In a speech delivered at the European Energy Forecast Summit (Feb 6), ECF CEO Johannes Meier describes Europe’s dilemmas in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, particularly with regard to the current debate over the 2030 climate and energy package. He argues for a broader notion of competitiveness when trying to tackle the challenge of balancing competitiveness, security of supply, and sustainability.
The Premier Cercle conference was headlined by Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, and featured other prominent policy makers and experts on energy and power.
The European Climate Foundation (ECF) was established in 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to promote climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and to help Europe play a stronger international leadership role in mitigating climate change. The ECF is part of the international ClimateWorks Network (CWN) that shares goals, strategies and resources to address the global challenge of climate change mitigation as part of a global network of aligned organisations. It is funded by major multi-year commitments from donors in Europe and the United States. The ECF team is a highly dynamic group of individuals, combining ambition and passion with a rigorous, results-oriented and analytic approach to work. The ECF’s culture is one of intensity, enthusiasm, and mutual support.
The Energy Strategy Center
The Energy Strategy Center (ESC) is the communications unit of the European Climate Foundation. Its role is to act as a center of expertise for communication on climate change. Its objective is to help create political, media and public endorsement for strong action to address climate change at an international, national and sector level. It applies its communications expertise and resources to ensure that climate change issues are objectively and accurately reported and debated in the public space. The ESC delivers communications and advocacy services to ECF grantees and partners and builds this capacity in the climate community.
The Position – Communications Internship
The ESC is currently accepting applications for an enthusiastic individual to gain professional experience in climate change communications as a “Communications Intern”. This is an exciting opportunity for a graduate/young professional with a sincere interest in climate and energy issues and the way they are interpreted and reported in the media. As part of the Media team, the candidate will work in the ECF’s Brussels Office in support of all programmes and projects of the ECF.
Assignments can vary depending on the strategic needs of the organisation, but the intern’s responsibilities will include some of the following tasks:
Working with the ESC’s Media team to support the communications and media needs of the ECF and its grantees.
Contributing to the development and delivery of effective outreach strategies to drive progressive EU policy-making in the climate and energy field.
Making full use of IT and new media tools to disseminate the messaging of the ECF, its projects and those of its grantees further.
Taking ownership of the ESC’s internal communications database, making sure its contacts are up-to-date and developing it further to ensure it delivers on the communications needs of the ECF’s programmes and projects.
Supporting a large business-focused communications campaign around a major global scientific report on climate change.
Monitoring of the news agenda and regular reporting on coverage.
Maintaining a dynamic calendar of ECF activity and external events to enhance communications planning.
Planning, promotion and coordination of conferences and events.
Other ad hoc research work and administrative tasks.
The ideal candidate will have the following practical qualifications:
Demonstrated interest in the mission and values of the ECF and ESC.
Fast-learning self-starter comfortable in a fast-paced international environment
Professional experience and/or academic background in the fields of communications, IT, energy, environmental issues, EU/international affairs or public policy.
Media-savvy with proven experience in writing/editing.
Excellent IT skills and up to speed with the latest online communication tools.
Displays enthusiasm to help reframe the public and media debate around the issue of climate change.
Strong project management skills
Appreciates the vital role of administrative tasks.
Ability to work both in a team and independently.
Superior English written and verbal communication skills are essential; knowledge of other EU languages welcome.
What we offer
With this opportunity, we offer:
An exciting international working environment
Valuable first-hand professional experience and development
On the job mentoring to help you develop your skills
An introduction to the ECF’s vast network of connections in the field
A sense of satisfaction from contributing to the global climate debate
Compensation in line with internship opportunities at EU institutions
Temporary contract of 6 months
How to apply
Please send a CV, a short cover letter in English, explaining why you think you would be suited to the role, as well as your response to the below exercise by Wednesday, 19 Feburary 2014 to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the following format in the subject line: ESCCommsInternship_Firstname_Surname. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Candidates must be in possession of valid work permit for Belgium and available to start immediately.
The European Climate Foundation (ECF) is looking for a trainee to work with the Germany Programme. The Germany Programme is developing and implementing ECF’s strategy in Germany. It is working closely with ECF’s European network as well as partners in civil society, business, Parliament and public authorities.
