Can current EU climate policy reliably achieve climate neutrality by 2050?
Post-2030 crunch issues for the move to a net zero economy
The “Fit For 55” package represents a step towards a transformative EU climate policy architecture but is not yet fully capable of facilitating climate neutrality. Key issues to be resolved for post-2030 climate policy include the following:
- What climate neutrality mean in terms of quantitative targets is not sufficiently defined beyond 2030. Separate targets for emissions and removals are needed. An explicit update to the EU LTS would clarify the pathway towards them, to inform policy-making and investments (incl. sectoral roadmaps). Overall, EU climate policy needs shorter, mandatory policy learning cycles to become both more resilient and flexible on the path to net zero.
- Member States and their climate policy need to become more aligned to-wards climate neutrality while the system must employ differentiation and solidarity to accommodate different starting points and economic capacity. This requires a stronger approach to the non- ETS-1 emissions.
- To trigger change in these sectors additional sectorspecific action at EU level is needed in buildings and international transport, beyond carbon pricing. Harmonized EU measures are also needed in agriculture and LULUCF, for both emissions reductions and incentives for carbon dioxide removal, which requires better accounting and a reliable regulatory frame-work. Efforts to reduce emissions from agriculture are currently insufficient and need to become a priority going forward.
- Market demand and infrastructure are key enablers for the move to net-zero industrial production which are currently not being supported sufficiently and require additional attention at EU level.
- While the ETS creates a strong decarbonisation push in electricity production, its realization needs a coordinated effort on infrastructure and markets to allow renewables to be deployed at sufficient speed.