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Europe needs to accelerate its progress towards a low-carbon society in order to reach the target of an 80% reduction in emissions by the middle of this century. The longer we wait, the more expensive it will become.


A cost-efficient pathway

The Roadmap sets out a cost-efficient pathway to reach the target of reducing domestic emissions by 80% by 2050. To get there, Europe's emissions should be 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 60% below by 2040. All sectors will have to contribute.

Emission reductions will be stepped up gradually from approximately 1 percentage point compared to 1990 in the first decade, 1.5 percentage points in the second decade until 2030 to 2 percentage points in the last two decades until 2050.

Graph showing emission production targets of the new policy sector by sector against the current policy.

Stepping up efforts

Windkraft © iStockphoto

The Commission's economic analysis shows that the EU could outperform the current 20% emission reduction target and achieve a 25% cut by 2020. This is within reach if Europe pursues its emission reduction measures and delivers on its goals of raising the share of renewables in its energy mix and improving energy efficiency by 20%.

The Energy efficiency plan adopted by the Commission at the same time as the Roadmap provides measures to reach this target (see also: energy efficiency).

Moving slower would be more expensive. If we postpone action, there will be no incentive to develop the technologies needed, and we would then have to reduce emissions much more drastically at a later stage – at higher costs.

The EU's offer, in the context of the international negotiations on a framework for climate action, to take on a reduction target of 30% for 2020 if the conditions are right remains on the table and is not affected by the Roadmap.