Developing 2050 Decarbonization Strategies in the EU

Insights on Good Practice from National Experiences


Sartor, O., Donat, L., Duwe, M., Umpfenbach, K. (2017). Developing 2050 decarbonization strategies in the EU: Insights on good practice from national experiences, Study n°03/2017, IDDRI, Paris, France, 22 p.

National long-term (2050) climate strategies have received increased attention in European policy debates in the past two years. The Paris Agreement also invites countries to develop such strategies. This study (a collaborative effort between IDDRI and Ecologic Institute) looks at five existing 2050 strategy processes in the EU and assesses what lessons they hold and how they fit within the emerging 2030 governance framework. The study is available for download.d.

Based on the analysis of long-term strategic strategy development exercises in the UK, France, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic this study explores what role 2050 strategies play in directing short-term decision-making on policy. The study also addresses the questions of what gaps still exist in national and EU frameworks for long-term strategy development and what makes for meaningful and effective long-term strategy development, in terms of technical details of the strategy development process, institutional arrangements and stakeholder engagement.

The results of the analysis suggest that, when done effectively, long-term climate policy strategy development and the underlying processes can improve climate governance in several ways. They can help to identify short-term policy actions and make climate policy making in general more robust, coherent, and ambitious. They can also help to build understanding and consensus among stakeholders about the national strategy and specific policy approaches.

The inclusion of long-term strategies in the Paris Agreement and in the proposal of the European Commission for a new regulation on the "Governance of the Energy Union" make this analysis very topical. Ecologic Institute has assessed the proposed Governance regulation in detail in a separate report, including the respective section on long-term plans. The paper was developed alongside a related piece of research (also undertaken collaboratively between Ecologic Institute and IDDRI), evaluating the national experience with the existing planning and reporting requirements on energy and climate policy in the EU.

More content from this project

Lena Donat, LLM
Katharina Umpfenbach
20 pp.
Project ID
Table of contents
climate governance, planning, 2050 climate and energy targets, EU, European Member States

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