To meet the EU’s energy and climate targets for 2030, EU countries need to establish a 10-year integrated national energy and climate plan (NECP) for the period from 2021 to 2030. Introduced under the Regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action (EU/2018/1999), the rules required the final NECP to be submitted to the Commission by the end of 2019.
Areas covered by the NECPs
The national plans outline how the EU countries intend to address
- energy efficiency
- greenhouse gas emissions reductions
- research and innovation
This approach requires a coordination of purpose across all government departments. It also provides a level of planning that will ease public and private investment. The fact that all EU countries are using a similar template means that they can work together to make efficiency gains across borders.
Under the governance regulation Member States had to submit their draft NECPs for the period 2021-2030 to the Commission by 31 December 2018. These were analysed by the Commission with an overall assessment and country-specific recommendations published in June 2019. Taking these recommendations into account, Member States were then required to submit their final NECPs by 31 December 2019.
On 17 September 2020, the Commission published a detailed EU-wide assessment of the final NECPs. As a follow-up, and as part of the 2020 energy union report, the Commission published individual assessments of each of the national plans for further guidance.
Each country must submit a progress report every 2 years, according to the structure, format, technical details and process set out in the Implementing Regulation. The Commission will, as part of the state of the energy union report, monitor the EU's progress as a whole towards achieving these targets.
To better develop and implement the plans, the Member States were required to consult citizens, businesses and regional authorities in the drafting and finalisation process.
The governance regulation also required Member States to submit by the start of 2020 national long term strategies looking forward to 2050.
By 30 June 2023, Member States will submit to the Commission draft updated NECPs. The Commission has published guidance to Member States on the process and scope of this update.
The Commission published a Communication assessing the 28 draft NECPs in June 2019 (COM/2019/285), together with specific recommendations and a detailed "Staff Working Document" for each EU countries. They are available in the table below. The Commission also published detailed annexes on methodology (SWD/2019/212) and national forestry accounting plans (SWD/2019/213).
Commission analysis and recommendations on draft NECPs submitted (in early 2019)
Commission analysis of draft NECPs
Draft NECPs, as submitted
*Courtesy translation provided by European Commission services
The final integrated national energy and climate plans for the period from 2021 to 2030, as submitted by EU countries, are presented in a table together with the Commission’s individual assessments on each plan (in English and national language).
Commission assessment of the final NECPs
The overall assessment showed that for renewable energy, the combined commitment by EU countries was estimated at 33.1%-33.7% - above the existing renewable energy target of at least 32%. Its cost-effectiveness underpinned this positive trend, with potential to expand even further. For energy efficiency, the cumulative impact of the different NECPs provide net savings of 29.4%-29.7%. The figures, higher than the one estimated in the draft NECPs, still fell short of the then biding energy efficiency target of 32.5%. The assessment also concludes that the EU is on track to surpass its current 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40% - with a combined impact of roughly 41%.
The provisions relating to internal energy market and energy security led the Commission to conclude that energy security in the traditional energy sense is not at risk, but there was room for greater flexibility on the market side to accommodate higher shares of renewables through smart technologies and more storage. On research, innovation and competitiveness, there was an overall need for more detailed information provided by the Member States. The assessment also underlined the importance of linking research and innovation policies to match the energy and climate ambitions. Some progress was noted in terms of regional cooperation and by linking energy and climate policies to environment policies, with space for further improvement.
Moreover, the 2020 energy union report, published on 14 October 2020, included 27 staff working documents with the Commission’s assessment of each individual NECP, also available in the table above.
In order to meet the increased EU ambition expressed in the European Green Deal, the Commission proposed to revise the existing legislation in 2021.
Public consultation on NECPs
When preparing the NECPs, Member States were required to give the public early and effective opportunities to participate, in line with article 10 of the governance regulation. This included setting reasonable timeframes to allow the public to be informed, participate and express its views. A summary of the public's views had to be attached to the NECP.
Further to this obligation, it is important to remember that all Member States are parties, in their own right, to the “Aarhus Convention” of 25 June 1998, which establishes a number of rights of the public with regard to decision-making on environment matters.
The Aarhus Compliance Committee issued, on 28 May 2019, an Advice to Member States on the public consultation process of the final NECPs. Member States were therefore advised to make sure that
- the arrangements are transparent and fair
- within the arrangements, the necessary information is provided to the public
- the requirements of article 6(3), (4) and (8) of the Aarhus Convention are met, including reasonable timeframes and ensuring that due account is taken of the outcomes of public participation
- Member States ensure that all options, which were open at the time of the preparation of the draft 2021-2030 NECPs, are open at the time of the public participation procedure
National long-term strategies
Under the governance regulation, EU countries were also required to develop national long-term strategies by 1 January 2020 and ensure consistency between long-term-strategies and the 10-year NECPs.
- EU-wide assessment of the 27 final NECPs COM(2020) 564 final
- Communication assessing the 28 draft NECPs COM(2019) 285 final
- Accompanying annex to the communication: Methodology SWD(2019) 212 final
- Accompanying annex to the communication: Assessment of the national forestry accounting plans SWD(2019) 213 final
- Factsheet explaining the national energy and climate plans (June 2019)
- Regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action ((EU)2018/1999)
- Energy union factsheets for EU countries (2017)
- Energy union factsheets summary for EU countries (2018)
- Energy and climate governance and reporting
- State of the Union: Commission raises climate ambition and proposes 55% cut in emissions by 2030
- Factsheet: NECPs - Member State contributions to the EU’s 2030 climate (September 2020)
- Article: National energy and climate plans (EN | FR | DE | IT | ES | PL, June 2020)
- Infographic: National energy and climate plans, European Council (November 2019)
- Energy union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement - Press release (18/06/2019)
- National energy and climate plans explained - Questions and answers (18/06/2019)