The coming months will be critical to assuring the robust implementation of the European Green Deal, designing the next phase and opening up further space for ambitious global action, the European Climate Foundation (ECF) said in its annual report. Emissions are still climbing and national plans aren’t sufficient to contain global warming, CEO Laurence Tubiana pointed out.
Europe has demonstrated extraordinary resilience in the face of the continued economic and security crises, according to the European Climate Foundation, which stressed that the ramifications of the polycrisis have transformed its operating context. In its annual report ‘Advancing climate action for a green, democratic and peaceful Europe’, the grantmaker said it raised EUR 138.3 million in 2022 or 35% more than in the previous year.
The coming months – with the preparations for the 2024 European elections and the new political mandate of the next European Commission – will be critical to assuring the robust implementation of the European Green Deal, designing the next phase and opening up further space for ambitious global action, the organization underscored.
Tubiana: Too many net zero plans lack transparency and credibility
“Data from the IEA reminds us that emissions are still climbing and current national plans will not get us to the necessary 1.5° or even a 2°C goal. Too many net zero plans lack transparency and credibility. ‘Climate carnage’, in the words of António Guterres in response to cataclysmic floods in Pakistan last year and the 33 million people affected, has redefined both the imperative and underscored the urgency for action. We are acting but too slowly, and it is getting very late,” Chief Executive Officer Laurence Tubiana warned.
Next wave of decarbonization policies
ECF was founded 15 years ago. It is a philanthropic initiative focusing on a socially responsible climate transition to net zero emissions. ECF said it also identifies the agenda for areas of focus.
As for the next goals, it highlighted the significance of developing the next wave of decarbonization policies and political conditions that connect security, affordability and democracy. In addition, a European reindustrialization strategy needs to be based on investment in renewables, critical supply chains, rapid electrification of industries, energy and materials efficiency, and rollout of critical green infrastructure, the document reads.
ECF said it is helping set up mechanisms for a just transition of auto industry workers and consumers with low purchasing power at local and national levels.
Green program for Ukraine’s recovery
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended the context for our work domestically and internationally,” the fund said. It was a shock to not only energy but also food prices and supply chains so it is essential to ensure that policies and decisions on land use and food systems help address the complex relationship among decisions about food, climate, energy and biodiversity, it added.
A program established last year is contributing to mainstreaming green and climate-proof solutions for Ukraine’s recovery, the report said. It addresses the energy transition, urban recovery and energy-efficient buildings.
“One of the highlights of 2022 was a landmark agreement to phase out the sale of internal combustion engine passenger cars and vans by 2035. This decision followed years of coordinated campaigning and advocacy involving more than 120 of our partners… In 2023, our focus will shift to securing a similar milestone for buses and trucks,” ECF stressed.
In South-Eastern Europe, ECF focuses on Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia
In 2022, its grants supported national and subnational climate assemblies in Spain, Austria, Poland and Denmark. ECF said its network has been building political will and social support around the European Green Deal at the country level. The fund has staff and grantee partners working in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, South-Eastern Europe (with a particular focus on Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia), Central Europe (with a particular focus on Czechia) and Turkey.
Last year ECF provided 1,209 grants, 13% more than in 2021, to 696 organizations. In-country national climate programs made up EUR 35.6 million or 25.8% of total spending. In comparison, promoting a fossil-free energy system had a share of 24.3% while the third main item was developing and advocating fair and ambitious policy solutions, 21.4%.