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The EU is well on track to meet its emissions reduction target for 2020 and has put in place legislation to achieve its current 2030 climate and energy targets. Member States have prepared integrated national energy and climate plans to achieve their 2030 targets.
The EU is well on track to meet its 20% emissions reduction target for 2020.
- EU greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 24% between 1990 and 2019, while the economy grew by around 60% over the same period.
- From 2018 to 2019, emissions declined by 3.7%.
- The most significant decline was in sectors covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), in particular power plants. Emissions from stationary installations in all countries covered by the system fell sharply by 9.1% between 2018 and 2019.
- Emissions not covered by the ETS (such as emissions from non-ETS industry, transport, buildings, agriculture and waste) remained unchanged between 2018 and 2019. The year before, these emissions had seen a slight drop; however, overall, emissions from this aggregate of economic sectors have been stable for several years.
- CO2 emissions from international aviation continued to increase in 2019, rising by 3% compared to the previous year, continuing the increasing trend. Aviation emissions are covered by the ETS, but currently only for flights within the European Economic Area (EEA).
- Revising the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS)
- National emissions targets for sectors outside the EU ETS and LULUCF (“effort sharing”)
- Integrating land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) into emissions reduction efforts
- Legislation on renewable energy, energy efficiency and Governance of the Energy Union and climate action.
The effective implementation of national energy and climate plans as submitted to the Commission in 2019/2020 could lead to EU-27 greenhouse gas reductions of 41% in 2030 compared to 1990.
Projections indicate that, if current EU and national policies are fully implemented, EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030 would be around 45% lower compared to 1990 levels when excluding land use emissions and absorptions, and around 47% lower when including land use.
The existing legislation will now be updated with a view to implementing the new proposed target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted a series of legislative proposals setting out how it intends to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050, including the intermediate target of an at least 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The package proposes to revise several pieces of EU climate legislation, including the EU ETS, Effort Sharing Regulation, transport and land use legislation, setting out in real terms the ways in which the Commission intends to reach EU climate targets under the European Green Deal.
Kyoto Protocol targets
The EU and its Member States have met their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period. The EU is also well on track to meet its targets under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto targets are different from the EU's own 2020 targets – they:
- cover different sectors – for instance, land use, land use change & forestry (LULUCF) but not international aviation;
- measure against different years (base years) – not always against 1990;
- require the EU to keep its emissions at an average of 20% below base-year levels over the entire second period (2013-2020), not only by 2020.
Progress towards targets under effort sharing legislation
Emissions from sectors not included in the EU ETS and LULUCF, such as non-ETS industry, transport, buildings, agriculture and waste, are covered by the so called EU effort sharing legislation.
The EU as a whole is expected to achieve its 2020 target and to remain below the aggregated emission limits set under the Effort Sharing Decision for the period 2013-2020.
Member States are also planning how to achieve their 2030 effort sharing targets. If policies as planned in the final national energy and climate plans are implemented, the EU could reduce emissions from the sectors covered under the effort sharing legislation by more than 32% by 2030, as compared to 1990.
Monitoring & reporting
2020- EU Climate Action Progress Report
Member States' emission profiles
|France||The Netherlands||LULUCF Explanatory note|
2019 - EU Climate Action Progress Report
- Preparing the ground for raising long-term ambition – EU Climate Action Progress Report 2019
Member States' emission profiles
For previous reports and additional documents, see documentation on Emissions monitoring & reporting.