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  19 November 2021  

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Dear readers,

Now that the dust begins to settle, after the intense negotiations in Glasgow, more sober analyses of the new Glasgow Climate Pact begin to pour in. From McKinsey arguing that “the climate commitments launched in Glasgow will reshape the agenda for global business," to Greenpeace recognising that “a signal has been sent that the era of coal is ending.” History will be the Pact’s ultimate judge, but from the EU’s perspective, I am convinced that COP26 was an important step in the right direction, in some areas even a breakthrough, opening precious opportunities for progress in the fight to stop climate change. Seizing these opportunities is by no means guaranteed upfront, and will require close monitoring and significant investments, as well as international cooperation and, where necessary, diplomatic pressure. But, if we look at the entire package that 197 countries agreed on, the glass is more than half full.

At the beginning of the conference, President von der Leyen set out three key priorities: showing more ambition on mitigation, completing the Paris Rulebook and boosting climate finance. On each of these counts, important progress was achieved.

First, on the call for stronger commitments to reduce emissions during this ‘crucial decade’ and to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C there was considerable movement. From the projected 4 degrees we faced before Paris, and the 2.7 degrees before Glasgow, we have now edged towards two degrees, and even below according to some more optimistic, yet credible observers. Even more important, we managed to secure a credible process to aim at 1.5° C within, e.g. by reaching an agreement on the need to strengthen 2030 reductions plans already by next year. In Glasgow, Paris went into higher gear. And despite the last-minute backsliding on the wording, the text does - for the first time - reference the need to scale down coal-fired power generation and speed up the end of fossil fuel subsidies. It goes without saying that the international community must do far more in this next crucial decade to safeguard our future. The EU will therefore pursue our efforts in climate diplomacy, to bring major emitters on board and increase their ambitions, to ensure that the 1.5 goal becomes a reality. These efforts start now.

Secondly, good news came out of the negotiations on the Paris Rulebook, where agreement was finally reached on Article 6 and the rules of international carbon markets, as well as on the transparency of reporting on greenhouse gas emissions. These developments were six years in the making, and I’m especially proud of the EU’s role in bringing about this result, which will further global cooperation on emission reductions. The importance of this should not be underestimated. It will channel green investments into the race to net zero, in a manner that is environmentally sound.

Finally, and in spite of justified disappointment by developing countries on the slow pace towards the $100 billion goal, COP26 also marked progress on climate finance, notably for adaptation. Not only did developed countries confirm their commitment to reaching the $100 billion goal a year as soon as possible (and the remaining gap is sufficiently small that reaching the goal in 2022, rather than 2023, is a real possibility). They also committed to doubling their collective provision of adaptation finance for 2021-2025, going towards a balance between mitigation and adaptation, as well as on a process for long-term climate finance beyond 2025. In this context, with our contribution of some USD 27 billion in 2020, the EU and its Member States are already the largest provider of climate finance. At the COP, Commission Executive Vice-President Timmermans announced that the EU would contribute, for the first time ever, €100 million to the UN Adaptation Fund. In other words, we do our fair share.

The EU was also very active outside of the negotiations. Our team was busy organising some 160 side events, showcasing how all sectors of European society and industry are engaging with climate action. 1,400 expert speakers and 400 different organisations contributed to our new hybrid platform that allowed for dynamic discussions in Glasgow, Brussels and online, open to all. You can still catch up on all the events by logging on to The EU was also instrumental in launching the Global Methane Pledge with the US to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030; the Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa; the €820 million EU Catalyst partnership will Bill Gates and the EIB to accelerate the clean energy transition with funding for innovative technologies, and an EU pledge to spend €1 billion over five years to protect the world's forests.

Our international leverage depends to a large extent on what we do at home, in Europe itself. We therefore must continue to forge ahead with the green transition that was launched by the European Green Deal. You can read about the latest advances we have been making in the most recent Climate Action Progress Report published earlier this month. Our future progress will also depend on our ability to develop innovative projects into real-world low-carbon technology. The Innovation Fund is one important way in which the EU is seeking to accelerate this process. In Glasgow, I was pleased to present the first three grants from the Fund to small-scale projects that will help decarbonise glass production, supply innovative renewable heating for industry and capture CO2 through water. Furthermore, this week we announced the results of the first-large scale call, which will see € 1.1 bn of funding go to seven projects to decarbonise energy-intensive industries and develop renewable energy.

As the past weeks have shown, the urgency of acting on the climate crisis is only growing. We have to make more headway in this decade. I am sure that together we can live up to these expectations.

