Local authorities can showcase initiatives that can drive global change.
From the electrification of transport to the installation of carbon capture and storage at the city’s waste incinerator, Oslo is indeed one of the front-running cities in reaching net zero as soon as possible.
- Cities play a key role in paving the way for action at national and international levels.
- Key emitters in cities like waste incineration, construction, and transport all have implementable solutions to quickly decarbonise.
- The carbon footprint of cities’ built environment must account for both operational and embodied carbon.
Working from experiences on the ground, where proofs of concept come to life, and scalability can be tested, it is indeed at local level that a large part of the impact on climate policy and decision-making can be had. For that reason, Bellona remains closely engaged with several cities, like Amsterdam (NL), or Copenhagen (DK), as well as Oslo (NO), to ensure efforts are effective and lessons can be escalated to higher levels of decision-making.
Related focus areas
Publications related to focus areaAll publications
Embodied Carbon Terms of Reference Report – Establishing a common framework of understanding for low-carbon construction materials in Europe
What truly is “low-carbon”? We keep hearing that, to align with the EU decarbonisation goals, society needs to switch to “low-ca...
Consultation Response: Roadmap for the reduction of whole life carbon emissions of buildings in the EU
Bellona welcomes the Commission’s initiative to develop a roadmap for reducing whole life carbon (WLC) emissions in buildings, as part of the Renovation Wave. With the status of current EU policies, Bellona believes that developing complementary policy is needed. There is still a gap between what the current EU policies can achieve in terms of environmental impact of buildings and construction products, and the decarbonisation goals of the EU.
Consultation Response: Response to the Call for Evidence on the new product priorities for Ecodesign for Sustainable Products (ESPR)
We welcome this Call for Evidence on the product priorities for the ESPR and the ongoing work to ensure that the EU policy framework reflects the true cost of all products. As noted in our consultation response to the Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI), it’s important to further initiatives that we strengthen sustainability across a wide range of instruments and make both the environmental and climate impacts of products visible.
Consultation Response – REPowerEU chapters in the Recovery and Resilience Plans
Together with other decarbonisation strategies, REPowerEU chapters in policies such as the Recovery and Resilience plans should be designed to kickstart additional renewable energy deployment and focus on energy efficiency to create a more resilient and clean energy system. Boosting energy efficiency, and supporting key cross-border infrastructure and renewable generation needs to be prioritised instead of investments in fossil gas and circumventing basic sustainability criteria.
We have defined 121 solutions that our experts believe will be important to cut emissions, and reaching the 2050-targets of the Paris Agreement. These solutions are divided into seven categories, and all of them depend on five fundamental requirements that have to be in place to cut emissions all over the world.
Waste incineration and Carbon Capture and Storage Position Paper
Waste reduction, separation, recycling and sorting of residual waste are all needed to reduce emissions and environmental impacts in the industry. That said, carbon capture and storage can also reduce emissions in the remaining waste incinerators that will be operational in the decades to come and should be a requirement for their operation.
Briefing: Defining Low Carbon and Renewable Gas
As efforts to decarbonise our economy and energy systems pick up, we are seeing an increased reliance on decarbonized fuels, gas in particular – often times referred to as “renewable” and “low-carbon” gases. While low carbon intensity gases and fuels can contribute on the path to net-zero by 2050 – the terminology is confusing, with no common definition to determine when in fact a gas or fuel is renewable or low-carbon.
Policy Brief : Building Back Greener
In this Policy Brief, Bellona outlines what we consider six areas key to enabling a just, equitable and effective transition to a net-zero industry. Crucially, it needs to be ensured that the government’s current goal to ‘build back better’ fulfils the ambition of building back greener.
Consultation Response – Roadmap for the EU ETS revision
The EU ETS covers a range of sectors essential to the transformation towards a low-carbon, net-zero economy. The EU ETS must recognise Europe’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. Bellona Europa believes that the EU ETS’s revised parameters must be designed carefully to ensure that the scheme robustly supports the rapid decarbonisation of the economy foreseen for the next 3 decades.
