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EERA Weekly Policy Update
Highlights on climate and energy R&I, policy roundup and funding opportunities 

20 September 2021
In this issue:
  • The EU and the US unite forces to achieve methane emissions reduction
  • EU’s Joint Research Centre and IRENA join forces to improve scenarios for the clean energy transition
  • Von der Leyen: the US and the EU need to close the finance gap together
  • Innovation Radar platform now features LIFE projects
  • €85 million dedicated to the New European Bauhaus
  • Have your say: restoring sustainable carbon cycles
  • Batteries partnership aims at creating an EU innovation ecosystem, enabling zero-emission mobility
  • Plans for an EU carbon removal scheme in the making
  • Commitments for stronger efforts for a clean and efficient energy at the Energy Action Day
  • IEA publishes Key World Energy Statistics 2021
  • Electric appliance standards and labelling are highly effective at reducing energy use, new joint study finds
  • Climate crisis might displace 216 million in next 30 years
     
News
EU Institutions
The EU and the US unite forces to achieve methane emissions reduction

The plan for a global alliance to curb methane emissions was unveiled on 14 September, when leaked documents showed an invitation from the US president to join a Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, co-convened by the EU and US. The goal of the meeting was to agree on the main features of a “Global Methane Pledge” that would be launched before the COP26 summit in November. The US and the EU announced then on Friday 17 the goal of the pledge to cut global methane emissions by almost a third in the next decade. In the field of methane, the European Commission is preparing a new proposal for legislation on methane emissions, planned for publication in December later this year.

More info here and here

EU’s Joint Research Centre and IRENA join forces to improve scenarios for the clean energy transition

The EU Joint Research Centre and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) held a workshop on 10 and 11 September, involving a broad panel of experts active in different sectors, on “Benchmarking long-term scenario comparison studies for the clean energy transition”. The two institutions consider this activity crucial to increase the reliability of scenario outputs and improve the robustness of insights for policymakers. The discussions held during the workshop brought to the surface similarities and differences of various scenario studies, indicating the need for broader agreement on the characteristics and conditions of the clean energy transition and the gap between studies and policy requirements. The experts indicated the elements on which scenario comparisons should focus and how to improve communication of the scenario studies’ results, such as better visualisation tools and scenario grouping.

Read more here
 
Von der Leyen: the US and the EU need to close the finance gap together

During the “2021 State of the Union Address”, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, called on the United States and other more economically developed countries to close the climate financing gap to enhance the chance of success at the COP26 UN climate summit. The President stressed the “essential” importance of climate finance to provide the means “both for mitigation and adaptation” to those developing economies that are the most affected by climate change but the least able to tackle it. While the EU has announced an additional $ 4 billion of climate finance to the already pledged $ 25 billion that will disburse per year until 2027, the awaited $100 billion per year from other developing economies so far did not materialise. “Closing the climate finance gap together – the US and the EU – would be a strong signal for global climate leadership. It is time to deliver.”
Read more here
 
Innovation Radar platform now features LIFE projects

More than one hundred LIFE programme innovations have been included in the European Commission’s Innovation Radar platform for the first time. The platform is a database collecting the most promising EU-funded innovations, currently listing 7600 of them. This development will increase the visibility of LIFE innovations and ease their access to the market and use across different sectors. Moreover, “this should help companies involved in LIFE projects bring their green products, technologies, services and processes to the market, leading to multiple environmental, economic and social benefits” claimed Solon Mias, project manager at the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA).

Read more here
 
€85 million dedicated to the New European Bauhaus

The New European Bauhaus, the European Commission’s initiative aimed at promoting aesthetical, sustainable, and inclusive solutions, will be receiving €85 million for the development of projects between 2021-2022. Funding will come from different EU programmes, such as Horizon Europe, the LIFE programme, and the European Regional Development Fund. In addition, the Commission invites all Member States to use the Bauhaus core values in their territorial strategies, their recovery and resilience plans, as well as the programmes under cohesion policy.  Moreover, the Commission will establish a New European Bauhaus Lab: a “think and do tank” to co-create, prototype and test new tools, solutions, and policy recommendations.

