IEA says EU’s energy systems are becoming cleaner and more resilient

As the production and use of energy accounts for 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, the EU’s energy sector will have to be at the forefront of efforts to reduce emissions

An in-depth review of the EU’s energy policies, released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA), states the EU is well on track towards a cleaner and more resilient energy future as it rebuilds from the Covid-19 crisis. With its strengthened efforts, the EU reinforces its global leadership in seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The review offers energy sector recommendations for implementing the European Green Deal, with a view to make the EU climate neutral by 2050, and achieving a sustainable economic recovery. It finds that, with the Commission’s new recovery plan, the EU has a real opportunity to boost economic growth, create new jobs and support the clean transition of the European energy sector.

The report was launched by Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, and Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director.

Commissioner Simson said:

The IEA’s review of EU energy policy comes at a crucial moment, as we debate the investment priorities for our economic recovery and the future EU budget. The review supports the Commission’s firm commitment to a green recovery, which is at the heart of our proposal for a €750 billion recovery plan. We will continue to work closely with the IEA as we design European policies to transform our energy sector and at the same time provide jobs, growth and better quality of life.

In its report, the IEA says the EU has become a leader in deploying renewable energy technologies, and many of its Member States have adopted policies to phase out coal in the coming years. The EU should actively build on the bloc’s integrated energy market and cross-border trade and develop stronger carbon price signals. Pooling investments in clean technologies will enhance the competitiveness of industry. The report also highlights how maintaining energy security remains critical, and for this EU electricity systems and markets will need to accommodate very high shares of variable renewable energy as transitions gather pace.

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