Mauro Petriccione
Director-General for Climate Action, European Commission

Latest News
COP26: EU helps deliver outcome to keep the Paris Agreement targets alive

At the end of the COP26 UN Climate Conference, the European Commission supported the consensus reached by over 190 countries after two weeks of intense negotiations. COP26 resulted in the completion of the Paris Agreement rulebook and kept the Paris targets alive, giving us a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

New EU commitments at COP26

  • €1 billion in funding for the Global Forests Finance Pledge to protect, restore and sustainably manage forests worldwide;
  • Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa, which will mobilise an initial commitment of $8.5 billion for the first phase of financing;
  • Official launch of the Global Methane Pledge, a joint EU-US initiative which has mobilised over 100 countries to cut their collective methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels;
  • EU-Catalyst partnership with Bill Gates and EIB President Werner Hoyer to boost investments in critical climate technologies;
  • New pledge of €100 million in finance for the Climate Adaptation Fund, by far the biggest pledge for the Adaptation Fund made by donors at COP26.
European Green Deal: Commission adopts new proposals to stop deforestation, innovate sustainable waste management and make soils healthy for people, nature and climate

On 17 November, the Commission adopted three new initiatives that are necessary for making the European Green Deal a reality. The Commission is proposing new rules to curb EU-driven deforestation, as well as new rules to facilitate intra-EU waste shipments to promote circular economy and tackle the export of illegal waste and waste challenges to third countries. The Commission also presented a new Soil strategy to have all European soils restored, resilient, and adequately protected by 2050. With these proposals, the Commission is presenting the tools to move to a circular economy, protect nature, and raise environmental standards in the European Union and in the world.

European Union launches a Green Team Europe Initiative in partnership with South East Asia
On 18 November, a Green Team Europe Initiative in partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)/South East Asia, was launched by Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, during the 3rd ASEAN-EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development. The initiative, backed by an initial €30 million grant from the EU budget, will strengthen the EU's partnership with the region in areas including climate action, environmental and biodiversity protection, clean energy transition, disaster resilience, prevention of illegal logging, wildlife trafficking and air pollution.
EU invests over €1 billion in innovative projects to decarbonise the economy

The European Union is investing over €1.1 billion into seven large-scale innovative projects under the Innovation Fund. The grants will support projects aiming to bring breakthrough technologies to the market in energy-intensive industries, hydrogen, carbon capture, use and storage, and renewable energy. The projects are located in Belgium, Italy, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

Commission awards first three grants under the Innovation Fund

At a dedicated event during COP26, the first three projects to be financed since the creation of the Innovation Fund signed their grant agreement with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), the implementing body of the Fund. They will benefit from a total grant of EUR 12.7 million. In addition, the Commission adopted a decision on the award of EUR 1.7 million for project development assistance to 10 projects.

With 4.3% drop in greenhouse gas intensity of road transport fuels, further action is still needed for meeting the 2020 6% fuel quality target

The Commission on 29 October adopted its annual Fuel Quality Report based on the 2019 reporting data submitted by EU countries. The report finds that the average greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of fuels in the 28 reporting Member States had fallen by 4.3% compared to the 2010 baseline. The year-on-year progress achieved compared to 2018 was limited to a 0.6 percentage point decrease. Progress varies greatly across Member States, and almost all need to act swiftly to meet the target set out under the Fuel Quality Directive to reduce the GHG intensity of transport fuels by a minimum of 6% by 2020 compared to 2010.

International Methane Emissions Observatory launched to boost action on powerful climate-warming gas
To support further progress on fulfilling the Paris Agreement, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) with support from the European Union launched International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO). IMEO will bring global reporting on methane emissions to an entirely different level, ensuring public transparency on anthropogenic methane emissions.
Information Session on the Mission Adaptation to Climate Change

On 23 November at 14:30 Clara de la Torre, Mission Manager, will be joined by John Bell (Deputy Mission Manager) and Dirk Beckers (Director of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency CINEA) to present the concept and implementation mechanisms of the Mission, and explain how the regions can engage in the process. This will be followed by a Questions and Answers session via SLI.DO.

date 23/11/2021
Education for Climate Day

During the first Education for Climate Day, you will learn more about how the Education for Climate Coalition seeks to co-create a participatory education community to support the changes needed for a climate-neutral society.

date 25/11/2021
EU side events at COP26 | Recordings

During COP26, the EU hosted more than 160 side events at the EU Pavilion in Glasgow, Brussels and online. These events, organised by a variety of countries and organisations from Europe and around the world, addressed a broad range of climate-related issues, such as the energy transition, sustainable finance and research and innovation.

You can watch the recordings of all events on the side events platform.

Climate action in the post-COVID world
Population exposure and migrations linked to climate change in Africa
EU Climate Action Progress Report
Share your ideas for the European Year of Youth!

2022 will be the European Year of Youth! But it cannot be your year without your ideas. What do you want the EU to do for you? What should the year change in your life? This is your chance to help shape the year and the future of Europe together. Share your proposals (as many as you want!) via this call for ideas. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your say!

date 20/11/2021
LIFE call for proposals 2021

The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The first LIFE Call for Proposals under the new LIFE programme 2021-2027 comprises four sub-programmes: nature & biodiversity, circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the clean energy transition, with a budget of over 580€ million to fund new projects.

Deadline 12/01/2022
Second call for large-scale projects under the Innovation Fund

The call is open for projects from all EU Member States, Iceland and Norway until the 3rd of March 2022. With a budget of €1.5 billion, the Innovation Fund will finance breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage.

Deadline 03/03/2022
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EU climate action

Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans

European Green Deal

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