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The European Union Climate Change Action

The EU is committed to become a highly energy-efficient, low-carbon economy, and is therefore at the forefront of international efforts to tackle Climate Change. Building a European Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy is a top priority for the European Commission. As such, the EU has chosen the headship mode of leading by example, being the first region to have passed binding legislation to ensure that ambitious climate and energy targets are met in 2020. These targets are as follows:

  1. 20% Reduction of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) EU emissions below 1990 levels.
  2. 20% of the EU’s energy comes from renewable sources like wind and solar.
  3. 20% improvement of EU’s energy efficiency.

The above-mentioned actions aim to strengthen EU’s energy security by reducing reliance on coal, oil and gas imports, as well as spurring innovation in clean technologies, creating sustainable sources of economic growth and employment. In addition, the EU and its Member States have agreed that at least 20% of the EU budget for 2014-2020 (as much as EUR 180 billion) should be spent in climate-related action. They remain dedicated to scaling-up climate funding in order to contribute their share of the developed countries’ goal to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020 from a wide variety of public and private sources. Furthermore, the EU aims to commit up to EUR 14 billion in grants from the EU budget and European Development Fund over the years 2014-2020 to support climate action in partner countries outside the EU.

Conference of Parties (COP) 21: European Union’s leading role towards Paris 2015

Two major international agreements have been adopted to address climate change: the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The UNFCCC, ratified by 196 countries and the EU, establishes a framework for international cooperation with the ultimate objective of preventing dangerous man-made interface with the global climate system. The Kyoto Protocol was a first step towards reversing the global trend of rising emissions, setting legally binding targets for industrialized countries to reduce their GHG emissions. Nevertheless, this Protocol was not ambitious enough to stop global warming from reaching dangerous levels, and it needed to be succeeded by a stronger United Nations agreement involving climate action by all countries.

The UNFCCC Conference in Paris taking place in December 2015 will be a critical moment for the world to address global warming. A global agreement needs to be reached and will be a defining step on the journey to limit global warming and tackle the effects of climate change. The European Union is calling for ambitious GHG emissions reductions commitments by all countries in order to keep temperature raises within 2 degrees Celsius compared to temperatures during the pre-industrial times. The EU is looking forward to have a global pledge in a protocol that is ambitious, comprehensive and legally binding involving all.

Since 2011, UN’s Climate Conferences have agreed upon rules, institutions and commitments which have opened the way for concrete actions on the ground in the short term. Some of these decisions taken include the EU and some Member States announcing a voluntary climate finance contribution to developing countries amounting to EUR 5.5 billion. It also comprised the establishment of a Green Climate Fund and the provision of support to developing countries’ efforts to adapt to climate change and to strengthen their resilience.

EU Climate Change Action in Namibia

Since 2002 the EU has become a strong supporter of climate actions in developing countries, through the EU’s Global Climate Change Alliance, and the different climate change “windows” in EU regional investment facilities.

Namibia, as a semi-arid country with a climate with variable and unpredictable rainfall patterns, is predicted to be severely affected as a result of Climate Change. The European Union is dedicated to contribute to the national efforts already put in place to the fight against Climate Change. In this regard, the EU is supporting initiatives in the areas of conservation agriculture, rangeland management and renewable energy in view of adaptation to climate change. This assistance has been provided through a variety of organisations ranging from the private sector, UN, parastatals, farmers unions and NGO’s. The overall aim of the different interventions is to enhance Namibia’s climate change adaptation and mitigation in rural areas, through developing, testing and disseminating solutions and practices, implement innovative technologies and energy efficiency solutions.

The budget assigned for the European Union Climate Change adaptation and mitigation projects in Namibia sum a total value of EUR 7.1 million over the next five years. The majority of the EU supported projects include actions to counter land degradation and adapt to climate change variability through the improvement of rangeland management practices and the utilisation of conservation agriculture as a basis for sustainable crop production and improved food security. The EU is also rendering support to strategic national platforms such as the Namibian rangeland management forum, and in the energy sector is funding the production of carbonized encroaching bush briquettes to be used as a form of alternative energy.

The following table lists the projects currently supported by the EU addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation in rural communities of Namibia:

Current EU Climate Change Projects in Namibia

Agriconsult Namibia Adapting to climate change in arid north-western Namibia by combating desertification
Cheetah Conservation Fund Namibia Carbonized Encroaching Bush Briquettes
Namibian Agricultural Union Creation of a coordination unit for the speedy implementation of the National Rangeland Managament Policy and Strategy
U-landshjalp Fran Folk l Folk i Finland (UFF Finland) in partnership with NNF and DAPP Facilitating Climate Change Adaptation and agricultural development of small-scale farming communities in the Kavango Region.
Nyae Nyae Development Founda on Namibia Adapting land use to reduce the vulnerability of indigenous san
people in Nyae Nyae and N=a Jaqna Conservancies to the impacts of Climate change
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Strengthening the capacity of farmers to manage climate related risks in Northern Namibia
Meatco Foundation Rangeland Marketing development support project
Agra Limited Developing and testing a rangeland production on early warning system with livestock farmers in Namibia

For More information on the EU and its contribution to the fight against Climate Change you can visit: index_en.htm


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