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A space to keep abreast of the latest news and developments in climate change and energy transition

Towards a sustainable future

Discover the main challenges of the energy transition and see how they are being faced.

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How to fund the energy transition: NextGenerationEU funds
The EU has launched an ambitious recovery plan to help address today's major energy, climate neutrality, and digitalization challenges. How to successfully tackle the fight against climate change and the evolution towards a just energy transition are two key questions that will mark the future of the EU and its member states. However, achieving the EU’s sustainability and renewable energy targets is no simple task, and requires the implementation of far-reaching structural reforms in each country to successfully address the main challenges in this area.  Economic, social, commercial, or industrial reforms, based on the specific needs of each state, which can be effectively financed through the NextGenerationEU funds. An essential tool in the EU’s renewal process, which is helping to create a much more greener and more sustainable community environment.  What are the NextGenerationEU funds? The NextGenerationEU recovery plan is a temporary recovery instrument, created in the wake of the coronavirus crisis to alleviate its economic and social effects. It was approved in May 2020, with an investment of €806.9 B within the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021–27. The aim of the funds is to provide states with the necessary resources to create a much more sustainable, greener, and resilient post-Covid-19 Europe, capable of adapting to the new changes that lie ahead.  In particular, those related to the energy transition towards an energy model based on renewables and the effective fight against climate change and its adverse effects.  How are they used? The first thing to know is that the NextGenerationEU funds are divided into two areas. On the one hand, a small sum is set aside for contributions to other European programs such as Horizon 2020, InvestEU, Rural Development, the Just Transition Fund (JTF), or Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU).  However, the bulk of the funding — €723.8 B — goes to the Recovery and Resilience Facility, aimed at supporting reforms and investments undertaken by surrounding countries in the area of the green and digital transition. It covers measures aimed at the implementation of renewable energies or the energy rehabilitation of buildings, but also the promotion of sustainable transport, connectivity, or the expansion of digitalization and modernization of public administration. This mechanism is also responsible for financing education and training programs in digital skills, as well as everything related to research and innovation, the protection of biodiversity, gender equality, and the protection of the health of citizens. 
New regulation on emissions in heavy vehicles in the EU: what changes have been made?
In February 2023, the European Commission proposed to toughen up on emission measures for trucks and buses, establishing stricter reduction targets until 2040 and investment incentives throughout the community.Heavy vehicles are a big source of greenhouse gas (GHG) generation and a key part of strategies to achieve sustainable and decarbonised mobility. The EU is aware of the challenges present in this area of transport, and has proposed to improve its emission reduction plans, favouring a much faster and more efficient restructuring of the sector, which will help to considerably offset the presence of CO2 and other substances in the atmosphere.  According to the European Commission, trucks, urban buses, and long-distance buses are responsible for more than 6% of total EU emissions and more than 25% of road transport emissions.  This data not only represents an obstacle in the fight against climate change, but also reveals a worrying upward trend when compared to previous years. In fact, the Commission points out that emissions from this type of mobility have not stopped increasing steadily since 2014, with the exception of 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis. Given this worrying situation, European entities have decided to take action and propose new emission regulations for heavy-duty vehicles that is much more ambitious and mindful of what is at stake in terms of climate issues.    New emission reduction goals One of the main points that the new regulation on CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles brings to the table is a stricter review of the emission reduction targets established in 2019’s legislation. More realistic plans in the short and long term, in accordance with the European climate goals established in the Fit for 55 plan, in the Paris Agreement and in the most recent REPowerEU plan.   Previously, two time periods were set to meet the reduction goals (2025 and 2030), and now there would be three (2030, 2035, and 2040). But not only the terms have changes, so have the percentages, which are much higher than those set in 2019. For example, if we look at the last date, it would go from a final reduction percentage of 30% for 2030 to 90% for 2040.   
Geopolitical aspects affecting raw materials relevant to the energy transition
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Glossary of terms
All the terms you need to know to understand the world of energy and the energy transition, made easy for you.