This Policy Brief makes the case for a multi-dimension framework to assess adequacy of the global response to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and provide specific recommendations to the EU to apply this framework in its policy process to accelerating climate action in the context of the European Green Deal.

Key Messages

  • We are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement mitigation goals: the challenge is to better understand the nature of this gap and to feed political discussions at all relevant levels and across these different levels on how to address it. Studies on general abatement potentials or theoretical economic assessments have played a role but have limited capacity in moving us further.
  • The successful implementation of the Paris Agreement inevitably requires addressing different inter-connected dimensions: governance, economic and social, sectoral & physical transformations and GHG emissions.
  • Political discussions on ambition need to be confronted with adequacy assessments that allow for these different dimensions to be considered. Rather than overcomplicating things, a more textured response, embedded in the realities of the different geographies and for each of the sectors, while making the best of international cooperation, will facilitate the design of possible new avenues to make a more rapid and effective transition (from an environmental perspective) possible.
  • Adequacy assessments should also play a key role in tracking progress and identifying avenues for international cooperation given the highly dynamic and interactive nature of the ambition ratchet-up mechanism (i.e. NDC submission cycles and stock takes).
  • For the EU, the application of this adequacy framework yields three specific recommendations for the very short term:
    - Use the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) final review process to structure a political discussion on ambition and sector-level priorities by linking them to the European Semester
    - Inviting Member States (MS) to consider the creation of independent advisory bodies in the Climate Law to be presented by March and ensuring existing EU institutions support their collaboration at EU level
    - Establishing a European stocktake to prepare the EU contribution under the Paris Agreement as part of its Climate Pact.


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