Civil society engagement

Using PAC Scenario as a tool for civil society to engage in the NECPs revision process, as well as to push for more ambitious climate policies

The updated key results Paris Agreement Compatible Scenario (PAC 2.0), launched on March 2023, is a bottom-up effort to both update the EU data released on the first version of the PAC Scenario released in 2020, and to disaggregate the data on national level.

The new data provides information on how different sectors impact the EU and national roadmaps towards climate neutrality, while taking into account policy measures to achieve both:


What are NECPs and why are they so important?

To monitor and report European advancements towards the Paris Agreement's objectives, the Commission has introduced the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) in 2018, through the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package within the Regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action.

Member States should address how they intend to tackle energy-related topics, including subjects such as efficiency, renewables, carbon emission reduction, and interconnections. They are also required to use expertise from their different government departments, and to create public consultations in order to better develop and implement their plans.

In 2019, Member States were required to submit their NECPs regarding the period of 2021-2030, while in 2020 their plans for long-term strategies towards 2050. They are also required to monitor and report on their plans every two years. By end of June 2023, countries must also draft their updated NECPs, taking into account the Commission's guidance.


How can NGOs use PAC Scenario as a tool for advocating for more ambitious NECPs?

Similar to what can be done regarding ENTSO-E'sTYNDP process, NGOs and civil society organisations can utilise PAC Scenarios to advocate for a 100% renewable energy supply and be aligned with the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement.

They can also use the PAC Scenario data to provide a pathway towards this goal, as well as to monitor if countries are behind the schedule for their goals, identifying the specific sectors that should be pushed in order to achieve climate goals.

How to use the Pathways Explorer?

An easy way to engage with this work is by using the openly available 2050 Pathways Explorer to explore the European or one’s national climate and energy situation.

As a fully comprehensive and dynamic model, all energy sectors and greenhouse gas emissions are covered. It also assists in understanding how changes in one sector affect other sectors. For each dimension, the Pathways Explorer offers pre-set levers, which assist the user to explore a scenario, or build their own scenario, and to see how it would develop. A set of conditions can be chosen to refine a pathway. If historical trends are a starting point, to depart from the past, as societies are already experiencing societal and technological change, one can study the differences that could result from moderate, ambitious and transformational change.

The Pathway Explorer can help in developing scenarios that are low-carbon and sustainable for a country or the whole of Europe. It may be useful to convert existing energy and climate targets, such as those expressed in the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) and to long-term strategies, to understand what they actually mean, as concrete sectoral measures.

The simulations are performed through a comprehensive, open-source and user-friendly software simulation tool, which is called Pathways Explorer. Anyone can actually use this tool. It includes more than 150 parameters (called levers), that are interlinked. Benchmarking and finding the data per country and per sector has been one of the most challenging tasks.

Remind me, what are so-called “levers” in the Pathways Explorer?

Besides already offered Predetermined Pathways, such as that of a EU27-wide scenario presented in the Launch Event on March 23rd, the tool allows the user to develop and explore her own pathway. For this, the tool suggests different ambition levels as levers, starting from 1 (Business as Usual as a continuation of a historical trend).

To make sense of social and technological change, 2 implies “Moderate or Intermediate change”, 3 means “Very ambitious change” and 4, “The most transformative pathway” we could benchmark. The interface of the explorer shows that for some dimensions, the levers also have in-between values, where decimals have been used. .g. For example, a suggested ambition level for the Industry at a country or in Europe could be 1.8; meaning it would not amount to 2).


Our previous work on Scenario Building