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Climate change

Study of FLAs in the area of Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The Review of Forward-looking Activities (FLAs) undertaken in recent years at national, European and international level in this area, indicates that while the H2020 proposals on climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials aim to address a highly relevant set of themes, H2020’s proposed approach and the mechanisms for implementation need to be better specified, to ensure that an effective framework for addressing the grand societal challenges is put in place.
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Costs and Benefits to EU Members States of 2030 Climate and Energy Targets

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Publication date: 
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
Delivering both economic growth and GHG emissions reductions is essential to avoiding dangerous climate change, with its associated economic, social and environmental costs. Keeping the global temperature rise below 2°C represents a major challenge, particularly while ensuring decarbonisation is cost-effective and maintaining security of supply and competiveness. A number of policies have been implemented throughout the EU to reach its 2020 targets; the next challenge is to look ahead to 2030.
To continue the process of transforming to a low carbon economy and set the next waypoint towards the EU’s 2050 objective of reducing GHG emissions by 80-95%, the European Commission has released its proposal for an EU 2030 framework for climate and energy policies. Pursuant to this, the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change commissioned a set of detailed quantified scenarios for GHG emissions and the energy sector, in order to look at the costs and benefits to individual Member States and the EU as a whole from different potential EU policies and objectives for 2030.
Significant potential exists within the EU to reduce GHG emissions at reasonable costs, both in the short and long term. The 20% reduction of emissions by 2020 will likely be overachieved despite the current low ETS price; indeed, even with the existing surplus of EUAs, this will probably be the case without further policy intervention. The Commission’s
Low Carbon Roadmap suggests that a tighter cap and target would put the EU on a more cost effective pathway to 2050.
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Project Europe 2030. Challenges and opportunities

Title Original Language: 
Projet pour l'Europe à l'horizon 2030
Abstract Original Language: 
Rapport du groupe de réflexion au Conseil européen sur l'avenir de l'UE à l'horizon 2030.

Ce groupe de réflexion indépendant a été créé par le Conseil européen; présidé par M. González, il a été chargé de déterminer, d'étudier et de proposer des solutions aux défis que l'UE devra relever à l'horizon 2030. Il se compose de 12 membres qui sont d'éminents représentants de leurs domaines d'activité respectifs. L'avis d'experts du monde universitaire et du monde de l'entreprise a également été sollicité.

Ce rapport au Conseil européen dresse la liste d'un large éventail de problèmes auxquels l'UE et les États membres sont confrontés, comme la crise économique mondiale et les États venant au secours des banques, le changement climatique et l'approvisionnement énergétique, ainsi que les menaces que font peser le terrorisme et la criminalité organisée.

Le groupe de réflexion est convaincu que l'UE peut surmonter ces difficultés, si chacun, hommes et femmes politiques et citoyens, sont décidés à se mobiliser et à agir avec détermination pour donner corps à cet ambitieux projet politique. Par conséquent, il est essentiel que les citoyens soutiennent l'Union et participent à son développement.

Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Abstract in English: 
A report to the European Council by the Reflection Group on the Future of the EU 2030.

The independent Reflection Group was set up by the European Council under the chair of Mr. González to identify, analyse and propose solutions to the challenges the EU will be facing at the horizon 2030. It is composed of 12 members with outstanding expertise in their field of activity. They have also sought the opinion of experts from the academic and business worlds.

This report to the European Council lists a wide range of problems with which the EU and member states are confronted, for instance the global economic crisis and states coming to the rescue of banks, climate change and energy supply as well as the threats of terrorism and organised crime.

The Reflection Group is convinced that the EU can overcome the difficulties, if everybody - politicians and citizens - are decided to pull together and act in a decisive manner to develop this ambitious political project. It is therefore essential that citizens back up the Union and participate in its further development.

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Regional challenges in the perspective of 2020. Regional disparities and future challenges - Climate Change

