"There are some challenges that we can only master by working together – and that includes protecting our global climate," says Chancellor Angela Merkel in her latest video podcast. In the wake of the second European Climate Initiative Conference, the Chancellor declared that the German government aims to use the initiative to identify examples of good practice in Europe, in order to learn from one another and achieve climate goals.
The initiative promotes a wide spectrum of climate projects, from devising socially acceptable structural change in former coal-mining areas to renaturalising moorland. In the 2017 and 2018 calls for project ideas, 150 project outlines were received. In total, the European Climate Initiative is currently supporting 64 projects across the European Union.
The European Climate Initiative is a financing instrument of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The German government aims to use the initiative to foster cross-border climate dialogue, information sharing and an exchange of experience within the European Union. By working together, stakeholders are to push ahead with implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change. Non-governmental organisations, public authorities, non-profit companies, and scientific and educational bodies are eligible to submit their project outlines. The geographical focus is on cooperation with Central, Eastern and Southern Europe.
Networking is important
One major concern of the European Climate Initiative is to promote networking among different European countries in order to foster a knowledge transfer and the sharing of good practices in the field of climate action.
The second European Climate Initiative Conference in Berlin has also breathed life into this goal. It was attended by representatives of almost every project receiving assistance under the initiative.
Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry declared, "We launched the European Climate Initiative because we are convinced that in Europe we are stronger together than we are alone. And that is especially true when it comes to protecting our climate, which is crucially important for our future."
Looking for new ideas
The Federal Environment Ministry has now opened the third call for project ideas for the European Climate Initiative. Project outlines must be submitted by 12 April 2019. To be eligible, projects must accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement within Europe, as well as contributing to the inner European dialogue.
A two-stage process is used to select projects. They must not only help mitigate climate change in Europe, but also enhance European cooperation, with organisations from several EU member states collaborating on projects.
Possible measures and projects can be found in all relevant sectors: energy, industry, transport, private households, industry, trade and services, waste management, agriculture and land use. These sectors can also be combined or addressed under overarching topic areas such as climate-friendly urban development. Education and awareness work relating to climate change and climate change mitigation is another pivotal area of the European Climate Initiative.