Personalised road to climate neutrality.

During the TANDEMS third consortium meeting in Doetinchem, we had the pleasure of having an online inspiration session with Dmitris Tsekeris. Dmitris is an Energy Scenarios project manager at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe. He introduced our consortium to the ‘Paris Agreement Compatible Pathway for EU Climate Neutrality’ (PAC). More specifically he focused on its upcoming second version, which strongly intertwines with the activities of TANDEMS. In this article we give you an insight into the session through summary, reflections and analysis.

What is CAN?

In order to achieve complete transparency and understanding, we will first introduce the Climate Action Network and its main areas of activity. According to Mr Tsekeris, CAN is Europe‘s ‘leading NGO coalition fighting climate change’. It is a network of organisations, which work together to create joined lobbying campaigns to promote sustainable climate and energy policy development around Europe. It has over 180 organisations, which engage in information exchange, cooperation and coordinated development of international, national and regional climate strategies. For further information, you can visit their website here.

Introducing the PAC Scenario.

It is very important for all citizens to understand the PAC scenario and its repercussions on the energy framework of Europe. That is because the PAC scenario will have direct effects on our everyday lives. It foresees 65% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 and a fully renewable  energy  system with zero emissions by  2040. Additionally, according to Tsekeris, PAC predicts an EU-wise coal phase out by 2030, fossil oil phase-out by 2040 and sale of internal combustion engine cars by 2035.

The PAC is a scenario, meaning it is a hypothetical prognosis of how Europe’s energy landscape should look like. Nevertheless it is a science-based vision and aligns with the Paris Agreement as well as the 1.5 degree global warming threshold. The first phase was developed between  2028 and 2020 and gives a first  look of what this agreement and the project itself would entice.

From 2021 until 2024 CAN together with other energy NGO’s are working on the second phase of the project PAC 2.0. This phase will present as separated scenarios for each country. This means that the PAC 2.0 will examine how much the scenario will cost in each country, what is the infrastructure needed to implement it and what will be the overall effect of PAC on each participating nation.


The second phase of PAC is relevant to TANDEMS, because it highlights the symbiotic relationship between the two projects.  On the one hand PAC gives TANDEMS the pathway along which the partners can plan their activities. On the other hand TANDEMS goals and achievements fit and align with the PAC objectives.

To give an example PAC 2.0 assumes the collection of national resources (such as financial situation, energy mix, energy spending, infrastructure potential etc) and the creation of an optimised pathway towards a 100% renewable energy with net zero emission by 2040 EU-wide. Similarly, in TANDEMS, each partner contributes to the analysis of a certain area, rates its potential for the introduction of renewable energy communities and implements projects. To exemplify, our partner Klimaan, has focused on the Otterbeek district, where they assessed the financial capacity of the neighbourhood and developed a sustainable strategy to install 729 solar panels on 70 homes. This way the infrastructure was altered on a regional scale and Otterbeek now not only has a higher mix of renewables, but also lower energy bills.

The PAC 2.0 project also expects to analyse energy infrastructure needs for every country and develop optimised pathway  scenarios, which ensure maximum flexibility, but still aim for climate neutrality. Although every TANDEMS partner who has a pilot project, is achieving those aims, the most prominent ones are Gabrovo and Burgas. Both are located in Bulgaria, which has a centralized national energy grid as well as complex policy restrictions for the intriduction of renewable energy communities. Together with EnEffect, the Centre for Energy Efficiency, both municipalities strive to pave the way for a more inviting pathway towards the clean energy transition.

What needs to happen next?

As mentioned before the PAC 2.0 scenario has a strong influence on the actions of the TANDEMS project. Our partners plan to  work or already are working on the actions that PAC assumes are necessary to reach climate neutrality. These include  triggering change, process improvement, electrification with renewable power production and decarbonization.

To exemplify, in order to trigger change or, more specifically, introduce societal or behavioural change to reduce energy demand, Klimaan, introduced the Klimaanwagens to their members. These ‘wagens’ are electric cars, shared among the members, which reduce the need for individual car ownership.  Another example, which fits into the decarbonization and technological advancement, is the Anaerobic Installation currently being built in Burgas. The installation will convert organic waste into energy through the use of advanced systems, engineered tunnels and specialized bacteria. You can read all about the installation here.

PAC 2.0 is a project, which provides organisations, members and like-minded guests from science and industry, in that TANDEMS, a practical guide to what steps to take to achieve climate neutrality by 2040. When published, it will provide a country specific, guided manual in five year intervals from 2020-2050 including social, economic, infrastructural, agricultural and transport related  activities for change. Most importantly PAC 2.0 highlights that reaching climate neutrality is a process, which requires regional, but collaborative approach. And that is exactly what TANDEMS also stands for.