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Abstract in English: 
"In this paper climate change is understood as a set of alterations in the average weather caused by global warming due to the emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
Climate change is serious and scary. Amongst all challenges that are dealt with in this project it is the one challenge that potentially has the most severe impacts, globally and on Europe. The very reason for this is that climate change affects virtually every aspect of our every day life, economic, social and environmental. It is a multidimensional challenge, with its impacts not only ranging from issues like human health, supply of safe water and food, biodiversity, economic development etc., but also has impacts on all the other four challenges dealt with under this project.
The impacts of climate change can be extreme, almost unbelievable. To illustrate, pessimistic estimates predict that if global temperature increases by around 3°C above pre-industrial level additional 550 million people (approximately the size of the EU) will be at risk of hunger in world. Likewise, for the same increase in temperature, 50% of animal species may be extinct, and this is just the top of the (by then non-existing) iceberg.
Climate change is not an European challenge. It is a global challenge with effects on Europe. This has to be made aware of. Because just as Europe is responsible for safeguarding its people from the negative impacts of climate change, it has, being one of the world’s major force, to take up its responsibility for the other parts of the world. It is certainly not enough to sit back and enjoy the privilege of being born into a developed part of the world that, if let alone, could deal with any problem or challenge. Our actions affect people all over the world, just as their actions affect us. From that, if philanthropist reasons are not enough for Europe to take up its responsibility, it should do so, because the impacts climate change has in other parts of the world might have military, social and economic repercussions on the Europeans.
In the light of the severity of the impacts climate change can have, it is surprising how little is known about it in public. Sure, climate change gained public attention in 2007, when Al Gore and the IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change". But still it is felt that public awareness is much too low.
Tackling climate change and finding the right policies is not only about mitigation, adaption and analysing the problem. It is also about making it known to the people, because in the end it is us that, with our every day actions, are responsible of what the future climate will be.
Task
In this spirit, and since climate change is, as mentioned, a multidimensional challenge this paper, by reviewing the current literature, aims at giving an overview of the multiple impacts climate change can have globally and on Europe. Its main focus are the economic, environmental and social consequences, firstly at the world and secondly at the European level, with the ultimate aim to derive some conclusions on how climate change affects the European Union’s NUTS-2 regions.
The remainder of the paper is organised as follows:
Chapter 2 reviews current findings on the global and European impact of climate change, also taking into account developments in neighbouring regions, likely repercussions from global effects on Europe and some aspects of adaption to climate change. Chapter 3 develops an indicator to assess the vulnerability of EU NUTS 2 regions to climate change. Finally, chapter 4 by taking into account the insights from the previous chapter the paper dares to present two scenarios of potential impacts of climate change on regions: a pessimistic scenario based on the assumption that climate change and global warming cannot be stopped and an optimistic scenario based on the hypothesis that global warming will stop at the EU’s target of a temperature that is only 2°C higher than in the pre-industrial era.
Importantly, it has to be noted that mitigation will not be covered in this paper, as this will be done in the paper on the energy challenge."
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Regions 2020 - Climate change challenges for European regions

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Abstract in English: 
This paper summarizes main findings on the impact of climate change on temperature and precipitation, outlines some of their impacts on socio economic conditions as well as identifying vulnerable regions. Conclusions are drawn in respect of the impact on the regional growth potential, sustainability and equity. The analysis on which the findings of the note are based are uncertain to some degree, as they relate to projections of climate conditions in the future. There are also significant uncertainties involved in presenting impacts on a regional level which result from modelling results which are based on more aggregated data.
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EU energy, transport and GHG emissions trends to 2050. Reference scenario 2013

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This report is an update and extension of the previous trend scenarios for development of energy systems taking account of transport and GHG emissions developments, such as the “European energy and transport - Trends to 2030” published in 2003 and its 2005, 2007 and 2009 updates1. The purpose of this publication is to present the new "EU Reference scenario 2013" ("Reference scenario" later in the text). This Reference scenario was finalised in July 2013. It focuses even more than previous ones on the energy, transport and climate dimensions of EU developments and the various interactions among policies, including now also specific sections on emission trends not related to energy. Its time horizon has been extended up to 2050. It reports for the first time on EU28 including Croatia. Moreover, the modelling process has included four rounds of consultation of Member States experts on Member State specific assumptions and draft modelling results. The responsibility for the results rests, however, with the authors of the scenario who were commissioned to do this work by Directorate General for Energy, Directorate General for Climate Action and Directorate General for Mobility and Transport.

This new update is based on the latest available statistical year from EUROSTAT at the time of the modelling (the year 2010). In comparison to the previous version, the newest macro-economic data already shows the statistical effects of the on-going EU's economic downturn in activity of different sectors as well as energy consumption and GHG emissions. The demographic and economic forecasts reflect recent projections by EUROSTAT and the joint work of the Economic Policy Committee and the European Commission (DG ECFIN) respectively. The "Ageing Report 2012"2 has been the starting point of this exercise giving long term population and GDP growth trends up to 2060 while the short and medium term GDP growth projections were taken from DG ECFIN.

The recent boom in shale gas development and exploration of unconventional oil reserves are increasing the fossil fuel reserve basis and thus changing the projections about the developments of international fuel prices. The fuel prices have been updated in the new scenario to take into account the recent developments. Significant progress has been made towards the achievement of the targets set out in the EU Energy and Climate Package, and new legislative measures, most notably the Energy Efficiency Directive3, have been adopted at EU level. Several changes have occurred at national levels as well.

This report focuses on trend projections understood in the sense of a Reference scenario. Similar to the Reference scenario latest update from 2009, this Reference scenario starts from the assumption that the legally binding GHG and RES targets for 2020 will be achieved and that the policies agreed at EU level by spring 2012 (notably on energy efficiency) as well as relevant adopted national policies will be implemented in the Member States. Following this approach the Reference scenario can help enlightening the debate on where currently adopted policies might lead the EU and whether further policy development, including for the longer term, would be needed. This Reference scenario can therefore also serve as benchmark or reference for assessing the impacts of envisaged policy initiatives at EU level in the areas of energy, transport and climate. Some technology development forecasts have changed since the latest update in 2009 both in positive way: faster than expected development for solar PV technology and negative: slower than expected developments for CCS and remote off-shore wind technologies.

Furthermore, international events, such as the Fukushima nuclear accident of March 2011, have changed the perception related to nuclear power generation and tightened the security requirements for nuclear technologies. In the context of climate change policies, specific Copenhagen/Cancun pledges for 2020 have been also set in other world regions, which have been considered in the world energy price modelling part of this exercise.
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