news 2

asdf

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.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.13.39

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.

Part time IT Support – Brussels

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 to mitigate climate change. The ECF is funded by major multi-year commitments from donors in Europe and the United States. 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.

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 position – IT Support (Part time: 16 hours/week flexible)
ECF is looking for IT Support (ideally a student) to assist the IT responsible with desktop support, troubleshooting desktop hardware (Macintosh)/software problems, and carrying out projects as assigned in a culturally diverse environment.

Required:
• Proficient in Microsoft Office 2011 (mac), OS X
• Ability to troubleshoot common hardware/software issues
• Ability to meet deadlines and adjust to changing priorities
• Ability to follow instructions and work autonomously, but also able to recognize when you are in over your head
• Ability to quickly gain new skills and knowledge when faced with new challenges
• Attention to detail
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills (English)
• Ability to document and revise existing manuals and other supporting documents
• Ability to diagnose computer problems and discern what level of support is needed when a problem is presented
• Work as part of a team in stressful situations; maintain composure and sense of humour in the face of heavy workload and constant interruptions
• Able to show respect to other cultures and work in a culturally diverse environment
• Be prepared to work flexible hours, when needed
• Other duties as assigned
• A BSc education or similar experience

Location: Brussels, Belgium
Start date: As soon as practicable, at the latest 1st of March 2015
Compensation: Competitive
Duration: One year contract, with possibility of extension
To apply: Please send your CV and cover letter in English to employment@europeanclimate.org. Please indicate ´Recruitment – IT Support´ in the Subject line. Candidates must be in possession of work permit in case applicable. Telephone calls will not be forwarded to the recruitment team.

Application deadline: 4 January 2015

Operations Manager

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 to mitigate climate change. The ECF is funded by major multi-year commitments from donors in Europe and the United States. 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.

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 Operations Manager will be reporting to the ECF COO.

Name Programme/department: Strategic Communications Department

The Operations Manager will be responsible for day-to-day operations in the Communications Department. Reporting to the ECF COO, this position assists the Executive Director Strategic Communications, ensuring organizational effectiveness in the Strategic Communications department by providing guidance for the financial and operational functions. Serving as a member of the Strategic Communications Team this position is also part of the ECF Operations Representatives Team and will interact with the ECF Back Office team. 

The Operations Manager will be responsible for the issues outlined below:

  • Processes – Ensure that ECF processes and policies are applied in the Strategic Communication Department. Improve processes and policies in support of organizational goals. Tracking the areas for improvement and find solutions.
    • Strategy and planning: Contribute to short and long-term organizational planning and strategy as a member of the Strategic Communications team. Assist in the development of strategic plans for operational activity. Implement and manage operational plans.
    • Evaluation and Monitoring: monitor and evaluate overall progress and sustainability of the projects’ results. Develop progress indicators. Provide input for annual and other reports. Is the interface of the Communications department with the ECF Planning & Evaluation Manager.
    • Team Management: Drive initiatives in the team that contribute to long-term operational excellence.
  • FinancialReview financial statements and data. Utilize financial data to improve efficiency. Prepare and control operational budgets. Assist the Executive Director Strategic Communications in creating annual organizational budget and monitoring cash flow. Manage grants in the ECF Grant Management database. Track the areas for improvement and find solutions. Is the interface of the Communications department with the ECF Financial department.
  • Programme/ Project Management: coordinate and supervise the planning, procurement, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation, programme and project procedures. Ensure efficient operations to support and facilitate the programme goals. Tracking the areas for improvement and find solutions.
  • Human Resources – Working with the Executive Director Strategic Communications to plan the use of human resources. Assist in recruitment and placement of required staff; establishment of organizational structure; delegation of tasks and accountabilities. Establish work schedules. Monitor and evaluate performance in partnership with the Director. Tracking the areas for improvement and find solutions. Is the interface of the Communications department with the ECF HR department.
  • Communication: Facilitate the communication within the team, between the team and support services and with suppliers.
  • Coordination and SupervisionCoordinate, manage and monitor the workings of various files in the department.

Key competencies and characteristics

  • University degree in business administration, management or related field
  • At least 5 years experience in project management or operations management
  • Knowledge of financial and accounting principles and practices
  • Knowledge of contractual and administrative principles
  • Proven background in monitoring/ performance assessment
  • Excellent communications, active listening and social perceptiveness skills
  • Works well under pressure and to deadline
  • Ability to manage time and varied workload through prioritization
  • Honest and trustworthy
  • Collaborative working style
  • Flexible
  • Fluency in written and spoken English 

Location: Brussels

Start date: As soon as practicable

Compensation: Competitive

To apply: Please send your CV and cover letter in English to employment@europeanclimate.org. Please indicate ´Recruitment – Operations Manager´ in the Subject line. Telephone calls will not be forwarded to the recruitment team. All candidates will however receive a written reply. 

Application deadline: 14 December 2014

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