Press releases

EU not packing the punch needed to reach climate goals reveals new EU Climate Policy Tracker 2011

Published: 01/12/2011

Brussels, Belgium: A WWF and Ecofys study released today warns that EU climate and energy policy is failing to put the EU on a course to 2050 decarbonisation. This would mean missing an opportunity to transition to a competitive economy, leading to a climate shock that would dwarf the scale of the financial crisis.

The EU Climate Policy Tracker 2011 (EU CPT –, a newly updated and revised version of the 2010 study, reveals that despite improvements by nine member states over the past year, some have achieved a worse score than their EU CPT 2010 rating. As importantly, the overall average remains low. An evaluation of EU-level policy using a scale from A to G (where G is lowest) finds that the average score is a very disappointing E.

“The Climate Policy Tracker is a powerful tool. It allows governments and stakeholders to easily identify policy areas where action can be taken to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, says Niklas Höhne, Director Energy & Climate Policy at Ecofys.

Most new policies implemented in Member States during the past year have been introduced as a result of laws passed at an EU level. However, a lack of effective implementation of these laws by certain Member States, has led to a situation where their full positive impacts have not been felt. Recent EU plans for reducing emissions by 2050 have been long on words and short on action.

“The obvious gaps in EU policy are ringing alarm bells. The Emissions Trading System (ETS) needs to be made relevant again. The energy efficiency directive has to be rescued from sinking to the lowest common denominator. The EU Climate Policy Tracker shows how important these legislative efforts are – the EU cannot continue to miss the opportunities it has to avert climate and economic disaster”, says Jason Anderson, Head of Climate & Energy Policy at WWF European Policy Office.

Fortunately, there are success stories in each country and each sector. If Member States were to achieve best-practice scores in each sector, overall ratings would double. This means that policy options are available, but not implemented across the board.

“The greatest progress across Europe is seen in policies that support renewable energy, while policies for sectors like transport, industry and energy efficiency in general, are all seriously lagging behind”, says Höhne.

Due to the economic crisis, green growth has been made part of many government plans, but real transformation is just not visible yet. Budget cuts have affected some clean energy policies, though there have been some notable policy decisions to abandon nuclear energy in Germany and Italy, as well as positive moves towards long-term independence from fossil fuels in Denmark.

“We’ve heard a lot from the EU this year about 2050 roadmaps, but meaningful legislation designed to meet the 2050 emissions targets needs to quickly follow to prevent these lofty roadmaps being folded up and put away to gather dust”, says Anderson.

The EU Climate Policy Tracker 2011 is compiled from publicly available information. It measures all sectors which influence greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union such as general climate policy, electricity supply, industry, buildings, transport, agriculture and forestry. It is a working document and will be updated periodically.  

Please find the report in our publications. 


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For further information:

  • Jason Anderson, Head of Climate and Energy Policy, WWF European Policy Office,
    Mob. +32 (0)474 837 603, email:
  • Nadege Defrere, Climate & Energy Media & Communication Officer, WWF European Policy Office, Tel. +32 (0)2 743 8806, email:
  • Dr. Niklas Höhne, Director Energy & Climate Policy, Ecofys, Tel: +49 221 270 70 101,
    Mob: +49 162 101 34 20, email:
  • Marielle Vosbeek, Manager Marketing & Communication, Ecofys, Tel:+ 31 (0)30 662-3402,
    Mob: +31 652545743,


About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

About Ecofys – Experts in Energy
Established in 1984 with the vision of achieving “sustainable energy for everyone”, Ecofys has become the leading expert in renewable energy, energy & carbon efficiency, energy systems & markets as well as energy & climate policies. The unique synergy between those areas of expertise is the key to its success. Ecofys creates smart, effective, practical and sustainable solutions for and with public and corporate clients all over the world. With offices in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and the US, Ecofys employs over 250 experts dedicated to solving energy and climate challenges.