2 of the European Union’s Main Actions to Fight Climate Change

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These are two of the most fundamental projects of the European Union to combat the nefarious effects of climate change.

EU Emissions Trading System

The EU Emissions Trading System, commonly referred to by the acronym EU ETS, is a key action of the European Union’s fight against climate change.

It’s also the Union’s main tool to cost-effectively help reduce the gas emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect. The EU ETS is the fist and biggest major carbon market in the world.

It operates in all 28 countries in the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The system limits gas emissions from over 11,000 installations that are heavy in energy use, including industrial plants, power stations and airlines.

How does it work? The EU ETS works through a system based on a cap and trade principle. The cap represents the total amount of particular greenhouse effect gases that are allowed to be emitted by a certain installation.

The goal is for the cap to be gradually reduced with time in order for the grand total of emissions in the European Union to fall significantly.

A company can receive or buy emission allowances. They can be traded among businesses, but there is a limit on the availability of allowances. After each year, the company has to surrender enough allowances to cover the entirety of its emissions. Otherwise, the European Union imposes substantial penalties.

In the case of a company reducing its emissions, it’s permitted to keep the extra allowances for future coverage. It can also sell them to a business that is in need of allowances.

Innovation Fund

As one of the largest funding programs in the world, the European Union’s Innovation Fund emphasizes on driving clean and innovative low-carbon technologies towards the market.

The fund focuses on industries that are heavy in energy consumption, helping them implement low-carbon processes and have access to clean, cutting-edge technological resources.

The Innovation Fund also supports the generation of renewable energy, as well as the capture, storage and use of carbon. The funds come from the auctioning of 450 million allowances from the EU Emissions Trading System between 2020 and 2030.

The main objectives of the Innovation Fund are creating the right financial incentives for the development of low-carbon solutions, enhancing growth and competitiveness, and supporting all member states.

All in all, the ultimate goal of the Union with all of its environmental actions is a climate neutral Europe by 2050.

The Quick and Basic Guide to Start Understanding Climate Change

featuredimage The Quick and Basic Guide to Start Understanding Climate Change 900x280 - The Quick and Basic Guide to Start Understanding Climate Change

As it is now turning into a full-on crisis, it is unfortunate that many people still don’t understand the most basic aspects about climate change. Don’t be one of them. Let this quick guide be your starting point to take action.

What is happening now because of climate change?

Each year, the average surface temperature of the Earth is increasing and setting new alarming records. The ice sheets don’t stop declining and the glaciers keep on retreating. The oceans register higher acidity levels than ever.

On a global scale, the sea levels are rising at an unsettlingly fast pace. In the last century alone, the sea rose 17 centimeters. It shows no signs of stopping. The main problem, though, is that we could go on for days.

What caused climate change to happen?

Climate change has been a constant on the Earth for as long as it exists. But those changes used to follow natural cycles of warming and cooling. In this day and age, climate change is man-made, and it is deeply destructive.

Scientists agree that the root of the problem is found in the human activities that greatly contribute to the greenhouse effect. To put it simply, gases like methane and carbon dioxide inhabit the atmosphere, trap the heat in the planet and prevent it from escaping.

What will climate change cause next?

Extreme weather events, bringing intense heat or cold, will be more frequent, severe and damaging. The increasing number of heat waves and droughts will much likely devastate poor countries.

Hurricanes will also occur frequently. And by 2100, the sea levels will probably rise up to, at least, 122 centimeters. That disturbing prediction is the most optimistic.

How can you take action?

That is so much you can do. Start by planting trees, reducing your waste and your energy consumption to the maximum, stay informed and updated daily, vote for green political parties and encourage environmental efforts in your community.

You know what to do: get involved, work for the cause and spread the word!