 average in 2019.The summer heatwave saw national temperature records being broken across western Europe; we saw 38.7 degrees in the UK, 42.6 degrees in Germany, and 46 degrees in southern France, plus new temperature records also in Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. For the rest of the world, it was the second warmest year on average, and all of the zones in red on the Temperature Anomaly map experienced warmer than average temperatures in 2019. It was much warmer than average in Alaska and the Arctic, a key climate change trend. Only in parts of Canada was it was cooler than average. Read more from EuroNews here. more
10/01/2020

Germany’s Climate Action Law

Germany’s first major national climate law has entered into force on 18 December 2019, three months after the coalition of chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) agreed to introduce it as part of an extensive climate package to reach 2030 climate targets. The package forms the bedrock of the country’s long-term climate policy. In their 2018 coalition treaty, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) promised to introduce “a law that guarantees compliance with the climate targets for 2030”. General purpose of the law Guarantee Germany fulfils national and European climate targets “to safeguard against the effects of global climate change” Law “rests upon” Paris Agreement target to limit global warming to well below 2°C and possibly to 1.5°C, plus the commitment Germany made at the UN climate action summit in New York on 23 September 2019 to “pursue” the […] more
08/01/2020

Munich Re: Tropical cyclones causing billions in losses on 2019

The global reinsurer Munich Re has summarised damages caused by natural catastrophies in 2019. 820 natural catastrophes caused overall losses of US$ 150bn, which is broadly in line with the inflation-adjusted average of the past 30 years. A smaller portion of losses was insured compared with 2018: about US$ 52bn. This was due, among other things, to the high share of flood losses, which are often not insured to the same extent as wind damage in most industrial countries. The insured portion of overall losses, slightly above 35%, matches the average of the past ten years. This is evidence that large sections of the market remain uninsured, especially in emerging and developing countries. Globally, in 2019, about 9,000 people lost their lives in natural catastrophes compared with 15,000 in 2018. This confirms the overall trend towards lower numbers of victims thanks to better prevention measures. On average over the past 30 years, about […] more
06/01/2020

Russia unveils National climate adaptation plan until 2022

The Russian government has published a plan to adapt the economy and population to climate change, aiming to mitigate damage but also “use the advantages” of warmer temperatures. The document, adopted by the government  on  25th of December 2019, outlines a plan of action and admits that changes in the climate have had a “prominent and increasing effect” on socioeconomic development, people’s lives, health and industry. Russia is warming 2.5 times quicker than the planet on average, and the two-year “first stage” plan is an indication that the government officially recognises this as a problem. It lists preventive measures such as dam building or switching to more drought-resistant crops, as well as crisis preparations including emergency vaccinations or evacuations in case of a disaster. The plan is needed to “lower the losses and use the advantages”. It says climate change poses risks to public health, endangers permafrost, increases the likelihood of […] more
03/01/2020

Last year Baltic environment ministers signed joint climate declaration

During a meeting of Baltic environment ministers, Latvian Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce, Estonian Environment Minister Rene Kokk and Lithuanian Environment Minister Kestutis Mažeika signed a joint climate declaration, affirming the three countries’ commitment towards long-term climate neutrality, as reported by Latvia’s Environment Ministry. Baltic States Climate Declaration underlines the need for joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapts to climate change, as well as enhance cross-border cooperation. Signing the declaration, ministers urged voicing a joint position of Baltic States at all possible forums to all EU member states, European Commission and European Parliament. This includes talks about the EU multi-year financial content for the period after 2020. «With the signing of the declaration we have agreed on closer cooperation between Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to jointly work on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,» explains Latvian minister Pūce. «We demonstrate to the international society that […] more
11/12/2019

Von der Leyen’s European Commission to unveil ambitious Green Deal

Today, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to officially unveil a draft version of a “European Green Deal”. The plan will outline policies that Von der Leyen’s commission intends to implement to create a “green economy” in Europe and combat climate change. The plan aims to halve EU greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The proposed changes must confront member-specific concerns to garner the necessary approval to move towards implementation. For instance, coal-reliant Poland has expressed concern that it lacks the financial means to completely overhaul its energy infrastructure. Moreover, while the EC has taken steps to address such concerns—in the case of Poland, by offering financial support—Von der Leyen faces an uphill battle in selling the plan’s economic viability. Indeed, the current proposal would commit some $300 billion, or a quarter of the bloc’s budget between 2021 and 2027, […] more
05/12/2019

Finance Act 2020: a greener direction for Denmark

On 2nd of December 2019, the Danish government and four parties set up Denmark’s Finance Act 2020, which announces Denmark’s priorities in welfare, education and the green transition. With the Finance Act 2020, Denmark’s green transition will be significantly strengthened towards the ambitious target to reduce Danish CO2-emissions by 70 per cent by 2030. The parties and the government made an agreement to establish “Denmark’s Green Future Fund” with total funds of DKK 25 billion . The fund will contribute to a national and global green transition, including development and dissemination of new technologies, transformation of energy system to renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, and global exports of green technology, especially in wind energy. The fund will also contribute to addressing the challenges posed by climate change and a growing world population in terms of food shortage and water scarcity. Among others, Finance Act 2020 also allocates funds for several different green sectors in agricultural land set aside, green buses […] more
04/12/2019

Europe’s state of the environment 2020: change of direction urgently needed to face climate change challenges, reverse degradation and ensure future prosperity

Europe will not achieve its 2030 goals without urgent action during the next 10 years to address the alarming rate of biodiversity loss, increasing impacts of climate change and the overconsumption of natural resources. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) latest ‘State of the Environment’ report published today states that Europe faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency. The report says, however, there is reason for hope, amid increased public awareness of the need to shift to a sustainable future, technological innovations, growing community initiatives and stepped up EU action like the European Green Deal.Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director has said: “Europe’s environment is at a tipping point. We have a narrow window of opportunity in the next decade to scale up measures to protect nature, lessen the impacts of climate change and radically reduce our consumption of natural resources. Our assessment shows that incremental changes have resulted in progress in […] more
29/11/2019

According to the new Governance Regulation adopted last year, Member States had to prepare their draft National Energy and Climate  Plans (NECPs) by 31st December 2018, while the final version needs to be prepared by 31st December 2019. In these plans, each Member State has to describe, in an integrated manner, its climate and energy objectives, targets, policies and measures for the period from 2021 to 2030, ensuring that the EU’s 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy and energy savings will be met. In June 2019, the European Commission assessed the draft NECPs. The assessment identified a gap between the national ambition levels and the EU’s 2030 targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy. The gap stems from the insufficient ambition of the national energy contributions for 2030 and the lack of informed policies and measures to scale up renewable energy, boost energy savings and phase out fossil fuel subsidies. Also, in many cases commitments to phase out coal are missing, even though these are crucial to provide proper support for the just transition of the […] more
29/11/2019

