After reviewing socio-economic and technological trends in energy systems of EMME, the report of the Energy Systems TF highlights gaps in knowledge and policy that hinder decarbonisation. It identifies three pillars that need immediate attention by governments in the region: Improving the knowledge base; mitigating growth in energy demand; and ensuring that energy needs are met with low-carbon technologies. Coordination actions like sharing and co-developing energy infrastructures and networks, facilitating technical exchanges and capacity-building activities, and conducting regional integrated assessments are essential elements towards decarbonisation. The European Union’s model, although not fully transferable to EMME countries, can serve as a good example of a determined and consistent approach towards global climate stabilization.
Considering that regional cooperation is essential, the report provides a policy toolkit for decarbonising energy systems, with a variety of options so that each country may choose the most relevant and most efficient for its own resources, conditions, and needs. The toolkit comprises more than thirty possible interventions across the entire spectrum of public policies: regulations, institutional reforms, removal of investment barriers, green fiscal measures, infrastructure investments, and information initiatives. Although some tools are more relevant for some countries while other policy instruments may be more suitable for others, common features apply: Satisfying a large portion of energy needs with zero-carbon electricity and heat; utilizing the region’s natural resources to provide low- and zero-carbon fuels like synthetic hydrocarbons and hydrogen; improving energy efficiency in industry, buildings, and transport; and aligning the economic and research priorities of the countries with the strategic vision to a low-carbon future.
The successful energy transition requires a holistic framework that addresses the systemic changes needed in our socio-economic structures. Such a framework would encompass enabling actions in a wide range of industrial, education, labour, social and financial policies.
Shifting global energy trends, geography and climate make it imperative for EMME countries to address their common future in a coordinated manner. Policymakers can combine the available international knowledge with regional resources to facilitate the transition to climate neutrality, which will improve the sustainability and resilience of all societies in the region.