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Exiting the Vicious Cycle

Long-term Vision for Decarbonisation and Transformation of the Bulgarian Economy

The overhaul of Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) will play a pivotal role in accelerating the EU’s progress towards achieving its hugely ambitious targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% until 2030. In this broader context of rethinking the European economic development approach, the low-carbon transition of the Bulgarian economy remains a substantial challenge that successive governments have largely neglected. Bulgaria still relies on coal for electricity generation and has not made significant progress in transitioning to renewable energy sources or improving energy efficiency in buildings and transport. The country lacks a coherent and up-to-date energy strategy, and most key policy documents reveal no clear vision for long-term decarbonisation.

This report aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of the current policy framework for decarbonisation in Bulgaria, viewed through the lens of the draft revised NECP and its alignment with Europe’s ambitious climate objectives. The analysis outlines three possible trajectories for climate neutrality in five key economic sectors: energy, buildings, transport, industry, agriculture and land use. Using scenario modelling, based on a different set of assumptions and policy priorities, the report demonstrates that a full decarbonisation pathway would depend both on structural changes in individual and collective behaviour and on the massive deployment of cutting-edge low- carbon technology.

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