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EU’s progress on energy transition too slow to meet Paris Agreement objectives

The annual State of the Energy Union report published by the European Commission today shows that the transition of the European economy away from fossil fuels is underway, but its pace is far too slow to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The report [1] confirms that the EU is well on track to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets, with the climate target in particular set to be largely overshot. This indicates that also the 2030 targets are far too modest. The report also ignores the need to speed up the energy transition to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. It is silent on how the EU will implement the Paris Agreement and respond to the UN's call to further reduce projected 2030 emissions by another 25% on top of the current commitments to achieve the 2°C temperature limit agreed in Paris [2].

“Current progress does not mean that the EU can rest on its laurels, because it has set the bar extremely low” – Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said. “Being on track to reach our current weak targets gives one additional argument that the EU can and must do more to scale up climate ambition. Aligning the energy transition with the Paris Agreement will require more ambitious climate and energy targets, strong legislation, and additional measures such as deadlines for phasing out fossil fuels.”

The State of the Energy Union Report recognizes the need to step up efforts towards phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and to only support energy infrastructure which is in line with the long-term clean energy policy.

Wendel Trio added: “Today’s report makes it clear that in order to build the Energy Union the EU needs to stop giving any kind of financial support to fossil fuels and direct funding towards clean energy. The new EU post-2020 budget must prioritize energy efficiency and renewables and withdraw from any funding that promotes production and consumption of fossil fuels”.

Today, CAN Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network, Friends of the Earth Europe and Green Budget Europe released an infographic that shows how the new EU Budget must change to deliver a sustainable and clean Energy Union [3].


[1] European Commission, State of the Energy Union report,

[2] UNEP, Emissions Gap Report,

[3] Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network, Friends of the Earth Europe, Green Budget Europe, EU budget for a clean energy union,

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