From energy targets to policy

Simon Evans
Carbon Brief
Michaela Holl
Agora Energiewende
Marie Claire Brisbois
University of Sussex

The EU recently increased its energy goals from 32% share of renewable energy by 2030 to 42.5%. But is this new target ambitious enough? And how can these targets be translated into policy across all member states?

This panel featured several experts who spoke on the subject. Marie Claire Brisbois, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sussex, said that there are material challenges to meeting these targets. “We have existing physical infrastructure,” she said. “There are buildings, factories, plants, appliances—all things that take time to replace and take a lot of money, so there's a lot of sunk investment when you're trying to implement the policies you want.” She also stated that people in general will need time to adjust to the changes. “We're social animals and it takes time for us to make behavior changes. We need to have the space and be supported in doing that.”

Dr. Simon Evans, Deputy Editor & Senior Policy Editor at Carbon Brief, said that a lot of the action is based on politics and messaging. He brought up how UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent change in rhetoric around the country’s climate targets will end up having an impact on whether people support or reject any policy changes. “It will make it harder for the UK to meet its targets,” he said.

Finally, Michaela Holl, Senior Associate at Agora Energiewende, added: “What we have seen under the Green Deal with the new climate law that effectively binds all EU institutions and its member states to Net Zero and to minus 55 net domestically by 2030—that is a Quantum Leap that we have done, so this is really a big thing."

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