What happened to the final NECPs?

2019 was the year of the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). Everybody was talking about these plans, looking at them, assessing them, discussing them, and generally getting frustrated. Now we are at the beginning of 2020 and with the EU Green Deal having stolen the spotlight, we hardly hear talks of NECPs... so what’s happened to them?

According to the timeline included in the Governance Regulation, 28 draft plans were supposed to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of December 2018. Not all of them were submitted on time but all of them did eventually get to the European Commission. 

PlanUp analysed the draft plans of 10 countries, finding a lack of data and concrete details on how countries plan to meet their climate targets.

These findings were mirrored in those of the European Commission that in June 2019  provided recommendations on how member states could improve the draft plans. 

The recommendations looked at the overarching goals and determined whether member states were collectively reaching the 2030 climate and energy targets, in terms of emission reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Commission also provided in-depth country-by-country suggestions, stressing in particular where more details should be provided, and more quantified data should be added.

Between June 2019 and the end of December 2019, member states were supposed to take due account of the Commission’s recommendations and finalise the NECPs. The deadline to submit the final plans was 31 December 2019. 

One month after the deadline, most plans have been finalised but not all of them have been submitted. Plans from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Spain are still missing. 

Spain and Romania are therefore the only two out of the five focus countries of the PlanUp project that still have not completed their homework.

Spain is currently conducting a strategic environmental assessment that will inform the final NECP. This is usually a relatively long process that is expected to last 45 days and will delay the submission of the plan by a couple of months. The final NECP is expected to be submitted sometime in March. 

Romania is still working to finalise the plan behind closed doors. It is expected to be published any time now, as the beginning of February was the last official expected release date. 

Italy, Hungary and Poland have finalised and submitted their plans, more or less within the required deadline and are now preparing for implementation. 

The next few months will be dedicated to assessing whether the final plans have improved compared to the drafts in terms of ambition but also concrete policy measures and more quantified data. PlanUp will continue to work to ensure that these plans are strong and effective before they are implemented.