Three missions stand at the basis of Bellona’s work
We aim to break down barriers between different policy and climate action areas and make sure that decisions are made with a clear understanding of their overall impact. By emphasising science and systems-thinking, or how different parts of a system interact, decision-makers can better determine which solutions have the desired effect on the climate.
Bringing different groups involved in every step of a credible climate solution is important to make it happen faster. This means involving industry, unions, civil society, policy-makers and academia. Only with their participation and support can the right projects actually happen.
In times when democracies face challenges and require bold decisions to address climate change, Bellona strives to enable broad participation and agreement. This is achieved by providing access to information and ensuring that hypes and greenwashing are exposed and discouraged.
Bellona Europa today
CCS technology has continued to be at the core of Bellona Europa’s efforts here in Brussels. CCS for industrial processes, making up ~¼ of EU (and global) emissions, remains one of Bellona Europa’s main focus areas, with an emphasis on building a broad societal alliance for action.
In 2016 Bellona’s long-time ambition to have a viable and large-scale CCS facility in Europe came much closer to becoming reality. Thanks to its consistent efforts the Norwegian Ministry for Petroleum and Energy on 30 September 2016 confirmed the Norwegian government’s decision to progress three CO2 capture projects from the feasibility study to the FEED phase, and to develop a shared CO2 transport and storage solution for those project, based on shipping of CO2 to a terminal at Norway’s west coast, linked by pipeline to a geological permanent CO2 storage site offshore.
Bellona opens office in Germany
In 2021, Bellona Germany was officially founded in Berlin. As the largest industrialised country in the EU, Germany’s efforts to achieve its climate targets are crucial to the success of the EU’s climate plans. Therefore, it is of great importance for Bellona to advocate for ambitious climate management in Germany. Bellona Deutschland focuses on aspects of climate action in industry: CCS, CDR, hydrogen and green lead markets are among them. The team in Berlin works closely with Bellona Europe to benefit from this mutual exchange and collaboration.
After years of advocacy, Norwegian Parliament finally decides to co-fund a CO2 storage site
Following many Bellona reports and years of advocacy, the Norwegian Parliament finally decided to co-fund a CO2 storage site off Norway’s western coast. Full-scale CO2 capture for a cement plant and waste incinerator was part of the package. In line with Bellona recommendations, the storage site is built with extra capacity, with the purpose of receiving additional volumes, including from Europe
Ensuring renewable H2 is indeed renewable
While Bellona’s engagement on hydrogen dates back to the early 2000s, our more recent work on the topic started in 2016 along with our analysis of e-fuels. From the get go, we prioritised the (usually missing) elephant in the room – the additional renewable electricity required to ensure that renewable hydrogen is indeed renewable. From 2018 to 2023, our assessments focused on establishing a real connection between renewable electrons generated and hydrogen produced. Our work, along with the input of other stakeholders, was reflected in the final delegated act which outlined these rules for H2 production. The Act requires a clear link between additional renewable electricity generation and hydrogen production, but unfortunately only from 2030 onwards.
Against fossil fuel subsidies
Bellona filed complaint against Norway for breaching European State Aid rules. In addition to generous tax breaks, the Norwegian state also pays out cash to companies that explore the continental shelf for new oil and gas fields.
Dangers of e-fuels
In 2016, the new Renewable Energy Directive proposal featured new support for e-fuels. Bellona engaged in that debate early on to expose their potential pitfalls to EU policy makers. Over the years, we reiterated the need to consider all of the impacts e-fuels could have, including the footprint of the electricity and the source of carbon used to produce the synthetic petrol, diesel, methane, methanol and kerosene. The first e-fuel projects, particularly in the automotive industry, focused on merely adding a drop of expensive e-fuel into the fossil fuel bucket. However, thanks to our recommendations and the valuable work of other stakeholders, the later iterations of the RED focused on the truly renewable inputs for the production of these fuels and their use only in sectors where they’re actually needed.
The Paris Agreement
Bellona was present at the Paris negotiations and celebrated the agreement after two weeks of hosting a number of side-events showcasing climate solutions.
Directive on offshore safety
In 2010, the Gulf of Mexico Disaster, also known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, claimed 11 lives and oil gushed into the ocean for 87 days, equivalent to 2.5 to 4.9 million barrels, depending on the estimations. The Gulf of Mexico Disaster is the biggest accidental oil disaster in history. Working to ensure such a disaster could not happen again, Bellona was heavily involved in the 2013 Directive on offshore safety.
