Corona no doubt was the dominant driver of events in 2020, but in its shadow the year has seen a number of other significant developments that are crucial for the achievability of NW Europe’s Net Zero ambitions. China, USA and the European Union have each announced, introduced, or intensified their decarbonisation ambitions, indicating that climate change abatement is taken more seriously than ever. And for the first time in the history of the EU a large and energy-relevant member has left the Union.

At the moment of publication of this 2020 report ‘Phasing Out Carbon’, the authors could not have anticipated Corona itself, let alone the huge responses taken by governments or the massive implications on lives, society and economics. Added to these Black Swans a number of very consequential events have taken place, perhaps to some extent independently, like the outcome of elections, the path Brexit took, or the momentum that climate change policies have acquired.

All these Black Swan and cross-roads events have potentially kicked the development trajectories of NW Europe into new orbits. It is therefore clear that there is ample scope to rethink the Phasing Out Carbon scenario against these radically changed perspectives and potential new trends. For governments to adjust the Green Deal if and where appropriate, and for business to realign their strategies.

Read the full report by the World Energy Council by clicking here