MEDIA ADVISORY: Report launch
[Brussels, 4 December 2013] - CAN Europe has just launched an exciting new publication, This is Climate Change in Europe. It brings together dozens of sources ranging from the IPCC, national adaptation plans, UN studies, official NATO documents and many more to provide, for the first time, a summary of current and pending climate impacts in Europe, on a country-by-country basis.
The latest IPCC report offers again a stark reminder of the risks of a warming world: all regions are facing negative impacts on people's lives and health, our planet and our prosperity. Europe and the rest of the developed world cannot continue to ignore the impacts of climate change, as extreme weather events are no longer restricted to far off, exotic places. This report brings that point home, outlining impacts happening or already in the pipeline in each European country. CAN Europe’s colourful new publication highlights the climate impacts hitting Europe from a variety of perspectives, including ecological, health and food security, discussing the latest science, climate impacts in different sectors and foreseen loss and damage related to climate change in various European regions.
The publication is available for download by pasting this link into your browser:
For more information, please contact: vanessa/at/caneurope.org
Vanessa Bulkacz, CAN Europe Communications Manager, +32 494 525 738
Warsaw, 23 November 2013 – With a minimal agreement on the pathway to defining an ambitious binding climate agreement in Paris in 2015, the climate conference in Warsaw pushed most of the work that needs to be done way ahead. While the EU fought for a robust timetable for putting emission reduction commitments for the new Treaty on the table, it failed to provide the necessary incentives to get all developing countries on board, especially the emerging economies.
Despite some EU Member States making individual finance announcements, amongst others to fill the gap in the Adaptation Fund, they refused to provide certainty on public finance provision, particularly for adaptation, to meet the Copenhagen commitment of 100bn USD a year by 2020. Further more, the EU failed to unlock progress on short term climate action, not least because the EU itself, while projected to overshoot its 2020 target seven years ahead of time, is unable to ramp up its ambition.
"EU Heads of State and Government have another chance to take a leadership role, by adopting an ambitious set of 2030 targets in March of next year," said Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe. "Doing so would incentivise and challenge other countries, such as China and the US, to prepare to bring commitments to the Climate Leaders Summit organised by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in September of next year. "
"We won't see EU leadership without France and Germany pushing together for three ambitious EU targets for emission reductions, renewables and energy efficiency," Trio concluded. France will host the decisive 2015 climate conference. Germany will pre-decide its position in its ongoing coalition negotiations."
Wendel Trio, Director, wendel/at/caneurope.org
Vanessa Bulkacz, Communication Manager, vanessa/at/caneurope.org
(COP19, Warsaw 18. Nov. 2013). The new edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) was released by Germanwatch and CAN Europe in Warsaw at the UN climate talks today. The results show emissions worldwide have climbed to a new peak and no single country is yet on track to prevent dangerous climate change.
"Unexpectedly, for the first time our Index also draws a cautious picture of hope", says Jan Burck, the author of the Index that ranks the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide. "We see positive signals towards a slow down in the increase in global CO2 emissions. And China - the world's biggest emitter - improved its performance in climate protection."
Nevertheless, no country made it into the first three spots on the list due to a lack of ambition to reach the goal of keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius. Denmark clearly defended its fourth place in the Index. Its policy evaluation is exceptional: it managed to slightly improve its score in nearly every sector compared to the previous year. The United Kingdom took 5th place (previously ranked 10th) due to a decrease in emissions of 15% in the last five years plus an improvement in its efficiency, while Portugal is ranked 6th (previously ranked 7th).
"The latest UNEP Emissions Gap report also shows that current policies of all countries are insufficient to keep the world on a pathway to stay below 2°C. This should be a wake up call for all governments to begin speeding up emission reductions,” said Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe.“The European Union and its Member States, though currently high up in the rankings, cannot relax and must increase their 2020 pledge whilst ensuring an ambitious post-2020 target is adopted. Such leadership could help the world to increase action despite the detrimental actions of Australia and Japan," Trio added.
Canada and Australia are the worst performers of all the industrialised countries. After a change in government, Australia’s policy evaluation was much worse than previous years; consequently it has fallen to a rank of 57th (previously ranked 51st). One of main reasons for this decline was a turnaround on previous commitments to install a carbon levy and trade system that would have helped to reduce emissions. Canada still shows no intention of moving forward with climate policy and therefore remains at 58th position for another year. Only Iran (59th), Kazakhstan (60th) and Saudi Arabia (61st) have worse ratings.
For the first time Germany has dropped out of the top ten - from 8th to 19th, one of the biggest losers in this years index. The main reason is a negative policy evaluation by national experts. Unusually, the COP hosting country could this time not improve its ranking substantially. Poland’s overall performance remains one of the worst in the EU. Poland climbed up one place to 45 because of a slightly positive trend in the development of emissions and renewable energies.
The world's two biggest emitters - China and the USA - are ranking in the lower midfield. China climbed up to 46th place because of its improved performance. "After a period with extremely high emissions growth rates, recent developments indicate a slower growth of CO2 emissions and a decoupling of CO2 growth and GDP growth", explains Burck. Both, its heavy investments in renewable energies and a very critical debate on coal, give hope for a slower emission growth in the future. In the USA (ranked 43rd), a more active policy to restrict the use of coal has been observed. Regulating existing power stations is supposed to begin by June 2014.
CCPI 2014 is a tool designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. On the basis of standardised criteria, the index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that are together responsible for more than 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. (More about the methodology can be found in the brochure “The Climate Change Performance Index – Background and Methodology”).