Overview of reported national policies and measures on climate change mitigation in Europe in 2019

The report highlights that the number of reported national policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions increased by 27% between 2017 and 2019. This increase is consistent with the reported increase in emission savings expected by 2030; there is more and better information on national policies and measures in comparison with previous years, although quantitative information on the realised emission savings remains insufficiently reported. In 2019, most of the reported policies and measures are regulations or economic instruments, targeting energy supply or energy consumption (including for transport), and implemented in response to Union policy. More than 10 % are agricultural policies, although they are rarely quantified.   The report also presents countries’ national developments in reporting on policies and measures starting after 2017. In the Baltic Sea Region (BSR): Denmark: only one measure to invest in infrastructure that will reduce transport emissions; Estonia: 25 PaMs starting between 2018 and 2021, […] more
26/11/2019

UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2019

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report is out. It provides the latest assessment of scientific studies on current and estimated future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and compares these with the emission levels permissible forthe world to progress on a least-cost pathway to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. This difference between “where we are likely to be and where we need to be” has become known as the ‘emissions gap’. Reflecting on the ten-year anniversary, a summary report, entitled Lessons from a decade of emissions gap assessments, was published in September for the SecretaryGeneral’s Climate Action Summit. The summary findings are bleak. Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global GHG emissions, meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required. However, behind the grim headlines, a more differentiated message emerges from the ten-year summary. A number of encouraging developments have taken place and the political focus on the climate crisis is growing in several countries, with voters and protestors, particularly youth, […] more
25/11/2019

ICLEI reveals Resilient Cities Report 2019

Climate change is a global problem, but its disastrous consequences are concentrated in urban areas and disproportionately affecting the poor and disadvantaged populations. Local governments must respond to non-climate related issues, such as earthquakes, economic crises, and socio-political conflicts. For these reasons, cities and their stakeholders have a crucial role and responsibility to integrate climate change adaptation and socio-economic considerations into an overarching resilience strategy. The lens of the Resilient Cities Congress series, this report provides an appraisal of the state of resilient cities from the last ten years, as well as actions of the main players in the field of urban resilience. We hope that it will serve as a reference for political leaders, practitioners, funders and representatives of the international community and civil society involved in urban resilience and sustainable development, and as inspiration for the next decade. See ICLEI Resilient Cities report here. more
12/11/2019

EFFECT4Buildings project case stories published

EUSBSR Flagship project “Effective Financing Tools for implementing Energy Efficiency in Buildings” (EFFECT4buildings) invites you to read our International Newsletter #3 Case stories. We hope the stories will inspire you to find the right financing tool/instrument for your building. Since the beginning of the EFFECT4buildings, the project team has been actively working with municipalities and public building managers to develop and test different financial tools and methods to unlock the investments and lower the risks of implementing energy efficiency measures in public buildings. EFFECT4buildings project team in regions invited public building managers to become case owners for different tools and instruments. Some of these cases are real cases for implementing energy efficiency measures, becoming both development cases and testing cases. You will find publication here. more
07/11/2019

Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities met the international press at State of Green in Copenhagen to discuss the green transition, climate ambitions and Denmark’s international role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

On October 30th, the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities met the international press at State of Green in Copenhagen to discuss the green transition, climate ambitions and Denmark’s international role in mitigating the effects of climate change. The Minister outlined the government’s ambitions for Denmark, while stating that it is important to approach the green transition systemically. It is not enough to tell populations to stop driving cars, flying or seeking growth – the best option is to present green alternatives, the minister stated as a response to a question from a journalist on the Danish carbon footprint in relation to other countries. In this, the minister hopes to inspire other countries. ”The West has been polluting for hundreds of years. Now, emerging economies and developing countries are starting to pollute more. However, can we really blame them? The responsibility is more on our shoulders than on theirs. […] more
06/11/2019

Significant drop in EU emissions in 2018 but further effort needed to reach 2030 target

The EEA report ‘Trends and projections in Europe 2019 — Tracking progress towards Europe’s climate and energy targets’ presents analysis of the EU progress towards the 2020 and 2030 targets for climate and energy. The analysis is based on official statistics on energy and GHG emissions up to 2017; preliminary data for 2018, including the ‘approximated EU GHG inventory’; and national projections of GHG emissions reported in 2019. Two specific analyses provide an overview of emission trends under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) up to 2030, and of GHG intensity of transport fuels in 2017. European Union (EU) cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2 % in 2018, according to preliminary estimates released on 31. October, 2019  by the European Environment Agency. However, rising energy consumption continues to hamper progress on the share of energy generated by renewable sources and on energy efficiency. As in previous years, the transport sector remains a […] more
05/11/2019

BRIGAID Project workshop 13. November 2019 in Brussels on Climate Innovation Window tool

Together with the consortium of the H2020 project BRIGAID , the EASME would like to invite you to late lunch debate on the project that supports innovators in bringing to the market climate adaptation and disaster risk management tools dealing with extreme weather conditions. Meeting takes place  on 13th of November 2019 , between 13:30-15:00 (UTC+01:00) in Brussels, at EASME premises COV2 00/SDR2 AUDITORIUM , Place Charles Rogier 16.   The article on CORDIS gives a good insight into its essence. It is the last year of the project and they are working on ensuring that their legacy (see below) is taken up. Different options are being analysed and your participation and expertise would allow discussing them further or possibly come up with new opportunities. The format of the event: the consortium leads present their key results open discussion of the options to ensure their life time after the end of the project […] more
10/10/2019

CASCADE Project delivers first reports for October 13th, the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction

CASCADE project aims to improve the capacity to understand, assess, and treat current and future climate change related risks on the local level, focusing on the particular in Baltic Sea Region (BSR) conditions. First two reports among the many reports and tools aiming capacity building and to be delivered by the project,  are ready and published now, just before the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction. International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. The 2019 edition continues as part of the “Sendai Seven” campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai […] more
03/10/2019

Estonian Government today decided to support reaching climate neutrality in EU by 2050

Today, on 3rd of october 2019, at the meeting of the Government of Estonia, the cabinet members decided unanomously to support EU  common goal to reach Carbon Neutrality by 2050 as stipulated in the  COM (2018) 773  A Clean Planet for all – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy. One must note that at the European Council June 2019 meeting, the leaders of the EU-28 did not manage to broker an agreement that would have seen member states slash greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2050, after Estonia and three of the Visegrad Four protested at the inclusion of an explicit date. The next opportunity to return to the issue will be October, at an end-of-month summit due to be Jean-Claude Juncker’s last as Commission president. The summit is likely to be dominated by Brexit though as the UK is due to leave the […] more
26/09/2019

