Climate verdict: EU Commission to analyse national plans
Posted on 17 June 2019
No EU country is a Grade A student. Luckily this is not a final attempt.
Brussels, Belgium - 17 June 2019
The European Commission is to publish an analysis of Member States’ draft climate and energy plans for 2030 (NECPs), and recommendations on each one tomorrow, 18 June. The final versions of the NECPs are due in by the end of 2019. See national quotes from WWF offices, below.
Why does it matter?
So far none of the NECPs is in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. In some cases plans also contain a worrying lack of information. For example, some Member States are projecting huge increases in biomass use, but are not saying exactly what they’re planning to burn - which could have a big impact on emissions. Member States have until the end of 2019 to update and improve their plans, and the European Commission should provide clear guidance to help them do so.
Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office said: “No EU country is a Grade A student when it comes to planning climate action, despite huge public support for it. All the draft plans fall short of the Paris Agreement and its 1.5°C limit. Luckily, this is not a final result but a first attempt - Member States have six months to get it right.
National governments must now show political leadership in order to make their plans robust, high-reaching and inclusive. In this way, they will set a vision for a transformed, climate-neutral society which kick-starts actions by everyone from businesses to citizens today.
If this happens, and if national long-term climate plans, due on 1 January 2020, are up to scratch, we can make real progress towards net zero emissions in Europe by 2050 - ideally by 2040. We will be able to reap the health, climate and economic benefits of tackling climate change today.”
Comments from WWF national offices
Julie Vandenberghe, Climate Policy Officer at WWF Belgium: “Belgium’s current masterplan to combat the climate crisis is not fit for purpose. It lacks a coherent climate vision and fails to give concrete details on measures, planning and investment requirements. With the backlog Belgium caries along with regards to its 2020 targets, Belgian governments seriously need to step up their ambition for 2030 and beyond. It is time to commit to carbon neutrality latest by 2050, push for an increased EU ambition and put policy measures in place to reach the objectives it commited to when it signed the Paris Agreement.”
Pierre Cannet, Interim conservation co-director at WWF France:
"The French government knows how to take higher ambitious when it comes to long-term ambition and strategies aiming for zero net emissions. But the country hasn't been able to fulfill its climate and energy engagements since COP21. We are therefore calling them to strengthen urgently short term measures to be able to honor this ambition, especially on mobility, housing and energy refurbishment as well as renewables. France has a great potential for more wind and solar energy, yet unexploited nor translated in a contribution at the level to fulfill EU target."
Michael Schäfer, head of the climate and energy department at WWF Germany: “Germany deserves a red card for its National Energy & Climate plan. Instead of being a frontrunner in the EU, it is lagging behind on some of the most important issues in tackling the climate crisis. This year the German government must push for climate neutrality in the EU by 2050 at the very latest, it must push for more ambition within the EU’s contribution to the Paris agreement and it must introduce measures to achieve its own as well as the European climate targets for the next decades.”
Stavros Mavrogenis, Climate and Energy Policy Leader at WWF Greece:
“Greece is one out of 7 countries in the EU that has no plan for a coal phase-out and on the contrary intends to keep 70% of lignite installed capacity by 2030. The Greek NECP is not compatible with the Paris Agreement 1.5ºC threshold and instead of that will put the country into a 3.1 to 3.7 ºC by the end of the century. Greece has the potential to increase the RES share in the energy mix and develop more ambitious goals for energy efficiency, energy storage and especially reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the non-ETS sector.”
Mariagrazia Midulla, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF Italy: “We appreciate that the Italian NECP confirms the coal phase out, but we would like a stronger impulse to renewable energies and less pressure to further expand the role of gas in infrastructure, mobility and the thermoelectric sector. In general, there is a lack of operative policies and measures in all sectors, including energy efficiency. Italy should be braver in planning and starting the process of the way out from all fossil fuels and in preparing to seize all the opportunities of transition, fairly and promptly. Last but not least, we hope that the Commission will encourage the Italian Government to a better consultation and involvement of stakeholders.”.
Mar Asunción, Head of Climate and Energy WWF Spain "The Energy and Climate Plan presented by the Spanish government, although more ambitious than the proposals made previously, is less than halfway to what Spain should do to help bring the global temperature increase below the 1.5ºC threshold. Bearing in mind that we are a very vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change, and the climate emergency situation we face, the emission reduction target for 2030 should be at least -50% with respect to 1990, significantly increasing the ambition of the NECP's proposed -20%."
Gareth Redmond-King, Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK "The UK is the first major economy to put a net-zero emissions target by 2050 into law. This is a crucial first step to address the climate emergency. The government must now accelerate delivery of the policies and resource needed to slash our emissions, and they must make climate action a priority across all departments. This is essential to enable us to heat our homes and fuel our vehicles with clean energy, to restore nature, and to avert climate breakdown."
The European Commission will publish three set of documents:
Communication: Explaining the process, priorities and very general and cross-cutting mentions: link to 2050 LTSs; sector specific recommendations, etc.
Country-specific legal recommendations (28): Likely to be fairly high-level and short. It will include about 10 recommendations that Member States should take on board.
Country-specific assessments (28): Staff working documents of around 10 pages assessing each plan.
The Commission will also publish:
an aggregation exercise to see whether the EU targets are met (and they will do assumptions on the targets of those MS that did not provide targets on their draft NECPs).
the national contributions for the share of RES after applying the formula of Annex II of the Governance Regulation.
The European Council is meeting on Thursday and Friday 20-21 June (this week). EU leaders will discuss the EU draft long-term climate strategy and a possible net zero target for 2050 - see WWF's media advisory and table of Member State positions. They will also debate the ‘Strategic Agenda’ - the planned EU priorities for the next five years - and consider who is to be the future president of the European Commission.
Contact: Imke Luebbeke, Head, EU Climate and Energy Policy email@example.com +32 2 743 88 18
Sarah Azau, Senior Communications Officer firstname.lastname@example.org +32 473 573 137
The European Commission is to publish an analysis of Member States’ draft climate and energy plans for 2030