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EU Governments Hinder Power Decarbonisation 

European governments are stalling the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy by failing to force power companies they own to decarbonise faster. New analysis by ESG data company GRESB finds EU national governments ultimately own 85% of the bloc’s power generation. While the majority of that is green power, some countries remain stubbornly reliant on coal and gas generation, including Poland, Germany and Ireland. The report calls on governments of these countries to exert more direct pressure on power companies to speed up the shift to cleaner energy sources, arguing failure to do so would put the EU’s climate goals at risk. Electricity generation is considered one of the easiest sectors to decarbonise because the technology is mature and affordable. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net Zero Scenario, which would see global emissions hit zero by mid-century, assumes the power sector is decarbonised well before 2050. This would leave more time and a more generous carbon budget to tackle harder-to-abate sectors such as steel, cement, aviation, shipping and agriculture. “With coal and gas still supplying 5% and 25% of electricity, respectively, across the EU in 2030, the sector will not be on track to meet the IEA’s Net Zero Scenario, which requires net zero electricity emissions by 2035,” said Alex Clark, Research Director for Asset Impact at GRESB. “To reach zero by this date and to stay on track with the IEA’s scenario, total emissions in the EU need to decline more than twice as fast than they currently are over the next six years and coal needs to be completely phased out.”  

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