Danish Pension funds to invest more than 46 billion to green transition by 2030

All eyes were on New York this week as the UN Climate Action Summit and General Assembly took place. Attending both events, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen captured the attention at a pre-summit event together with the Danish pension industry. Announcing the Danish pension industry’s plans for a staggering 46 billion euros to be invested in the transition to a carbon neutral world by 2030, the collaboration between the Danish government and Danish pension funds represents a massive mobilisation in clean energy investment. In addition, the Danish government also announced 20 million euros worth of funding for the Global Climate Facility – a fund that conducts green investments in developing countries. At an individual and societal level, there is widespread recognition that pension savings could be the answer to halting investment in black energy and companies that pollute, as well as bridge the financing gap that currently exists within green investments. […] more
24/09/2019

Russian Federation ratified Paris Agreement with Government Decree

Prime Minister of Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev said Monday he’d signed the order [to ratify Paris Agreement] ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, RIA Novosti reported. “It’s obvious that stopping global change can only be done together,” he said. “For our country, participating in this process is important.” Under the Paris framework, Russia is pledging to limit emissions to 70% to 75% of baseline levels by 2030. And it has until the end of 2020 to present its new long-term strategy for achieving that goal, according to Ruslan Edelgeriev, Putin’s senior adviser on climate change. “We have to take account for the fact that the Russian economy is in large part built around carbon-intensive industries,” Edelgeriev said in response to emailed questions sent by Bloomberg. “Russia needs to become a leader not just in the export of fossil fuels, but also in the export of new technologies […] more
23/09/2019

Key insights on the challenges for environmental sustainability of Europe

The overarching challenge of the 21st century is to achieve global sustainability that balances socio‑economic, environmental and climate considerations. Over the past 70 years, advanced economies in Europe and elsewhere in the world have achieved high levels of human development (living well) but at the expense of poor environmental sustainability (not within the environmental limits of the planet). As developing countries catch up economically, this situation is expected to worsen, manifesting itself in increasing climate change, degradation of nature and increased pollution, with manifold impacts on people’s health and well-being. To date, EU legislation has delivered many successes and provides an insurance policy against expected future impacts. Nevertheless, urgent efforts, unprecedented in scale, are required up to 2030 and beyond to tackle Europe’s complex sustainability challenges. Addressing them will need policies, investments and knowledge to work together to transform the systems driving unsustainability, while maximising environmental, social and economic co-benefits. […] more
23/09/2019

United Science report on Climate

The world’s leading climate science organizations have joined forces to produce a landmark new report for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, underlining the glaring – and growing gaps – between agreed targets to tackle global warming and the actual reality. The report, United in Science, includes details on the state of the climate and presents trends in the emissions and atmospheric concentrations of main greenhouse gases. It highlights the urgency of fundamental socio-economic transformation in key sectors such as land use and energy in order to avert dangerous global temperature increase with potentially irreversible impacts. It also examines tools to support both mitigation and adaptation. “The Report provides a unified assessment of the state of our Earth system under the increasing influence of anthropogenic climate change, of humanity’s response thus far and of the far-reaching changes that science projects for our global climate in the future. The scientific data and findings presented […] more
12/09/2019

Climate concerns rised in all BSR Countries by recent Eurobarometer poll.

Europeans are very concerned about climate change and support action across the EU to tackle it, according to a recent Eurobarometer survey by the European Commission. Climate change is increasingly considered not only as a very serious problem, but as the single most serious problem facing the world today.  Overall 93% of respondents think climate change is a serious problem.  Almost eight in ten (79%) think climate change is a very serious problem, an increase of five points since 2017.  At least two thirds of respondents in almost every country think climate change is a very serious problem, and in 25 countries this view has increased since 2017.  60% of respondents think climate change is one of the most serious problems facing the world. This is an increase of 17 points since 2017, and climate change has overtaken international terrorism (54%) as the second most serious […] more
10/09/2019

Preparation of regulation on Limitation of Greenhouse Gases in Russian Federation underway

According to the News Agency Kommersant, the  Ministry for Economy of the Russian Federation has presented to the Government an updated draft of  Federal Act on Limitation of Greenhouse Gases Emissions from large emitters. Draft has been modified several times since  first proposal revealed in November 2017. Draft Act foresees obligation to report GHG emissions by those entreprises emiting more that 150 000 tonnes  CO2 equivalent per year. Draft Act gives to the Federal Government right to control   emissions by  issuing emission limits for enterprises, imposing fines for emissions exceeding the limits and also opportunity for exchange (trade) emission quotas between the emitters. See relevant news article in Kommersant here. more
09/09/2019

Connections between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda

How to implement policy coherence through the connection between the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda? The Stockholm Environment Institute analysed these aspects in the report “Connections between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda”, published in September 2019. The report highlights that although strong connections exist between the two agendas, not all SDGs are equally addressed by national climate actions. Six SDGs are most prominently covered: SDG7 (Affordable and clean energy) – 1213 climate activities contribute to the goal, especially towards increasing the share of sustainable energy SDG15 (Life on land) – 965 climate activities (13%) contribute to the goal, in particular promoting sustainable forest management SDG2 (Zero hunger) – 852 climate activities (13%) support climate-smart agriculture SDG11 (Sustainable cities and communities)  – 660 climate activities concentrate on sustainable transport, disaster risk management and integrated urban planning […] more
06/09/2019

Global trends in renewable energy investment 2019

A report on global trends in renewable energy investments 2019 has been released by the Frankfurt School and UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. The report shows that in 2018 Europe reports overall 45% growth in capacity investment as compared to 2017, especially in sectors such as biomass & waste (175%), solar (87%), and wind (26%). Among the countries in the Baltic Sea Region, Germany’s capacity investment has been the highest, with $6.3 billion in 2018, however decreased by 52% as compared to 2017, and the lowest since 2004. Sweden increased its capacity investment 122% in 2018, reaching $4.5 billion, especially by attracting large onshore wind projects. Ukraine and Russia saw significant projects financed in 2018, particularly in non-hydro renewables. Both countries marked a record: Russian capacity investment increased 371% to $1.9 billion, Ukrainian jumped 539% to $2.1 billion. In particular, Russia hosted financing of three offshore […] more
04/09/2019

BSR WATER Platform Project Partner Meeting 30 September – 2 October 2019, Turku, Finland

The First Partner Meeting of the BSR WATER Platform Project takes place on 30 September – 2 October 2019,  in Turku, Finland. BSR WATER brings together partners representing diverse projects that have generated through transnational cooperation many replicable as well as unique outputs, covering broad variety of water-related issues (smart nutrient management and sludge handling, storm water management, domestic and industrial waste water treatment, manure management and energy efficiency). In such setting, collecting good practices, solutions, tools and expertise enables expansion beyond the subject of a single project or country and provides better reach to the source and availability of the experts that have been first hand involved in piloting, developing and testing solutions applicable in the whole Baltic Sea Region. Moreover, platform facilitates development of policy recommendations based on the common experiences of participating projects, which has great transnational value, as such recommendations will be coherent and unified in their approach […] more
04/09/2019

