EU member states have to urgently put the correct policies in place if the bloc is to meet its ambitious goal of slashing emissions by 55% by 2030, according to Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s executive vice-president for the European Green Deal.

At the TenneT European Energy conference, which was centred around the EU’s 55% emissions target, the EU’s top climate official was asked: “Many investments have a lead time of six to eight years. In that respect, do you agree that we only have about two to five years for the implementation of required climate policies in member states, instead of actually nine years.”

He replied: “Yes, I agree. Every opportunity we miss this year and next year will make it more difficult for us to attain our goals. We absolutely have no time to waste. This has not been truer ever before in human history.”

Timmermans pointed out that for some industries, investment cycles last for 30-40 years.

“To get to climate neutrality in 2050, in some industries means one investment cycle — they only get one shot at getting it right. That’s the extent of the challenge. Many industries it’s two cycles, maximum.”

He also said that the commission’s “Fit for 55” package, which will set out how the EU will reach its 2030 emissions target, including the policies and funding needed, will be unveiled on 14 July.

Timmermans last week gave the Eurelectric Power Summit last week a sneak peak at what the proposals will contain, saying: "We will strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System, update the Energy Taxation Directive and propose new CO2 standards for cars, new energy efficiency standards for buildings, new targets for renewables, and new ways of supporting clean fuels and infrastructure for clean transport.”

He added last week that the commission was “also looking at possibly expanding the Emissions Trading System to new sectors, such as road transport, buildings and maritime navigation”.