The aim of this tracker is to provide policy makers, private and public investors, businesses and industry, regional and local decision-makers, grid operators and market authorities, civil society and the media with an up-to-date assessment of government commitments to phase out fossil fuels from the power sector and replace them with renewable energy by 2035. The transition to a renewables-based power sector is central to the wider transformation of Europe’s energy system, which is needed to help deliver the commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

A clear government commitment creates an important signal for all stakeholders about the vision and direction of the energy transition in that country. It provides energy market participants and investors with certainty, reduces the cost of capital and mobilises finance. It gives clarity about the lifetime of assets and helps ensure their retirement is managed in an efficient and just manner.

However, a government commitment is only the first step. They must be followed up with credible action plans that set out the policies and measures that will be implemented in order to deliver on them. This tracker does not assess the existence or credibility of any plans to implement government commitments, nor does it monitor progress towards achieving them.

The following tools provide more information and analysis of the energy transition plans of European governments. These assessments include analyses of the credibility of the plans, including whether they rely on the expansion of unrealistic, costly or unsustainable technologies that risk harming communities and nature, including large-scale bioenergy, hydropower, overreliance on renewable hydrogen and building new nuclear power plants.

CAN Europe: Together For 1.5C NECPs Tracker Tool

Ember: Live EU NECP tracker

Key criteria

The methodology underpinning the commitment tracker considers three main elements: the content of the commitment, the timeline for implementation of the commitment, and the level of political endorsement of the commitment.

Content of the commitment

The commitment must include a full phase out of all fossil fuels from the power sector of the country. This means that it cannot include plans for carbon capture and storage (CCS) or fossil-based hydrogen (with or without CCS) because these technologies involve the continued extraction and use of fossil fuels. Commitments that include new nuclear plants are deemed insufficient, given the extremely high capital costs and long construction time of these projects.

It must use clear language, for example, a commitment to achieve ‘100% renewable electricity’ or a commitment for a ‘fossil-free’ power sector. Language that is not explicit in this regard, such as achieving a ‘carbon-neutral’ or ‘climate-neutral’ power sector or the ‘decarbonisation’ of the power sector is not considered sufficiently clear.

Timeline for implementation 

The International Energy Agency has stated that European countries must remove all carbon emissions from their electricity sectors by 2035 to play their part in keeping global temperature rise to 1.5°C. As such, commitments must aim to be implemented by 2035 or earlier. Those that deliver later than 2035 are not considered sufficient.

Political endorsement

The commitment must be either set in national law or be adopted as official government policy. Targets or trajectories referred to in final or draft national energy and climate plans (NECPs) are accepted as official government policy.


There are five possible categories of assessments for each country:

  • The country’s power sector is already fossil-free;
  • The government has set an acceptable commitment to a fossil-free, renewables-based power sector;
  • The government is discussing a commitment;
  • The government has made a commitment, however it is insufficient;
  • The government has made no commitment.

For a commitment to be considered acceptable, it must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Includes a full phase out of all fossil fuels from the power sector;
  • Is set to be achieved by 2035 or earlier;
  • Uses clear language (eg ‘100% renewable electricity’ or ‘fossil-free’ and not ‘carbon-neutral)’;
  • Does not rely on new nuclear power capacity, carbon capture storage or fossil-based hydrogen.

If a commitment fails one of these criteria, it is considered ‘insufficient’.

If there is a debate within a country’s government about establishing a commitment to remove fossil fuels from its power sector but an official government policy or law has not been agreed, it is considered ‘under discussion’.

A country’s power sector is considered already fossil-free when only a residual share of fossil fuels remains, i.e. less than 3%.

Disclaimer: Beyond Fossil Fuels – previously Europe Beyond Coal – uses its best efforts to deliver a high quality of the Database and to verify that the data contained therein have been selected on the basis of sound judgement. It is based on all relevant data known of by the collaborators of Beyond Fossil Fuels, but may not be exhaustive, and there may exist further or updated information that they were not aware of. However, Beyond Fossil Fuels makes no warranties to that effect, and shall not be liable for any damage that may result from errors or omissions in the Database.