Climate change threatens future of farming in Europe

Crop and livestock production is projected to decrease and may even have to be abandoned in parts of Europe’s southern and Mediterranean regions due to the increased negative impacts of climate change, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. The study says that adapting to climate change must be made a top priority for the European Union’s agriculture sector if it is to improve resilience to extreme events like droughts, heatwaves and floods. The report looks at the key climate change problems facing agriculture in the EU and the outlook for the years ahead. It also gives an overview of how EU policies and programmes address climate change adaptation and includes examples of feasible and successful adaptation actions. The EEA assessment is consistent with the key messages from the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate change and land. ’New records are being set […] more
02/09/2019

Adaptation challenges and opportunities for the European energy system

The new EEA report identifies the challenges of, and opportunities for, climate change adaptation and climate resilience in the context of a decarbonising energy system in Europe. It intends to support the efforts of the European Commission, national governments and non‑state actors involved in planning, reporting, reviewing, implementing and revising relevant policies. The report provides information on the climate impacts and adaptation challenges associated with different energy technologies, gives an overview of the state of adaptation related to the energy system in Europe and presents good practice adaptation examples. The report concludes by identifying opportunities for further action by key adaptation actors and enablers in Europe. Report can be downloaded here. more
28/08/2019

Putting Regions on Track for Carbon Neutrality by 2050

C-track 50 is a Horizon 2020 project which engages 11 EU countries (including Germany, Latvia and Poland) to support the development of regional and local Energy and Climate Policy Plans for 2050. The publication outlines the regulatory framework and the status quo for regional and local energy planning in the partnership countries, and provides recommendations to facilitate local and regional collaboration and energy planning efforts. Some recommendations: Germany: Regions should establish an ambitious and attractive renewable feed-in-tariff for thermal energy supply make available funds and programmes for accelerating the modernization of the building stock, renovation, modernization, as well as heating and cooling provide the necessary sustainable mobility planning, in order to avoid barriers existing between municipalities Municipalities should open a dialogue between the different actors in the energy sector and redefine their role to lead the transition aim for car free city centres, invest in bike lanes, use tax incentives […] more
26/08/2019

UN Climate Change Secretariat new report on Climate action and support trends

UN Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn revealed a new report on Climate action and support trends, based on national reports submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat under the current reporting framework.  This report, requested by the Special Envoy of the 2019 UN Climate Summit, and prepared by the UNFCCC, provides an overview of the action taken by governments to address climate change in response to UNFCCC mandates. It also details the status of climate action and relevant support provided and received. Among other conclusions, report finds that: “Support for and cooperation on climate action are central to achieving mitigation and adaptation objectives and increasing ambition as countries face more and more political, technical, socioeconomic and other barriers.” Download report here. more
21/08/2019

Nordic Prime Ministers call for integration and focus on climate

Sustainability and climate change were the main issues discussed when the Nordic prime ministers met in Reykjavík on 20 August. Their new vision for the Nordic Council of Ministers articulates clearly that they want Nordic co-operation to be a more effective instrument in efforts to make the Nordic Region the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. The challenges faced by the planet and the climate concerns being expressed more and more strongly, especially by the younger generations, must be taken seriously, according to the new vision. “The Nordic countries have the opportunity to take the lead in global climate efforts. We’re ready to take on this role,” said Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who chaired the meeting. Nordic co-operation is based on values, and those shared values make it easier for decision-makers in the region to agree on the most important steps to take. The prime […] more
13/08/2019

Plaque marking Okjökull, the first glacier lost to climate crisis, to be unveiled in August 18th

On August 18, a memorial plaque will be unveiled in Iceland by Rice University, at the site of a former glacier that is the first to be declared “dead” due to the climate crisis. Okjökull was an iconic glacier, which a century ago covered 5.8 square miles of mountainside in western Iceland and measured 164 feet thick. It has melted away throughout the 20th century, shrinking to barely 10 square feet of ice less than 49 feet deep. It was declared dead in 2014. The NASA Earth Observatory recently released incredible satellite images showing glacier during the latter part of its decline, on September 7, 1986 and August 1, 2019. The images were acquired with the Thematic Mapper (TM) on Landsat 5, and the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. In the 1986 image, the dome-shaped Okjökul glacier appears as a solid-white patch, just north of the snow-filled crater. Snow is also […] more
12/08/2019

An IPCC Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems

In a special report, launched on 7th of August, 2019,  the UN’s climate science panel warned use of land to store carbon or grow fuel crops risked worsening food insecurity if poorly managed. This report shows that better land management can contribute to tackling climate change, but is not the only solution. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if global warming is to be kept to well below 2ºC, if not 1.5oC. In 2015, governments backed the Paris Agreement goal of strengthening the global response to climate change by holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5ºC. Land must remain productive to maintain food security as the population increases and the negative impacts of climate change on vegetation increase. This means there are limits to the contribution of land to […] more
05/08/2019

Poland could face ‘serious water crisis’ in coming years as rivers dry up

According to experts, Poland risks a serious water crisis in the coming years as hundreds of rivers are drying up little by little in the country. With climate change, more frequent droughts and only brief and often violent rainstorms, the situation is reaching a critical threshold. Contrary to popular belief, Poland, which is located at the confluence of oceanic and continental climate zones, has never had much water. It receives less rainfall than countries further west, while the rate of evaporation is comparable. Warmer winters with less snow mean that groundwater is not being replenished by spring melts. And Poland captures little of this water, which experts say is a big part of the problem. The result is that a vast strip of land across the country is slowly turning into steppe – semi-arid grass-covered plains, that threatens agriculture, forests and wildlife. With climate change, more frequent droughts and only brief […] more
03/07/2019

June was hottest ever recorded on Earth, European satellite agency announces

Data provided by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the EU, showed that the global average temperature for June 2019 was the highest on record for the month. The data showed European average ​temperatures were more than 2C above normal and temperatures were 6-10C above normal over most of France, Germany and northern Spain during the final days of the month, according to C3S. The global average temperature was about 0.1C higher than during the previous warmest June in 2016. Experts have said climate change made last week’s record-breaking European heatwave at least five times as likely to happen, according to recent analysis. Link to the article in Independent more
01/07/2019

Port of Malmö could be submerged by 2100

Climate change is a tangible threat to Swedish society and the state must up its game, according to the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR). A newly-published report, co-authored by SALAR and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), finds that, if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, today, Sweden will be about 5 degrees warmer around 2100 compared to the end of the 19th century. According to the scenarios, this would mean, for example, that the sea level will be raised by about one meter and that heavy downpours will become more common.   In Malmö, the sea level can rise by one meter or more. When extreme weather with waves and wind will occur, large parts of Malmö’s port area risk being submerged, including important infrastructure such as the station area and several major roads.  Extreme weather would pose a danger to human health and also damage to real […] more
26/06/2019

