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kassy

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EU climate policies
« on: November 30, 2021, 01:45:27 PM »
This thread is for discussion of EU climate policies. Both on a EU level but also national legislation in specific member states if this is relevant.

The plan was launched this summer but it got buried in the pre COP26 publicity.

Here is the EU official version:

Today, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Achieving these emission reductions in the next decade is crucial to Europe becoming the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality. With today's proposals, the Commission is presenting the legislative tools to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform our economy and society for a fair, green and prosperous future.

for the details see:
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_21_3541
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2021, 01:52:44 PM »
EU’s reformed agricultural policy fails its climate goals, say green groups

Lawmakers have approved a reform to the Common Agricultural Policy, which critics say fails to deliver on the bloc’s Green Deal and climate goals

European lawmakers overwhelming approved a controversial reform of the EU’s common agricultural policy (Cap) on Tuesday, which youth activists and green groups say is inadequate to address the climate and biodiversity crisis.

In Strasbourg, European lawmakers signed off on the package following three years of negotiations with member states and the European Commission.

The Cap is a huge subsidy programme for farmers across the EU, which accounts for nearly a third of the EU’s agreed budget for the period 2021-2027. It has long been criticised by environmentalists for supporting large agribusiness interests, encouraging overproduction and negatively impacting biodiversity.

The European Commission in Brussels says the policy changes align the bloc’s agricultural policy with its climate objectives while providing a fairer distribution of support to small and medium-sized family farms and young farmers.

...

Under the reform, farmers receiving Cap support need to dedicate at least 3% of their arable land to protecting biodiversity.

Farmers can apply to voluntary “ecoschemes” that reward them for climate and environmentally friendly practices such as organic farming and agroecology. Member states must allocate at least 25% of their income support budget to these schemes. They have to redistribute at least 10% of the support to smaller farms and at least 3% to young farmers.

Opposition lawmakers said the reform failed to align the EU’s agricultural policy with its Green Deal, citing the absence of a cap on payments to large agro-industry and that only a quarter of the support is earmarked to promote sustainable agriculture.

Green lawmakers said the farm to fork and biodiversity strategies already agreed by the EU, which include halving the use of pesticides, increasing the share of land under organic farming to at least 25% and that 10% of agricultural land show high diversity features by 2030, were not reflected in the new Cap.

And the draft strategic plans compiled by some countries “confirm our fear that the environmental ambition will be set as low as possible,” Metz, of the Green political grouping, said.

“It’s giving member states a blank cheque with no guarantees of good results on the ground. Member states will use the new flexibility to change exactly nothing about the status quo.”

...

The EU’s Court of Auditors found that the Cap has failed to cut the agriculture sector’s emissions and the proposed reforms lack measurable objectives and incentives to link the Cap with the union’s climate targets.

Christine Chemnitz, head of international agricultural policy at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, told Climate Home News that the Cap was “a major obstacle” for the EU to meet its climate objectives.

She described the policy change “a desperately missed opportunity” to transform the EU’s agricultural production.

The EU’s highly industrialised and intensive model has harmful knock-on effects for developing countries, said Chemnitz. For example, EU livestock consume large amounts of soy imported from deforested areas of Latin America, while EU surplus milk has been dumped on the West African market, undercutting local farmers.

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2021/11/23/eus-reformed-agricultural-policy-fails-climate-goals-say-green-groups/

So the new agricultural policy is not ambitious enough for climate but it also does not address fair trade. Typical EU compromise though...
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2021, 01:58:33 PM »
Germany

Olaf Scholz will head a three-party coalition with broad plans for Germany's transition to a green economy, under a deal to end 16 years of government led by Angela Merkel.

Almost two months after his Social Democrat party won federal elections, he will go into power with the Greens and business-friendly Free Democrats.

Climate protection forms a big part of the coalition deal.

The parties aim to phase out coal use by 2030, eight years ahead of schedule.

They will also seek to use 2% of German territory for wind power and focus on hydrogen-based energy too. By 2030, the parties want 80% of electricity to be sourced from renewable energy and 15 million electric cars to be on German roads.

...

What are their plans?
Making Germany climate neutral by 2045 is a big focus of the deal, entitled "Daring more progress". Phasing out coal will take place "ideally" by 2030, and solar energy will become compulsory on the roofs of new commercial buildings and the general rule for new private homes. The 16 states will have to provide 2% of their area for wind power. The goal to phase out cars with internal combustion engines remains the EU's target of 2035.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59399702

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NeilT

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2021, 05:32:39 PM »
An interesting point is that when the UK initiated Brexit, they took the UK emissions reductions away with them.  The EU had nicely formed a policy which left much of the East bloc until later so they could continue to grow.  With the loss of the UK emissions reductions the EU had to find another 4.5% reductions from the remaining 27.

It caused a lot of friction.

I looked at that target for "electric" vehicles in Germany and did a quick look around.

