This report presents the findings from the first comprehensive assessment of the 22 long-term strategies (LTSs) of EU Member States available as of March 2022. It is complemented by a briefing that summarises the key findings and recommendations.
The analysis looked at two distinct qualities of strategies: the vision of a low-emission future represented in the pathways and projections of the LTS as well as the preparation and use of the strategy as a tool to guide policy decisions, in other words its relevance in national climate policy.
In several EU Member States developing an LTSs has had a positive impact on national policy already. However, the assessment found that to varying degrees most LTSs lack information on their long-term vision and some LTSs are already outdated. Strategies with missing or out-of-date information cannot sufficiently guide near-term policymaking. In addition, most LTS preparation processes fall short on participation, and the strategies omit detail on follow-up. This risks generating lower political support and ultimately reduces the use of the strategies as a tool to guide policies and interim targets.
If national Long-Term Strategies are to serve their purpose in providing a robust strategic context for the development of sufficiently ambitious NECPs for 2030, as well as the data required by the EU Commission to effectively monitor policy consistency for net zero under the EU Climate Law, this report is a ‘must read’ for policy officials at EU and national levels”.
The European Commission should take an active role by:
- Providing additional technical support, e.g., capacity support, common modelling tools or parameters
- Launching a forum for good practice experience sharing among Member States, and for encouraging integrated planning processes across borders
- Enforcing compliance with the requirements for LTSs in the Governance Regulation including timely submission
- Creating a bottom-up vision for climate neutrality in the EU using the national LTSs and integrating it into an update of the EU LTS