EU to fund €9bn into climate action
The European Commission announced on 13 December that it will be funding climate change action with €9bn (US$10.6bn).
The fund is part of the bloc’s External Investment Plan, with the aim to invest in sustainable cities, clean energy, and sustainable agriculture.
The UN announces the news at the climate summit hosted by Emmanuel Macron, The President of France, on 12 December – the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement.
“These kinds of investments are of critical importance if we are to move from aspirations to action. The EU’s plan will scale up much-needed investments across Africa and the EU neighbourhood region,” remarked Miguel Arias Cañete, EU’s Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy.
Mr Cañete said that the fund would lead to the creation of new jobs, and then subsequently the reduction of poverty, improved health, and better access to technology in deprived regions.
The EU’s Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, added that fund intends to support the digitalisation of small and medium-sized companies, which will in effect aid sustainable development and poverty.
The EU and its member states provide the most financial support towards climate change, totalling more than €20bn last year.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.