EU countries need to step up efforts to align three key areas of climate action – report

The EU is on track to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target but needs to increase efforts in energy efficiency and renewables, according to the European Commission’s latest State of the Energy Union report. All three components are needed if the EU is to meet its 2030 climate targets.

Today, the European Commission released the 4th State of the Energy Union report. The EU Energy Union was launched in February 2015 with the goal to make energy more secure, affordable and sustainable. It covers five areas that are mutually reinforcing: energy diversification and security, integrated energy market, energy efficiency, climate action, and research, innovation and competitiveness.

National energy and climate plans will help reach  2030 targets

The 2030 Energy and Climate Framework sets out targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions (at least 40%), energy efficiency (at least 32.5% improvement) and renewables (at least 32% share) than those set for 2020.

While each Member State has a mandatory national emission reduction target to achieve by 2030, energy efficiency and renewable energy targets are only set collectively at the EU level.

A key new instrument for the EU  to deliver on these targets are the integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs).

As stated in the State of the Energy Union report, a key question will be whether the Member States’ national contributions to the renewable energy and energy efficiency targets are sufficient to meet the EU’s collective level of ambition.

Agnese Ruggiero, policy officer at Carbon Market Watch commented:

Climate targets cannot be achieved without significant upscaling of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. It is paramount that Member States include all three components in their national energy and climate plans. A plan that falls short of ambition in one of the three areas is just another half baked scheme – it won’t work.

National governments have submitted their draft plans and must finalise them by the end of December 2019. The European Commission is currently assessing them and will issue recommendations to the Member States by the end of June 2019.

After receiving the Commission’s feedback, Member States will have six months to finalise the plans.  They still have time to make sound and effective plans so that the State of the Energy Union report in 2027 will say: “The EU is on track to meet its 2030 targets”.

Carbon Market Watch is coordinating a campaign that promotes strong and inclusive energy and climate plans to drive rapid decarbonisation in Europe. More information on the project “PlanUp” is available here.