Germany sold 2.9 million vehicles in 2020.  At that rate 14m "electric" vehicles (they hit 1m in August), is 4.8 years of every single car in Germany being electric.  Or 9.6 years of half the cars being electric.

Given that the transition plans for VW only reach 1.5m electric vehicles a year, world wide, by 2025, I wonder how they are going to make this one stick.  The only way I could see it is a ruling that only electric vehicles can be sold from 2025.  This would give them enough time with the existing supply until 2025.

It is OK to have aspirations.  But there have to be solid initiatives to back them up.  Currently the commitment in Germany to remove pure FF cars is 2040.  Only giving manufacturers 4 years to transition is going to cause havoc in their car industry with the obvious change in voter loyalty along with it.
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2021, 01:20:20 PM »
A look inside:

Trade officials ‘taking a chainsaw’ to EU forest protection plans

European trade officials have been accused of “taking a chainsaw” to a draft EU law to protect the world’s forests, as a leaked document revealed an attempt to water down the plans.

The European Commission is due to unveil a proposal on Wednesday to prevent EU sales of beef, soya, cocoa and other products linked to deforestation. A leaked memo seen by the Guardian reveals that commission trade officials have raised “serious concerns” about the regulation drafted by their environment department colleagues.

...

To help make this promise a reality, the EU is proposing to prevent beef, palm oil and other commodities driving deforestation from being sold in its market. In a departure from past EU laws, the commission proposed to regulate products linked to all deforestation, legal or illegal, according to an earlier leaked draft. Previous laws have sought to clamp down on illegal deforestation only.

Trade officials have attempted to throw out that provision, arguing that it would be “a direct challenge to notions of sovereignty over land use decisions, whether in the EU or in third countries”. The memo says targeting all deforestation “will be particularly difficult to accept” in forested countries, including Brazil whose president, Jair Bolsonaro, disputes the notion that forests are a global public good. Refocusing the law on illegal deforestation would bring the EU into line with the US and UK, who are considering narrower laws, the officials add.

The trade officials also say the costs of complying with the EU law would hurt subsistence-level farmers, and warn of retaliation by foreign governments through the World Trade Organization.

In another move to limit the regulation, they argue that the law should be limited to deforestation rather than forest degradation, citing the absence of international definitions on the latter which they say would make the law hard to enforce.

“Combined with the absence of international standards, [including forest degradation] poses serious policy and legal concerns and we consider it a risky avenue to try to justify this on the basis of public morals,” the memo states.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/12/trade-officials-taking-a-chainsaw-to-eu-forest-protection-plans
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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 02:34:10 PM »
A snippet of "anecdotal" information. I've just finished a BSI PEL/69 Zoom meeting.

One of the other participants was bemoaning the fact that the EC requested "industry" comments on a proposal of theirs. Assorted members of a variety of CENELEC technical committees responded. They were all ignored. Allegedly "industry" is currently incapable of delivering what the resulting legislation mandates.

Much the same story back here in Brexited Blighty?

https://V2G.co.uk/2021/11/the-electric-vehicles-smart-charge-points-regulations-2021/
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2021, 08:40:23 PM »
The UK is technically not in the EU but the pellet burning is promoted by the EU too.

The UK’s Biomass Subsidies Are Harming Residents in North Carolina Communities Like Mine

Enviva’s wood pellet facility, which feeds the UK’s Drax power station, produces dust and noise pollution that exacerbates existing health inequalities, argues North Carolina activist Belinda Joyner.

I live in Northampton County in the U.S. state of North Carolina, where absentee companies have been polluting for years. My neighbors and I are tired of having our community treated as a dumping ground. This community is my home, it’s where I grew up, and we have been fighting polluters for more than 25 years — a large natural gas pipeline and the nearby Enviva wood-pellet biomass production facility are just two of the most recent developments.

My community is predominantly African American and one in five of my neighbors live below the poverty line, which flies in the face of the promises these same companies have made for decades: that we should accept pollution in return for economic development. I’m here to say that Enviva’s biomass production is no different than the other polluters we have battled and I’m dismayed that the broken promises are no longer just about jobs, but about the environment, too.

Scientists tell us that power plants that burn biomass from forests, relying on wood pellets produced at facilities like the one in Northampton’s backyard, emit massive amounts of carbon pollution that’s heating up our planet and making floods, droughts, and natural disasters worse. Government leaders and the public have been falsely led to believe burning biomass is part of the solution to climate change, but it’s not.

Drax power station, for example, is now the world’s largest biomass-burner and the biggest single source of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions. Nevertheless, according to 2020 estimates, Drax earned nearly £3 million a day in direct subsidies from the UK government, with UK taxpayers set to spend £10 billion supporting Drax up until 2027. But that’s not the extent of the damage.

