EC Chides Members' Unambitious Climate Plans
The European Commission says that the 28 members states need to raise their game if the block is to achieve its 2030 targets and stay on the path towards climate neutrality in the longer term. It said: "With plans currently falling short both in terms of renewables and energy efficiency contributions, reaching the EU's overall climate and energy goals will require a collective step up of ambition."
Energy Union commissioner Maros Sefcovic said that 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."
And fellow commissioner for climate change Miguel Arias Canete said a growing number of member states are working towards the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 but that the final national energy and climate plans had to be even more ambitious.
The EC said the good news is that member states now have six months to raise their national level of ambition. The national plans should provide clarity and predictability for businesses and the financial sector to stimulate necessary private investments. The plans will also facilitate member states' programming of funding from the next multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027.
The deadline for submitting the final plans is set for December 31. The EC said that its comments were "part of a back and forth process with member states that will ensure that by then the final versions of the NECPs are sufficiently detailed, robust and ambitious."
The UK was the first country to set net-zero carbon by 2050 as a legally binding objective, although the cost is going to be high and the path is unknown. After several delays, the country is due to leave the European Union at some point, possibly October 31.