UBC cities continue as climate smart forerunners

New report on UBC cities’ environmental data disclosure to CDP highlights increased interest in resilience and growing ambition in climate mitigation and adaptation among the cities. The newest report on climate change mitigation and adaptation actions that UBC cities are actively engaging in has been published. The report highlights the continuous climate smart approaches our forerunner cities are actively pursuing and the good practices they are sharing with other cities in the region as well as climate hazards to prepare against in the coming years. The water-related risks continue to be the most severe risks that cities across the globe foresee – mostly through water scarcity and water quality issues. The most pressing risks identified by the UBC cities were increased water scarcity, declining water quality and ageing water supply infrastructure. Cities across the Baltic Sea Region have started to notice how old water supply infrastructure could have different impacts […] more
26/06/2019

Denmark set to aim for 70 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

Following three weeks of intense political negotiations after the national Danish elections that took place on 5 June, the leader of the Social Democrats was able to form a government with the support of centre-left and left wing parties last night. Denmark’s next Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, announced that the left-wing parties had reached an agreement about a “new political direction for Denmark”. Reflecting voters’ strong concerns about the climate and the environment, the first item in the 18-page document (in Danish), which sums up the new direction, is entitled “A green and sustainable future”. A central element is the establishment of a climate law with binding intermediate and long-term objectives, including a 70 per cent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels).  You maid wish to check Danish Council of the Climate Change news here more
18/06/2019

Climate change puts pressure on Europe’s energy system

All parts of Europe’s energy system, from availability of energy sources to energy consumption, are potentially vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events, according to a European Environment Agency report, published today. To secure reliable supply of clean energy, Europe’s energy system needs to adapt and become more climate resilient, the report states. The new assessment warns that climate change and extreme weather events increasingly affect all parts of the European energy system. The most important changes include increases in mean and extreme air and water temperatures, and changes in water availability, extreme climate‑related events, and coastal and marine hazards. These changes will affect the availability of primary energy sources — especially renewable energy sources — as well as the transformation, transmission, distribution and storage of energy, and energy demand. Some of the climate change impacts on the energy system can be economically beneficial, such as reduced energy demand for heating, […] more
04/06/2019

European State of the Climate 2018 Report by Copernicus

The European State of the Climate 2018, compiled by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Union. The report’s findings are based on data and expertise from C3S, as well as other Copernicus services and external partners. The full European State of the Climate 2018 gives a general description of the year as a whole, including a view of the European sector of the Arctic. It illustrates in further detail three longer events in 2018 where there were persistent weather conditions over several months, and explores associated variations in sunshine duration, vegetation and soil moisture, river discharge, wildfires, glaciers and sea ice. Finally, a number of key indicators for climate change are highlighted, placing the events and their impacts into a longer-term global context. Find report here more
04/06/2019

National adaptation actions reports to European Commission available in EIONET

The EU Greenhouse gas Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (MMR) requires from Member States monitoring and reporting on the actions taken by Member States to adapt to the inevitable consequences of climate change in a cost-effective manner. The 2019 National Adaptation Action reports are available here more
03/06/2019

EU total greenhouse gas emissions rose by 0.7 % in 2017 compared with 2016

According to the EEA’s Annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2017 and inventory report 2019, total greenhouse gas emissions (including international aviation) rose by 0.7 % in 2017 compared with 2016. These official data confirm the preliminary estimates published by the EEA in October 2018. From 1990 to 2017, the EU reduced its net greenhouse gas emissions by 21.7 %. The EU is therefore still exceeding its 20 % reduction target set for 2020. The 0.7 % increase in EU greenhouse gas emissions observed in 2017 resulted from the main following factors: Transport emissions continued to grow: for the fourth consecutive year since 2013, carbon dioxide emissions from road transportation increased — both for freight and passenger vehicles. Most of the increase was accounted for by higher diesel consumption by trucks and vans, but consumption and emissions also increased for passenger cars. Emissions from international aviation increased substantially as a result […] more
22/05/2019

Breakthru of hydrogen-fuelled transport in Copenhagen

The first wave of hydrogen-powered taxis are now cruising the streets of Copenhagen.  The taxi company DRIVR has invested in eight new, environmentally sustainable taxis, which were launched at a ceremony attended by the Danish Minister for Transport, Building and Housing in Refshaleøen, a new innovative quarter in Copenhagen. The taxis have been made possible with support from the Danish Ministry for Tranport, Building and Housing and the H2ME project, which falls under the auspices of the European Union financed Horizon 2020 initiative, the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking. Known as FCH 2 JU, the initiative aims to accelerate the market entry of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies. More specifically, the H2ME project, which received EUR 32 million in funding and commenced in 2015, is working towards increasing the number of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) operating on Europe’s roads. Learn more from  H2ME project here more
07/05/2019

Our World in Data: CO₂ and other Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Data sets and graphs of Our World in Data provides a historical to present day perspective of how CO2 emissions have evolved, how emissions are distributed, and the key factors that both drive these trends and hold the key to mitigating climate change. CO2 emissions are most typically measured and reported in terms of CO2 “production”. This accounting method is also sometimes referred to as “territorial-based” emissions because it reports emissions as those emitted within a country’s given geographical boundaries. As a result, this method takes no account of emissions which may be imported or exported in the form of traded goods. “Consumption-based” accounting adjusts CO2 emissions for this trade of emissions and more accurately reflects the emissions necessary to support a given country’s way of living. Based on the updated data gathered by Peters et al. (2012) and the Global Carbon Project, if we switched to a consumption-based reporting system (which corrects for this trade), in 2014 […] more
07/05/2019

Symposium Universities and Climate Change: Understanding and managing the extreme impacts of climate change 4 – 5 July 2019 Warsaw, Poland

The 3rd Symposium “Universities and Climate Change” is being organised by University of Warsaw, and HAW Hamburg, Germany, under the auspices of the International Climate Change Information and Research Programme (ICCIRP), and in cooperation with the Baltic University Programme. It will involve researchers in the field of climate change in the widest sense, not only from traditional climate science, but also from the fields of environment, human geography, business and economics, arts, administration and media studies. As usual, a peer-reviewed book will be produced with the presented papers, to be published as part of the Climate Change Series, the world´s leading peer-reviewed book series on climate change adaptation. Publications at the Series have over the years officially counted for promotion/tenure purposes. The focus of the Symposium is the role of climate change research and projects in fostering climate action. Further details are available at the conference web site. more
12/04/2019