Read more here
 
Have your say: restoring sustainable carbon cycles
The Commission has an open consultation on an Action Plan for restoring sustainable carbon cycles, expected by the end of 2021. The initiative has for objective to develop a long-term vision for sustainable carbon cycles and kick-start the development of sustainable carbon removal and nature-based solutions. In addition, the Action Plan will address how to foster the research and deployment of technological solutions and how to create a competitive market for the industrial capture, storage and use of carbon. In that regard, the Innovation Fund, LIFE projects and Horizon Europe are important tools to support these technologies. The feedback period for this roadmap is open until October 7.
Give a feedback here
Sector-specific news

Batteries partnership aims at creating an EU innovation ecosystem, enabling zero-emission mobility

The “BATT4EU” public-private co-programmed partnership, managed by the European Commission and the European battery community, plans to mobilise and focus R&I resources on developing and delivering the next generation of sustainable batteries. The partnership’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) outlines the six priority areas that need to be faced by the batteries community: raw materials and recycling; advanced materials and manufacturing; battery end-uses and applications; safety; sustainability; coordination. The partnership will address the low level of battery manufacturing in the EU, which hampers the possibilities to develop know-how, processes, skills and supply chains.

Read more here
 
Plans for an EU carbon removal scheme in the making

In a letter of intent addressed to the Council and Parliament’s president, the Commission confirmed its intention to develop a proposal for a carbon removal certification scheme in line with the European Climate Law. By end of this year, the Commission is expected to publish a green paper presenting solutions for the monitoring of carbon removal.  Then, in the course of 2022, it will publish a proposal for a carbon certification scheme, which should be more technical. However, devising the proposal is tricky as there are many predicaments in accounting for carbon removals. First among them is the issue of “permanence” for which policymakers lack the basis to help them define what accounts as concrete carbon offsetting. Another issue relates to the policy design and whether carbon removal targets should be separated from mitigation targets. Overall, the most pressing issue for policymakers is to gain a better understanding of carbon removal, in order to come up with substantial solutions.

Read more here

International Energy News

Commitments for stronger efforts for a clean and efficient energy at the Energy Action Day

On Energy Action Day a broad set of stakeholders including countries, the private sector, cities and international organisations announced significant new initiatives on greening urban energy, the phasing out of oil and gas, and promoting hydrogen as a clean fuel. The virtual event, co-hosted by Denmark, IRENA, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Economic Forum, is organised ahead of the UN High-Level Dialogue on Energy. During the international conference, the Urban Energy Coalition and the Green Hydrogen Compact Catalogue were launched. The former is a forum providing cities with concrete frameworks and tools to implement integrated energy solutions at scale. The latter is a collection of commitment by a wide gamut of stakeholders aiming to accelerate the development of green hydrogen ecosystem and value chain.

Read more here

IEA publishes Key World Energy Statistics 2021

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published the Key World Energy Statistics (KEWS) 2021, a report listing introductory energy statistics such as top-level number across the energy mix by region, both in terms of supply and demand, prices and research budgets, outlooks, energy indicators and definitions. KEWS is part of the IEA’s annual edition of the world’s most comprehensive series of energy databases.

Read more here
 
Electric appliance standards and labelling are highly effective at reducing energy use, new joint study finds

According to an analysis published by the IEA and the Energy Efficient End-use Equipment Technology Collaboration Programme (4E TCP), standards and policy programmes save consumers billions of dollars and avoid hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. The report’s findings are drawn from nearly 400 evaluation studies covering 100 countries, including those with the longest running and strongest appliance policies, such as China, European Union, Japan and the United States. The findings provide an essential evidence that standards and labelling are highly effective policy instruments that bring benefits to consumers as well as lower emissions and lower energy demand. In countries with long-running policies, appliances are now typically consuming 30% less energy than they would have done otherwise.

