Tag Archives: adaptation

EU Flagship Initiative on Resource Efficiency Launched

The European Commission has launched a very important flagship initiative on resource efficiency under the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Commission believes that increasing resource efficiency will be key to securing growth and jobs for Europe. It will bring major economic opportunities, improve productivity, drive down costs and boost competitiveness.

The most important medium-term policy measures are:

• An energy efficiency plan with a time horizon of 2020 which will identify measures to achieve energy savings of 20% across all sectors, and which will be followed by legislation to ensure energy efficiency and savings;

• Proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy, Cohesion Policy, energy infrastructure and trans-European networks for transport in the context of the next EU budget to align these areas with the requirements of a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy;

• A new EU biodiversity strategy for 2020 to halt further loss to and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services in the light of pressures on ecosystems;

• Measures to tackle the challenges in commodity markets and on raw materials which will, amongst others, periodically assess critical raw materials and define a trade policy to ensure sustainable supplies of raw materials from global markets. These measures will promote extraction, recycling, research, innovation and substitution inside the EU;

• A strategy to make the EU a ‘circular economy’, based on a recycling society with the aim of reducing waste generation and using waste as a resource;

• Early action on adaptation to climate change to minimise threats to ecosystems and human health, support economic development and help adjust our infrastructures to cope with unavoidable climate change;

• A water policy that makes water saving measures and increasing water efficiency a priority, in order to ensure that water is available in sufficient quantities, is of appropriate quality, is used sustainably and with minimum resource input, and is ultimately returned to the environment with acceptable quality.

Financing for Developing Countries: the Gordian Knot of Climate Change Negotiations?

This is not exactly news – European Union Member States disagree over the financing for developing countries as part of the overall climate change strategy. There is disagreement on everything – the scale of financing, the start of financing assistance, etc.

But wait – it appears that there is not a single official document issued by the EU with reliable and verifiable information on the total level of financial support to developing countries for climate change mitigation and adaptation purposes provided by the Union and its Member States to-date.

Not that the EU has not done anything – we’ve probably done more than anyone else. However, it is very difficult to expect any progress in the negotiations in Copenhagen when the Union itself does not have a common approach to climate change financing for the developing countries.

It is clear – we need to support adaptation and mitigation in the developing countries. One of the most important issues is to provide funding for new, more expensive, climate-friendly technologies. Another equally important element is financing adaptation measures that are synchronized with development strategies and take into account climate change impacts for the World’s poorest.

It never hurts to remind that climate change demands action that is both global and collective. Let us not build alliances that simply do not work.

This post is part of the Blog Action Day campaign.

Climate Change Aid Plans Not Sufficient?

Financial Times reports that the European Union is to offer €15 billion a year to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change.

According to FT this offer falls short of what developing countries have said is needed. Additionally, the proposal reportedly contains language suggesting that the EU could use development aid promised for poor countries as part of its climate-change contribution. This idea is contested by NGOs that use development aid.

The question of aid needed by developing countries to engage in reducing their emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change is one of the four political essentials for Copenhagen formulated by Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).