The Second Report on the State of the Energy Union shows that the modernisation of the European Union economy and the transition to a low-carbon era are happening. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is on track to reach its 2020 targets. To further drive this process, the Commission today is announcing a new Energy Union tour.
In line with its commitment to report annually on the state of the Energy Union, the European Commission is publishing today its Second State of the Energy Union Report. This report looks at the progress made since the publication of the first State of the Energy Union in November 2015. These reports are central elements to monitor the implementation of this key priority of the Juncker Commission.
Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union, said: "The Energy Union is about more than energy and climate alone; it is about accelerating the fundamental modernisation of Europe's entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient, in a socially fair manner. We should also strengthen the Energy Union's external dimension, to enhance the EU's global leadership role. Now that a large part of the relevant legislative proposals are on the table, 2017 should be the year of implementation. This is the message that I will bring to Member States during the new Energy Union tour, which I will launch on 3 February."
Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: "Europe is well on track to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets. Despite the current geopolitical uncertainties, Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. There is no alternative. And the facts speak for themselves: renewable energy is now cost-competitive and sometimes cheaper than fossil fuels, employs over one million people in Europe, attracts more investments than many other sectors, and has reduced our fossil fuels imports bill by €16 billion. Now, efforts will need to be sustained as Europe works with its partners to lead the global race to a more sustainable, competitive economy."
Progress on climate action
On climate action, the report highlights that the EU remains firmly on course to reach its 2020 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions in the EU were 22% below the 1990 level.
The EU also continues to successfully decouple its economic growth from its emissions. During the 1990-2015 period, the EU’s combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 50%, while emissions decreased by 22%.
Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, it was the swift ratification by the EU that enabled the entry into force of the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal on 4 November 2016.
In 2016, the Commission also presented a European low emission mobility strategy. By mid-century, greenhouse gas emissions from transport should be at least 60% lower than in 1990 and be firmly on the path towards zero, while ensuring the mobility needs of people and goods as well as global connectivity.
Updated indicators for monitoring progress
Alongside the report, the Commission published a Staff Working Document on the key indicators for monitoring progress towards the Energy Union objectives.
Following a similar document presented in 2015 as part of the first State of the Energy Union package, the document updates the monitoring approach and methodology and puts forward an upgraded set of indicators, building on input and feedback from Member States and stakeholders.
The technical data and analysis underpinning the document provide a factual snapshot of the situation across the EU and in the Member States and help identify potential areas for further improvement. The document can thus serve as a starting point and practical tool for Member States working on their integrated national energy and climate plans.
The State of the Energy Union report is accompanied by several thematic reports covering topics such as the functioning of the European carbon market, the implementation of the CCS Directive, and the quality of fuels used for road transport in the EU, as well as energy issues.
- Publication date
- 1 February 2017
- Directorate-General for Climate Action