Many people don’t realize that the biomass industry is hurting communities like mine in the Southeastern United States, where most of the trees burned in the UK for electricity are cut down, turned into pellets, and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean. Making millions of these wood pellets robs us of our natural heritage by harming forests that are sometimes hundreds of years old. It also pollutes the air and makes us sick. Northampton is ranked as one of the least healthy counties in North Carolina.

I’m ready for the Governor of North Carolina to do more, as well as the President of the United States, but the UK’s enormous demand for biomass is the largest driver of this problem and so UK officials must be held accountable. I turn to UK leaders with an earnest request to stop subsidizing the biomass industry since it drives demand for wood pellets manufactured at Enviva – making our lives miserable.

...

You may ask, “why don’t you just move?” I recognize the vulnerability of my community to climate change and corporate extraction and pollution but, again, this is my home and I believe I have a right to a clean, healthy, safe environment right here. Research shows that governments are quick to armor the homes of wealthier communities while declaring poor neighborhoods unsalvageable. That is unjust and inequitable.

Enviva’s wood pellet manufacturing plant is a nightmare. It creates industrial noise so loud, it is impossible for residents to sleep, study, or enjoy being inside or outside their own homes. Dust from the pellet manufacturing process visibly settles on the houses and cars of residents, entering individuals’ lungs. We already have high asthma rates, nose bleeds, heart complications, and other health problems, and Enviva’s wood pellet production is only making it worse. No wonder our community was devastated by COVID-19. In fact, the air quality in our region has been so bad, we were wearing face masks long before the pandemic made it common practice.

The centuries-old trees that are supposed to help clean the air and reduce carbon emissions from the pellet manufacturing and transportation process are no longer there. They were cut down in a matter of days, in part to make wood pellets to produce electricity in other countries, destroying some of our most precious ecosystems and displacing countless animals that now meander in search of a new home.

Enviva promises to sequester carbon by replanting trees. But even if trees are immediately replanted, new trees will not adequately recapture the carbon in the atmosphere. Nor will they provide a home for wildlife in the way they once did. They won’t provide flood control during heavy rains either, making our chances of adapting to climate change rather bleak as floods become commonplace. We can’t renew a centuries-old ecosystem by planting trees. Trees may be renewable, but forests are not.

...

https://www.desmog.com/2021/12/14/the-uks-biomass-subsidies-are-harming-residents-in-north-carolina-communities-like-mine/
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2022, 07:16:37 PM »
And as a comment on the above story (same caveat):

The 'green' row over the UK's largest renewable power plant

...

The Drax power station near Selby, Yorkshire, is surrounded by both busy roads and small farms. A faint humming noise emanates all around the complex, while water vapour rises slowly and steadily from the cooling towers.

The scale of operations at this converted coal plant is gargantuan. It's the UK's largest renewable power station. Wood pellets are imported from the US on enormous ships that take up to 21 days in transit. They are then transported overland via rail, and Drax receives about 17 deliveries of wood pellets a day, operating 24 hours a day, six days a week.

Once inside, the pellets are pulverised into a powder, blown into boilers and then burnt. The steam from this process powers turbines that produce electricity.

In 2020, Drax generated 11% of the UK's renewable power - enough for four million homes. While the UK is by far the largest consumer of wood pellets, globally, biomass is a massive industry that is growing in value and reach.

...

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59546281

We simply do not have the actual biomass to spare which is wgy we need to stop this stupid policy all together.

Now on to other Eu climate conundrums...
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2022, 07:56:09 PM »
Since it is by now suddenly 2022 the EU is consulting about what we call green energy. The more serious part is what gets subsidized in some way.

Candidates are the ever popular nuclear energy and natural gas.

Germanies take:

Germany backs gas as “transition” fuel in EU green finance guidelines

In a letter, Berlin stressed its opposition to nuclear while calling on the European Commission to ease restrictions on gas in the transition to clean energy

The deadline for EU member states to provide feedback to Brussels on a proposal to award gas and nuclear a green investment label expired on Friday (21 January).

In a letter sent to Brussels on the same day, Berlin reiterated its opposition to nuclear and made new detailed requirements on gas.

“As the federal government, we have once again clearly expressed our rejection of the inclusion of nuclear energy. It is risky and expensive,” Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a joint statement with Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, both senior members of the Greens party.

But the letter also makes new requests to ease restrictions on fossil gas, calling on the European Commission to delete requirements aimed at promoting a shift to low-carbon gases such as biomethane or hydrogen in the transition to green energy.

Fossil gas used as “a fuel in ultra-modern and efficient gas-fired power plants forms a bridge for a limited transition period” to enable Germany’s “rapid phase-out of coal and thus achieve CO2 savings in the short term,” the letter reads.

And to achieve this transition, Berlin says it needs more time to switch to low-carbon and renewable gases than suggested in the Commission’s draft taxonomy proposal, circulated on 31 December.

