In their third Policy Brief ‘Industry 5.0: A Transformative Vision for Europe - Governing Systemic Transformations towards a Sustainable Industry’, the independent ESIR expert group recommends a deep transformation of the European Industry to foster the twin green and digital transition in Europe. This transformation will support Europe’s ambition to become more sustainable, resilient, regenerative and circular whilst living within planetary boundaries.
Commissioner for energy Kadri Simson presented the State of the energy union report to the European Parliament. Adopted on 26 October 2021, the report looks back at a number of significant steps towards delivering the European Green Deal, which happened in the course of last year. Amongst the milestones highlighted in the report, renewable energy sources overtook fossil fuels, as the EU’s main power source. The renewable energy market has shown to be resilient to the effects of the pandemic.
Climate change is not a new thing. In its 4.5-billion-year history, the Earth has most likely seen many sudden changes to its climate. So, are human activities pushing the planet’s climate to yet another tipping point? Unfortunately, today’s climate models are not equipped to tell us. However, a recent study supported by the EU-funded TiPES and CloudCT projects could point the way to an answer.
The European Commission has made an Info Kit for Cities(link is external)available with comprehensive information about the Mission “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030.” The Call for Expression of Interest will allow cities to state their interest in becoming climate-neutral by 2030 as part of the Mission and to submit information about their current situation, ongoing work and future plans as regards climate neutrality.
The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could not have been clearer about the urgent need to act on the climate crisis if we want to save the planet and ourselves. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder that our well-being depends on the health of the planet, the recovery strategies offer a once-in-a-century opportunity for a genuine paradigm shift towards a society that respects planetary boundaries. What advice can the research community give to policymakers at this critical moment to help them shape a greener, more equitable and prosperous future for all? EU-funded Horizon 2020 projects have some ideas.
Eurostat reports that in the first half of 2021, average household electricity prices in the EU increased slightly compared with the same period of 2020 (€21.3 per 100 kWh), standing at €21.9 per 100 kWh. Average gas prices in the EU registered the inverse path, decreasing slightly to €6.4 per 100 kWh in the first half of 2021. More recently, wholesale prices for electricity and gas are increasing substantially across the EU. Official European statistics for the second half of 2021 will be available in April 2022
The latest “EU Energy in Figures” energy statistical pocketbook (2021 version) has been published by the European Commission this week. Available online – with a printed version to be available for order soon – the pocketbook provides comparable statistics per year and per Member State for many different aspects of the energy sector. For example, this edition highlights that the EU has more than doubled in share of renewables in the decade from 2009 to 2019 – in fact it rose from 6.4% of the EU’s energy mix in 2000 to 15.8% in 2019.
The European Commission has published today a new recommendation and guidelines on the energy efficiency first principle with a view to converting the concept from a principle into practice. While energy efficiency has been a key element of EU policy on emissions reduction for some time now, the energy efficiency first principle was officially written into EU law with the adoption of the 2019 Governance Regulation.
The use of innovative energy carriers such as hydrogen, particularly coming from renewable electricity, will play a key role in the European Green Deal. Hydrogen can be
used as a fuel, an energy carrier or a feedstock, and could reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors, particularly in industry and transport.
The energy sector accounts for 75% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. Saving energy through energy efficiency measures and the massive scale up of renewable energy are key to decarbonising the economy – whether in buildings, industry, transport or other sectors. Both measures directly reduce emissions, air pollution and dependency on fossil fuels.
The European Commission has adopted the New EU Forest Strategy for 2030, a flagship initiative of the European Green Deal that builds on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The strategy contributes to the package of measures proposed to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of at least 55% by 2030 and climate neutrality in 2050 in the EU. It also helps the EU deliver on its commitment to enhance carbon removals by natural sinks as per the Climate Law.
The European Union’s resilience to climate-related economic losses is not a given. It reflects the myriad of decisions and choices made over time, in different circumstances and with different priorities, as well as those decisions being made now and those yet to be made. Making informed decisions on where to allocate limited time, effort and money in order to reduce risk and protect things of value is crucial. Our ability to reduce the share of potential economic losses from climate change occurring to uninsured assets and activities – the climate protection gap – will determine a large part of our societies’ resilience.