Eurelectric, the European electricity industry trade group, has announced a new long-term vision for a low carbon future.

In a statement, the group said national associations and CEOs from all of Europe’s major power companies have signed up to accelerate a “cost-effective energy transition” and take the lead in meeting Europe’s targets under the Paris climate agreement.

The announcement follows a consultation with Eurelectric’s members in which the rise of digitalization and decentralized generation were central to a discussion about the sector’s organization.

Eurelectric said the new vision strengthens its members’ commitment to invest in clean power generation and other transition-enabling solutions, and to help accelerate CO2 emissions reductions in other sectors through increasingly efficient use of clean electricity.

Energy sector leaders have committed to take action to support the economy-wide shift to “an efficient, climate-friendly society” and achieve a competitive, reliable and carbon-neutral electricity mix in the EU well before 2050, Eurelectric said.

The group promised that Europe’s electricity sector will launch several projects in the coming years aimed at identifying the challenges and opportunities of an accelerated clean energy transition, engaging stakeholders and communities across the European economy.

And it called on policymakers to to deliver a strong carbon market that offers “a meaningful price”; to channel climate and energy financing towards transition-enabling technologies; to accelerate electrification through “smart and better” regulation; to promote the take-up of clean heating and cooling in residential and industrial buildings, electric mobility and more efficient industrial processes; to promote the digitalization of the entire value chain, realizing smart grids to integrate centralized and decentralized technologies and promote customer participation; to ensure a “well-functioning, fully integrated power market, giving the right signals to attract investment, boost innovation and reduce costs while ensuring security of supply”; and to manage social and geographical impacts.

“Our industry sees a great opportunity on the path towards a progressively decarbonized and fully sustainable European energy future. Electricity is playing a growing role in making this vision happen and Eurelectric will lead this transformation,” said Francesco Starace, Eurelectric’s president and CEO of Italy’s Enel.

Magnus Hall, Eurelectric vice-president and CEO of Sweden’s Vattenfall, added: “Electrification of heating, transport and industry is a win-win. It comes with higher efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. We should do everything possible to advance electrification with smart regulation.”

And Alistair Philips-Davies, CEO of the UK’s SSE and Eurelectric vice-president, said: “The investment required in clean electricity and transition-enabling technologies is huge. This statement reflects our full commitment to invest in innovation, to build new cross-sector business models, and ensure that electricity keeps creating value in decades to come.”