“The intermediate targets called for in the fuel switch, with blending rates of decarbonised gases of 30% by 2026 and 55% by 2030, are not realistically achievable,” Berlin warns in the letter.

With clean hydrogen still in the the development phase, Habeck fears that promoting the green fuel in electricity generation will deprive German industry from a much-needed low-carbon energy source.

This is why Germany is asking Brussels to remove all intermediate targets for hydrogen, saying the fuel switch should “be enabled in a flexible manner after 2036.” And in any case, fuel-switching goals should be treated as guidelines rather than hard targets, “based on an assessment with a view to the available fuels,” the letter argues.

...

In its draft taxonomy text, the European Commission also promoted fuel-switching, by awarding a green investment label only to gas plants that replace more polluting coal power stations. To qualify for the green label, Brussels also requested that new installations must achieve a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to their predecessor.

But Germany says the requirement is too strict. “The commitment to a 55% greenhouse gas reduction is unrealistic here,” notes the letter by Habeck, which calls upon the Commission to “establish realistic values” instead.

...

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2022/01/24/germany-touts-gas-green-aid-feedback-eu/

No surprise they are anti nuclear. I don´t really know enough about switching gas types but it does come with extra costs. We stop pumping up dutch gas but we have to build a factory to add nitrogen to it.

Anyway they also asked the experts:

Experts vinden groen label van gas en kernenergie onterecht
https://www.nu.nl/economie/6180014/experts-vinden-groen-label-van-gas-en-kernenergie-onterecht.html

The experts concluded neither nuclear or gas are green energy sources. The EU asked their advice in figuring out what to label as green for investors.

They do have a point because what would be green in Germanies gas to coal switch? We have seen science that points out that emissions from gas are just as bad. It is mainly switching areas effected. So less coal mining in Germany means less local pollution but you have to add the methane the Russians vent back into the equation etc.

On another note it is a pity that a lot is about financial incentives. We also need to do basic things like train people who can upgrade houses efficiently.
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NeilT

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2022, 12:23:27 AM »
Anyone who can petition to label gas as a "green" energy source is not serious about reducing CO2 emissions.

It is one of the reasons I'm violently opposed to the "green" label and want the "CO2 neutral" label instead.

It is possible to label Nuclear as CO2 neutral.  It is completely impossible to label natural gas consumption as CO2 neutral.
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2022, 10:00:12 PM »
Rekenkamer: EU-landen hinderen klimaatbeleid met belonen fossiele energie
https://www.nu.nl/klimaat/6181347/rekenkamer-eu-landen-hinderen-klimaatbeleid-met-belonen-fossiele-energie.html

The EU member states are hindering the transition to renewable energy by subsidizing fossil fuels with billions (of euros). This keeps on continuing while the EC and member states already said they would end it.

The amount is 55 billions for the last years which is about the same as it was according to a report from the Audit Office.

Over half the countries subsidize fossil fuels more then renewable energy even though the goals is to phase them out in three years.

Energy which is bad for climate like coal is not taxed more then wind farms. Often it is taxed less.

All this does does not help the transition.
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2022, 09:11:01 PM »
Climate change: EU moves to label nuclear and gas as sustainable despite internal row


Nuclear and natural gas energy plants could be counted as "green energy" under controversial EU plans just unveiled.

The European Commission says it has decided that both types of energy can classify as "sustainable investment" if they meet certain targets.

But the move has divided the EU, and been fiercely opposed by some members.

...

Commission officials point to the strict limits on what qualifies. For example, natural gas generation is under a strict CO2 emissions limit, and a requirement to switch to low-carbon gas by 2035. Nuclear power, meanwhile, must be in countries with clear plans and funding for dealing with nuclear waste.

Critics, however, have accused the EU of so-called "greenwashing" - precisely what it says its classification system is supposed to avoid.

But the decision to label both controversial industries as "green" is not yet final.

In addition to the threat of legal action from Austria and Luxembourg, the European Parliament and the council of heads of state have four months to consider the suggestion and object to it.

The bar is, however, relatively high. In order to block the commission's proposed plans, either a majority of parliament members or at least 20 of the 27 national leaders are needed.

...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60229199

Some more details:

To qualify as green the gas centres need to use the newest reduction technologies and they have to replace coal plants.

In 2035 gas is not green any more.
In 2045 nuclear is not green anymore.

They are not green per se but needed as a bridge to get rid of coal.

Minimum block is 15 states with 65% population, the EU parliament has to vote on it too.
Austria and Luxemburg already want to fight nuclear in court.

https://www.nu.nl/klimaat/6181677/gas-en-kerncentrales-krijgen-ondanks-protest-tijdelijk-groen-label-van-eu.html

Oh and all this is meant as a guidance to investors which is fair but...that is 13 years minus build for gas , 23 minus build for nuclear.

