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Chris Barrett appointed Executive Director, Finance and Economics at the ECF

Brussels/Berlin: The European Climate Foundation, a leading philanthropic organization with the aim of promoting the transition to a low-carbon economy, is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Barrett as its new Executive Director, Finance and Economics.

Before joining the European Climate Foundation, Chris Barrett was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for three years. Prior to this, he was Chief of Staff to the Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan from 2007 to 2010, and served in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet from 2003 to 2007, culminating in the position of Deputy Secretary of the Policy and Cabinet Group. He began his career as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne in 1992, and has degrees in economics and public policy from the University of Melbourne and Princeton University.

In his new role, Chris will lead an international strategy on the potential and logic of the low-carbon transition from economic and finance perspectives.

Johannes Meier, CEO of the European Climate Foundation, commented: “The necessary public and private investments for a successful global energy transformation will only be made if leaders recognise the enormous economic opportunities that go with it. The European Climate Foundation would like to make a contribution to facilitating this. We are therefore delighted that we were able to attract Chris, with all his experience and expertise, to the European Climate Foundation.”

Picture is available on request.

Contact for media:

Nimali Samarasinha
Media Manager
European Climate Foundation
T: +32 (0) 2 894 9304
M: +32 (0) 492 65 74 28
Nimali.Samarasinha@europeanclimate.org

Katrin Riegger
Head of Communications, Germany
European Climate Foundation
T: +49 (0) 30 847 12 11 96
M: +49 (0) 157 71 33 57 96
Katrin.Riegger@europeanclimate.org

Communications Internship

 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 Strategic Communications Team

The ECF’s Strategic Communications Team is the outreach 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 Strategic Communications Team delivers communications and advocacy services to ECF grantees and partners and builds this capacity in the climate community.

The Position – Communications Internship

The Strategic Communications Team 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.

Intern Responsibilities

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 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.
  • Supporting workstreams aimed at strengthening the outcome of the international negotiations within the UNFCCC.
  • Making full use of IT and new media tools to disseminate the messaging of ECF projects and the work of its grantees further.
  • Supporting the development of the internal communications database at the structural and content level and making sure its contacts are up-to-date.
  • 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.

Experience required

The ideal candidate will have the following practical qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in the mission and values of the ECF.
  • Fast-learning self-starter comfortable in a fast-paced international environment.
  • Professional experience and/or academic background in the fields of communications, 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 and 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 2 February to: employment@europeanclimate.org. Please use the following format in the subject line: CommsInternship_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.

Exercise:

Summarize the key findings of the following report in three tweets.

ECF CEO Johannes Meier Speaks at 5th Anniversary of swisscleantech in Bern

Creating Direction for a Low-Carbon Economy
Please find below a summary of his speech.

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Continuing on a business-as-usual pathway for CO2 emissions will incur extremely risky and irreversible changes to the world’s systems. This is the key message of climate science. These risks are of a particular nature: on the one hand, tipping points can lead to exacerbating changes and repercussions and can threaten the foundation for human existence on Earth. On the other hand, they affect systems like the oceans and their acidity as well as ice sheets in West Antarctica or Greenland, which are unmanageable, as put by William D. Nordhaus, and exempt from economic logic. These risks thus have a moral implication. In order to avoid the most severe risks, there is a need to reduce anthropogenic global warming. Climate-friendly, low-carbon economies are therefore a necessity.

If we take science seriously, the need to move to a ‚New Climate Economy’ – an economy which avoids the key risks to climate change – is non negotiable. However, uncertainty remains as to how such a transition should be modeled. The transition will necessarily touch on and interlink political, social and economic dimensions. Any attempt to approach the transition from only one perspective would be naive.