Consultation Response – Sustainable Products Initiative
Bellona Europa welcomes the Sustainable Product Policy Initiative’s intention to assess the true environmental impact of products and correct existing market failures which do not take into account their externalities. Many externalities related to manufactured goods, such as climate impacts, are significant yet not taken into account. internalising climate impacts would allow steel, cement and chemicals industries to create new markets and pursue more ambitious climate action strategies.
Position Paper: All that the NRMM Regulation isn’t.
Regulations on Non Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) are currently under revision by the European Commission and the European Parliament due to covid-19 crisis. In our Position Paper "All that the NRMM Regulation isn't and what it could be" we highlight how the development of new technologies for construction machinery opens up an opportunity for the EU to take the lead in the innovation of the sector. If only the EU would be willing to take the leadership.
Zero Emission Construction Sites: Status 2019
Construction is a key industrial sector, yet climate change and air pollution are critical threats to be addressed, with severe warnings from scientists. The construction industry therefore needs to evolve and contribute towards the shift to a sustainable society. Conventional methods currently contribute to both climate and air pollution. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
4 Easy Steps to Identify Greenwashing
Reality Check – “Electric Vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel cars”
Understanding our Future
Climate change is happening. Human activity has caused and continues to contribute to towards it; the current and projected severity of its impacts ha...
Construction Site Machinery in the Clean Vehicles Directive
The ongoing recast of the EU Clean Vehicles Directive (CVD) offers a unique opportunity to create this market demand by extending public authorities’ procurement obligations to construction site machinery and equipment. While the scope of the existing legislation has to date been limited to light- and heavyduty road vehicles, there is a clear rationale to expand its provisions to non-road mobile machinery in order to further reduce urban dwellers’ exposure to health damaging levels of air and noise pollution. This paper provides guidance on how to include construction machinery within the scope of the Clean Vehicles Directive.
Zero Emission Construction Sites: the possibilities and barriers of electric construction machinery
This paper takes a closer look into the potential of electrified construction site machinery, the solutions which exist today, the current policy and market advances in this regard, and goes on to provide some forward looking policy recommendations, drawing on EU legislation that is undergoing reform, and pending transposition at national levels.
Zero Emission Construction Sites: The possibilities and barriers of electric construction machinery – Deep Dive
Construction is a fundamental component of human civilisation. It lies at the heart of economic and social development. In fact, the construction industry generates roughly 9% of European GDP and accounts for 18 million jobs. In spite of this, construction sites are also a major source of environmental and human health damage throughout all aspects of the construction process. Combined with increasing urbanisation trends and a fast-growing global population, it goes without saying that construction is here to stay. This calls for the adoption of timely policies and measures at the local-, national- and EU levels to encourage the transition to zero emission technologies and processes across the full construction supply chain.
How EU Member States roll-out electric-mobility: Electric charging infrastructure in 2020 and beyond
Sufficient publicly accessible charging infrastructure is a key enabler for the accelerated uptake of electric cars. This briefing by the Platform for Electro-Mobility analyses the current and planned future roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in European Member States, based governments’ plans (National Policy Frameworks) submitted to the European Commission as part of the implementation of the EU Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive.
Reaction Paper on the Clean Vehicles Directive recast
The Platform for Electro-Mobility, of which Bellona is a founding member, welcomes the European Commission (EC) proposal to amend Directive 2009/33/EU on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road vehicles in public procurement (or so-called Clean Vehicles Directive), and considers it holds potential to set the transport sector on a course to swift decarbonisation and improved air quality in urban centers. This paper calls on the European Parliament and Member States to build upon the Commission's proposal and deliver a bolder text with higher procurement targets and broader scope, while ensuring that this does not lead to a reduction of the level and quality of public transport services.
Financing Resilient Electric Recharging Infrastructure
In this paper the Platform for Electro-Mobility suggests how the European Commission and Member States can play a key role in stirring investments towards the deployment of future-proof recharging infrastructure. The recommendations are divided into three main categories, namely 1) private domain: buildings; 2) public charging points in urban areas; and 3) electrification along and beyond the TEN-T network. Having lead the Platform’s infrastructure-related work, Bellona has brought together the platform's members in producing this well-timed paper: which comes in the lead up to the European Commission's Mobility Package (9 November 2017), set to contain a European Action Plan for Alternative Fuels Infrastructure.
