Climate Change and Clean Energy

Adaptation to climate change

Within the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009–2014, the REC as Fund Operator is managing the implementation of the programme “Enhance Resilience to Climate Change Impacts in Hungary” (www.eea.rec.org). Ten projects are currently being implemented. The establishment of the National Adaptation Geo-information System (NAGiS) is under way. The aim is to develop a multi-purpose geo-information system that can facilitate policy making, strategy building and decision making in relation to the the assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerabilities. Two capacity-building projects are under implementation, providing trainings for local decision makers, NGOs and stakeholders wishing to enhance their knowledge of adaptation needs. Current pilot projects are contributing to climate change adaptation by balancing water resources more effectively through the modernisation of the water network, thus providing sufficient capacity during periods of drought and ample storage capacity in the event of excess rain.

In the framework of Japan Special Fund, the project “Enhancing Climate Resilience in Agriculture in Southern Ukraine” was completed. A study was prepared by national experts on the main challenges related to adaptation to climate change. Gaps and needs were identified in the agricultural sector and discussed at a workshop held in Odessa on November 24–25.

Promoting sustainable energy and GHG emissions reductions

In cooperation with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the Ministry of Environment of the Government of Japan (MoEJ), a seminar was held at the REC on June 6 and 7. The Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) was introduced to participants, and options for low-emission development were discussed by stakeholders from SEE countries and Japanese experts. The seminar served as a platform to promote the JCM as a scheme contributing to CO2 emissions reductions at a global level. At the same time, perspectives and needs related to low-carbon technologies in CEE and SEE were shared. The seminar also provided opportunities to promote networking, cooperation and knowledge sharing among participants.

Under the project “Financing Low-Carbon Refurbishment”, the aim of which was to establish the Revolving Retrofit Guarantee Fund (RRGF) financing facility for residential energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, country reports were prepared and cooperation with banks was continued. The project was closed during 2015, with the final report outlining possibilities for the future.

Within the project “Support for Low-Emission Development in SEE” (SLED), the biggest achievement was the development of modelling software that was used to create recommendations for policy makers for energy efficiency strategies in the electricity and residential building sectors in SEE. The software and project conclusions were developed with the help of international experts, local stakeholders and policy makers, as well as local beneficiaries and experts in the electricity sector. Presentations of the SLED results in SEE countries, which took place during the last quarter of the year, initiated stakeholder dialogue on the development of low-emission policy frameworks through enhanced information and attracted attention towards new energy efficiency measures. The SLED results were also presented at COP21 to high-level officials from UNDP, DG Clima and ADA.

The “Climate Forum” project (www.forumul-climatic.ro/en/), led by REC Romania and supported by EEA Grants 2009–2014 through the NGO Fund in Romania, continued to foster dialogue between academia, industry, public authorities and environmental NGOs, with the aim of promoting a low-carbon economy and a sustainable energy future. Activities carried out in 2015 included a capacity-building study visit to Arendal, Norway; the third meeting of the three project working groups (on energy efficiency; sustainable transport; and communication); and a training for local authorities on communicating climate change.

Supporting international initiatives/processes

The REC is taking an active part in the climate component of the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC): “Climate Change and Security in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Southern Caucasus”, which is financed through the Instrument for Stability of the EU and ADA. During the year, significant progress was made in the preparation of training materials. The final structure of the training has been agreed among the consortium partners. It will include the outputs of two other components of the project — risk assessments in all three target regions; and an adaptation strategy for the Dniester River.

Within the ENVSEC framework, the project “Climate Change — An Emerging Challenge and Security Problem”, financed by Sida, is being implemented in Belarus. The REC team contributed to organising the roundtable “Climate Change and Response Strategies in the Context of Sustainable Development in the Republic of Belarus” on  April 24.

Within the ENVSEC Initiative, activities were were also implemented in the SEE region in the framework of the project “Transforming Environmental and Security Risks into Cooperation in SEE (Phase 2)”. A report on the second national workshop on climate security risks and adaptation, held in Albania, is available here http://www.rec.org/topicarea.php?id=11&section=events&event=33).The REC team contributed to the preparation of the “Regional Stakeholder Consultation Addressing Climate Security Risks and Adaptation Measures in South Eastern Europe”, which took place on June 30 and July 1 in Belgrade, Serbia. A special session on the environmental networks of the Dinaric Arc took place on the second day of the consultation. The publication “Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change” was published (http://www.rec.org/publication.php?id=498) in October.

The REC participated at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), which was held in December in Paris. The REC stand featured many of its recent activities, and REC experts organised a side event in cooperation with REC Caucasus on innovative decision-making tools. The REC also contributed to a side event held in the EU pavilion, addressing potential future low-carbon pathways in four countries in the SEE region.

Climate Change and Clean Energy
AIMING HIGH
The SLED project developed recommendations for policy makers on energy efficiency strategies in South Eastern Europe.