Instead of dreaming up all kind of subsidies so the market will fix it it would make more sense to just pay for some of the substitutions especially in problematic regions like Poland.
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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2022, 12:17:29 PM »
Germany needs the gas declaration, France needs the Nuclear declaration.

Together their GDP makes over 40% of EU GDP and even more of EU disposable funds.

The reality of the EU that most want to blind themselves from.
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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2022, 08:06:43 PM »
Germany wants ....
France wants ....


NeilT

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2022, 11:13:35 PM »
Understanding the EU is useful when trying to work out why their climate policy is good, spot on or total BS.

If you apply the wrong understanding you get the wrong answer.

In the EU it is like the equivalent of the white house and the senate being appointed by the state legislature.  With the house of representatives being elected but having less power than the senate.

If you can visualise that, you can understand why things can be a little "off" from time to time in policy.  Especially when those who appoint demand decisions which make no sense so they can sell them at the state level.

It is not a direct analogy because the "states" retain far more sovereign power than the US states do and the EU only has a limited and vertical competency.  Making the ability of the EU to set independent policy even less.

The main power base in the EU is economic.  The larger the GDP, the bigger the clout.  With one exception.  The former second largest economy in the bloc.  Which finally got pissed enough to tell them to go do one.

That doesn't change the dynamic within the EU too much.  It just means that a disruptive force for change is gone.  The UK would never have put up with denominating fossil fuel gas as a "green" fuel.  But the voice of the UK on that one is gone.  So are the UK reductions in GHG emissions.

Now the EU is left with bold statements and ambitions and a bunch of member states who are not really aligned behind them.

Queue moves to "derail" them.

Naturally Covid didn't help.
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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2022, 12:30:03 PM »
Emission rights 96,45 euro per ton CO2.
One of the reasons for the price rice is more coal use due to high gas prices.

https://www.nu.nl/economie/6182337/europese-bedrijven-betalen-meer-dan-ooit-voor-hun-co2-uitstoot.html
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2022, 05:34:44 PM »
Under the new rules published earlier this month, gas power plants would be labelled green this decade if they met an emissions limit of 270g of CO2 equivalent per kWh, or have annual emissions below 550kg CO2e per kW over 20 years.

That could include gas plants with relatively high CO2 emissions today, provided they switch to low-carbon gas or reduce their running hours in later years.

Gas plants must also switch to run on low-carbon gases by 2035. Significantly, a requirement in a previous draft, for plants to start switching in 2026, was dropped.

New nuclear plants must receive construction permits before 2045 to receive a green investment label, and be located in a country with a plan and funds to safely dispose of radioactive waste by 2050.

https://emergingrisks.co.uk/is-gas-really-green/
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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2022, 05:07:23 PM »
Two shipping measures could interfere with EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ plans, report shows

A new report commissioned by Danish Shipping indicates that the FuelEU Maritime and EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) initiatives could interact poorly with each other and create obstacles in the road to a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 55% in the EU by 2030.

The report, prepared by the research and consulting agency CE Delft, is based on real data from the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system, which provides an overview of emissions and fuel consumption from ships in EU ports.

It is said to provide a concrete picture of how a number of different ships operated by Danish Shipping’s members will be affected by the two initiatives as they are currently proposed under the EU’s green legislative package “Fit for 55”.

As described, in the coming years, FuelEU Maritime will require shipping companies to use more green fuel in their tanks and ETS will set a price on CO2 emissions to increase the use of green fuels.

According to the new report, the problem is that while FuelEU Maritime looks at all GHG and the entire fuel value chain, ETS only looks at the GHG CO2 and only at the emissions during actual combustion.

The first assesses the total climate footprint of extraction, refining, distribution and finally combustion, while the climate calculation for the latter is simpler.

Therefore, Danish Shipping specifically proposes that the ETS should simply apply to all greenhouse gases and take into account the entire fuel value chain.

“Both tools will reduce greenhouse gases, but if they are to function optimally and contribute to the most effective reduction, the two bills must be adjusted so that they fit better together”, noted Maria Skipper Schwenn, director of Climate, Environment and Security at Danish Shipping.

Danish Shipping is actively using the report to draw attention to the problem, and not least the relatively simple solution.

and more

https://www.offshore-energy.biz/two-shipping-measures-could-interfere-with-eus-fit-for-55-plans-report-shows/
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NeilT

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2022, 12:09:32 AM »
I must admit I find the way the EU is treated in their policy commitments and delivery to be somewhat different to their actual performance.

I understand, fully, that trying to get 27 member states to follow the commitments can be difficult, but, then again, the commission do have strong tools to force them and power to withhold funds.

But when I looked at the climate action tracker for the UK

Compared to the one for the EU., I was a bit confused at the language.

The UK warrants "Almost sufficient" with domestic target and net zero as green.  The major blocker appears to be that they don't like the fact that the UK repurposed foreign aid for this.  It really seems to have become a major irritant to them.  The entire article is littered with suggestions that the UK may not make it.