A systemic approach to the transition is the sweet spot for actors like swisscleantech. With companies being subject to short-term constraints, politicians having to think in politically feasible dimensions, and civil society being highly diversified, it is challenging to find a clear direction across interest groups. Swisscleantech can help create direction, particularly in the light of the persistence of a business-as-usual approach. There are various ways to achieve this. One example would be to convene actors to partake in a serious and evidence-based discourse, in order to discuss the principles of the transition in a sheltered setting. The European Climate Foundation founded Agora Energiewende to this end. Another way is to call attention to progress, or the lack of it. Beyond this, it is important to advocate for the internalisation of externalities, as this is the precondition to most effectively aligning economic forces in the spirit of the transition to a low-carbon economy. At the same time, there is a need to promote the long-term risks of a business-as-usual approach to investors and fiduciary responsibilities of asset owners. Generally, it is essential to highlight the severity of the situation and its long-term implications.

We need to explain in a credible manner how the transition to a low-carbon economy can be achieved. This is also relevant for democracy. Switzerland, Germany and Europe are in the privileged position of being able to manage the necessary transition.

You can visit swisscleantech here.

Green Growth: ECF & European Commission Side Event in Lima

December 8, 15.00-16.30, Room Caral, COP venue

Recent reports such as the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and the UNEP Emissions Gap report warn that current climate action is too slow to prevent dangerous climate change. These reports underline the urgency of increased action in the short and medium term.

Countries have been invited to come forward with their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the global climate agreement by early next year. Development concerns will understandably strongly influence preparations and, for some Parties, could be seen as a barrier to moving forward. It is important, therefore, to consider how all Parties can pursue a green growth path to development and economic growth in the short and medium term, drawing on existing experiences and best practices.

Recently, more attention has been given to the benefits of action (i.e. the New Climate Economy report), and a growing number of countries are considering how to use the preparation of their INDC to scale-up green growth development opportunities. The Green Growth Best Practice Initiative – assessing lessons from experiences of pursuing green growth across all levels of government and all regions – provides valuable input into the climate negotiations under the UNFCCC at this important stage of the negotiations.

The side event will bring together experiences from the EU, other Parties and international organisations and consider how these can contribute to ambitious INDCs. These examples could help give Parties the necessary reassurance that pursuing low-carbon development and economic growth can be mutually supportive.

Speakers:
• Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy
• Ato Kare Chawicha, State Minister for Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ethiopia
• Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive, Climate and Development Knowledge Network
• Dr. Marcelo Mena-Carrasco, Vice-Minister for Environment, Chile
• Simon Upton, Director Environment Division and Chair, Roundtable on Sustainable Development, OECD

Moderator: Bert Metz, European Climate Foundation

Refreshments will be served after the event.

The Emissions Gap Report 2014

The Emissions Gap Report 2014

UNEP’s Emissions Gap Reports inform governments and the wider community on how far the response to climate change has progressed over the past 12 months, and thus how far the world is currently positioned to meet the internationally agreed 2˚C limit to global warming.

This 5th edition comes at a particularly crucial time for climate and energy policy. By the end of the first quarter of 2015, governments are expected to submit their national contributions towards the global climate agreement expected in Paris in December 2015. The discussions in Lima next month are a crucial milestone towards this agreement.

This year’s Emissions Gap Report gives particular attention to the global carbon dioxide emissions “budget” for staying within the 2˚C limit by the end of the century, benefitting from the findings from the latest IPCC reports. It highlights the need to achieve global carbon neutrality by 2055-2070 and reminds that early action towards this goal will decrease both costs and risk. It also updates on the 2020 emissions gap and provides an estimate of the emissions gap expected for 2030.

Please click on this link to access the full report and supporting materials: http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/emissionsgapreport2014/

Brussels Launch of UNEP’s 5th Emissions Gap Report

Brussels Launch of UNEP’s 5th Emissions Gap Report

UNEP launched its latest Emissions Gap Report in Brussels on 19 November. The event was hosted by the ECF.

UNEP’s Emissions Gap Reports inform governments and the wider community on how far the response to climate change has progressed over the past 12 months, and thus how far the world is currently positioned to meet the internationally agreed 2˚C limit to global warming.

This 5th edition is launched at a particularly crucial time for climate and energy policy. By the end of the first quarter of 2015, governments are expected to submit their national contributions towards the global climate agreement expected in Paris in December 2015. The discussions in Lima next month are a crucial milestone towards this agreement.

