A just net-zero energy transition for Europe: evaluating pathways

The talk addresses two issues: a just effort sharing distribution across countries and a comparative evaluation of various pathway options within countries.

On the former, the European Commission has suggested a differentiated effort sharing allocation among countries, based primarily on a capability criterion. We show that additional consideration of the equally relevant principles of responsibility and equality does shift reduction targets, sometimes significantly so. Such further considerations might increase buy-in from countries which up to now may not have agreed with an approach emphasizing capability as the only relevant factor in carbon budget allocation.

For implementation within the countries of Europe, we develop socio-political derived net-zero energy pathways, implement them in a bottom-up energy model and evaluate them in an aggregate socio-economic model. For the Member States of the EU, UK and South Eastern European countries we find that a people-powered storyline dominates more centralized approaches in various dimensions, including overall welfare, but the extent to which this occurs differs across time and countries.