Topics of interest
2030 framework for climate and energy policies
With Europe making good progress towards our climate and energy targets for 2020, it's time to look further ahead and start designing our policy framework for the period up to 2030.
Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy in 2050
The European Commission has adopted a Roadmap for transforming the European Union into a competitive low carbon economy by 2050. The Roadmap describes the cost-effective pathway to reach the EU's objective of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% of 1990 levels by 2050. The European Commission has taken this initiative because leading the global transition to a low carbon and resource-efficient economy will have multiple benefits for the EU.
Climate mainstreaming aims to take account of the climate in every single EU policy. While the EU's budget related to climate change is today largely integrated into the policy areas of energy, agriculture and transport, the Commission is determined to mainstream climate issues in all major spending categories in order to move towards a low-carbon and climate resilient society.
The EU Emissions Trading System
The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the European Union's action to combat climate change and a key tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. Being the first and biggest international scheme for the trading of greenhouse gas emission allowances, the EU ETS covers some 11,000 power stations and industrial plants in 30 countries.
International climate negotiations
Climate change is a global issue which requires a global solution involving action by all major greenhouse gas emitters. A comprehensive and legally binding agreement to combat climate change needs to emerge from the UN climate negotiation process. This must be ambitious if climate change is to be brought under control. The EU, long at the forefront of international efforts to combat climate change, is pressing developed nations to commit to steep emission reductions and developing nations to start limiting their rapid emissions growth.
In March 2007 the EU’s leaders endorsed an integrated approach to climate and energy policy that aims to combat climate change and increase the EU’s energy security while strengthening its competitiveness. They committed Europe to transforming itself into a highly energy-efficient, low carbon economy. The EU set the "20-20-20" targets ensuring by 2020:
- A reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20% below 1990 levels
- 20% of EU energy consumption to come from renewable resources
- A 20% improvement in energy efficiency.
General information on climate change
Everyday activities like switching on a light, boiling a kettle or driving a car produce greenhouse gas emissions which lead to global warming. By creating a barrier that traps the sun’s rays, emissions such as carbon dioxide cause the earth’s surface to heat up and ultimately affect the planet's climate.
Find out more information on what climate change is, as well as what its causes and consequences are. You can also find in this section useful links that will satisfy your curiosity on climate-related issues!
Ten ways you can fight climate change
Climate change is a global problem, and yet each one of us has the power to make a difference. Even small changes in our daily behaviour can help prevent greenhouse gas emissions without affecting our quality of life. In fact, they can help save us money. Read our ten tips!