European Commission - Press release Energy Union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement
Brussels, 18 June 2019
The Commission has today published its assessment of Member States' draft plans to implement the EU's Energy Union objectives, and in particular the agreed EU 2030 energy and climate targets. The Commission's assessment finds that the national plans already represent significant efforts but points to several areas where there is room for improvement, notably as concerns targeted and individualised policies to ensure the delivery of the 2030 targets and to stay on the path towards climate neutrality in the longer term.
The European Union is the first major economy to put in place a legally binding framework to deliver on its pledges under the Paris Agreement and this is the first time that Member States have prepared draft integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs). Yet, with plans currently falling short both in terms of renewables and energy efficiency contributions, reaching the EU's overall climate and energy goals will require a collective step up of ambition.
The EPRS (European Parliamentary Research Service) published a study: Energy storage and sector coupling: Towards an integrated, decarbonised energy system
In order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the European energy system will need to become carbon-neutral by the second half of this century. However, while renewable sources of energy are key to achieving this, some of the most important renewables are variable: the output of solar and wind power depends on the time of day, the seasons and the weather.
As the share of variable renewables increases, energy storage is playing an increasingly important role in bridging the gap in time between energy production and energy consumption. While the share of renewable energy in the electricity sector is growing continually, other sectors, such as transport, buildings and industry, still depend largely on fossil fuels. To decarbonise these sectors, they can either be electrified or the fossil fuels can be substituted by renewable gases such as hydrogen or renewable liquid fuels. Transformation from electricity to gases and vice versa can add further storage capacity and flexibility to the energy system. Research indicates that coupling different sectors in this way would lower the overall cost of decarbonising the energy system.
The 2018 Quarries Alive conference will be held in Portugal (Evora) from 2-4 May 2018.The Conference aims to bridge quarry restoration projects around the world taking advantage from sharing different approaches and insights. All researchers,practitioners,stakeholders as well as policy makers are invited to take part in this conference and share their knowledge. Actors from several quadrants of society, from restoration ecologists to industrial stakeholders or NGO’s will discuss ways in which to fulfill the demand for sustainable exploitation of resources. The conference will take place at University of Évora, in the iconic historical building of College of Espírito Santo. The University has a strong tradition in academic training, human development and involvement in society. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Évora (since 1986) in southern Portugal, is one hour away from the capital Lisbon. This medieval town was built upon centuries of history, living side by side with natural values. The European Network for Sustainable Quarrying and Mining is partner of the event, EUsalt is an official partner of ENSQM.
The very first workshop launching the European Network for Sustainable Quarrying and Mining took place on 9 February, in Spain.
More than 100 representatives from the European Commission, the Spanish government, civil society, and the Spanish and European extractive industries contributed to make the event a success.
The objective was to establish an open dialogue between the above-mentioned stakeholders to identify the challenges and solutions for raw materials extraction in protected natural areas. The workshop particularly tackled the issues related to biodiversity protection and the interpretation of article 6 of the Habitats Directive. The latter deals with the proactive conservation of designated natural areas (the Natura 2000 network) and the principle of non-deterioration. In many EU countries, that interpretation is too narrow, rendering those areas hermetic to any industrial activity.
EuSalt participated to the consultation on Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area - PRIMA - organised by the European Commission.
3 problem statements have been identified as the most relevant ones for Research&Innovation challenges in the field of sustainable food production and water resources management in the Mediterranean area:
- lack of coordination and cooperation between countries and research organisations and duplication of research efforts (64,1%)
- lack of cooperation between academic and non-academic actors (62,8%)
- insufficient investments in R&I (61,2%)
A general consensus ranked PRIMA core objectives: