Eight of the European Union’s (EU) member states have called on the EU’s leadership, Brussels, to allocate 25% of its budget to climate change efforts. These funds would be aimed at reducing greenhouse gases to net-zero by 2050, "at the latest."
The eight countries are Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. They collectively announced, in their joint statement of May 2019, that they believe "climate change is a global challenge with profound implications for the future of humanity and our planet."
The group also referenced the European heatwave of summer 2018 as one important reason to aim for zero carbon dioxide (CO2). These recent heatwaves — where temperatures reached almost 50°C in southern Europe — were matched by wildfires and droughts across Northern and Central Eastern Europe. The toll of destruction and death is only matched by the size of the cleanup and repair budgets.
Between 2017 to 2018, the EU’s CO2 output dropped by 2.5% as a result of a decrease in Europe’s use of fossil fuels alongside its gradual transition to renewables. As part of its climate change efforts, the EU dictated that 28 member states will need to source 20% of their energy from renewables by 2020, with 11 countries having already hit this threshold.
The progress made in terms of European renewables was noted at the COP24 climate change conference convened in 2018 in Katowice. It’s been noted by experts around the globe that one key ingredient — more clean and renewable energy — will help the EU achieve its 2050 sustainability objectives.
It was projected that if Europe continues on its current renewable trajectory, then solar will become the dominant power source in its energy mix with an adoption rate of 62%. This was followed by wind power at 32%.
As the renewable energy sources are gradually introduced, the levels of pollution will simultaneously drop. It is predicted that between 2015 to 2050, CO2 it will be reduced by up to 90% from 1990 levels.
Sun Investment Group (SIG) is a solar energy development and investment management company, which manages 15% of the Polish photovoltaic (PV) market. It also operates in neighboring Lithuania, with an additional focus on both the Spanish and Italian solar energy sectors.
Following the EU’s most recent climate change announcements and the COP24 findings, the SIG issued statements pointing to a "strategy for success" which is not as visible as it should be: if solar continues to be legislatively backed by politicians and is adopted quickly enough by developers and investors, then there is a significant chance that it could majorly contribute to Europe’s zero-emission future.
According to SIG Chief Business Development Officer, Andrius Terskovas, "the findings from COP24 show that the eight EU countries calling for zero emissions by 2050 are demonstrating the much-needed leadership to tackle the dramatic problems of climate change." He added that, "the EU’s allocation of 25% of its budget toward climate change would definitely help Europe change its energy sector much quicker than anticipated. We hope this funding would lead to a number of self-sustainability initiatives including the infrastructure for large-scale electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, as well as financial support and legislation for renewable energy businesses to help bring the development of their projects up to EU industry standards."
On May 16, EU leaders met in Sibiu, in Romania, in order to discuss major issues facing the Union such as Brexit. Increased funding is one of the mechanisms used to address the issue over the coming years.
The SIG was founded in 2011 as an investment management and development company focused on solar energy assets within investment-grade markets. It has extensive experience in developing solar power projects across Central Eastern Europe — for example, the SIG has 109 PV projects in its portfolio under management and construction in Poland.