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A systemic approach to the energy transition in Europe

Scientific advice to strengthen the resilience of the European energy sector

This scientific opinion by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors examines how the European Commission can contribute to the preparation for, acceleration, and facilitation of the clean energy transition in the EU. The European Green Deal aims to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 2050, a necessary step to limit global warming. Achieving this target is possible, but requires urgent and decisive action. The role of energy systems is key in driving progress across virtually all sectors in the transition towards a clean planet for all. Energy policy should therefore be clearly aimed towards achieving climate neutrality and sustainability. EU energy systems should be based on decarbonised energy sources. The Group recommends to maintain future energy systems flexible in terms of pathways, different technologies, and scales of implementation, and to support European research and innovation as a world leader in new technologies and smart systems. Policy makers should recognise the roles of all actors and stakeholders (from the public and private sectors to individuals and households, at local, national, European and international levels) in creating an inclusive and participatory environment that supports low-carbon energy choices. Finally, the Group recommends supporting a coordinated combination of policies, measures and instruments, including carbon pricing as a driving force, to shape an effective, consistent and just regulatory system.

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