An essay on the colourful scene of Europe's energy transition

13-04-2016 | Publication

In the change towards a structurally decarbonised Europe, national policies of the Member States play an important role. This analysis of the energy and climate policies of all 28 Member States shows that none of them have developed into a coherent long-term decarbonisation strategy yet. Energy security, affordability and competitiveness are the dominant issues in most national policies. Climate change mitigation and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (decarbonisation) are seen as important but are seldom the key driver.

National policies have not yet developed into decarbonisation strategies

As of yet, in not a single Member State has national energy and climate policy developed into a coherent long-term decarbonisation strategy. If the energy transition is understood to be the structural change of the current energy system towards a low-emission energy system, then the conclusion must be that this transition apparently is still in its infancy. Some Member States have started this process, but most have yet to begin.

Post-2020 EU policy framework will offer more flexibility for Member States

Post-2020, the EU climate and energy policy framework will change towards a system with stronger bottom-up elements, giving Member States greater flexibility. Whether the post-2020 framework will deliver the EU decarbonisation goals for 2030 and 2050, depends on the collective efforts by the Member States. The post-2020 framework shows the promise of cross-sector integrated energy and climate policies, with a clear long-term orientation and clarity, and greater collaboration between Member States, whether this promise will be fulfilled remains to be seen.