On November 8th, IDDRI held an event in Brussels to launch a new study entitled The State of the Low-Carbon Energy Union: Assessing EU Progress Towards its 2030 and 2050 Climate Targets. The study, which was co-authored by several leading European think tanks –  including UCL (UK), ENEA (IT), WISE (PL), Wuppertal Institut (DE), Grenoble Applied Economics Lab (FR), Enerdata (FR), ICCS (GR) -, draws directly on work developed under the DDPP.

The study makes use of 2050 decarbonisation scenarios developed by these national research teams to identify “benchmark ranges” that can in turn be used to assess progress on the low carbon transformation in each major sector of the energy system – i.e. industry, power, buildings, and transport. These benchmarks were then compared with historical rates of progress in these sectors in individual member states as well as for the EU as a whole. The study is the first of its kind to use long term decarbonisation pathways in this way.

The findings are original because they are able to not only show that the EU as a whole is not on track towards its 2030 and 2050 climate goals; they also show exactly where action is insufficient and how currently proposed policies should be completed. The intent of the work is to promote this kind of sector by sector analysis based on long term transformation pathways as an input into the way the EU goes about assessing its own progress and policy development. Hence the study was released two months before the publication of the EU’s second annual “State of the Energy Union” report, which is a major annual assessment of the adequacy of EU action towards its climate and energy goals.