Fourth Scenario Workshop

At the fourth PAC scenario workshop, CAN Europe and EEB presented key findings and gaps of the PAC scenario. The workshop collected members’ and stakeholders views on potential ways forward.

On Thursday 15th October 2020, from 10:00 - 12:00, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe held a virtual workshop with 60 participants in attendance.

The webinar was led by Jonathan Bonadio from the EEB ( and Joerg Muehlenhoff ( from CAN Europe.

Find below an overview of the workshop, including presentations and recordings.


Workshop proceedings

10:00 Catch-up on PAC scenario key findings

The webinar started with an optional intro session for newcomers on the key findings of the PAC scenario published in June 2020. Jonathan Bonadio (EEB) and Joerg Muehlenhoff (CAN Europe) first explained the grassroots research approach behind the PAC scenario building process. Roughly 150 members and stakeholders collaborated during almost two years on the assumptions and data. The starting point was to develop a robust science-based energy scenario that illustrates how the EU can achieve at least 65% greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030 on a trajectory towards net zero emissions by 2040 in a 100% renewable energy system.

Workshop presentation

The PAC scenario’s big trends were detailed sector-wise, namely the circular economy approach in industry, the deep renovation wave in buildings and the swift electrification in transport.

During the following questions and answers session, several participants asked for details on PAC scenario assumptions, such as the space needed for renewable energy installations and biomass demand, macro-economic impacts related to the implementation of the PAC scenario and security of supply. Questions were discussed and answered live during the webinar or in written in a dedicated Q&A box provided on the video conferencing platform. A detailed longlist of all questions and answers was saved. This document is available on request.

10:30 Your feedback on the PAC scenario building exercise: Online survey

By answering three questions through an online survey tool, participants indicated how relevant the PAC scenario was for their work:

“Did you/your organisation use the PAC scenario figures?”

No, and does not plan to

3 participants


No, but maybe in the future

20 participants


Yes, some results

21 participants


Yes, extensively

6 participants



“What were the most useful results for you and your organisation?”

The analysis of energy demand

3 participants


The analysis of the electricity mix and hourly modelling

8 participants


The analysis of energy supply

9 participants


The translation into climate and energy targets

11 participants


All of the above

17 participants


None of the above

2 participants



“How would you rate the PAC scenario relevance to your work? (1= not relevant, 4=extremely relevant)”

1 (Not relevant):

3 participants



7 participants



24 participants


4 (extremely relevant):

16 participants



The results show that the PAC scenario is very relevant for the work of most of the participants. An important minority however is interested but has not yet started to use the PAC scenario findings.

10.45 Open questions of the PAC scenario… and potential answers

CAN Europe and EEB afterwards highlighted the elements that are still missing in the PAC scenario: Many members and stakeholders during the previous months wanted to know how much implementing the PAC scenario would cost. Many members also asked for deriving country-specific PAC scenarios. In addition, the PAC scenario has gaps with regards to detailed emission reduction pathways including non-energy emissions, carbon removals, impacts of land use change and forestry.

Three scientists were invited to present potential answers after having looked into the PAC scenario:

Costs and benefits of higher climate ambition

Prof. Dr. Christian von Hirschhausen (TU Berlin/German Institute for Economic Research DIW) and his team published the study “Make the European Green Deal real” in June 2020 with key assumptions that are very well comparable with those of the PAC scenario. Implementing their scenario would lead to over €3,000bn investment in renewables, ca. €1,900bn savings of fossil fuel imports and €10,000bn of environmental and health benefits.

 System costs, infrastructure and country-specific impacts

The team around Elisabeth Zeyen, Prof. Marta Victoria, Dr. Tom Brown from KIT and Aarhus University fed the PAC scenario data into their PyPSA model to optimise generation, storage, transmission infrastructure and hourly dispatch. Total system costs of the PAC scenario (excluding investments into energy efficiency measures and electric vehicles) would drop by roughly a third by 2050. Their model run suggest a slightly higher share of biogas and offshore wind. Elisabeth also detailed the optimal allocation of renewable hydrogen infrastructure.

Country-specific 1.5°C pathways for emission reduction

Ryan Wilson from the international think tank Climate Analytics presented how country-specific emission reduction pathways can be derived from the aggregated EU-wide PAC scenario data. Climate Analytics recently started a new project with CAN Europe and its Swedish member AirClim on modelling 1.5°C compatible pathways based on the PAC scenario. This exercise will also include more detailed findings with regards to non-energy related emissions and the role of carbon removals.

11.45 Wrap up: How can we do even better?

A second online survey prioritised the expectations of participants in view of the PAC scenario:
“Please choose maximum two priorities for potential further working areas.”

National breakdown of PAC results

28 participants


Environmental assessment (Water/soil/air, raw materials, minerals, biomass…)

15 participants


End-consumers prices (energy, commodities, consumer goods …)

14 participants


System costs and benefits (GDP, turnover, employment…)

12 participants


Carbon removals

9 participants


“Would your organisation be interested in participating in future PAC scenario building?”

Yes, as a potential project partner

17 participants


Yes, as a contributor

14 participants


Yes, for information only

7 participants


Not at this stage

2 participants



After discussing details of the guest speakers’ presentations, the hosts summarised the PAC scenario workshop. Feedback from members and stakeholders during the PAC scenario building process of the previous months strongly overlaps with the results of the online surveys ran during the workshop. The exchange with participants confirmed that there is on the one side the request to deepen certain elements of the PAC scenario data (e.g. macro-economic effects, environmental indicators). On the other side, CAN Europe and EEB are asked to disseminate even more broadly the findings of the PAC scenario.

CAN Europe and EEB will explore potential avenues with regards to answering these expectations in 2021. Joerg Muehlenhoff and Jonathan Bonadio thanked the participants and closed the workshop.

Event recording


Davide Sabbadin

t: +32 2 289 10 90

Dimitris Tsekeris
CAN Europe