The EU warrants "INSUFFICIENT" yet the entire article is littered with positive notes.

Now let us do a slight reality check.UK reductions in CO2 compared to 1990.  (direct emissions, not offshored).  48%.  EU reductions, 35%

UK target for 2030.  68%.  EU target for 2030.  55%.

The UK has the largest offshore wind capacity in the world and is going to expand it from 11gw to 40gw.  There are active projects in place to double that by 2030.  The UK has a very mature contracts market for renewables and the CFD are trending down towards wholesale energy prices for offshore renewables.

The UK has capacity, when things go well, to produce up to 40% of daily electricity by renewables and the grid internal interconnects to handle it all.

In the article I found this stunning piece of double speak.

Quote
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has had a severe impact on the UK economy, and the government’s commitment to “build back greener” has so far seen only a relatively small fraction of its recovery funds allocated towards green efforts. As of October 2021, only 20% of the economic recovery funds had been allocated towards low-carbon green measures, compared to 30% of the EU’s latest 2021-2027 budget and associated recovery package, and behind the other large European economies such as Germany and France. In absolute terms, however, the UK has spent more than either country.

So I had a look at the page describing who ClimateActionTracker are.

Quote
The Climate Action Tracker is made possible due to generous support from foundations and governments, including the European Climate Foundation (aviation, shipping, Thailand, Iran, Nigeria, Colombia, Germany, UK, Vietnam, Kenya, governments reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate governance) and the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) via the International Climate Initiative (other elements).

Past consortium members have included the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (2009–2016) and Ecofys, a Navigant company (2009–2019).

Figures.
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2022, 08:51:52 PM »
As the EU celebrates the 30th anniversary of Natura 2000, NGOs highlight EU countries’ lax implementation of EU nature laws and permissiveness towards widespread destructive fishing, resulting in the conservation status of threatened marine habitats and species remaining overall dire. NGOs call to quickly redress the balance and create an EU-wide ban on bottom trawling in marine protected areas to really protect Europe’s most valuable and threatened ocean biodiversity and species.

EU countries have been in a race to designate new areas at the expense of putting in place proper management measures. Over the last 20 years, while the total marine protected area surface in Europe has multiplied by six, still 57% of Atlantic habitats and 75% and 40% of Baltic and Mediterranean species remain in bad conservation status 1. Destructive fishing is prevalent inside the Natura 2000 network 2, with several million hours recorded annually 3.

Vera Coelho, senior director of advocacy at Oceana in Europe, said: “As we celebrate 30 years of a pioneering piece of EU nature legislation, let’s not be misled by percentages but be honest about the reality: marine protection in Europe is mostly meaningless. Most marine Natura 2000 sites are merely lines on a map that still allow the most harmful fishing methods, like bottom trawling, to go on inside them. It is questionable as to why they’re called Marine Protected Areas given their lack of actual protection.”

Seas At Risk Marine Policy Officer Marc-Philip Buckhout said: “30 years after the establishment of the Natura 2000 network, bottom trawling still occurs in 86% of the area designated to protect bottom habitats, hampering conservation and recovery. Banning bottom trawling from marine protected areas, would help reverse biodiversity loss and contribute to climate change mitigation by the ocean, with net socio-economic benefits.”

more on:
https://www.eureporter.co/politics/maritime/oceana-maritime/2022/02/25/as-eu-celebrates-30-years-of-natura-2000-ngos-call-for-these-areas-to-be-actually-protected-and-for-an-eu-wide-trawl-ban-in-them/
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2022, 03:41:29 PM »
Evidence at least someone cares about EUs climate policies:

Agribusiness giants tried to thwart EU deforestation plan after Cop26 pledge

Five of the world’s biggest agribusiness firms sought to weaken a draft EU law banning food imports linked to deforestation, eight days after pledging to accelerate their forest protection efforts at Cop26, documents seen by the Guardian show.

Forest protection hopes had been raised when the CEOs of 10 food companies with a combined revenue of nearly $500bn (£373bn) vowed to “accelerate sector-wide action” towards eliminating commodity-driven deforestation as the climate summit began on 2 November.

Agriculture is responsible for a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the companies promised a supply chain reform plan to peg global heating to 1.5C by November 2022.

But on 10 November, trade associations representing five of the firms – ADM, Bunge, Cargill, LDC and Viterra – warned the EU’s green deal chief, Frans Timmermans, of soaring prices and food shortages if the EU proceeded with its own blueprint.

details:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/04/agribusiness-giants-tried-to-thwart-eu-deforestation-plan-after-cop26-pledge

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NeilT

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2022, 05:28:07 PM »
"pledging to accelerate"

0% to 0.1% is acceleration.  So is 0% to 30%.  Words tell a fine tale, targets and auditing show action.

These companies have said the words and told the tale.  Now they want to stop the EU setting targets and auditing them.

