In the aftermath of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the EU has raised its overall decarbonisation ambitions via the REPowerEU initiative. The EU has defined a new energy and climate security strategy that aims to decouple from the dependence on fossil fuel imports on the basis of accelerating renewable energy investments, boosting energy savings and diversifying and friendshoring the supply of energy and materials. Yet, amid the continuing political instability, Bulgaria has been reluctant to update its 2030 climate targets. The country can utilize the EU funds at its disposal to create the necessary investment environment for ushering a private sector and citizen-led switch to renewables en masse. Instead Bulgarian policy-makers remain focused on a few unnecessary large infrastructure projects and the preservation of coal, beyond agreed deadlines. Without an effective and transparent spending plan with long-term objectives and indicators for success, the transition could cause a popular backlash.
The current analysis aims to draw the key policy lessons from the introduction of the Pathways Explorer-based decarbonisation scenarios for Bulgaria into the report of the national Energy Transition Commission (ETC), the body that will form the basis for the country’s Climate Neutrality Roadmap by 2050 (also a milestone of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP)).