Brussels, 25th of June 2024 Amidst a politically charged post-election landscape, European countries have until June 30th to submit their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) with only a handful of countries likely to do so on time. National governments’ commitment to Europe’s climate obligations remains unclear. 

In their NECPs, all Member States are required to describe, based on a common template, how they intend to contribute to the common European climate goals and reach their climate and energy targets until 2030. 

Most of these targets are already enshrined in the Green Deal legislation, but only  the final revised NECPs will reveal whether Member States have a serious plan to turn them into tangible action, and if the EU will ultimately meet its legal obligations. 

As newly elected decision-makers take their seats, climate remains in the top three concerns and citizens are calling on the European Union to take action over the next five years.

Adequate and ambitious energy and climate plans are about protecting us from climate impacts, and ensuring stable and affordable energy for all. Every day we wait costs human lives and causes suffering. With the cost of inaction being higher than the investment that is so urgently needed now, we simply cannot afford any further delay,” said Cornelia Maarfield, Head of Energy at CAN Europe.

As CAN Europe’s recent study concludes: stepping up 2030 climate ambition, in line with a 1.5°C trajectory would yield benefits of at least €1 trillion by 2030. Additionally, stronger climate action fosters energy security, and mitigates living costs, thus promoting social well-being and economic prosperity.

Barbora Urbanova, director of Centre for Transport and Energy (CDE), Czechia, added: “In many CEE countries, we face an insufficient ownership of climate policies. NECPs are not seen as a priority but as merely an obligation for Brussels. CEE governments need to understand that ambitious climate policies bring along economic, environmental and social benefits, while delaying climate action is counterproductive.

Despite this, significant delays are anticipated, with only a few countries, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, and Spain likely to meet the deadline. Others may submit throughout the summer, with latecomers (potentially France and Portugal) not delivering until December. 

The French NECP is in dire straits with the upcoming elections, given the far-right party has stated its fierce opposition to renewable energy. Even before that, renewable objectives were not clearly stated, but mentioned in a “decarbonized energy” target. It is clear the French NECP requires a serious rise in ambition to meet European climate goals,” said Bastien Cuq, energy lead at RAC France.


Notes to editors

National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) were first drafted in 2019, and mandated by the EU Governance Regulation to be updated this year. Now Member States must bring them in line with Europe’s enhanced climate and energy targets – the Fit for 55 package. To be aligned with the Paris Agreement, countries should go even beyond that and cut emissions by 76% by 2030. In essence, the plans – due in a few days – should reveal how member states intend to collectively deliver the EU’s overall climate goals and pave the way for climate neutrality.

As signaled by NGOs, members of the Together for 1.5 Consortium, by the European Commission itself and the European Scientific Advisorí Board for Climate Change (ESABCC) too, the draft NECPs are currently insufficient – not only to meet the Paris Agreement commitment, but also to implement the EU 2030 climate and energy objectives.

Check the most important dates of the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) process