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Circular Energy: The EU’s pathway to a circular and carbon neutral future

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The world’s security, stability and prosperity are challenged by a wide, multifaced spectrum of threats ranging from traditional armed conflicts, terrorist attacks and asymmetric warfare to pandemics, environmental risks and conflicts, climate change and other human-induced or natural disasters. Most countries and large organisations are engaged in a transformative process to enhance their resilience, and secure sustainable and competitive economies. Strategies, policies, legislation, and action plans are the key drivers to meet these objectives. The chapter CIRCULAR ENERGY: THE EU’s PATHWAY TO A CIRCULAR & CARBON NEUTRAL FUTURE  

s argues that the EU has developed a comprehensive toolbox that contains political and legislative energy and climate-related actions ranging from the conceptual to the funding level that can enable the transition to climate-neutral and circular models. Since its establishment in the fifties, this is the first time in EU history that the Union has been so determined to pursue its objectives through an all-inclusive approach engaging EU institutions, governmental entities, industry, and the European citizens.  In this respect, the EU’s energy toolbox has an instrumental role in helping the Member States and the EU to become a resilient, competitive, and prosperous economy. 

Establishing a climate-neutral economy requires, a transformative change in mindset, industrial and business models. It means diversifying and reducing EU’s energy dependencies and becoming resilient and autonomous. Climate neutrality is the end state of EU’s ambitions to build a resilient Energy Union. This transition will enable the EU to diversify its energy dependencies, decarbonise the economy, advance research and innovative solutions, and ensure energy security to its member states and partners. 

By introducing the reader to the instrumental drivers ranging from policies, strategies to legislation, and funding to meet ambitions and objectives. Practitioners will dive in the EU most advanced and comprehensive packages for achieving the goal of building an energy resilient Union and becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Along this chapter practitioners will understand the need for a mindset change to build on the past and not be refrained from it for a more promising future. This is essential for reaching the EU’s climate-neutrality objectives by 2050. While this transition requires a whole-government and whole-society engagement best practices, disruptive clean technologies and circular models should be applied. According to the European Commission’s second annual 2021 Strategic Foresight Report – “The EU’s capacity and freedom to act” cutting to net-zero the GHG emissions by 2050 could help reduce EU’s energy dependency from around 60% today to 15% and “this should be supported by significant progress on the circular economy. 

The chapter presents the EU toolbox , including the key instruments helping and enabling the Member States and the EU to become a climate-neutral economy. It also emphasises the importance of incorporating the core principles of the circular economy from the outset in the development and implementation of any action to ensure competitiveness and efficiency in the long term. 

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