Read more here and here

Climate crisis might displace 216 million in next 30 years

Findings contained in the new “Groundswell 2.0” report from the World Bank highlight  that at least 216 million people could be displaced from their homes by 2050 as a results of climate change. However, according to the report, the number of affected people could be reduced by as much as 80%, if immediate action is taken. The climate migration “hotspots” will emerge already in 2030. These hotspots will include such regions as Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, South Asia East Asia and the Pacific. 216 million refers to the most pessimistic scenario of future climate change, with a high level of emissions and unequal development. The most optimistic climate-friendly sustainable development scenario in the report while the accounts for 44 million to be  displaced by 2050.

Read more here and here

EU Institutional Agenda
Council of the EU
UN General Assembly, New York,
20-24 September
Agenda available here
General Affairs Council,
21 September
Agenda available here
  • Slovenian presidency priorities
  • Draft agenda for the European Council on 21-22 October
  • Discuss Covid-19 coordination
  • State of play in EU-UK relations
  • Commission letter of intent for draft work programme for 2022
  • Conference on the Future of Europe
Informal Meeting of Transport and Energy Ministers,
21-23 September
Agenda available here
Coreper I,
22 & 24 September
Agenda available here
  • Conclusions on the global approach to Research and Innovation
  • Governance and implementation of the European Research Area
  • Implementation of the updated New Industrial Strategy for Europe
  • Fit-for-55 Package
Working Party on Research,
23 September
Agenda not available yet
Informal meeting of consumer protection ministers,
23-24 September
Agenda available here
European Parliament
ENVI Committee Meeting,
27 September
Agenda not available yet
ITRE Committee Meeting,
27 September
Agenda available here
EERA Events 
#Nuclear Materials

Second Workshop Energy Materials for Innovation (EM4I) Workshop Series – From Lab to Engineering

Time: 13:00-16:00
Location: Online

Information & registration: click here

The second Workshop of the EM4I series, together with the Joint Programme on Nuclear Materials and the Joint Programme on Digitalisation for Energy, will focus on “How to bring innovative ideas and products from the lab to the engineering scale?”, which is a crucial step of the transition to a future sustainable energy system. Various examples of recent up-scaling cases, covering different technologies and materials will be presented during the workshop.
#Smart Cities

Beyond technology: The Clean Energy Transition for climate-neutral, smart, and beautiful cities

Time: 13:00-15:00 
Location: Online
Information & registration: click here


Cities are central in driving the Clean Energy Transition. This event aims to tackle from a cross-cutting perspective the transition challenge that developing climate-neutral, smart, and beautiful cities entails as a key building block towards making the whole of EU climate-neutral. The session aims at making the case for the need to develop transdisciplinary innovation capabilities and incorporate bottom-up approaches as the path to deliver the CET in cities.
#EERA 

The Clean Energy Transition: From Vision to Reality 

Time: 09:00-12:30 
Location: Brussels & Online
Information & registration: click here


Join us in this EERA event, featuring high-level discussions and invited speakers from the EU institutions and Member States/Associated Countries, leading international organisations (e.g., UN IPCC, IEA, IRENA), and prominent research institutions in Europe. The event, conducted in a hybrid mode, will mark the launch of the EERA White Paper offering our overview of the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead as we drive the Clean Energy Transition and make it a reality for the EU and its citizens. 
#Nuclear Materials 

First ORIENT-NM Workshop

Time: 13:00-16:00
Location: tbc
Information & registration: click here


This event is the first step of the open dialogue of the nuclear materials research community with all the relevant stakeholders. The objective will be to discuss the opportunity to develop a potential European partnership on nuclear materials and to progress towards reaching a consensus on its goal and impact.
External Events
#Cities

Positive Energy Districts as Innovation Ecosystems for climate-neutrality

Time: 16:30-18:00
Location: Online
Information & registration: click here

In this Participatory Lab, four cities from across Europe share with you how they are implementing the European Commission’s Mission on Climate-neutral cities. Learn what works, what challenges they face and what impact they are achieving.
 

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