Poland can achieve climate neutrality by 2056, while Sweden, Finland and Denmark lead the way in energy transition in the EU, according to baseline version of calculations of the Polish Economic Institute (PEI).
Out of the 115 countries covered by the Energy Transition Index (ETI) 2019 prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the EU Member State most advanced in energy transition towards a zero-carbon economy was Sweden, the leader in the ranking, whereas the poorest performer, ranked 77th, was Bulgaria. Poland was not far ahead, ranking as low as 75th.
Despite significantly differentiated conditions, only three EU Member States have declared achieving early the objective of climate neutrality by 2050 adopted by the Council of the EU in December 2019: Finland by 2035, Austria by 2040 and Sweden by 2045.
As the only Member State, Poland has provided no planned date of achieving decarbonisation. According to calculations based on the Energy Transition Index values and the assumed years of decarbonisation in the other EU Member States, an optimistic version suggests that Poland could become climate-neutral by 2056, but it might be as late as 2067 in a negative scenario – as follows from the report of the Polish Economic Institute entitled ‘Time for decarbonisation’.
- The achievement by EU Member States of climate neutrality by 2050 poses to them a challenge of a varying scale.
- The EU’s leaders in the ETI ranking tend to have a high share of hydropower or nuclear power (sometimes both) in the energy production structure, considerably above the proportion of fossil fuels.
- The scale of the challenge posed by the achievement of climate neutrality is defined not only by energy indicators, but also by those reflecting the economic and social development levels.
- By combining the Energy Transition Index data for all the EU Member States and their times for achieving climate neutrality, it is possible to calculate that Poland would be able to attain this objective by 2056.
- In addition, observations of ETI developments are confirmed by the Energy Trilemma Index prepared by the World Energy Council.
- In Western Europe, Germany and the United Kingdom were once characterised by shares of fossil fuels similar to those currently noted by Central and Eastern European countries.
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