A climate for the future
On 30 November 2016 the European Commission published its proposal for Energy Union governance beyond 2020. The proposal requires Member States to produce long-term low carbon strategies - a key part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. This is not the first time Member States have had to produce such plans: Low-Carbon Development Strategies (LCDS) for 2050 were already required by the EU’s 2013 Monitoring Mechanism Regulation1 (MMR). Member States were supposed to hand in these plans by 2015.
The EU-funded ‘MaxiMiseR’ project aims to help Member States produce effective LCDS and thus avoid issues such as stranded assets. It has analysed and assessed the LCDS submitted by Member States in 2015 under the MMR. MaxiMiseR has given each LCDS a score based on elements like long-term vision, ambition, credibility and scientific basis, and on whether it was developed in a transparent and participative manner.
It is important to note that these assessments are based solely on the analysis of the documen- tation submitted to the European Environment Agency in 2015, in accordance with the obliga- tion in the MMR. From anecdotal evidence, we are aware that there have since been changes in many of the Member States. In some cases, this has been a weakening of targets and Low-Carbon Development Strategy processes whilst in others, it has been the development of stronger higher quality strategies. In the case of Germany, a new LCDS was presented in Marrakech in November 2016 at the COP22 climate summit. The MaxiMiseR project foresees that all updates submitted by Member States in March 2017, in accordance with the MMR will be assessed, and therefore these changes will be captured and reported at that time. Only eleven out of the twenty-eight Member States delivered a Low-Carbon Development Strategy by January 2015 as required under EU law. These coun- tries are Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the UK.
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