The next 12 months progress on climate issues will significantly determine the future of Europe and also the future balance of our planet. Shall we get closer to the ultimate goal of the Paris Agreement and keep the global warming below 1.5ºC? Let us review the list of the most important EU processes where communities, businesses, scientists and all other stakeholders should act together to increase ambitions and to put a pressure on our decision-makers as we in Climate Reality believe in the power of the society.
The key climate targets of the European Union for 2030 are to cut greenhouse gas emissions at least by 40% from the 1990 levels, to reach at least 32% share for renewable energy and to improve at least 32.5% the energy efficiency. These goals were adopted by the member states but unfortunately these pledges are far from the much-needed numbers to solve the climate crises. On top of it we also should define goals on member states level – involving stakeholders into the consultations. Based on the so-called governance regulation of the EU, countries must develop National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) and national long-term strategies.
Why are these documents – especially the NECP – so important?
Firstly, they set the targets for reducing our carbon footprint on national level. Secondly the documents set the path for reshaping the economy through the development of cross-sectoral policies and measures. And last but not least they determine how the European Union can increase the pledges in the Paris Agreement process. But the current draft NECP documents do not address the urgency of the climate crisis, as they do not reflect the scale of the action needed to speed up the transition and achieve the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement. Luckily there is still enough time for Member States to improve plans before finalizing them at the end of 2019.
The draft Austrian National Energy and Climate Plan targets to increase the share of renewable energy in gross final consumption of energy to 45-50%, and source 100% of electricity consumption from renewables. In sectors like transport, buildings, agriculture, forestry, waste management is significantly lower: greenhouse gasses emissions reduction by 36 % compared to 2005. So, the draft plan shows low ambition for the above-mentioned sectors. Analysts also highlighted other issues, like the document does not provide a comprehensive plan on future policies and measures; there is no detailed plan on the required investments up to 2030; or it does not include information on fossil fuel subsidies.
At the moment EU plans to adopt a long-term strategy to reach net-zero CO2 emission by 2050, which is far from the target Europe should aim at if we want to keep our leading position in the new economy sectors like renewable technologies or the circular economy.
100% Committed program
SMEs are often very close to the local communities. Owners, employees are coming from the same region with the ambition not only to be profitable but to safeguard sustainability of the operation. This is why The Climate Reality Project launched its 100% Committed program, which not only accelerates the shift from fossils to renewables but also help to build capacities on the climate crisis and solutions.
By choosing renewable sources of electricity, cities, companies, and universities of all sizes are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and creating a healthier environment for their citizens and customers. Wrocław University of Economics, University of Groningen, St. Moritz ski resort, Arose Lenzerheide ski resort, and LAAX ski resort are our European victories to date. We hope many will partners from Austria will join us and take action and commit to run on 100% renewable electricity.
We’re a diverse group of passionate individuals who’ve come together to solve the greatest challenge of our time. We are activists, cultural leaders, organizers, scientists, and storytellers committed to building a sustainable future together.
Our history started in 2006 when Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore got the world talking about climate change with the Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth.
Climate Reality Europe works in countries across the continent to build popular support for raising national climate commitments to this effort. The branch particularly focuses on promoting climate solutions in traditional coal economies, partnering with business and political leaders to ensure the transition to a clean energy economy is a just one for all communities affected.
More than 19.000 trained Climate Reality Leaders are delivering our multimedia presentation about the reality of climate change. Active group of volunteers, including in Austria is shaping the conversation on climate everywhere from family dinners to international summits and building a twenty-first century movement for solutions.
Are you interested to host a presentation in your workplace, in your home, or in a community center? Go online and request a presentation. We will contact you shortly based on the information you enter. Remember: These Presentations are absolutely free!
“We can believe in the future and work to achieve it and preserve it, or we can whirl blindly on, behaving as if one day there will be no children to inherit our legacy. The choice is ours; the earth is in balance.” ― Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit
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