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 check on the path to the 2030 target. Read more here.

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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