Rethinking the cost of conventionally fueled road transport
Poor air quality, largely resulting from conventionally fueled road transport, is Europe’s largest environmental health hazard, claiming thousands of lives each year. In its newly launched policy brief, Bellona explores the heavy yet unaccounted for human health costs from the fossil car industry and estimates that if these were to be paid by car makers themselves, we would see a doubling in ICE cars price tags. Our conclusions are simple: electro-mobility is the only viable cost-effective approach to drastically reducing damaging air pollution while safeguarding human health.
Bellona response to EC consultation on the revision of Clean Vehicles Directive
The European Commission has conducted a public consultation as part of the revision process of Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road vehicles (Clean Vehicles Directive). Bellona shares its views on the topic of public procurement and clear definitions of ‘clean vehicles’ in this response.
Accelerating Electric Recharging Infrastructure Deployment in Europe
The Platform for Electro-mobility, of which Bellona is a founding member, has today, 28 November 2016, launched a new paper on ‘Accelerating Electric Recharging Infrastructure Deployment in Europe’. Bellona has brought together all 24 members of the Platform, from across industries and transport modes, in producing this well-timed paper: which comes just as EU Member States are delivering national plans for their implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (AFI) Directive and just two days prior to the release of the Commission’s Energy Union Winter Package.
The Energy Union Strategy: a plug-in plan for making Europe the world’s leader in electro-mobility
The Platform for Electro-mobility, of which Bellona is a founding member, has launched its new paper 'The Energy Union Strategy: a plug-in plan for making Europe the world's leader in electro-mobility'. This paper identifies measures to ensure that Europe will be the leader on a fast and effective transition to electro-mobility.
Bellona response to EC consultation on CO2 emission performance standards for light duty vehicles
The European Commission has conducted a public consultation as part of the revision process of the EU regulations setting CO2 emission performance standards for new cars and vans (together referred to as light duty vehicles (LDVs)). Bellona shares its views on the topic of fuel economy targets and the uptake of zero-emission vehicles in this response.
BellonaBrief: Brexit Implications on Climate, Energy and Environment
On 24 June 2016 the United Kingdom voted 52% to 48% in a referendum to leave the European Union. Many resources are now likely to be diverted from running the EU and progressing important policies toward instead managing and negotiating the referendum implications. While many uncertainties and questions remain to be addressed, one thing remains certain: Bellona has championed environmental and climate protection in Europe from outside EU membership for over 20 years and will continue to do so. While domestic implications for the UK remain unclear, NGOs’ voices in Europe will continue to be heard.
Electro-mobility Platform Recommendations Paper on Decarbonising Transport through Electro-mobility
Electro-mobility offers an unequalled solution to make Europe’s transport more efficient, less dependent on imported energy, low carbon, clean and quiet. Specifically, the electrification of surface transport will enable Member States to meet their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2030; and addresses the public health crisis arising from urban air pollution.
BellonaBrief: Attaining an interoperable EV recharging infrastructure in Europe
2016 will be a decisive year in terms of EU Member States’ preparatory process for the implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (AFI) directive. In fact, by November 2016, Member States will have to have submitted their so-called National Policy Frameworks (NPFs), outlining how they aim to go about the directive’s transposition. The months leading up to November will therefore be crucial for creating a common understanding, among Member States as well as EU policy makers, of how best to implement the directive and how to overcome technical and non-technical barriers to interoperability. This brief, therefore, provides a number of recommendations for the interpretation of the AFI directive so as to ensure its uniform implementation across EU countries. By drawing on best practices and lessons learnt from the Norwegian EV success story, this brief also shares Bellona’s recommendations for overcoming interoperability issues central to electro-mobility, namely: standard- and fast-charging infrastructure, and the potential synergies with electric infrastructure already in place for public transport; smart charging; electricity roaming; payment solutions; and parking schemes.
