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Energy for Climate in EuropeAn assessment of energy policieswith climate-relevance


The LinkS project aims at providing a better linkage between perspectives and projections for global climate policy development and regional energy systems, by linking relevant modelling tools. The present report provides a specific focus on energy policy measures within the EU with climate relevance.

The EU has in recent years aimed at reinforcing the linkage between the climate and energy policies, both at strategic and operational levels. The EU has pledged itself to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with 8 percent by 2008-12 as compared to the 1990 level, and by 20 percent by 2020 as compared to the 2005 level. The EU-27 reduced its GHG emissions with 11,3 percent in 1990-2008. The 2020-target, however, will require stronger efforts and energy is a key sector: The EU has decided that 20 percent of the energy used in 2020 must be renewable, and that the energy usage in 2020 is to be 20 percent more efficient than in 2005. A number of policy strategies, measures and legislation are formulated to fulfil these targets.

In order to highlight the potential of these measures, this report specifically addresses the drivers and limitations given the existing decision-making structures in the EU. The methodology employed is mainly qualitative, based on document analysis and a review of secondary literature.

Climate-change mitigation is in principle based on supra-national decision-making, but unanimity among all EU Member States is still required in critical issues related to the energy sector. In addition, the national follow-up of the targets constitutes a particular challenge. This is here illustrated by the cases of Denmark and Norway. Energy policy is also substantially characterised by several conflicting interests between the Member States, resulting in diverging policy priorities. It is, therefore, an open question whether the EU will succeed in fulfilling its 20/20/20 percent targets by 2020, and what will be the actual role of energy within the climate-change strategy.






  • Audun Ruud
  • Jørgen Kjetil Knudsen
  • Gerd Jakobsen


  • SINTEF Energy Research / Termisk energi






TR A7066



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