The world is facing a convergence of a military crisis, an energy crisis, an economic crisis and a hunger crisis, the European Climate Foundation said in its annual report. Still, the global framework for climate action, based on the Paris Agreement, continues to prove its resilience, Chief Executive Officer Laurence Tubiana pointed out.
The European Climate Foundation (ECF) is a major philanthropic initiative working to foster the transition to a net-zero society. It works with partners at the national, European and global levels to activate public and political engagement and shape policymaking in response to the climate crisis.
Today, European societies are clear in what they wish to achieve: clean air, prosperity, a safe climate, energy security, outgoing Chair of the ECF Supervisory Board Stephen Brenninkmeijer said in the annual report for 2021.
“From the Fit for 55 package, to COP26, to the strengthening of civic participation in climate action through Citizen Assemblies, as well as the encouraging climate commitments of the German coalition government which took office in late 2021, we see that the ECF network supported a wide spectrum of valuable action, all of which will no doubt prove invaluable in the challenging times we expect ahead,” Brenninkmeijer stated.
Climate action to go hand in hand with support for vulnerable population
The European Green Deal represents a new way forward for energy sovereignty – it can be a vehicle for offering solidarity and social protection as well as a peace project, according to ECF. Europe and the climate movement must support those most vulnerable to the growing energy and social crisis without compromising climate ambition, it said.
The fund will continue to address the impact of climate change by supporting the introduction of legislation to implement an ambitious European Green Deal, gathering public support, promoting a complete fossil fuel phaseout and pursuing green deal diplomacy on a global scale, the document adds.
Fossil fuel dependency is root of all current crises
Chief Executive Officer Laurence Tubiana warned of the threat of gas shortages, spiraling energy prices, entrenched inflation and a global recession. However, a positive trend also emerged, she pointed out.
“Russia’s war against Ukraine – and indirectly, against European unity and solidarity – exposes the fragility of our international system even further. We contemplate a convergence of global crises: a military crisis, an energy crisis, an economic crisis and a hunger crisis. All clarify the stakes for the climate crisis. This mesh of crises shares one cause: the world’s dependency on fossil fuels, which Russia has comprehensively weaponized,” Tubiana stressed.
Tubiana: The tradeoffs Europe is making to preserve its energy security are also leading to some difficult, disappointing and sometimes outrageous decisions
On the other hand, the global framework for climate action – with the Paris Agreement at its heart – continues to prove its resilience, the CEO of the European Climate Foundation asserted.
“The tradeoffs Europe is making to preserve its energy security are also leading to some difficult, disappointing and sometimes outrageous decisions: on the potential extension of coal power, on liquefied natural gas infrastructure overseas and on the sustainable finance taxonomy, to name but a few. While progress is being made along the road to net zero, the path to and through the 2030 milestone is far less encouraging,” Tubiana said.
ECF provided 1,177 grants to 713 grantee organizations last year, in the amount of EUR 87 million.