An assessment by the European Commission of Member States’ progress on EU climate targets has found a number of areas where more action is needed.
The assessment of Member State strategies for achieving the Energy Union climate targets by 2030 acknowledged ‘significant’ progress overall, but identified a need to implement stricter and more focused national policies if the EU’s targets, set in line with the Paris climate agreement, are to be met.
Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission’s Vice President for the Energy Union, said: “These first national energy and climate plans bring the Energy Union to the national level: like the EU, Member States all present policies for the climate and energy transition in an integrated way and with a ten-year perspective. Member States have all produced impressive drafts in a relatively short time, but no draft is perfect. Final plans are due by the end of the year and our recommendations show where more effort is needed: for example, stronger ambition, more policy detail, better specified investment needs, or more work on social fairness. Clarity and predictability are a real competitive advantage for the European energy and climate policy; so let’s make the best of this opportunity and give the national plans a solid final push.”
Under the terms of the Energy Union, which represents the first legally binding framework to achieve the aims of the Paris agreement by a major world economy, Member States will now have until the end of the year to present updated national plans, reflecting the Commission’s feedback.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Last November we proposed that the European Union should become climate neutral by 2050. We have shown and led the way forward. It is good to see that a growing number of Member States are following our lead and working towards that goal. Having evaluated Member States draft national plans, I am positive about the significant efforts that have been made. However, in the final plans even more ambition is needed to set the EU on the right track in fighting climate change and modernising our economy. I invite the Council to open a debate around the main priorities identified by the Commission and help ensure that the final plans contain an adequate level of ambition.”