Countries including the UK, France and New Zealand have vowed to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, but such pledges have often felt more like wishful thinking than cast-iron promises, due to a lack of detail about how these ambitions will be achieved.

Which is why the EU’s new plan on how the bloc can phase out unabated fossil fuels by mid-century — released last week under the unassuming title, Powering a climate-neutral economy: An EU Strategy for Energy System Integration — may well prove to be so historic and influential.