A tree falling in the forest makes a clear sound, but a National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) that is not fit for purpose can be submitted to the EU in profound silence instead.
All EU countries were obliged to send drafts of an updated NECP to the EU at the end of June. A 220-page long document – called Denmark’s Climate and Energy Plan – was also sent to Brussels in good time. However, the name is very misleading. What Denmark sent is not a plan at all. According to the updated Danish NECP, Denmark will not reach its national climate target of 70% reduction in 2030 and our EU obligations (the non-ETS sectors and LULUCF). The current plan predicts that in 2030 Denmark will have accumulated a reduction shortfall of approx. 25 MT CO2, this is not acceptable and the updated plan needs to be more structured and ambitious in order to represent a NECP up to the expectations.
All EU countries are obliged to submit an updated and more ambitious NECPs for 2030 and 2040 describing how the countries will contribute to achieving both their own and the EU’s climate goals.
It is not useless bureaucracy. Next year, the EU must prepare its new National Determined Contribution (NDC). According to the Paris Agreement, in 2025 the EU must submit a new NDC that sets an increased reduction target for 2035. In this framework, the national NECPs are an important element to outline a pathway to decrease the EU’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. The 2035 ambition level presented by the EU will then reflect the ambition level containted in the national NECPs: Denmark must do its part and deliver a plan aligned with the Paris Agreement objectives.
Fortunately, the race is not over yet. The NECP that Denmark submitted in June is still a work-in-progress. The final version of the document must be ready by June 2024. It is therefore a crucial time for the government to include ideas from all stakeholders, so that the final NECP will actually contain an ambitious plan.
Author: Dan Belusa on behalf of 92 Group
Download necps report — march 2023