The State of the Energy Union Report, published today for the first time, shows that much progress has already been made since the adoption of the Energy Union Framework Strategy nine months ago. Still much remains to be done, and 2016 will be an important year of delivery.
The Energy Union Framework Strategy created a new momentum to bring about the transition to a low-carbon, secure and competitive economy. The Commission has also committed to report annually on the state of the Energy Union in order to address the key issues and steer the policy debate.
Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union, said: "Nine months down the road, we can say with confidence that we are on track to deliver the Energy Union. My messages for 2016 are clear. First, the EU should continue to lead in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Second, that transition should be socially fair and consumer-centred. And third, the geopolitical challenges that we faced this year will not go away. 2016 will also be the year in which we will lay the foundations of a robust governance system bringing predictability and transparency, which is what investors need. In sum: 2016 will be a year of delivery!"
Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: "The Energy Union is starting to take shape. A lot of progress has been made in these few months but we should now move to full scale delivery of all actions needed. This will be my focus in 2016: presenting the legislation to make our electricity market work better, to further increase the share of renewables, to bring down our energy consumption and to ensure security of our gas supply. With this, the EU's energy system will be stronger and all conditions will be set for the EU's transition toward a low-carbon energy system. As all eyes turn towards the negotiations in Paris, this is a renewed pledge of European leadership and our commitment to the international efforts to fight climate change."
On climate change, the State of the Energy Union highlights Europe's contribution to the Paris negotiations. At this stage, more than 160 countries representing more than 90% of global emissions have presented their contributions to the Paris Agreement.
The EU submitted in this process a binding domestic economy-wide emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. After the Paris conference, it will be important that all countries follow up with concrete implementation of their commitments.
The Climate action progress report published alongside the State of the Energy Union shows that the EU has been particularly successful in decoupling economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions: between 1990 and 2014, the EU's GDP grew by 46% while total greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 23%.
The EU is also on track to meet both the 2020 emissions reduction target of 20%, as well as the Kyoto Protocol targets. However, further measures are needed to meet the 2030 target.