The selected candidate will join ECF at a time where the German “Energiewende” is at the heart of ECF’s strategy. He/she will work closely with ECF’s staff in Berlin in managing grantees relationships. In specific he/she will
review grant proposals and evaluate grantee reports,
support the strategic alignment of ECF’s Germany programme,
draft and edit documents, reports and presentations,
manage foundation-initiated projects such as meetings, contracts and reports,
ensure smooth collaboration with ECF’s communication team,
provide general administrative support (approximately 20% of working time)
The trainee will get in depth insights in ECF’s different programme areas, the opportunity to build a network and learn about the work of civil society organisations through collaborating with ECF’s grantees and understand the instruments of strategic grant making, about processes and management of an international foundation.
We seek candidates that actively generate and implement ideas for programme improvement, and offer great possibilities for professional development and an excellent work atmosphere. The ideal candidates should embody the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:
relevant work experience or academic background in the fields of energy, climate, environmental studies or public policy,
demonstrated interest in the mission and values of ECF,
good written and verbal communication skills,
ability to work well under pressure, take initiative and be a creative problem-solver, to prioritize and juggle diverse tasks,
ability to work well in a team and independently,
German native speaker level, fluency in English
experience in working with NGOs is desirable.
Start date: Preferably 01-03-2014 or asap. First round of interviews will take place mid February, second round end of February (if necessary). Duration: twelve months Compensation: approx. € 1,000 net Workplace: Berlin, Germany
The European Climate Foundation was established in 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to promote climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and to help Europe play a stronger international leadership role to mitigate climate change. The ECF is part of the international ClimateWorks Network that shares goals, strategies, and resources to address the global challenge of climate change mitigation with a global network of aligned organizations.
In support to the EU Climate Policies team, the qualified and motivated candidate will interact closely and actively with the team.
Tasks will include:
Research on and monitoring of current EU climate and related policy developments,
Support to the grant-making administrative process and other ad hoc tasks in support to the team,
Hands-on support in identifying, managing and implementing public affairs projects in support of the ECF and its grantees and partners,
Administrative support and assistance in day-to-day operations.
Only candidates with the following profile will be considered:
At least a Masters degree in EU law, politics, environmental science, or economics,
Previous experience in EU affairs, particularly climate / environment policy,
Fast-learning self-starter comfortable in a fast-paced international environment,
Strong commitment to environmental sustainability demonstrated through past studies, volunteer work or professional experience,
Excellent English; other European languages an asset.
Start date: 17 February 2014 (or a.s.a.p. after that date) for a period of six months Compensation: similar to that of internships in European institutions (Commission, Council and Parliament). Workplace: Brussels (Candidates must be in possession of work permit for Belgium in case applicable.)
If you are interested, please send a CV (no Europass CV) and short covering letter to email@example.com no later than 15 February 2014. Please type the position and your last, first name as the subject line of your email. Please don’t contact us, only short-listed candidate will be contacted. Thank you for your understanding.
The debate over European Union climate and energy goals for 2030 is underway after the European Commission laid out its vision on January 22. The package included a communication on the policy framework for 2030, a report on the drivers of energy prices and a legislative proposal to reform the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.
The Commission proposed a binding 2030 target of cutting EU domestic emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels, and a goal of growing the share of renewables in final EU energy consumption to at least 27%. No energy efficiency target was proposed, but the Commission confirmed its commitment to consider this during the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive in June 2014.
The Commission called for an end to efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of transport fuels under the Fuel Quality Directive, a move that increases future access to the EU market for high-carbon fuels such as tar sands. Targets and support measures for biofuels from food crops should be scrapped after 2020, it recommended.
The headline targets are in line with the Commission’s 2050 low-carbon economy roadmap from 2011, although at the lowest end of the range. The pathways described in this roadmap were in turn at the lowest end of the 80-95% emissions reduction range that formed the EU’s long-term objective for 2050. This objective was derived from the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the level of reductions developed countries need to achieve to have a 50% chance of keeping the average global temperature rise below 2°C.
NEXT STEPS: The Commission’s proposals will be debated between EU Member States at the European Summits of March and June 2014 and in the European Parliament. The level of ambition demonstrated by the European institutions also plays into the international debate, during preparations for a new global agreement on climate change, to be signed in Paris in 2015. The Commission therefore calls for an EU decision on at least the headline emissions target by the end of 2014.
The European Climate Foundation believes the proposed package represents an important baseline for the 2030 debate. The ECF will work with its partners throughout 2014 and beyond to ensure the EU’s climate objectives put member states on an economically sustainable pathway to a low-carbon future and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that science shows are necessary.
In this two-part interview in European Energy Review, ECF CEO Johannes Meier describes the transition to a decarbonised economy as a huge opportunity for the EU to set an example for the rest of the world. Says Johannes, “Our ability to innovate, to drive down costs in the large European market, and to manage the transition in a complex group of democracies can provide a reference point for China and India.”