Economic losses from climate-related extremes in Europe

In the EEA member countries (EEA-33), the total reported economic losses caused by weather and climate-related extremes over the period 1980-2017 amounted to approximately EUR 453 billion (in 2017 Euro values). Average annual economic losses in the EEA member countries varied between EUR 7.4 billion over the period 1980-1989, EUR 13.4 billion (1990-1999) and EUR 14.0 billion (2000-2009). Between 2010 and 2017, average annual losses were around EUR 13.0 billion. This high variability makes the analysis of historical trends difficult, since the choice of years heavily influences the trend outcome. The observed variations in reported economic losses over time are difficult to interpret since a large share of the total deflated losses has been caused by a small number of events. Specifically, more than 70 % of economic losses were caused by less than 3 % of all unique registered events. In the EU Member States (EU-28), disasters caused by weather and climate-related extremes accounted […] more
02/04/2019

The UN Environment released its sixth global environment outlook during the UN Climate Summit in Nairobi

Initially launched in 1997, the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO) is an integrated environmental assessment that incorporates environmental, social, economic, policy, geographic and temporal perspectives designed to provide answers to five key issues, namely; the state of the planet, key drivers of change, the impact the planet’s health has on livelihoods, where in the world problems are most acute and for whom, policy measures and responses to environmental challenges and what are some of the available pathways to accelerate progress to a more sustainable planet. The theme of the sixth GEO is ‘Healthy planet, healthy people’ and the report intends to direct attention to the link between the environment and human progress, warning that the state of the planet’s health is so dire that it represents a public health issue. For example,  approximately nine million lives are currenrly lost on an annual basis as a result of exposure to indoor/outdoor air […] more
05/03/2019

Climate change adaptation of major infrastructure projects. A stock-taking of available resources to assist the development of climate resilient infrastructure

This study reviewed the availability of resource materials that can support infrastructure project developers to take into account climate change adaptation. It provides an overall stock-taking of available resources that contribute to the preparedness of all Member States with regards to applying the climate change requirements of the European Structural and Investment Funds programming period 2014-2020. Finally, it identifies some of the ongoing good practices of Member States in adapting to climate change. Read report here   more
04/03/2019

Environment Ministers meet in brussels to discuss CLEAN PLANET FOR ALL

On 5 March, the Romanian Presidency will invite ministers to hold a policy debate on Clean Planet for All. The Council will hold a policy debate on the Communication for a strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy. The Environment Council had a first exchange of views on the Communication in December. There have also been ministerial discussions in the Energy and Competitiveness Councils, and further sectoral debates are planned in the coming weeks and months. The European Council will address the topic at its meeting on 21 and 22 March where heads of state and government are expected to give political guidance. On 28 November 2018, the European Commission presented a strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy (‘A Clean Planet for all’) in response to the European Council’s request in March 2018. The communication sets out the Commission’s vision for a climate-neutral Europe […] more
28/02/2019

Baltic Earth Session “Climate and other drivers of change: Interlinkages, ramifications and impacts in coastal regions” at EGU General Assembly 2019,Vienna, Austria on 7–12 April 2019

The regional climate change assessment reports for the Baltic (BACC I and II) and North Sea regions (NOSCCA) have recently estimated the extent and impact of climate change on the environments of the North and Baltic Sea regions. A major outcome of these reports is the finding that climate change is one of multiple drivers, which have a continuing impact on terrestrial, aquatic and socio-economic (resp. human) environments. These drivers interact with regional climate change in ways, which are not completely understood. This session invites contributions, which focus on the connections and interrelations between climate change and other drivers of environmental change, be it natural or human-induced, in different regional seas and coastal regions. Observation and modelling studies are welcome, which describe processes and interrelations with climate change in the atmosphere, in marine and freshwater ecosystems and biogeochemistry, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems as well as human systems. In particular, studies […] more
19/02/2019

Climeworks and CarbFix2: The world’s first carbon removal solution through direct air capture

CarbFix2 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 764760 and is led by Iceland’s multi-utility company Reykjavik Energy. The collaborative research project centres around one of the world’s largest geothermal power plants in Hellisheidi, Iceland, where CO2 is currently injected and mineralized at an industrial scale.  Here’s how it works: The Climeworks DAC module captures CO2 from ambient air The CO2 binds to our patented filter Once the filter is saturated with CO2, it is heated by low-grade waste heat from the geothermal plant The CO2 is released and bound to water The carbonated water is pumped more than 700 metres underground Here, it reacts with the basaltic bedrock, forming solid minerals Read more here more
12/02/2019

Munich Re: Losses in 2018 dominated by wildfires and tropical storms

When compared with the record losses of the previous year from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the indications at the start of 2018 were that it would be a more moderate year. However, the second half of the year saw an accumulation of billion-dollar losses from floods, tropical cyclones in the US and Japan, wildfires and earthquakes. The overall economic impact was US$ 160bn, of which US$ 80bn was insured. A comparison with the last 30 years shows that 2018 was above the inflation-adjusted overall loss average of US$ 140bn. The figure for insured losses – US$ 80bn – was significantly higher than the 30-year average of US$ 41bn. 2018 therefore ranks among the ten costliest disaster years in terms of overall losses, and was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 for the insurance industry. Europe can look back on a loss year that was similar to 2014, 2015 and 2017, […] more
31/01/2019

Germany to phase out coal by 2038 in move away from fossil fuels

Germany should shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest, a government-appointed commission said on Saturday, proposing at least 40 billion euros ($45.7 billion) in aid to regions affected by the planned phase-out. In a first step, plant operators including RWE , Uniper, EnBW and Vattenfall will be asked to shut down about 12.7gigawatts (GW) of capacity by 2022, equivalent to about 24 large power station units, the report said. Under the proposed plans, coal power capacity in Germany would more than halve to 17 GW by 2030. The committee’s proposals, if implemented, would be the second major intervention in Germany’s energy market within a decade after a landmark decision to shut down all nuclear power stations by 2022. The decision to switch away from nuclear was taken in the wake of Japan’s Fukishima disaster in 2011. While the 2038 exit date seems broadly in line with estimates, the report said […] more
28/01/2019

New Nordic climate cooperation

In a written agreement that was signed in Helsinki on Friday , January 25th, 2019, five Nordic  countries  Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have agreed to collaborate to improve climate ambitions and speed up efforts for the climate. In the declaration, the countries undertake to develop a compilation of different scenarios in which the Nordic countries can work together to achieve carbon dioxide neutrality, individually and collectively. Several concrete areas for cooperation and development include information for consumers on making climate-smart choices and how carbon dioxide can be stored in the future. See more at Nordic Council web. more
09/01/2019

Partnership for New Energy Leadership Conference 23-24 January, 2019 in Tartu, Estonia

The PANEL2050 project „Partnership for New Energy Leadership“ has encouraged local stakeholders to take the lead of development processes in ten CEE countries. Project has offered trainings, networking, guidebooks and visions for local stakeholders and helping them to become the leaders of sustainable development in their community. The final conference of PANEL2050 will focus on the main aspects of sustainable energy development in the CEE region, the solutions developed in the project and what steps should be taken in the future to address these issues going forward. The third day of the conference will focus on successfully applying for Horizon2020 funding, organised by European Commission, EASME. Conference program is available here more
09/01/2019

The Kick-off Meeting of the CASCADE project will be held in Hamburg on 6-7 February 2019.

