07 March 2024

European countries converge on 2035 end date for fossil power

BERLIN, 7 MARCH 2024 – Ten EU nations, representing over sixty percent of the bloc’s electricity generation capacity have committed to move their power systems away from fossil fuels by 2035 or sooner, with four of those explicitly pledging to replace coal and fossil gas with renewables, according to new analysis of European countries published today by Beyond Fossil Fuels.

A further three EU member states have similar commitments but they do not respect the 2035 end date for fossil-free power. Should they also make pledges, over 70 percent of the EU’s electricity sector would then be covered by 2035 power sector commitments [1].

According to the global energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency, European nations should decarbonise their power sectors by 2035 to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target [2].

It’s encouraging that many European governments share the ambition to usher in the fossil-free era by making 2035 power sector commitments. Now more need to follow suit. But respecting the 2035 time horizon is only part of the task. Governments need to be explicit in their commitment to phase out coal and gas, and fully replace them with renewables,” said Tara Connolly, campaigner at Beyond Fossil Fuels.

According to the new Government 2035 Commitment Tracker launched today by Beyond Fossil Fuels [3], Austria, Denmark, Lithuania and Luxembourg are the EU countries that have acceptable commitments to transform their power sectors. Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands have also made commitments, but theirs are insufficient either because they are not clear enough in their determination to phase out fossil fuels from their power sectors, or because they intend to rely on inappropriate power generation technologies, or both [4]. Finally, Portugal, Romania and Sweden have made power sector commitments, but theirs are insufficient because they do not respect the 2035 end date for fossil fuels in power generation.

Government power sector commitments are essential because they send a clear signal to industry and investors about the direction of a country’s climate action. This provides certainty for planners, and drives down the cost of capital, sparking flows of vital finance for the energy transition. Only by being explicit about our intention to build a sustainable power system can we break free from the grip of unpredictable global fossil fuel markets and shape our power systems so that they truly serve people and the planet,” added Connolly.

END

Beyond Fossil Fuels’ Government 2035 Commitment Tracker: https://beyondfossilfuels.org/government-2035-commitment-tracker

Contacts:
Julia Pazos, Communications Officer, Beyond Fossil Fuels,
[email protected], +13109949692

Tara Connolly, Campaigner, Beyond Fossil Fuels
[email protected], +32 477 790 416

Notes:
Together, Austria, Denmark, Lithuania and Luxembourg account for 4.6% of the EU’s power sector. Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands account for 57.4%. Portugal, Romania and Sweden make up 9.1%.
The IEA’s 1.5°C-compatible global energy scenario strongly recommends that advanced economies decarbonise their power sectors by 2035: https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050
Beyond Fossil Fuels’ new Government 2035 Commitment Tracker assesses political commitments made by governments based on their alignment with the need to phase out fossil fuels from the European power sector and replace them with renewables by 2035: https://beyondfossilfuels.org/government-2035-commitment-tracker/
The following technologies are incompatible with an on-time, just transition of Europe’s power system that is positive for people and nature: the expansion of bioenergy; new nuclear energy; hydrogen produced using fossil fuels; immature or non-existent technologies at a commercial scale such as carbon capture utilisation and storage.

About:
Beyond Fossil Fuels is a collective civil society campaign committed to ensuring all of Europe’s electricity is generated from fossil-free, renewable energy by 2035. It expands and builds upon the Europe Beyond Coal campaign, and its goal of a coal-free Europe in power and heat by 2030 at the latest. www.beyondfossilfuels.org

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