Press releases

Member States must review National Energy and Climate Plans ahead of Environment Council Discussion on March 25

  • E3G’s evaluation of draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) reveals a promising decrease in gas consumption by 2030 across Europe. The evaluation of draft NECPs from France, Germany, Italy, and Hungary examined their effectiveness in facilitating a smooth transition within the gas sector, critical for achieving the EU’s emission reduction goals and enhancing energy security.  
  • Yet Highlights Critical Gaps in Member States’ Gas Transition Strategies. Member States must critically review their NECP plans before final submission in June. The Environment Council on March 25th, 2024 is an opportunity for the Commission to ask for more detailed policies for gas reduction and impact mitigation. 


Accounting for approximately 55% of Europe’s gas consumption in 2021, the evaluated NECPs hold substantial influence over Europe’s energy transition trajectory.  

Employing six meticulous benchmarks, E3G’s assessment gauges the alignment of these plans with the principles underpinning the European Green Deal and the objective of reaching climate neutrality by 2050.  

Key findings from the assessment underscore: 

Substantial Reductions in Gas Consumption: Major gas-consuming nations are projected to reduce gas consumption by an average of 30% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, signalling a marked decline in gas usage. However, this trajectory falls short of the requirements outlined in the REPowerEU initiative to achieve climate neutrality. 

Shortcomings in Renewable Gas Development: Strategies for the development of renewable gas exhibit notable deficiencies, including uncertainties surrounding budget allocation and demand-supply dynamics, posing challenges to meeting emissions reduction targets. 

Accelerated Phase-Down of Fossil Gas: The phase-down of fossil gas is anticipated to occur sooner and more rapidly than previously envisaged, presenting challenges to the energy system and necessitating meticulous management to mitigate economic impacts and ensure a just transition. 

In anticipation of the European Commission’s discussion on NECPs with the Environment Council on March 25, Member States must undertake a critical reflection on their plans. Enhanced granularity in submitted policies and measures to reduce gas consumption and address its impacts is essential before the final plans are due in June. 


Raphael Hanoteaux, Senior Policy Advisor for Gas Policies, E3G said: 

“E3G’s assessment underscores the imminent and significant phase-down of gas consumption. The EU must establish a robust policy framework to effectively manage this transition, supporting the downsizing of gas infrastructure and facilitating a just transition for affected workers. This is indispensable for realising a sustainable and resilient energy future for Europe. 

Chris Rosslowe, Senior Energy & Climate Data Analyst at Ember said:  

“Clean power, especially wind and solar, is primed to cut Europe’s gas dependency. It’s positive that accelerating gas reduction in national plans is mirrored by a widespread acceleration of renewables, but ambition isn’t yet high enough to meet EU energy goals. Governments continue to underestimate the speed of the energy transition, which is already in full swing.” 

–  ENDS – 

Available for comment 

Raphael Hanoteaux (EN, FR, ES), Senior Policy Advisor, EU Gas Policies 

m: +32 496 205 903,   

Notes to Editors 

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G 
  2. For further enquiries email or phone +44 (0)7783 787 863 


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