The European Commission is organising an information event on 10 April this year to explain to stakeholders the second call for proposals under its NER300 funding programme. This programme will be launched on 3 April with the intention of finalising it by the end of the year. The meeting will take place in the Charlemagne building in Brussels.
The European Commission announced in December the projects that would receive first round funding under NER300, which is made up of revenue from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. This turned out to be something of a disaster for CCS development, which is one the fund’s prime objectives. €1.2 billion will be awarded to 23 renewable projects, less than the full €1.5 billion available for the round.
Although the fund was intended to be awarded to CCS demos as well as renewable energy installations, first round funding will go only to renewables because no member state was able to guarantee acceptable co-financing for CCS projects. At mid-2012 half a dozen projects were in the running, but these dropped out one by one, until, as the deadline approached, it appeared that only one project, in France, remained. But even this project had to be removed after steelmaker ArcelorMittal dropped out.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for climate action, said that, although a number of good applications for CCS projects had been submitted, the rules of the fund stipulate that the EU can only provide 50% of the financing. "We are basically giving out money, there have to be certain rules that people will have to live up to" she said. "But the good news is there will be a second chance [for CCS] in the second call of the NER300 programme."
– The European Commission on 26 March adopted a consultative paper that launches a public debate on how best to design a new international agreement to combat climate change. The Consultative Communication invites the views of stakeholders on the new agreement, which is to be completed by the end of 2015.
Connie Hedegaard commented: "In Copenhagen, world leaders set a goal of keeping global warming below 2°C to prevent the most severe impacts of climate change. That is good. But as the world is day by day moving away from this target, it is clearly not enough. More action is needed by everybody. An ambitious international agreement in which all major economies commit to take action according to their capabilities is vital if we are to succeed."