Forests and green lands needed as a global storage of CO2

Forests and green lands needed as a global storage of CO2

The absorption of GHG emissions by forests and green lands, which serves as an important storage of CO2, has been included in the Paris Agreement, due to the active role of the Polish delegation supported by others. It will also prevent the increase of GHG emissions caused by deforestation in some EU countries, such as Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands. The situation in such countries as Germany, Austria, Estonia and Latvia should be discussed as well. We need our Europe to be greener. The role of conservation, the sustainable management of forest, and enhancement of forest carbon stock, should concern not only EU Member States, but developing counties with rain forests, as well. To reach the goal of the Paris Agreement, we need an urgent directive, which will introduce the possibility of acknowledging forests as a natural CO2 storage, with the same results as CCS or CCU concepts. As we all know, the EU already reached in 2013, its 20% CO2 decrease target aimed for 2020. The result is 21%. To better understand the impact of forest “storage”, we prepared a graph showing the EU’s CO2 decrease, according to existing regulations, compared to the forest “storage” factor. If this factor had been included into the EU regulations, the total decrease of CO2 would have been 23%, instead of the existing 21%. Maybe this does not seem to be a big difference, but the forest “storage” factor will be a great instrument concerning CO2 decreases, and inevitably, will stimulate Europe to be more green, which we should encourage. Jarosław Cendrowski, Coordinator, Grupa LOTOS [...]
EU’s directive on Energy Efficiency: A Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) Perspective

EU’s directive on Energy Efficiency: A Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) Perspective

The European Council of October, 2014, agreed on an EU objective of saving at least 27% of energy by 2030, compared to projections, and requested the Commission to review the tar-get by 2020, “having in mind an EU level of 30%”. It was felt that the existing policy frame-work should, therefore, be updated to reflect the new EU energy efficiency target for 2030, and align it with the overall 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy. Energy efficiency policies have been put in place by the EU for some time now, and they have delivered tangible results. The Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), Energy Per-formance of Buildings Directive, Energy Labelling Directive, and Ecodesign Directive are some of the key ‘building blocks ‘ of the current energy efficiency framework. Many climate policies, such as the CO2 performance standards for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, also contribute towards improving energy efficiency. Since the Energy Efficiency Action Plan was adopted in 2011, primary energy consumption has fallen across the Union, which, at the same time, has seen steady economic growth, and Member States have successfully strengthened their national energy economic programmes. CEEP has recently responded to the Consultation Paper reviewing the Energy Efficiency Di-rective (EED), and I will briefly look at some of the key answers to the numerous questions raised. In terms of the EED helping to achieve the 2020 energy efficiency targets, CEEP rightly pointed out that contributions differ from country-to-country. Croatia, for instance, is heavily reliant on its 3rd NEEAP (National Energy Efficiency Action Plan), which features a system for monitoring, measuring and verifying savings, as well as encouraging all [...]
Central Europe Energy Partners’  Position Paper on ETS reform  (Directive 2003/87/EC)

Central Europe Energy Partners’ Position Paper on ETS reform (Directive 2003/87/EC)

1. Introduction The Paris Agreement has shown that the EU’s proposal to decrease CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030, from 1990 levels, was the most ambitious pledge made at the Summit. This means that the other industrialised countries, such as the US, Canada and Australia, are lagging behind the EU’s ambitions, as well as the emerging powers, notably China and India. If we translate the pledges into emissions per tonne per capita, then in 2030, we can expect below 5.0 tonnes in the EU, whilst in the US nearly 12 tonnes. Why should we be so ambitious and accept a constant loss of competitiveness and not fulfill one of the basic principles of the Lisbon Treaty, which states, that the EU should implement policies ensuring advances in economic integration? As Eurostat shows, the distance between the EU-15 and EU-11 (GDP per capita), has practically not changed during the last 10 years. As figures indicate , a 1% increase of GDP per capita in the EU-15 is equal to 3.1 % in the EU-11. If the ratio is 1% to 4%, the chance to catch-up will take 40 years. This is our real European problem requiring immediate attention, as new investments are desperately needed in the EU-11. The revision of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is highly important for the Central European energy-intensive industries ( steel, chemical, refining, etc) and crucial in determining how the EU aims to combine its agenda on growth, jobs and investments with climate and environmental policies. For example, in its current form, the proposal puts at risk the viability of the steel industry in [...]
COP-21: A summary of the pledges made so far

COP-21: A summary of the pledges made so far

As 2014 was the hottest year on record, and 2015 is likely to surpass that, whilst 2013 broke all records for carbon pollution, there is a fair degree of urgency behind achieving a ground-breaking deal at the Paris Summit in December. Some countries have already ‘declared their hands’ by making pledges in advance of the talks. These give us a hint on the real state-of-play, ahead of COP-21. Up until now, nearly 50 countries have filed their emissions reduction pledges to the UN, covering approximately 60% of the world’s emissions. They include the EU (28 countries, not one), the US, China, Canada, Russia, Australia, and Mexico. Key countries such as India and Brazil, have yet to make official their plans. The national contribution each country is prepared to make, is known at the UN as an Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). [Tweet "An important factor to look out for is the baseline year upon which such INDCs are made"]An important factor to look out for is the baseline year upon which such INDCs are made. Under the Kyoto Protocol, nearly all countries have previously tended to use the base year of 1990, which make pledges easier to compare. However, the US, China, and Canada have chosen 2005 as their baseline year, with the result that their promised cuts appear higher than they are in reality. Canada’s target, for instance, of 30% below 2005 levels, is equivalent to only 2% below 1990 levels. The US’s recently up-dated pledge of 32% carbon cuts on 2005 levels, still leaves it far behind the EU’s “at least 40% target”, by comparison.   China, [...]