The EU NDC after the Talanoa Dialogue


The EU's first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement covers the period 2021 to 2030 and pledges a 40% economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to be shared between all 28 Member States. In accordance with the Conference of the Parties’ (COP) Decision 1/CP.21, the EU has to communicate or update its NDC by 2020, and every five years thereafter. In the run-up to that date, the EU is preparing to take part in the Talanoa Dialogue at COP 24 in Katowice.  

The EU’s NDC built on the European Council conclusions of 23/24 October 2014, which set out the 2030 climate and energy framework and on the main EU document outlining the long-term climate strategy, the “EU 2050 Climate and Energy Roadmap”, issued in 2011.

However, much has changed since the 2050 Roadmap was published and the European Council conclusions were adopted. The Paris Agreement led to new carbon constraints, including the concept of carbon neutrality by the second half of the century. The climate science also evolved, with the recent most recent and the forthcoming IPCC Assessment Reports substantially changing the knowledge base. In addition, some predictions included in the 2050 Roadmap are no longer valid; cost of renewables decreased at a faster rate than expected, investment in renewables and energy storage increased, new sources of gas emerged.

For that reason, the European Council called the Commission to update the “EU 2050 Climate and Energy Roadmap” by the first quarter of 2019. The request adds up to a significant increase in the momentum for addressing climate change. The IPCC 1.5°C Special Report, scheduled for release in October 2018, before the COP 24, is expected to underline the increase in urgency, as well as the need for a significant ramping up of the effort required.

Both, the preparation for the Talanoa Dialogue, as well as the release of the EC Communication on mid-century strategy will undoubtedly involve a discussion about the level of effort that the EU has pledged and how that matches the finding of the 1.5 °C Report, as well as the role that they want to play in ensuring that the Paris Agreement leads to increasing levels of ambition.

The main objective of this projects are to provide the opporutnity for a public debate on increasing the ambition of the EU climate policy in the 2030 perspective. This will require a EU-wide discussion on how to harmonise a number of elements, which could be focuses on the following elements:

  • The EU position for the “Talanoa Dialogue”;
  • The “EU long-term strategy for the UNFCCC” and its impact on the 2030 target for emissions;
  • How these issues relate to the current EU NDC and the IPCCC 1.5C Special Report;
  • How to induce a positive dynamic among the rest of the world to increase the global climate ambition;
  • Just transition;
  • Technical solutions to raise EU ambition for 2030.

The deliverables of this project include:

  • A discussion paper on the options to enhance the EU NDC and criteria to judge options against;
  • 5 open fora in EU Member States to debate the discussion paper;
  • A policy paper which will build on the discussion paper and open fora, to be published before COP24.

This project was a joint initiative between ERCST and EUI. It is funded/supported by the governments of France, Germany, Denmark and the Czech Republic. 

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The EU's NDC after the Talanoa Dialogue - Options paper
Date: 21 January 2019

Author(s): Andrei Marcu, Simone Borghesi, Wijnand Stoefs, Isabella Alloisio, Francesco Nicolli, Domien Vangenechten

The EU's NDC after the Talanoa Dialogue - Policy paper
Date: 26 November 2018

Author(s): Andrei Marcu and Simone Borghesi