When EU and Western Balkan leaders met on May 5th for a virtual EU-Western Balkans summit, the main focus was on the response to the Corona crisis and the EU accession prospects for the countries of the region. However, one topic should not be forgotten: the development of the energy sector in the Western Balkans. Both sides could gain a great deal from Energy Transition Partnerships, especially in order to create future prospects for the economy after the corona crisis.
Due to the global decarbonisation transition, Russia is likely to lose its coal, oil and maybe even natural gas export markets in the EU over the next 30 years. In this analysis, Oldag Caspar discusses the impact of the EU climate targets on the Russia-EU relations and the prospects of a Russia-EU decarbonisation cooperation that is beneficial for both sides.
The main objective of the LIFE funded project "UNIFY: Bringing the EU together on Climate Action" is to facilitate the effective and early transition of EU Member States to low-carbon and resilient economies.
The consortium partners of the project are focusing on three key policy processes:
1. the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP)
2. the national and long-term climate strategies (Long Term Strategy - LTS)
3. the EU budget (Multiannual Financial Frame - MFF)
In June 2019, the summary was published – now the entire study is being released, commissioned by Germanwatch together with the Ukrainian environmental organisation Ecoaction. Nine authors from four countries analyse the transformation experiences of Germany, Romania, the Czech Republic and Ukraine on the grounds of quantitative data and policy analysis. Visualisations of the recommendations and checklists top off the publication and make it a useful tool for political decision-makers in different European countries.
In regards to the informal summit of the European Council in Sibiu, Romania, on 9th of May and the European elections, a major European alliance of cities, regions, businesses, civil society organizations, sports and youth associations urge the EU decision makers to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency. Germanwatch supports the Climate Action Call.
Within the next Multiannual Financial Frame (MFF), the European Regional Development Fund / Cohesion Fund Regulation (ERDF/CF) and the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) are key instruments that shape and determine the direction of the European Cohesion Policy after 2020. Ahead of the REGI Committee votes on these two pieces of legislation in the first two month of 2019, NGOs from across Europe aim at drawing MEPs' attention with an open letter to key provisions within these regulations that are needed to promote a just and fair transition.
After three consecutive years of stable CO2 emissions, emissions are rising again. The Climate Change Performance Index 2019 (CCPI), published today at COP24 in Katowice, shows only few countries have started to implement strategies to limit global warming well below 2 or even 1.5°C. While there is a continued growth and competitiveness of renewable energy, especially in countries that had low shares before, the CCPI shows a lack of political will of most governments to phase out fossil fuels with the necessary speed. Because of that, in most countries the climate policy evaluation by national experts is significantly lower than in the last years.
In the beginning of July, Germanwatch published its Kosovo research study “Phasing in Renewables“ and discussed it in Pristina with development organisations, ministries, business, NGOs and academia. Kosovo faces quite typical challenges of the Western Balkans, being heavily reliant on lignite use for power generation and struggling with serious social and economic problems.
Germanwatch, together with Balkan Green Foundation, has published the study "Phasing in Renewables. Towards a prosperous and sustainable energy future in Kosovo: challenges and possible solutions". Ten authors from the spheres of science, consulting and practice outline challenges and possible solutions for Kosovo based on experiences in other countries.
Europe Beyond Coal groups and other NGOs, including Germanwatch, have called on the Mayor of Rotterdam, Mr Ahmed Aboutaleb; the CEO of Rotterdam Port, Mr Allard Castelein; and the Rotterdam City Council, to phase-out coal transshipments.