This year’s Emissions Gap Report gives particular attention to the global carbon dioxide emissions “budget” for staying within the 2˚C limit by the end of the century, benefitting from the findings from the latest IPCC reports. It also updates on the 2020 emissions gap and provides an estimate of the emissions gap expected for 2030.

Speakers at the event included:

• Jacqueline McGlade, Chief Scientist, UNEP
• Tom van Ierland, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Climate Action, European Commission
• MEP Nils Torvalds, Member of the EP ENVI Committee, Vice-Chair of the EP Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development
• Delia Villagrasa, Attachée, Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the EU
• Michel den Elzen, Lead Author, Senior Climate Policy Analyst at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
• Joeri Rogelj, Lead Author, Research Scholar with the Energy Program at IIASA
• Bert Metz, Fellow, European Climate Foundation (Moderator)

The full report as well as supporting materials can be found here: http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/emissionsgapreport2014/

Shutting Down Old Coal Power Plants Can Help Meeting Climate Targets

Shutting Down Old Coal Power Plants Can Help Meeting Climate Targets

Shutting down old and CO2-intensive coal power plants in Germany can help the Federal Government to still meet its climate targets and improve the situation on the German electricity market at the same time. This is the main message of a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), which was commissioned by the ECF and the Heinrich Böll Foundation and presented to the media on 19 November.

By switching off the oldest and most inefficient coal power plants, the price of electricity would rise moderately. Power generation through gas power plants which are essential for a successful energy transition would thus pay off. The EEG-surcharge would drop due to an increased wholesale electricity price.

According to the calculations made by DIW Berlin 23 million tons of CO2 could be saved if hard coal-fired power plants with a capacity of three gigawatts and lignite-fired power plants with a capacity of six gigawatts were taken from the grid in the coming year. The German Federal Government has set a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 by 40 percent compared to 1990. In order not to miss this target, additional emission reduction measures going beyond those already planned are urgently needed.

Building the Future: Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Making Homes Energy Efficient

Energy-Bill-RevolutionHigh energy bills are causing considerable financial hardship in the UK, with millions of people living in fuel poverty. One of the biggest causes of the fuel poverty crisis is the poor condition of the UK housing stock, which is one of the least energy efficient in Western Europe. Improving the energy efficiency of UK homes is an effective way to bring down energy bills, and offers a long-term solution to fuel poverty. In addition, it is important to drive carbon emissions reductions, with buildings responsible for almost 37% of all UK carbon emissions. At the same time, the building insulation market contracted by 22% in 2013, as the installation of cavity wall insulation fell by 46%, the installation of loft insulation fell by more than 87%, and the installation of solid wall insulation fell by 30%, compared with the number of measures installed under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) in 2012. The Energy Bill Revolution is calling for a radical new approach to home energy efficiency. They are calling for all low income homes to be given measures, by 2025, to bring them up to Band C on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and for all other households to be offered 0% interest loans to improve them to an equivalent EPC standard by 2035; delivered as part of a major infrastructure investment programme. This report has undertaken detailed modelling to assess the economic, fiscal, and environmental impacts of this programme. It concludes that the economic case for making the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock a national infrastructure priority is strong.

  • Download the report here
  • Read the press release is here
Europe’s Low Carbon Industries: A Health Check

Europe’s Low Carbon Industries: A Health Check

A new report by EY (Ernst & Young) assesses the market development and state of innovation of a selection of Europe’s low carbon industries compared to those in the rest of the world. Political direction and a targeted industrial strategy can help Europe to maximize its opportunities in these markets that will be worth hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the decade.

  • Download the report here
  • Download the summary here

Launch of the European Climate Foundation’s Energy Price Monitor

The new Energy Price Monitor displays the latest developments of the overall consumer prices for energy in Germany. The index is published on the website of Agora Energiewende on a monthly basis.

When it comes to climate policies, energy prices are one of the central economic drivers. They account for more then one tenth of the living costs. Nevertheless, there still is no generally accepted and easily accessible indicator to measure the development of energy prices.

This prompted the European Climate Foundation (ECF) to develop an energy price monitor, which is based on official surveys. It observes and analyses the development of German households’ energy prices on a monthly basis.

More information: www.agora-energiewende.de/energiepreismonitor