EIght out of nine member states analysed must redo their homework for a 1.5°C compatible target. Illustration: © iralu / Shutterstock.com
Solutions to reach 1.5°C still available
Study on 1.5 pathways concludes that EU can reduce greenhouse gases by at least 65% by 2030. This means a transition to 100% renewable electricity while reducing energy use.
In July 2021, the European Commission presented the “Fit for 55” package which aims to revise the EU’s climate and energy legislation to implement its new 2030 climate target of net 55% emission reductions.
Member states are currently developing their position on the package, which needs a coherent and comprehensive approach. In an effort to help member states to develop their positions, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe brings together science, policy makers and civil society organisations to show how the “Fit for 55” package can further increase the EU’s climate ambition and accelerate the energy transition.
In October 2021, CAN Europe hosted the launch of Climate Analytics’ recent research on 1.5°C compatible emission reduction pathways for the EU and nine member states. Climate Analytics is a renowned global climate science and policy institute. Their report illustrates how the 1.5°C target is still within our reach. Panellists from member states and representatives of civil society discussed how national plans, such as National Energy and Climate Plans and National Long Term Strategies, should be updated to pave the way for 1.5°C compatible policies for European countries.
Under the 1.5°C pathways project, modellers from Climate Analytics derived a comprehensive set of emission reduction pathways for the EU in view of the update of its 2030 targets. For the first time, consistent trajectories towards 2030 are presented, going beyond the 55% emission reduction target in order to be on the safe side with regards to reaching the 1.5°C objective.
Existing scenarios show that the EU and its member states can still choose from a broad range of available solutions and technologies to reach the 1.5°C objective. Sharp emission reductions are not only possible but urgently required. The EU can still definitely get to net zero emissions by 2040 to respect the Paris Agreement. The pathways presented for the EU’s energy and industry sectors substantiate and detail CAN Europe’s call for a higher level of ambition, namely that a 65% emission reduction by 2030 is needed to stay in line with the Paris Agreement. The electricity sector is the forerunner, quickly decarbonising with 100% renewable power. Renewable electricity then helps to cut emissions in industry.
Independently from the technological choice we make to reduce our emissions, the time dimension is crucial. There is one important condition: If the EU does not reduce its energy consumption while multiplying its renewable energy capacities during this decade, all attempts to reach 1.5°C will very likely fail. In concrete terms, the “Fit for 55” package needs to become a “Fit for 1.5” package. In parallel, member states urgently need to ramp up their national targets and policies. It is grotesque that some national policies would even allow for a further increase in their greenhouse emissions. Only one out of the nine member states analysed has already endorsed a 1.5°C compatible target. When national governments update their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), they should design policies that truly enable emission reduction pathways in line with the 1.5°C objective.
1.5°C Pathways for Europe: Achieving the highest plausible climate ambition
The Climate Analytics report presents domestic emissions and energy mix pathways required to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal for the EU27 and nine member states: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden, and assesses if their current 2030 climate targets are in line with these pathways.
To date, governments have submitted inadequate and unambitious national climate targets that are not sufficient to meet the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal according to the latest available science.
This report presents domestic emissions and energy mix pathways required to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal for the EU27 and nine member states: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden, and assesses if their current 2030 climate targets are in line with these pathways.
Download the report and country factsheets here: https://climateanalytics.org/publications/2021/15c-pathways-for-europe-a...