Tells it's own story.
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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2022, 08:40:18 PM »
In a rush to replace Russian gas, the EU has damaged its own climate change strategy

The European Union’s recent proposals to end imports of Russian gas before 2030 in the wake of the Ukraine invasion are blighted by the bloc’s support for unnecessary and expensive technologies.

The race to replace Russian imports, which make up 40% of the EU’s gas supply, has focused the minds of EU leaders on climate solutions that favour replacement gases, such as hydrogen and biogas in heating. The more efficient solution would be to swap fossil fuel burning boilers for alternatives that run on electricity, such as heat pumps. These new proposals supplement the original 2030 climate target plan, published in September 2020.

The new proposals, which aim to end EU demand for Russian gas through securing new suppliers and fast-tracking the roll-out of “renewable gases” to phase out natural gas in space heating, have been highly praised. The New York Times said they will “speed up climate action”.

In fact, it is not clear that the new proposals will accelerate the clean energy transition. This is because incentivising farmers, multinational oil and gas companies and energy utilities to produce hydrogen and biogas is likely to increase consumer bills at a time when many people are already struggling with the soaring cost of heating and electricity. That, in turn, might reduce funding available for measures that can cut emissions more efficiently.

The dash for alternative gases
The pre-war 2030 climate target plan outlined how the EU could reduce greenhouse emissions 55% by 2030 through 70% cuts to coal use and by reducing oil and gas use 30% and 25% respectively. Increasing power generation from wind, solar and other sources would ensure renewables met 40% of all energy use by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, the rate at which buildings in the EU are being renovated with insulation and other measures to make them more energy efficient would need to “double and more” up to 2030. On its own, this plan would replace nearly two-thirds of gas from Russia by 2030.

Then, in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission announced a new strategy for phasing out the EU’s “dependence on fossil fuels from Russia … well before 2030”. This included an 80-gigawatt increase in wind and solar power generation by 2030 solely to make green hydrogen – a low-carbon fuel that is the product of splitting water molecules using renewable electricity. It also proposed ramping up the production of biogas – a fuel made from the anaerobic digestion of energy crops, such as maize, and farm waste, such as manure.

Altogether, the EU needs to replace 155 billion cubic metres of natural gas to end its reliance on Russian suppliers. This can be done without increasing the production of what the EU calls “renewable gases” like hydrogen and biogas. The pre-war climate plan indicated that 100 billion cubic metres of Russian gas could be substituted with new renewable energy and the new plan projects 70 billion cubic metres could come from new LNG supplies from Qatar and the US and pipeline gas from places like Norway, Algeria and Azerbaijan.

In effect, the post-war plan is promoting not just the replacement of all Russian gas before 2030, but producing extra biogas and hydrogen on top of that.

Producing an extra 25 to 50 billion cubic metres of hydrogen to replace natural gas by 2030 will require a massive build-up of equipment, pipelines and storage depots over several years, either for producing hydrogen fuel within the EU or importing it from overseas. Meeting the target of 18 billion cubic metres of biogas each year by 2030 will require paying farmers to expand energy crops. These crops will need fertiliser and other chemical inputs that emit greenhouse gases during production, potentially cancelling out the climate benefits of biogas.

Incentives that would otherwise pay for producing green hydrogen or biogas should be used to install extra millions of electric heat pumps and renovate buildings to ensure they waste less energy instead. Experts have argued that prioritising the replacement of natural gas with hydrogen in heating represents a big waste of renewable power compared with using that same electricity in heat pumps. According to one analysis, heat pumps use renewable electricity to produce warmth four times more efficiently and at much lower costs to the consumer compared to green hydrogen.

There are around 131 million buildings in the EU, yet under its latest plans, the EU projects that only 40 million will be fitted with heat pumps by 2030. The new proposals offer no clear commitment to increasing the building renovation rate.

and a bit more:
https://theconversation.com/in-a-rush-to-replace-russian-gas-the-eu-has-damaged-its-own-climate-change-strategy-178688

So policy wise this looks like an attempt to keep some gasses running and funnel some billions to FF companies.

Clearly the most people coming up with these ideas don´t weigh the climate change part enough. On the upper hand if they build the generation renewables and then rethink around 2025 that would work (there are actual uses and those will be the most prioritized, there is at least one village that is going to use hydrogen as proof of concept so that should give some early data.

We could gain so much on building improvement and it is such an obvious component that it is a big shame that not more is done. A whole lot of talk, some token subsidies and scrapping of token subsidies if they actually work so far or BAU.

What we actually need is a dedicated workforce and a plan.

There are lots of places where very similar types of structures have been build, similar houses or flats and once you work out an optimal plan for one of them you can do the lot in a relatively short time frame. A little bit of efficiency would not hurt.
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The Walrus

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2022, 02:54:59 AM »
Yes, the EU wants to implement climate action, until it becomes too painful. 

