National Energy and Climate Plans must still be improved to be in line with the Paris Agreement

Climate action

A new report published today by Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe and ZERO looks into the final National energy and Climate Plans of 15 Member States and indicates that a number of countries made some improvements in their final NECPs, both in terms of targets and of policies and measures. However, these improvements are not enough to catalyse the energy transition required to achieve the long term objective of the Paris Agreement.

 The report titled “PAVE THE WAY FOR INCREASED CLIMATE AMBITION : Opportunities and gaps in the final National Energy and Climate Plans” assesses how much final NECPs are improved compared to the draft ones and analyses the opportunities and gaps arising from the final NECPs.

As none of the current 2030 targets are adequate for the EU to deliver on its commitments under the Paris Agreement, the report calls upon Member States to continuously improve their NECPs and go beyond what is required to meet the overall EU climate and energy targets for 2030. This will help implement the envisaged increase of the EU’s 2030 climate target as proposed by the Commission’s flagship European Green Deal initiative.

Amongst the countries covered by the report, only Greece, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain increased their national climate targets. However, except for the new economy-wide Danish climate target of 70% emission reductions by 2030, these increased ambitions are not in line with the levels required by the Paris Agreement to achieve the 1.5°C target. In this regard, Denmark who sets a climate target much higher than the EU requirements and prepares an updated NECP to present stronger policies and measures should be an example for all Member States.

The report also finds that, when put together, Member States’ renewable energy and energy efficiency contributions have slightly improved compared to the drafts but not to the levels required to achieve the long term objective of the Paris Agreement. For energy efficiency, it is still hard to assess the collective gap as Germany has not submitted its final NECP. All Member States must live up to their responsibility and put forward an ambitious NECP to at least achieve the EU’s current energy targets and even go beyond.

In the next months, the European Commission is expected to present its assessment on the final NECPs. The European Commission needs to issue new recommendations and continue pushing Member States to increase their ambition as these plans will play a crucial role by setting the frame for the green recovery of Europe.

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “National Energy and Climate Plans have the potential to prepare the ground for increased climate ambition in Europe and direct investments in the next 10 years for a just and climate neutral recovery to tackle both the climate and economic crises. The opportunities underlined in this report should serve as a guidance for Member States on where to put their money to achieve climate neutrality and stimulate the economy.”

Commenting on the report, Francisco Ferreira, Director of Portuguese NGO, ZERO said: “We have huge challenges ahead of us, starting with the increase of the percentage of renewable sources along this decade in countries like Portugal and the implementation of structural measures concerning energy efficiency. To ensure that National Energy and Climate Plans fulfill their objectives, civil society has a major role in monitoring the performance of the scheduled policies and measures. This report is a first but relevant step towards this goal.”


Press release

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