BellonaBrief: Why an electrified transport sector needs to form a core component of the Energy Union
Transport constitutes a large and untapped sector for significant amount of cost effective mitigation potential. Meeting the EU’s target of reducing CO2 emissions from transport by 60% and of eliminating the use of fossil fuels in cars by 2050 will, however, necessitate significant and immediate efforts. Bellona sees electric vehicles (EVs), in particular, as representing one of the most promising technologies for cutting CO2 emissions, reducing petroleum reliance and improving local air quality. EVs will, furthermore, help to optimise the ever increasing use of renewables and increase the predictability of the electricity sector, as EV batteries can be re-used to store and manage wind and solar-based electricity. In this brief Bellona provides a number of policy recommendations to European leadership and national governments in attaining electrified European transport.
BellonaBrief: The Emission Testing Gap – Why business as usual for the conventional car industry cannot continue
The recent revelations concerning Volkswagen (VW) having equipped around 11 million of its vehicles with defeat devices to allow its fleet to produce artificially low NOx emission results when the test is conducted triggered a broader investigation into the entire car maker industry. This in turn confirmed Bellona’s long-held assumptions about fraudulent practices and test manipulations being commonplace across the entire car industry. Not only are further car makers being added to the list of cheaters, but the practice has been found to also affect CO2 emissions: the greenhouse gas around which the UN climate negotiations will be revolving at the Paris COP 21 conference next month.
Bellona Response to Consultation on the Effort Sharing Decision
Given that the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) currently regulates more than half of the Union’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it is therefore of crucial importance to ensure that significant incentives and financial support are provided for climate mitigation initiatives in the ESD sectors. Bellona sees the transport sector in particular as a large and untapped sector for significant amount of cost effective mitigation potential. Even though a variety of clean vehicle technologies and fuels are in development and use, Bellona sees EVs as representing one of the most promising technologies for cutting CO2 emissions, reducing petroleum reliance and improving local air quality. As a consequence the focus of this response is on the electrification of the EU transport sector and its contribution to broader climate action.
BellonaBrief – Electromobility in the EU: State of Play and Way Forward
Currently, passenger cars alone are responsible for over 15% of total CO2 emissions in the EU. The global car fleet is predicted to double from 800 million to 1.6 billion vehicles by 2030. In view of goals to decarbonise transport, meet climate change objectives and reduce air pollution, this calls for technological advancements to ensure sustainable mobility in the long term. There are a variety of clean vehicle technologies and fuels in development and use, but electric vehicles (EVs) represent one of the most promising technologies for cutting CO2 emissions, reducing oil imports and improving local air quality. Additionally, EVs will help to increase the predictability of the electricity sector, as EV batteries can be reused to store and manage wind and solar-based electricity. This brief lists Bellona’s recommendations for driving electromobility forward in the EU.
BellonaBrief – Electric Vehicles: The Norwegian Experience in Overcoming Barriers
This brief sets out the Norwegian path to the world’s highest penetration of electric vehicles (EVs), much of which can be attributed to Bellona’s decades of advocacy on the topic. The brief also takes a look at the situation at European level.
The outsized influence electric vehicles will have on electricity markets
Electricity storage has often seemed to be at the periphery of the energy transition debate, with conversations generally focussed on renewable deployment. This is changing rapidly.
News related to focus areaAll news
Bellona’s agenda for COP28
Saturday, 2 December Opening of the Pavilion: more info coming soon. Sunday, 3 December 12:00 – 12:45: Bursting Barriers for So...
Press Release: Bellona’s presence at COP28 – Storytelling for Action Pavilion
We’re excited to share that we will be present at COP28! The Bellona Foundation will be hosting the Storytelling for Action Pavilion in the Blue Zone alongside BAFTA albert, Futerra and Think-Film Impact Production.
Parliament moves to bind cement emissions
Cement, a major player in the construction industry, bears the burden of contributing to a staggering 7% of global emissions. The urgency to decarbonise this carbon-intensive sector and high-demand product is becoming more critical by the day. However, progress has been painfully slow, leaving the industry lagging behind Europe's climate goals. In its July plenary, the European Parliament took a tentative step in the right direction when it passed two policies, the CPR and ESPR, harbouring the potential to set cement and the construction industry on a more sustainable track.
Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU: What this means for climate action
The Spanish Presidency says it is committed to push for a reindustrialisation of Europe in the name of ‘ecological transition’. Many policy files related to energy and climate are regarded a priority, but the snap general elections in Spain mid-July and the campaign for the 2024 EU elections will likely affect the Presidency.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Get our latest news