With Ireland and Germany’s delayed submissions, all twenty-seven European Union Member States have now completed their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), outlining how they intend to reach their obligations under the EU’s Climate Governance Framework.
The Regulation on Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action established that every Member State would develop a NECP covering the period 2021-2030 and presenting how they intend to contribute to the EU’s overall 2030 goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, using a 32% share of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency by 32.5%.
Member States had to submit their draft NECPs by the end of 2018 and final versions by end of 2019, taking account of recommendations from the European Commission.
Germany’s delay was a result of its decision to phase out coal, and its climate protection law, both of which were adopted in September 2019, whilst Ireland’s was delayed by the February election and the formation of a new government in June, committed to higher levels of climate ambition.
An assessment on the draft NECPs noted that, 'there is still scope to close several gaps when finalising the NECPs. On the energy efficiency and renewable contributions, some Member States are called to better exploit their national potential while others will need to confirm their already ambitious objectives,' and invited Member States to, 'ensure that the final NECPs contain an adequate level of ambition to fulfil, in particular, the European-level renewable and energy efficiency targets.'
The European Commission will now assess the final plans, but a preliminary analysis of the first fifteen submitted plans by the Climate Action Network concluded that all were improved, but that only Denmark, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain had increased their climate targets, and that only Denmark would meet its Paris Agreement obligations.
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