Climate Change Performance Index 2014: https://germanwatch.org/en/ccpi
Contact for media:
More than 150 people formed the shape of a giant wind turbine in front of the European Parliament in Brussels today to call for more support for community renewable energy projects.
The colourful 'People's windmill' event aimed to send a message that citizen and community-controlled renewables should be at the centre of Europe's energy policy.
Europe's approach to energy for the next 20 years and beyond is currently being discussed by the European Union. Upcoming decisions on targets for greenhouse gas emissions, renewables and energy efficiency for 2030 will determine and shape Europe's success in ending its dependence on polluting fossil fuels and combating climate change.
On Monday (November 11) international climate talks begin in Warsaw, Poland and represent another opportunity for EU politicians to move away from the current dirty energy system which favours the interests of big multinational energy corporations and towards a new, decentralised clean energy system open for all.
Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: "Across Europe people are taking power into their own hands and getting involved in producing the energy they need. Our 'People's windmill' event today shows that community energy is the answer to the energy and climate crisis, but governments must get behind it. The EU must show clear support for a renewables-based future by setting a high and binding target for renewable energy for 2030."
Community energy projects exist in many forms right across Europe – from solar villages in Spain, to co-operative wind farms in Belgium, and community energy saving schemes in the Czech Republic – but they need more political attention and backing to fulfil their potential.
Dirk Vansintjan, board member of Ecopower and president of REScoop.eu, said: "Renewable Energy Sources Cooperatives (REScoops) are thriving in Belgium and are proof that a different model of energy production that puts citizens at the centre is possible. Europe needs more community energy projects like ours to shift from fossil and nuclear to renewable sources."
"Everyone can have a role in the new energy system and local authorities can facilitate this. We can involve our citizens in decision making and financing of renewable energy projects, thus helping create a more decentralised energy system", said Joachim Lorenz, permanent councillor for the city of Munich.
The success of multiple cities in lowering emissions has proven that local action is the most effective way to tackle the global climate challenge. A bottom-up approach allows cities access to financing mechanisms to enable innovative climate action. Over 50 mayors from 30 countries recently signed a declaration urging national governments to commit to such an approach and to ambitious and binding climate targets. 
'People's windmill' events are also taking place this week in Austria, Georgia, Spain and the UK.
The event is organised by Friends of the Earth Europe, Climate Alliance, Climate Action Network Europe, Ecopower, ICLEI Europe, Energent, and RESCOOP.eu.
High quality images and film footage of the 'People's windmill' will be available after the event at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foeeurope
Video footage will be available on request.
 Nantes Declaration of Mayors and Subnational Leaders on Climate Change, September 2013 http://archive.iclei.org/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Global/initiatives/2013_Nantes_Summit/WorldMayorsSummit2013_Nantes_EN_Declaration_only.pdf
[Brussels, 14 October 2013] - Today EU Environment Ministers set the stage for the EU to play a steering role in pushing an international climate deal forward. History has shown that arriving at the COP  with clear, coherent positions is one of the best ways the EU can positively impact these negotiations.
“The EU’s proposal for 2014 as the deadline for countries to put new climate targets on the table is a good one,” said Ulriikka Aarnio of CAN Europe. “However, ministers did not make any reference to raising the EU’s near-term target. While the EU is calling on others to increase action, it has already more than achieved its current 20% emissions reduction target for 2020, yet still refuses to revise its position. Increasing domestic action is crucial to securing the allies the EU needs to get other countries on board time for an ambitious, binding deal in Paris in 2015.”
[Stockholm, Brussels, 27 September 2013] – Today's report from the IPCC  sets out some stark choices. Scientists are confident that business as usual will bring more deadly heat waves and floods to Europe and seas will rise and acidify further, in turn causing spikes in food prices, food shortages and malnutrition. However, they are certain that there is a clear pathway for avoiding catastrophic climate change, achievable by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions significantly in the next few years as we move toward a zero carbon future.
"The debate about responsibility for climate change is over," said Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe. "Scientists are more certain than ever that humans are causing climate change but fortunately, equally certain that we still have the time and means to fix it. What we need now is for all 28 EU delegates that signed off on this report to take this mandate back to their capitals and urge their governments to take immediate climate action."
For the first time, the IPCC provides a global budget for CO2, which we cannot exceed if we are to prevent devastating levels of global warming. Since the report shows we have already blown through half our carbon budget, we must start reducing carbon emissions immediately.
Unfortunately, the EU's climate ambition has not moved in the past five years and will do nothing to stop us crashing through our global carbon budget. The EU should immediately increase its greenhouse gas reduction target to 40% by 2020 and set three strong, binding targets for renewables, energy savings as well as greenhouse gas emission reductions for 2030 and beyond.
"We don't want to see another comprehensive report on the grim realities of climate change gathering dust on politicians' bookshelves while impacts mount," Trio concluded. "The risk of catastrophic effects from malnutrition, food conflicts, wildfires, floods and extinctions is too great to impose upon the people and nature of Europe."
 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release the first installment of its Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group I - Science, on Monday. Today the IPCC released the Summary for Policy Makers, which was negotiated line by line by governmental delegates this week in Stockholm.
Hi res photos of the NGO boat action in Stockholm, right, available on demand
Vanessa Bulkacz, CAN Europe Communications Manager (in Stockholm): +32 494 525 738, vanessa/at/caneurope.org
Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director (in Brussels): +32 473 170 887, wendel/at/caneurope.org