The Effort Sharing Decision establishes binding annual greenhouse gas emission targets for Member States for the period 2013–2020. These targets concern emissions from most sectors not included in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), such as transport (except aviation), buildings, agriculture and waste. The Effort Sharing Decision forms part of a set of policies and measures on climate change and energy – known as the climate and energy package - that will help move Europe towards a low-carbon economy and increase its energy security.
The Effort Sharing Decision sets national emission targets for 2020, expressed as percentage changes from 2005 levels. It also lays down how national limits in tonnes for each year from 2013 to 2020 are to be calculated. In March 2013, the Commission formally adopted the national annual limits throughout the period for each Member State.
The national emission targets for 2020 (click on the table to enlarge it) have been agreed unanimously. They have been set on the basis of Member States’ relative wealth (measured by Gross Domestic Product per capita). They range from a 20% emissions reduction by 2020 (from 2005 levels) for the richest Member States to a 20% increase for the least wealthy one, Bulgaria.
Less wealthy countries are allowed emission increases in these sectors because their relatively higher economic growth is likely to be accompanied by higher emissions. Nevertheless their targets represent a limit on their emissions compared with projected business as usual growth rates. A reduction effort is thus required by all Member States.
By 2020, the national targets will collectively deliver a reduction of around 10% in total EU emissions from the sectors covered compared with 2005 levels. Together with a 21% cut in emissions covered by the EU ETS, this will accomplish the overall emission reduction goal of the climate and energy package, namely a 20% cut below 1990 levels by 2020.
In contrast to sectors in the EU ETS, which are regulated at EU level, it is the responsibility of Member States to define and implement national policies and measures to limit emissions from the sectors covered by the Effort Sharing Decision.
Examples of potential policies and measures include a shift from transport based on fossil fuels, promotion of public transport, ambitious energy performance standards for buildings, more efficient heating systems, renewable energy for heating, more efficient farming practices, and conversion of animal waste to biogas.
A number of measures taken at EU level will help Member States to reduce emissions. For example:
The Effort Sharing Decision covers the six greenhouse gases controlled by the Kyoto Protocol: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
While the Effort Sharing targets cover most sectors that fall outside the scope of the EU ETS, emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) and international shipping are not included.