Warsaw, 18 November 2013 – Today, a group of 27 scientists from across the world join forces to address the coal industry’s false claim that “high-efficiency coal” is a climate solution. In a joint statement, the scientists explain why new coal without carbon capture and storage technology (CCS) would mean dramatically overshooting the agreed 2°C global warming limit. The statement is a direct response to the controversial International Coal and Climate Summit, which the World Coal Association (WCA) hosts in parallel to the UN climate negotiations.
In a joint statement titled “New unabated coal is not compatible with keeping global warming below 2°C,” 27 leading scientists from across the globe rebut the claim that “high-efficiency coal” is a low-emissions technology.
In six concise points, the scientists make clear that releasing into the atmosphere the more than 2,000 gigatons of CO2 from known coal reserves would dramatically overshoot the remaining global carbon budget of about 1,000 gigatons CO2. This comes on top of oil and gas reserves accounting for more than 1,600 gigatons.
“We are not saying there is no future for coal,” says Professor P.R. Shukla of the Indian Institute of Management, “but that unabated coal combustion is not compatible with staying below the 2°C limit, if we like it or not.”
The false claims about “high-efficiency coal” as a low-emissions technology were made in the recent Warsaw Communiqué, in which the WCA calls for “the immediate use of high-efficiency low-emissions coal combustions technologies as an immediate step in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.” This is likely to be repeated at a controversial two-day coal summit, which the WCA hosts in Warsaw in parallel with the climate change negotiations at COP 19.
According to Dr. Bert Metz, former co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group on Climate Change Mitigation, “New or retrofitted coal plants without CO2 capture and storage will have a lifetime of 40-50 years. We need to dramatically reduce emissions over the next 40 years. That is not possible with unabated coal.”
Metz adds, “Alternatives to fossil fuels are already available and affordable. It is therefore up to the coal industry to show that coal-fired plants with CCS can compete with other zero-carbon options.”
The group of scientists welcomes the recent trend among financing institutions and regulatory agencies to rein in unabated coal, but makes clear that more efforts are needed.
Professor William Moomaw of the Fletcher School at Tufts University says, “The trend of future coal use is changing rapidly. The World Bank, U.S. development assistance, and the U.S. Export-Import Bank will no longer finance or support new unabated coal power plants internationally, except in rare cases. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed carbon dioxide emission standards that rule out unabated coal power plants altogether. The European Investment Bank and Scandinavian countries have taken similar steps.”
18 November 2013 – Renée Bruel, ECF Senior Associate, Energy Efficiency, appeared today on the TV programme “Koffietijd” (“Coffee Time”) on Dutch channel RTL4. Using energy-efficient vacuum cleaners as an example, Renee explained how the ECF’s work on standards and labels can have a great impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions in Europe.
Watch the programme here (in Dutch; Renee’s segment starts at 25:43).
Tuesday, 3 December
9:00 – 12:00 Square Brussels Meeting Centre
(Rue Mont des Arts, 1000 Brussels)
Senior policy makers, opinion leaders, journalists, board-level executives, business associations, and civil society representatives are invited to join the ECF at the launch of our new report, From Roadmaps to Reality, and to share their views on the questions raised in it.
The event will feature a panel discussion with:
Mechthild Woersdoerfer, Head of unit A.1, DG Energy, European Commission
Jacques de Jong, Clingendael International Energy Programme
Klaus Willnow, Director Innovation Cooperations, Siemens
Brigitte Bay, Head of EU Regulatory Affairs, Dong Energy
Jason Anderson, Head of European Policy Office, WWF
From Roadmaps to Reality describes how the current EU energy framework can be improved to support the power sector towards full decarbonisation, in line with the Energy 2050 Roadmap analysis.
The report was developed by the ECF, E3G, RAP, and ClientEarth in cooperation with a large group of business, NGO, and academic stakeholders.
It finds that a fully integrated Internal Energy Market in combination with a functioning Emissions Trading System is the most cost-effective and sustainable pathway to decarbonisation.
However, policy makers need to take bold action to turn this vision into reality, by driving physical interconnections, activating the demand side, regionalising system operation, and steering investments from high- to low-carbon assets. At the same time, well-designed market interventions to support renewable technologies, energy efficiency and resource adequacy remain necessary.
The report concludes that EU governments should work towards a stronger EU energy framework that aligns market liberalisation and decarbonisation objectives, sets clear governance structures - including on a regional level - and adds delivery mechanisms to targets in the 2030 climate and energy package.