From 31 October to 12 November, the UN is bringing together almost every country in the world for the 26th annual global climate summit (COP26) hosted by the UK in Glasgow.
World leaders alongside negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens are meeting to progress agreement on how to tackle climate change.
The EU is strongly committed to reaching the 2015 Paris Agreement objectives of limiting global warming and environmental degradation through the European Green Deal. In this ambitious journey, Interreg funding programmes have a crucial role to play, financing a considerable number of innovative projects which support climate action around the EU.
In the Channel area, the Interreg FCE Programme is focusing on emissions reduction and climate change adaptation to protect communities and natural habitats, therefore actively contributing to reach goals set by the COP26 Agenda while strengthening cross-border cooperation between the UK and France.
The Programme has funded projects under specific objectives of innovation, increasing the developing and uptake of low carbon technologies, realising the potential of natural and common heritage and supporting sustainable growth and enhancing and protecting coastal and transitional water ecosystems.
For example, through the funding of TIGER and ReconSoil projects, the programme supports investment in low carbon technology as well as action towards mitigation, a core objective of COP26.
TIGER is the biggest ever Interreg project driving collaboration and cost reduction through tidal turbine installations in the UK and France. The TIGER project will drive the growth of tidal stream energy to become a greater part of the energy mix, with significant benefits for coastal communities.
Proving that tidal energy generation can be cost-effective on a large scale could open the door for it to become the renewable energy of choice in coastal locations with strong tidal currents globally, helping the growth of clean, green energy generation and tackling the climate emergency.
ReconSoil is working on one of the core challenges of our age, which is the preservation of soil quality. Healthy soils not only are at the heart of a safe food production, but also act as a low-carbon technology, helping to reduce carbon emissions. The project is developing an innovative way to reuse locally sourced construction waste and agricultural by-products to create a new improved reconstructed soil. Their new soil mix will help to minimise further erosion of degraded areas, reduce carbon emissions, and improve carbon storage through soil improvements.
Interreg FCE-funded projects CIRCLE and PaCCo reach another core objective of COP26, which is adaptation. CIRCLE supports adaption to extreme weather events while PaCCo supports adaptation to changing coastlines.
In the face of climate change, combined with an increase in soil urbanization, more and more territories are regularly confronted with flooding episodes. Project CIRCLE is addressing this challenge by developing new solutions for permeable surfaces using a novel concrete mix which is ready to use. This new concrete pavement has lower environmental impact as it is using sustainable materials and renewable resources and it also has the potential to decontaminate drained water by filtering pollutants present in runoff water. Thus, all downstream biodiversity will be provided with optimal environmental conditions.
Project PACCo (Promoting Adaptation to Changing Coasts) is addressing estuarine and coastal areas that have been heavily modified by human activity. In particular, the project aims to restore coastal wetland at two pilot sites in the UK and France, to enable better management of flooding, to absorb carbon, and provide benefits for people and wildlife, producing significant benefits for the population and the environment. At the same time, PACCo is developing a scalable model for more natural and effective management of heavily modified estuaries.
All these projects are contributing to secure global net-zero by 2050, which is indeed the top goal pursued by the new COP26 taking place in Glasgow. This global climate summit is a new chance to see inspiring and substantial commitments at the international level, to drive forward global action on climate change.
Many of our other projects also support COP26 climate goals. Read more about our projects here: Funded Projects | Interreg (channelmanche.com)