The 30th of June 2024 marked the end of the submission period for the final National Climate and Energy Plans (NECPs). This deadline follows the previous submission of the draft updated NECPs, 30th of June 2023, by one year. At present, only Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden have submitted their final NECPs. 

Overall, there have been significant delays in the revision process, as most Member States submitted their 2023 draft revisions well after the official deadline, and one country (Austria) has yet to publish it. 

The NECPs are the primary strategic policy planning tool for Member States to outline how they will meet the energy and climate targets set by the Energy Union. By offering predictability for short, medium, and long-term investments, they are an invaluable asset to achieve the collective goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

In their previous updated drafts, Member States showed progress towards achieving the 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels. However, the projections fell 4% short in the 2023 updated draft NECPs, indicating a need for additional measures to bridge this gap and ensure compliance with the Climate Law

Specifically, the draft updated NECPs estimate a 51% reduction in net GHG emissions by 2030, insufficient to meet the 55% target. Similarly, the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) projections indicate a shortfall of 40 to 50 Mt CO2 eq. compared to the 2030 target for net removals, with particular concerns for Czechia, Estonia, Finland, and France. 

The collective ambition for renewable energy (RES) share is set between 38.6% and 39.3% by 2030, below the binding target of 42.5% (RED II), with significant differences among Member States’ contributions. However, the majority of Member States indicate trajectories for renewable technologies to 2030 and include targets or projections for the increase of RES share in heating and cooling. 

There are considerable differences in the way Member States address energy security . The EU significantly reduced its reliance on Russian energy imports, with natural gas imports dropping from 45% of EU imports in 2021 to 15% in 2023. However, detailed plans for diversifying gas supplies or transitioning to low-carbon energy sources are provided by only few countries. Additionally, the draft updated plans lack focus on the growing need for demand flexibility and the role of energy storage, including thermal energy storage (TES). 

The Commission’s evaluation of the previous NECPs was generally positive. However, notable gaps were identified, especially in maintaining the EU’s overall ambition and in meeting specific legislative requirements. This raises serious concerns about credibility. The Commission urged Member States to incorporate its recommendations. The effectiveness of these efforts will be evaluated as more Member States finalize and submit their final updated plans.

Sources: COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS EU wide assessment of the draft updated National Energy and Climate Plans An important step towards the more ambitious 2030 energy and climate objectives under the European Green Deal and RePowerEU EUR-Lex – 52023DC0796 – EN – EUR-Lex (