'All hands on deck' to achieve Paris' climate targets


WEC outlines scenario for necessary carbon phase-out

Achieving the Paris Climate Accord objectives for 2050 will be increasingly difficult, but if we pull out all the stops from now on, it will be possible. That appears from the new report by the World Energy Council Netherlands (WEC), called Phasing out carbon - How to decarbonise north-western europe's energy mix in the run-up to 2050.

PwC is linked to this international platform, which deals with the world energy issues of today and in the future in a broad sense.

Reducing gas consumption and generating green energy

According to Jeroen van Hoof, chairman of the WEC, it is possible to sufficiently decarbonise the economy in north-western Europe, while maintaining industrial production and providing safe and affordable energy. This requires, in particular, a major effort in terms of reducing gas consumption and generating green electricity. "But", says Van Hoof, "With its infrastructure, ports and industry, Europe is uniquely positioned in the world to set a good example and at the same time create new jobs and competitive advantage."

Full bet on hydrogen

A year ago, the WEC already reported that north-western Europe will have to make full use of hydrogen if the European climate targets are to be met in thirty years' time. The new report contains a detailed scenario for getting there. "It's all hands on deck for that", says Jan Willem Velthuijsen, chief economist at PwC and coordinator of the rapport. "We will have to get the maximum out of it across the board in order to achieve the targets."

The scenario has three main pillars:

  • Efficiency improvements in and further electrification of energy consumption

Because electrical processes have less heat loss, electrification of the economy provides greater efficiency in a simple way. Each year we will have to save 1.3% of energy,' says Velthuijsen. That will have to be done mainly in transport and agriculture. The broader industry can't produce much more economically. In addition, we will have to use much less gas. Everything we can make electric, we have to make electric'.

  • Further generation of green energy

The North Sea plays a crucial role in the further transition to green energy, says Velthuijsen. Especially by building more wind farms we can make the transition to green energy.

  • Production and import of carbon-free substances for fuel and feedstock purposes

While our electricity is becoming greener, decarbonising our fuels has not yet really taken off. This is partly due to the high demand from the industry for feedstock and electricity. In order to meet the Paris targets, we will have to start mixing biogas and hydrogen in natural gas supply immediately. Building up a considerable quantity of hydrogen is particularly important here.


Jan Willem Velthuijsen

Jan Willem Velthuijsen

Chief Economist, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)88 792 75 58

Jeroen van Hoof

Jeroen van Hoof

Global Power & Utilities Leader and Global EU&R Assurance Leader, European EU&R IL, Assurance partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0) 88 792 13 28

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