CASCADE – Community Safety Action for Supporting Climate Adaptation and Development – targets the need to develop risk assessment methodologies focusing on climate change risks, tailor-made for the local level, and specifically for the Baltic Sea Region. This methodology will be used in a training course for city officials, responsible for civil protection. If successful, the training can be replicated by all BSR countries. CASCADE also strives for initiating a region-wide policy dialogue on the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction as an effective platform for cross-sectorial cooperation between different levels of governance and for greater policy coherence on climate risk assessments. Project web-page will be  opened soon. more
19/12/2018

MERRY CHRISTMAS and A HAPPY NEW YEAR from HA CLIMATE Team!

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19/12/2018

9 EU Countries committed to strengthen and extend carbon pricing in Europe

On 12 December 2018, Denmark, France, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Sweden signed the declaration ”To strengthen and extend carbon pricing in Europe”. Declaration includes a so-called minimum price on CO2-emissions from power production and a price on CO2 in sectors outside the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, where many EU countries would like to work closely together on CO2-fees on heat and transport. “All of Europe needs to agree on sending coal and fossil fuels on retirement and get wind turbines up and running. One of the best ways to do this is to let CO-emissions come with a financial cost. It is a simple and healthy principle: the polluter must pay. It is both fairer and more effective. That is why I, together with a number of the EU’s other green pioneers, have signed this declaration,” said the Minister of Climate, Lars Chr. Lilleholt. Find declaration […] more
18/12/2018

Renewable Energy in Europe – 2018

EEA Report No 20/2018  introduces several methods the European Environment Agency (EEA) has developed for assessing and communicating early RES growth and the important knock-on effects that RES growth has on the energy sector and related areas. The report provides specific information at EU and country level on estimated RES progress in 2013, estimated gross avoided carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and avoided fossil fuel use due to the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, as well as an assessment of the statistical impacts of growing RES use on primary energy consumption. Download report here more
17/12/2018

Country profiles – greenhouse gases and energy 2018

The fresh data section in EEA webpage presents country profiles containing key data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency for each EU Member State. These country profiles support and complement the assessment of progress towards climate and energy targets in Europe. See country profiles here more
17/12/2018

COP24: Rulebook for implementation of Paris Agreement adopted

Late on Saturday evening, negotiators in Poland secured an agreement on rules that will make the 2015 Paris climate accord operational. According to Swedish Climate Minister Isabella Lövin, the outcome of the talks had been “better than expected”, particularly after the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait last Saturday objected to the meeting “welcoming” an IPCC report on the impacts of a temperature rise of 1.5C. The rulebook covers a multitude of questions, such as how countries should report their greenhouse gas emissions or contributions to climate finance, as well as what rules should apply to voluntary market mechanisms, such as carbon trading. The final outcome included hints at the need for more ambitious climate pledges before 2020, leaving many NGOs disappointed at the lack of more forceful language. Documents adopted at COP24 can be found here. more
11/12/2018

COP24: ‘Going green’ is good business says private sector at UN’s climate conference

Businesses across the world should no longer be viewed solely as greenhouse gas emissions culprits, but more as indispensable partners for climate action, who stand to increase profits from “going green”. That was the key message as the United Nations COP24 climate change conference went into its second week in Katowice, Poland. See article here more
06/12/2018

COP24: A million lives could be saved by 2050 through climate action

Taking bold climate action now, could help save a million lives and a lot of money by the middle of the century, said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, launching a special report as part of the ongoing COP24 climate conference in Katowice, Poland. Exposure to air pollution causes 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated US$ 5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally. In the 15 countries that have the highest greenhouse gas emissions, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated to cost more than 4 per cent of GDP. By contrast, actions to meet the Paris commitment of keeping warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, would cost around 1 per cent of global GDP, said WHO.  Go to COP24 special report: health and climate change more
06/12/2018

COP24: Global carbon dioxide emissions rise in 2018

Global fossil fuel emissions are on track to rise for a second year in a row, primarily due to growing energy use, according to new estimates from the Global Carbon Project, an initiative led by Stanford University scientist Rob Jackson. The new projections come in a week when international negotiators are gathering in the coal-mining city of Katowice, Poland, to work out the rules for implementing the Paris climate agreement. “We thought, perhaps hoped, emissions had peaked a few years ago,” said Jackson, a professor of Earth system science in Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth). “After two years of renewed growth, that was wishful thinking.” The Global Carbon Project’s report, titled “Global Energy Growth Is Outpacing Decarbonization,” appears Dec. 5 in the peer-reviewed Environmental Research Letters, with more detailed data published simultaneously in Earth System Science Data. Read report here more
28/11/2018

The European Commission calls for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050

On 28 November 2018, the Commission presented its strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050. The strategy shows how Europe can lead the way to climate neutrality by investing into realistic technological solutions, empowering citizens, and aligning action in key areas such as industrial policy, finance, or research – while ensuring social fairness for a just transition.Following the invitation by the European Council in March 2018, the Commission’s vision for a climate-neutral future covers nearly all EU policies and is in line with the Paris Agreement objective to keep temperature increase to well below 2°C, and pursue efforts to keep it to 1.5°C. Read more here more
26/11/2018

Progress towards the three EU targets on climate and energy for 2020 is slowing down, in particular due to rising energy consumption.