With Deepwater Horizon in mind, Bellona tirelessly highlights the disastrous consequences of that spill, emphasising that a similar disaster in the Arctic would have consequences beyond repair
Bellona report shows CCS as essential to reconcile a strong EU industry with the Union’s climate ambitions
Bellona published a report highlighting that direct emissions from EU industries accounted for 25% of total EU CO2 emissions in 2010, and energy efficiency measures alone would not be enough to reduce these emissions significantly. The report focused on steel, cement, refineries, and chemicals, and concluded that CCS is the only technology currently available to deliver deep emission cuts in these sectors.
First of its kind report on Bio-CCS
The EU Technology Platforms for biofuels and CCS, European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) and ZEP respectively, launched a joint report during the first CCS-focused session at the EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels.
A new high level position in the EU
In 2011, Bellona’s founder Frederic Hauge was appointed as a member of a 12-person strong expert group to advise the EU Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, on how to reduce the Union’s CO2 emissions by at least 85% by 2050
European Parliament calls for ban on heavy fuel oil on ships in the Arctic
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on January 20th 2011, titled “A sustainable EU policy for the High North,” which emphasised sustainability as a prerequisite for the EU’s future Arctic policy. The Bellona Foundation played a significant role in lobbying for these amendments.
First international scientific workshop organised by Bellona
In 2010, Bellona co-organised an event with the University of Orléans, and BGRM, which was sponsored by the French Centre region. The event aimed to discuss the need for sustainable biomass supply and the potential of Bio-CCS (Bio-energy with Carbon Capture and Storage) to mitigate climate change.
Pioneering CCS on the EU agenda
In 2008, Bellona published a report titled “How to Combat Global Warming,” which highlighted the potential of technological solutions to achieve an 85% reduction in global CO2 emissions by 2050. The report closely reflected the IPCC’s 2007 4th Climate Change Assessment Report, which emphasised the urgent need for greater and immediate reductions in CO2 than estimated earlier. Bellona’s study illustrated the enormous potential of CCS to remove as much as half of Europe’s CO2 emissions and the growing risks of failure linked to the non- or delayed deployment of CCS technologies.
Founding member of the Zero Emission Platform
In 2005, Bellona was a founding member of ZEP, the Zero Emission Platform. Bellona has held the vice-chair position of ZEP since 2007. Our work played a vital role in shaping the entire culture surrounding the development and implementation of emissions-free, climate-friendly industry and technology across Europe. According to Bellona, the approach that the industry must adopt involves carbon capture and storage, along with improving energy efficiency and continuing to develop renewable energy. Bellona played a role in defining ZEP’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the EU’s power and processing industries by 56% by 2050.
European Parliament slams Commission on hazardous substances
In 2004-2005, the EU-parliament and Council signed the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive, which restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in such equipment. From July 1st, 2006, new electrical and electronic equipment put on the market could no longer contain certain substances such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. The Commission was allowed to add exemptions to the list but only when safer alternatives were not available. However, in April 2005, the European Parliament unanimously condemned the Commission’s draft decision to add exemptions for lead and cadmium, which had viable alternatives. The Parliament’s interference was in line with Bellona’s response to the RoHS directive’s stakeholder consultation.
Bellona opens EU office
As a consequence of Bellona’s major activities in Russia, and due to the large nuclear challenges the country was facing, Bellona established a permanent representation in Murmansk with local staff in 1994.
Because of Bellona’s major activities in Russia, and due to the large nuclear challenges the country was facing, Bellona established a permanent representation in Murmansk with local staff in 1994.
Sometime later that year, Bellona’s EU office was opened in Brussels. In the beginning the office mostly worked on nuclear waste, however, later the office started to focus on renewable energy and carbon capture and storage technology.
One the first key actions of Bellona Europa was organising a visit to the Russian Kola Peninsula with then EU Commissioner for Environment Ionnis Paleorkrassas to observe the environmental challenges. Shortly after the visit, the European Parliament strongly urged the European Commission to implement measures at Kola.
About seven weeks after the Chernobyl disaster, on the 16th of June 1986, Bellona saw daylight in an occupied house. Six young men started their own independent foundation to be more flexible and efficient in comparison to the rest of the established environmental movement.
Bellona introduced environmental crime [miljøkriminalitet] as a new concept in the Norwegian public debate and launched a report on environmental crime in Norwegian industry. The press conference became the official launch of the Bellona Foundation as well.