29th Mar 2023

EU draft report ramps up climate ambitions ahead of COP27

  • Wildfires have so far burned some 660,000 hectares of land (Photo: Ricardo Faria)
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The European Union will be pressing major economies to scale up their climate ambitions, according to a document seen by Reuters on Thursday (25 August).

The demand comes ahead of the COP27 summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in November and warns starkly that "global climate action remains insufficient".

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The draft document reportedly says the EU wants "major economies that have not yet done so to revisit or strengthen the targets."

The European Environmental Agency in May said that the EU's overall reduction in 2020 greenhouse gas emissions was 34 percent compared to the base year of 1990.

But it also noted that more needs to be done to meet the EU target of a 55-percent net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The warning comes as the EU faces its worst drought in some 500 years, amid heatwaves and wildfires that have left larges swathes of territory parched.

It also comes amid surging energy prices throughout much of the EU as member states grapple to replace Russian gas, following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Germany is firing up dirty coal-powered plants to help cope with the shortfall.

With Gazprom's Nord Stream 1 running at just 20-percent capacity, natural gas now costs around ten times more than it did last year.

In France, futures increased to €900 per megawatt-hour. And power prices for next year in Germany have also increase by 23 percent to an all-time high of €792 a megawatt-hour, reports Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, an estimated €10m of gas that would likely have gone to Germany is being burned off by Russia every day.

The flare is generating large volumes of carbon dioxide. Rystad Energy, a research firm, estimates some 4.34 million cubic metres of gas are being burned by the flare every day, reports the BBC.

Germany expects coal supply problems this winter

According to a document drawn up by the German economy ministry low water levels have reduced domestic shipping to the point that Germany's temporary shift to coal may be disrupted this winter.

Europe's drought 'may be worst in 500 years'

According to data from the EU's Joint Research Centre, over half of Europe is in danger of drought — and may be suffering its worst drought in 500 years.

'Final warning' to act on climate change, warns IPCC

The United Nations's report — synthesising years of climate, biodiversity, and nature research — paints a picture of the effects of global warming on the natural world, concluding there is "no time for inaction and delays."


Four weeks to COP27 — key issues and challenges

World leaders will meet in exactly four weeks to discuss some of the most pressing issues of climate change — amid escalating geopolitical tensions, and widespread mistrust in the developing world as green finance promises remain unfulfilled.


Dear EU, the science is clear: burning wood for energy is bad

The EU and the bioenergy industry claim trees cut for energy will regrow, eventually removing extra CO2 from the atmosphere. But regrowth is not certain, and takes time, decades or longer. In the meantime, burning wood makes climate change worse.


EU's new critical raw materials act could be a recipe for conflict

Solar panels, wind-turbines, electric vehicle batteries and other green technologies require minerals including aluminium, cobalt and lithium — which are mined in some of the most conflict-riven nations on earth, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, and Kazakhstan.

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