Progress on increasing the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency is slowing across the European Union, putting at risk the EU’s ability to achieve its energy and emissions reduction targets. Rising energy consumption, particularly in the transport sector, is to blame for the slowdown, according to preliminary data released today in the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) annual analysis on the EU’s progress towards its targets on renewables and energy efficiency.  EEA Report (No 16/2018) Trends and projections in Europe 2018 Tracking progress towards Europe’s climate and energy targets shows that Good progress towards the energy efficiency targets was made between 2005 and 2014, but the pace has slowed in recent years as energy consumption has grown. This makes it more uncertain that the EU’s 2020 energy efficiency objectives and, to an even greater degree, the target for 2030 will be met. Member States will need to implement relevant policies and measures to keep energy consumption in […] more
23/11/2018

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere reach new record

The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that globally averaged concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, up from 403.3 ppm in 2016 and 400.1 ppm in 2015. Concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide also rose, whilst there was a resurgence of a potent greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance called CFC-11, which is regulated under an international agreement to protect the ozone layer. Since 1990, there has been a 41% increase in total radiative forcing – the warming effect on the climate – by long-lived greenhouse gases. CO2 accounts for about 82% of the increase in radiative forcing over the past decade, according to figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration quoted in the WMO Bulletin. Read more from WMO more
14/11/2018

BSR Water Platform Kick-off Meeting, taking place 27-29 November 2018 in Riga

BSR Water Platform project aims to enhance continuous cross-sectoral cooperation in water management field that lasts beyond the time frame of a single project, providing a possibility for transnational experience exchange, sharing of good practices and solutions, as well as a comprehensive overview of the current and future policy contexts and how they influence situation in the BSR countries. Outcomes and practical findings of the contributing projects are used to facilitate the long-term development of regional environmental policy and recommendations which will further serve to strengthen policy-practice link in implementation of advanced water protection measures. BSR Water brings together partners representing diverse projects that have generated through transnational cooperation many replicable as well as unique outputs, covering broad variety of water-related issues (smart nutrient management and sludge handling, storm water management, domestic and industrial waste water treatment, manure management and energy efficiency). Collecting good practices, solutions, tools and expertise enables expansion beyond the subject […] more
12/11/2018

Evaluation of European Climate Adaptation Strategy completed

On  November 12th, the Commission adopted the evaluation report on implementation of the  EU   Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. This marks the end of a long evaluation process with engagement of stakeholders across Europe. The evaluation package is available here The evaluation was supported by adaptation preparedness scoreboards describing in detail the status of adaptation policies in the EU Member States. The scoreboards were collected in Commission staff working document SWD(2018)460 available at the adaptation pages of the DG Climate https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/adaptation/what_en more
09/11/2018

13-14 December 2018 Greener Agriculture for a Sustainable Sea / GRASS 2018 Conference

Greener Agriculture for a Sustainable Sea / GRASS 2018 Conference – Agriculture in the Baltic Sea Region and Sustainable Development Goals will be arranged on 13-14 December 2018, IBB Johannes Rau Center, Minsk, Belarus. The Conference will address wide range of national and international stakeholders (farmers, authorities, academia, NGOs, general public and media) and will focus on the following two thematic blocks: 13 December: Bioeconomy / Circular Economy; nutrient recycling; nutrient accounting; nutrient sensitive areas; Sustainable Development Goals, River Basin Management 14 December: Organic agriculture, including legal aspects, market support, awareness and education Please find under the following links Provisional Programme of the Conference (subject to change) Practicalities of the Conference Registration form more
08/11/2018

The 9th Baltic Sea Region Climate Change Dialogue Platform Roundtable meeting

  The 9th Baltic Sea Region Climate Change Dialogue Platform Roundtable meeting takes place in Riga, Latvia,  on 16th Of November 2018 at the at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia The main focus of the meeting will be on the progress of the national adaptation and mitigation policy developments in the BSR countries and the role of the local government on rising resilience to climate change. For more information on the meeting contact Valdur.Lahtvee@cbss.org more
07/11/2018

Copenhagen adapting to the future climate

Global climate changes will set their marks on Copenhagen over the next 100 years: Dry summers with intensive rainfall, wetter winters, higher temperatures and rising water levels. To safeguard Copenhagen and prepare the city for the changing climate, the city of Copenhagen has produced a climate adaptation plan. In preparation for the future, Copenhagen is collaborating across different sectors to develop smart solutions which do not only prepare the city for the climate changes, but also make the city a better place to live with its green islands and blue canals in the middle of the city. The blue and green areas in the city have several functions: Reduce stormwater flows by absorbing and detaining rainwater; Moderate and balance temperature changes; Reduce the city’s energy consumption for cooling buildings by creation of shade and air circulation; Increase biodiversity; Reduce noise and pollution; Create possibilities of recreation. Source: State of Green more
30/10/2018

Nordic solutions for robust societies 5th Nordic Conference on Climate Change Adaptation: October 23-25 2018, Norrköping, Sweden

The conference was a meeting place for all who work on climate change adaptation, within the fields of science, in local communities, governments and municipal administration, in ministries and national authorities, politics, businesses, industry and NGOs. Presentations from the conference are now available here. more
11/10/2018

Climate change could accelerate faster than predicted, new research into world’s oceans warns

The world’s oceans have absorbed far more heat than previously estimated, suggesting global warming and climate change could accelerate faster than predicted, according to new research. The results suggest over the past 27 years, the world’s oceans have retained 60 per cent more heat each year than research teams had previously thought. The study, published in the journal Nature, says the world’s oceans took up more than 13 zettajoules – which is a joule, the standard unit of energy, followed by 21 zeroes – of heat energy each year between 1991 and 2016. more
20/09/2018

2018 Arctic summertime sea ice minimum extent tied for sixth lowest on record

Arctic sea ice, the cap of frozen seawater blanketing most of the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas in wintertime, follows seasonal patterns of growth and decay. It thickens and spreads during the fall and winter and thins and shrinks during the spring and summer. But in the past decades, increasing temperatures have led to prominent decreases in the Arctic sea ice extents, with particularly rapid decreases in the minimum summertime extent. The shrinking of the Arctic sea ice cover can ultimately affect the planet’s weather patterns and the circulation of the oceans. More about thinning Arctic sea ice could be read from NASA Arctic Ice News more
17/09/2018

Deadly forest fires are burning across Europe

An intense heat wave is sweeping over Europe, triggering deadly fires across the region. In Greece, a state of emergency was declared on Monday as huge forest fires killed 74 people across several towns and sent thousands running to escape flames devastating entire villages. But Greece isn’t the only European country sweltering. Roaring temperatures and weeks of drought contributed to several major wildfires across Sweden over the last week and, according to AccuWeather, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Stockholm are expected to have their highest temperatures of the year this week. Look situation today from online map of global  forest fires more
03/09/2018

Study Highlights the Rising Danger of Deadly River Floods With Global Warming

Global human and economic losses from river floods are set to rise in coming years, even with the most optimistic climate outlook, says a study led by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change (Dottori et al, 2018). The JRC-led study estimates global human and economic losses from river floods for Specific Warming Levels (SWLs), from the Paris Agreement targets (1.5 and 2°C) to a 3°C warmer world, and finds that, from the current global yearly average of 5,700 deaths from river flooding, annual deaths could rise by 83% at 1.5°C global warming, 124% at 2°C, and 265% at 3°C. Estimates of immediate economic costs and long term impacts tell a similar story. Depending on the socio-economic scenario, at 1.5°C warming direct flood damage is set to rise by 160–240%. Longer-term welfare losses (i.e. reduction in consumption compared to the scenario without […] more

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