In its final report, the German coal commission recommends the last coal power plant of Germany to shut down in the corridor 2035 to 2038. This is an important step towards reaching Germany's 2030 climate target. Nevertheless, it is not enough to bring the energy sector on a path to comply with the 1.5°C-limit of the Paris Agreement.
In this short position paper, Germanwatch asesses the most important outcomes of the coal commission's final report of 26 January 2019.
Within the next Multiannual Financial Frame (MFF), the European Regional Development Fund / Cohesion Fund Regulation (ERDF/CF) and the Common Provisions Regulation (CPR) are key instruments that shape and determine the direction of the European Cohesion Policy after 2020. Ahead of the REGI Committee votes on these two pieces of legislation in the first two month of 2019, NGOs from across Europe aim at drawing MEPs' attention with an open letter to key provisions within these regulations that are needed to promote a just and fair transition.
On December 13, the Board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) adopted a new strategy for the energy sector. The strategy will have an impact on the use of billions of Euros of public funds in the energy sector. Unfortunately, the strategy represents a missed chance to truly align all investments by the banks with the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Although the strategy has made progress compared to the previous energy strategy, it is far less ambitious then the precedent set by the World Bank in 2017 that excludes all financing of upstream oil and gas activities.
After three consecutive years of stable CO2 emissions, emissions are rising again. The Climate Change Performance Index 2019 (CCPI), published today at COP24 in Katowice, shows only few countries have started to implement strategies to limit global warming well below 2 or even 1.5°C. While there is a continued growth and competitiveness of renewable energy, especially in countries that had low shares before, the CCPI shows a lack of political will of most governments to phase out fossil fuels with the necessary speed. Because of that, in most countries the climate policy evaluation by national experts is significantly lower than in the last years.
The CCPI is an independent monitoring tool of countries' climate protection performance. It aims to enhance transparency in international climate politics and enables the comparability of climate protection efforts and progress made by individual countries. Based on standardised criteria, the index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 56 countries and the EU, which are together responsible for more than 90 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) can play a critical role in limiting climate change and helping communities adapt to its impacts. Since 2011, they have provided nearly $200 billion in finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation (so-called “climate finance”). The World Bank Group’s recent announcement that it will increase its climate-related investments means this number is likely to grow. But while climate finance is important, it makes up less than a quarter of all finance provided by the MDBs. The rest goes to activities that may (or may not) undermine climate goals.
The world’s climate goals can only be reached with enough high quality financial support. Multilateral development banks (MDBs) have to play a vital role in efforts to shift global finance flows towards a sustainable future.
The report aims to support the ongoing efforts by MDBs to achieve alignment between their activities and the global climate goals and to help shareholders and stakeholders to screen projects and strategies for Paris alignment. It can also serve as a discussion basis for the efforts of other financial institutions to align their financial flows.
Tropical cyclones have heavy impacts on an increasing number of countries. In 2017, the hurricane season in the Caribbean Sea was particularly strong and left several islands destroyed. Furthermore there are some developing countries that have difficulties to recover as they are regularly hit by weather catastrophes. Especially poorer countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal or Vietnam are facing great challenges. All in all, in 2017 11.500 people died because of extreme weather events. Economic damages amounted to approximately US$ 375 billion (calculated in purchasing-power parity, PPP). So it was the year with the highest weather-related losses ever recorded.