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2022, 04:55:26 PM »
Or they get an easy out...

Here is another:
Today, the European Commission postponed its highly anticipated proposal for an EU Nature Restoration Law without setting a new publication date.

Over the weekend, more than 13,000 EU citizens, 166 environmental NGOs, and a group of environmental ministers sent letters to the European Commission expressing their support of the law and asking for it not to be delayed, but their voices have been ignored.

Legally binding nature restoration targets are urgently needed to address the drastic decline of biodiversity in the EU, to help us mitigate the climate crisis and to build resilience in the face of climate change.

We call on the Commission to set a new date for the proposal to be launched within a month. This law has the opportunity to become a real game-changer against the climate and biodiversity crises, with tangible benefits for people and nature. It must be timely, ambitious and enforceable.

“We understand the extremely difficult context in which this proposal is being finalised – but not why the College of Commissioners was not even able to pencil in a new date. There is no reason to delay the law by months. This is jeopardising the EU’s response to the climate and biodiversity crises and puts the European Green Deal agenda into further question. It is unacceptable to leave people and nature in limbo.”

Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer, WWF European Policy Office

...

https://www.birdlife.org/news/2022/03/23/press-release-eu-commission-delay-nature-restoration-law-again/
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kassy

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2022, 03:39:31 PM »
Resistance grows to EU nuclear and gas taxonomy

Resistance has been growing to an EU proposal to label gas and nuclear energy as sustainable investments, officials said this week.

The European Commission last month proposed including both in the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy, a system for labelling climate-friendly investments.

The proposal split opinion among the European Parliament and EU countries, which disagree on the fuels’ green credentials and could also still reject it.

Two groups of lawmakers – the Greens and the Socialists and Democrats – confirmed that they would file a motion to reject the rules.

German Green lawmaker Michael Bloss had confirmed the Greens’ objection earlier in the week.

“Nuclear power and fossil gas are not ‘sustainable’, far too dangerous and not a bridge technology,” he said in a tweet.

The move is the opening salvo in a months-long process of negotiations, which would culminate in Parliament voting by July on the potential motions to reject the gas and nuclear proposal.

At least half of Parliament’s 705 lawmakers would need to vote to reject the rules. The level of support in Parliament is unclear, since few lawmaker groups have a firm position and opinion is split among their members.

The rules could also be rejected by 20 of the EU’s 27 member countries, a threshold seen as unlikely to be reached.

Gas emits less CO2 than coal when burned, and some countries had lobbied hard for the taxonomy to incentivise gas investments to help them phase out coal.

continues:
https://emergingrisks.co.uk/resistance-grows-to-eu-nuclear-and-gas-taxonomy/

Of course gas is not quite as good as an alternative when you also account for all the leaks in production and transport. Plus we have a very limited window to bring down carbon use. Any new gas infrastructure is built for longer periods then that.
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NeilT

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2022, 07:55:52 PM »
No, No, the Greens are right.  We should keep burning coal until we have the best solution possible.  It is not dangerous and it is already available at home....
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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2022, 09:01:14 PM »
The increase in the use of coal means more methane emissions. Guardian article from 2019,,,,40 million tons per year and increasing.

Methane emissions from coalmines could stoke climate crisis – study
This article is more than 2 years old
Millions of tonnes belched into atmosphere as bad as shipping and aviation emissions combined, researchers find
Quote
The methane emissions leaking from the world’s coalmines could be stoking the global climate crisis at the same rate as the shipping and aviation industries combined.

Coalmines are belching millions of tonnes of methane into the atmosphere unchecked, because policymakers have overlooked the rising climate threat, according to new research.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that the amount of methane seeping from new and disused coalmines may have reached just under 40m tonnes last year.
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NeilT

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2022, 10:16:19 PM »
In case it was not obvious, that last comment was snarky and sarcastic.
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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2022, 10:57:23 PM »
We have to reduce all types of FF use ASAP.
If you build new gas that is for 15-30 years but we do not have that time. We still emit more then we did a few years ago while both the land carbon sinks are degrading. As we keep warming the oceans they will absorb less of the excess CO2 and as we warm the land it dries out more thus burns or dries more.

This vote is about which sectors get a shit ton of euros so that should not be anything FF related.

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Re: EU climate policies
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2022, 09:13:17 PM »
Kassy, I agree and am even more extreme. I believe that we need to reduce our global energy consumption because it is not possible to produce as much renewable energy as what you get in FF digging a hole at the right place. This also includes good consumption because they have embedded energy.
But when energy prices go up, instead of thinking that history is helping them, governments reduce taxes.
Another exam is what was said about flight shaming, it doesn't respect human freedom of choice...
Nature will be saved, no doubt about it. Just like the Ranger (Forster in German) Wohlleben said, when we talk about protecting nature, what we really talk about is protecting the environment we need in order to be able to live on earth, nature will find a way out alone.