CACTUS - Consolidating Ambitious Climate Targets with end-Use Sufficiency

CACTUS is a project on energy sufficiency and its integration into climate and energy strategies in the Central and Eastern European context. The project aims to sensitise key scenario builders, policy makers and climate and energy stakeholders to energy sufficiency and to explore its integration in Hungarian and Lithuanian scenario models.

CACTUS is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.


For the past decades, one of the primary objectives in Central Eastern European (CEE) countries has been reaching an average development level of other EU member States, with some success as with the GDP per capita in purchasing power standards. Until today, energy policies in the CEE region have been mostly focusing on the reduction of energy prices to increase competitiveness and tackle energy poverty rather than structural changes towards more efficiency and the apprehension of the need for behavioural change to avoid rebound effects. Efforts on energy efficiency were not structural enough to counterbalance new consumption trends, which resulted in the rise of energy consumption and GHG emissions in some sectors. In both target countries of this project, Hungary and Lithuania, a correlation persists between the economic growth, energy consumption patterns and GHG emissions. This demonstrates the need for substantial action on energy demand in these countries, to decouple economic growth from energy consumption and GHG emissions. Together with energy efficiency and renewable development, energy sufficiency constitutes an essential driver towards reaching climate goals and ensuring energy security.



The project aims at strengthening climate mitigation action in CEE countries by supporting the integration of energy sufficiency in national scenarios and policies. Investigating ways to further reduce energy demand beyond energy efficiency options is key, considering energy consumptions and GHG emissions have been on the rise in this region.

Through a technical dialogue and capacity building activities, experts from the partner organisations will explore the sufficiency potential in the transport and building sectors in target countries Hungary and Lithuania, and its integration into scenario models and existing national climate and energy strategies. The results will form the basis for a dialogue with key policy makers in the countries concerned as well as with European experts in the field.



July 2020 until June 2022


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


négaWatt Association (France)

The négaWatt association is a non-governmental French think tank working for an ambitious energy transition.

LEI Lithuanian Energy Insitute (Lithuania)

LEI is internationally recognized energy-related research, development and innovation competence center.

REKK Foundation (Hungary)

The REKK Foundation for Regional Policy Co-operation in Energy and Infrastructure was formed in 2016, by the researchers of the Regional Centre of Energy Policy Research in Hungary, aiming to facilitate the formation of sustainable energy systems in Central Europe.