Commission adopts new guidance on how to climate-proof future infrastructure projects
Today, the European Commission has published new technical guidance on climate-proofing of infrastructure projects for the period 2021-2027. The guidance will help mainstream climate considerations in future investment and development of infrastructure projects from buildings, network infrastructure to a range of built systems and assets. That way, institutional and private European investors will be able to make informed decisions on projects deemed compatible with the Paris Agreement and the EU climate objectives.
The guidance adopted today will thus help the EU deliver the European Green Deal, implement requirements under the European Climate Law and make EU spending greener. It is aligned with a greenhouse gas emission reduction pathway of -55% net emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050; follows the ‘energy efficiency first' and ‘do no significant harm' principles; and fulfils requirements set out in the legislation for several EU funds such as InvestEU, Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cohesion Fund (CF) and the Just Transition Fund (JTF).
The impacts of climate change are already having repercussions for assets and infrastructure with long lifetimes such as railways, bridges or power stations, and these impacts are set to intensify in the future. For example, building in areas that are likely to be affected by sea level rise requires particular attention; similarly, heat tolerance for railway tracks needs to account for the projected higher maximum temperature rather than historical values. It is therefore essential to clearly identify – and consequently to invest in – infrastructure that is prepared for a climate-neutral and climate-resilient future.
Climate-proofing is a process that integrates climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into the development of infrastructure projects. The technical guidance adopted today sets out common principles and practices for the identification, classification and management of physical climate risks when planning, developing, executing and monitoring infrastructure projects and programmes. The process is divided into two pillars (mitigation, adaptation) and two phases (screening, detailed analysis) and the documentation and verification of climate-proofing forms is considered an essential part of the rationale for making investment decisions.
Specifically, for infrastructure with a lifespan beyond 2050, the guidance stipulates that the operation, maintenance and final decommissioning of any project should be carried out in a climate-neutral way, which may include circular economy considerations, such as the recycling or repurposing of materials. The climate resilience of new infrastructure projects should be ensured through adequate adaptation measures, based on a climate risk assessment.
Additional technical guidance on the climate-proofing of investments other than infrastructure is available in Commission Notice (2021/C 280-01).
Latest News from
Pulling the plug on consumer frustration and e-waste: Commission proposes a common charger for electronic devices24/09/2021 16:33:00
The Commission yesterday took an important step against e-waste and consumer inconvenience, caused by the prevalence of different, incompatible chargers for electronic devices.
Europeans strongly support science and technology according to new Eurobarometer survey24/09/2021 15:25:00
A new Eurobarometer survey on ‘European citizens' knowledge and attitudes towards science and technology' released yesterday shows that 9 in 10 EU citizens (86%) think that the overall influence of science and technology is positive.
Firearms: Commission refers LUXEMBOURG to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to transpose EU rules on acquisition and possession of firearms24/09/2021 14:33:00
The Commission yesterday decided to refer Luxembourg to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to notify the national measures necessary to transpose EU rules on the acquisition and possession of firearms.
Yemen: EU allocates €119 additional million for humanitarian crisis24/09/2021 13:25:00
The Commission recently (22 September 2021) announced an additional €119 million in humanitarian and development aid to alleviate vulnerable Yemenis' suffering from over 6 years of conflict.
Trade and sustainability: Commission proposes new EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences to promote sustainable development in low-income countries24/09/2021 11:33:00
The Commission recently (22 September 2021) adopted the legislative proposal for the new EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) for the period 2024-2034.
NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €237 million in pre-financing to Latvia13/09/2021 10:25:00
The European Commission recently (10 September 2021) disbursed €237 million to Latvia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial contribution as established in the Council Implementing Decision.
COVID-19: Council adds Uruguay and removes six countries from the list of countries for which travel restrictions should be lifted10/09/2021 15:25:00
Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted.
Strengthened EU export control rules kick in10/09/2021 13:25:00
The EU is strengthening its ability to respond to new security risks and emerging technologies.