More than three-quarters of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions stem from our energy consumption. It is thus vital to stop burning fossil fuels to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C, the Paris Agreement target.
CAN Europe works for a European energy transition that puts energy efficiency first while switching to a fully renewable energy system. Together with members, academia and experts, we developed our Paris Agreement compatible (PAC) energy scenario. This energy scenario provides a robust, science-based pathway for Europe’s energy landscape. In a bottom-up research process, we reflected both the required emission reductions as well as the potential of energy savings and renewables.
We are in the process of updating the existing aggregated PAC scenario for the EU28 from 2020. The EU-wide PAC scenario will be disaggregated to get fully fledged country-specific PAC scenarios for the EU Member States.
These country-specific PAC scenarios describe how Member States can achieve the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting average global temperature increase to 1.5°C. They also show the ambition needed in view of updating National Climate and Energy Scenarios (NECPs). The updated PAC scenario will also examine the macro-economic benefits of its implementation for both the EU and country-specific levels.
The second phase of the PAC project started in September 2021 and runs until August 2024, for more information on how you can engage in the second phase of the PAC scenario, please click here.
Given the global climate emergency, the EU can and must increase ambition. The United Nations Emissions Gap Report and the IPCC Special Report on the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C threshold both indicate the pace of greenhouse gas emission reductions needed. Applying this reduction pace means the EU:
cuts its emissions by at least 65% in 2030 instead of only 40% compared to the 1990 level
gets on a trajectory towards net zero emissions in 2040 instead of 2050
bases its energy supply on 100% renewables in 2040
Besides a swift mobilisation of energy savings potentials, this implies a phase-out of coal by 2030 and fossil gas by 2035. Meanwhile, the growth of Europe’s cheapest energy sources, solar photovoltaics and wind power, allows for tripling the share of renewables.
In the industry sector, we foresee that the circular economy decreases the raw material demand and makes it less energy-intensive. Industrial processes electrify so that they can use renewable electricity. Only for high-temperature processes, e.g. for steel production, renewable hydrogen will be needed.
The buildings we’re living and working in will undergo a deep renovation wave. Refurbishing 3% of the existing buildings every year cuts final energy demand by roughly two thirds. At this occasion, fossil heating systems will be replaced by electric heat pumps. Alternatively, a connection to a district heat network that distributes renewable heat.
In the transport sector, the remaining passenger cars will be used more efficiently – and they will all be electrified by 2040. This allows to massively increase the use of renewable electricity for mobility needs. Liquid biofuels will only play a niche role. Renewable hydrogen, renewable ammonia and liquid synthetic fuels are introduced in long-distance heavy-freight, shipping and aviation.
Written by Ana-Maria Seman, Regional Climate and Infrastructure Lead at WWF Central and Eastern Europe. In pursuit of the EU’s ambitious 2030 target of 60GW of offshore wind capacity, there
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