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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article29 November 2023European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

LIFE projects participating at COP28

All eyes are on Dubai over the next two weeks as the world’s leaders, climate actors, and civil groups negotiate the next steps to limit climate change. Five LIFE projects are on display, at side events in the EU and Italian Pavilions.

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LIFE projects participating at COP28
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The stages are set, delegations are onsite, and pavilions built, as the United Arab Emirates hosts the world’s largest climate change conference. The 28th Conference of the Parties, more commonly known as COP28, is taking place from 30 November to 12 December, at Expo City, Dubai.

Nations, companies, and organisations are showcasing their climate credentials, through national pavilions, talks, and events. All of them focus on this year’s themes: decarbonisation; water security; energy transition; creating better places; and adaptation/climate risk. LIFE Programme has 5 projects in the EU and Italian Pavilions that tell the story of farming, sustainable food systems, waste heat recovery, emissions trading, and adaptation strategies.  

The Emilian Apennines, the hills and mountains of central Italy, are heavily farmed. This results in the neglection of soil protection practices, increased abandonment of land as farms become economically unviable, and loss of organic carbon in the soil. LIFE agriCOlture has introduced actions and sustainable soil management techniques to protect soil organic carbon. It is also developing monitoring tools for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removal from land use and land use change, with 15 farms being monitored for carbon reduction.

As well as farmers, chefs are at the forefront of our global food system, which has a huge impact on GHG emissions, land use, water resources, deforestation, and soil degradation. And as world temperatures increase, our food system is at risk from climate-induced, extreme weather events. LIFE CLIMATE SMART CHEFS trains EU chefs in sustainable diets, water use, carbon emissions, food waste reduction, and costs of dietary behaviours. To date, 1 000 chefs have been educated and 160 chefs trained in these issues; and 112 chefs involved in the LIFE Climate Smart Chefs Award. 500 are counting environmental impacts using the LIFE Climate Smart Chefs Tool, and 10 local initiatives are underway.

As winter draws in across Europe, many homes and businesses are switching the heating on. Domestic, commercial and industrial heating and cooling account for 79% of final energy use, but only 16% is generated from renewables. LIFE HEATLEAP improved the efficiency of heat exchange between energy-intensive industries and their surroundings, via a 7 MWh heat pump and a gas expander. It also developed a cloud-based software platform, to carry out real-time tracking, and store and process data.

Narratives around COP28 will highlight global carbon emissions and trajectories, and whether they are aligned with the Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius. LIFE COASE addresses the need for a more coordinated monitoring of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The EU ETS is central to EU climate policy, a fundamental element of the global carbon market and a reference model for many other governments. LIFE COASE will develop new tools to assess carbon markets performance, establish policy dialogues with other major carbon markets, and provide greater political support for the integration of carbon markets.

A key COP28 narrative is adaptation as climate change impacts are being experienced globally. Southern Europe is vulnerable to climate change, no more so than in the Metropolitan region of Milan. LIFE METRO ADAPT, a project formulated in Milan, shared 133 data sets across all the metropolitan municipalities and created guidelines to access funding for adaptation projects. It also set up pilot nature-based solutions and sustainable drainage projects to protect against flooding and overheating. In addition, LIFE METRO ADAPT has significantly increased climate awareness amongst local policymakers as well as the wider public.

Visit the LIFE projects at COP28:

  • LIFE COASE, EU Pavilion & Italian Pavilions, 9 December
  • LIFE HEATLEAP, Italian Pavilion, 5 December
  • LIFE METRO ADAPT, Italian Pavilion, 9 December
  • LIFE agriCOlture, Italian Pavilion, 9 December
  • LIFE CLIMATE SMART CHEFS, EU Pavilion, 12 December
  • LIFE COSTAdapta, Startup Village, Kiosk #46
  • LIFE VIIEW 2050, EU Pavillion, 9 December.

The LIFE Programme projects align to a number of EU legal acts including: Policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030, EU Energy Efficiency Directive 2012; Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection; Ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe; Fluorinated greenhouse gases; To improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community; Assessment and management of flood risks; A Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources; EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change; Communication from the Commission on Green Infrastructure - Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital; and Water Framework Directive.

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