The Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) sets national emission targets for Member States for each year between 2013 and 2020 in the sectors of the economy not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System. To ensure that compliance with these targets is assessed in a credible, consistent, transparent and timely manner, a Union review of Member States' greenhouse gas inventories takes place every year. The review is carried out by the technical expert review team contracted by the Commission, and coordinated by a secretariat at the European Environment Agency. The final review reports can be found in the Documentation section.
The Documentation section also contains for each year a Commission Implementing Decision, in which the final ESD emissions per Member State are determined, after taking into consideration the technical corrections and revised estimates calculated during the review. After the publication of this Decision in the Official Journal, Member States have four months for applying flexibilities under Articles 3 and 5 of the ESD (borrowing or buying allocations/international project credits) to ensure annual compliance with their ESD targets.
Member States' compliance with annual targets under ESD
Under the ESD Member States can decide which national policies and measures they implement to limit emissions from the Effort Sharing sectors. The Commission enforces Member States' compliance with the ESD. So far the Commission has checked compliance with ESD targets for the years 2013-2015 with the conclusion that all 28 Member States complied with their ESD targets: Each year, 27 Member States managed to limit their emissions domestically, while one Member State covered its surplus emissions by purchasing allocations from another Member State that had overachieved its emission targets for the years 2013-2015 (see details). So far, no Clean Development Mechanism or Joint Implementation credits have been used for compliance with the ESD. Information on compliance and the use of flexibilities by Member States is updated daily at the EUTL public website.
The Commission also assesses progress made by the Member States toward their ESD targets, in the annual progress report published every autumn. Moreover, in 2014 the Commission organized a series of workshops for regional clusters of Member States to develop capacity and to share best practice and ideas on approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Effort Sharing Decision. While the workshop in Sofia covered the sectors buildings and transport, the workshops in Tallinn, Warsaw and Madrid covered the sectors transport and agriculture (see presentations at the Documentation section).
2016 evaluation of the ESD
In July 2016, the Commission presented an evaluation of the implementation of the legislation up to 2015. The evaluation concluded that:
- While still in the early stages of implementation, commitments under the Effort Sharing Decision have contributed to stimulating new national policies and measures promoting effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. A number of policies which were part of the 2020 climate and energy package, in particular on energy efficiency and renewable energy, also reduced emissions.
The EU is on track to over achieve its 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10% compared to 2005 in the sectors covered by the legislation. Total emissions in these sectors in 2013 were 9.7% below 2005 levels. In 2014, they were 13% lower than in 2005. Total emission reductions between 2005 and 2013 were achieved in all sectors, ranging from -3 % in agriculture to -25 % in the waste sector. (click on the figure to enlarge it) For several sectors including buildings, transport, agriculture and waste, a significant part of the emissions reductions to date can be attributed to factors such as technological changes influenced by policy interventions resulting from the 2020 package. As well as EU-wide and national climate and energy policies, the economic crisis and growth in economic activity in some countries have also had an impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
- Overall, the ESD has resulted in Member States becoming more active in considering new measures to reduce emissions in its sectors, how to best design the measures, as well as in improved coordination between national, regional and local governments. The ESD has resulted in limited additional administrative burden at Member State level, although there may be opportunities to reduce administrative costs, for example by simplified and less frequent compliance checks.
The results of the evaluation were used when preparing the proposal for continuing effort sharing legislation from 2021 to 2030.
Member States' ESD emissions
- 10/2021 - Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/1876 on ESD emissions for the year 2019 for each Member State
- 01/2021 - Final review reports from the 2020 comprehensive review covering Member States' and UK’s emission estimates for the year 2018
- 12/2020 - Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/1834 on ESD emissions for the year 2018 for each Member State
- 12/2019 - Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/2005 on ESD emissions for the year 2017 for each Member State
- 12/2019 - Final review reports from the 2019 annual review covering Member States' emission estimates for the year 2017
- 11/2018 - Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1855 on ESD emissions for the year 2016 for each Member State
- 11/2018 - Final review reports from the 2018 annual review covering Member States' emission estimates for the year 2016
- 12/2017 - Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/2377 on ESD emissions for the year 2015 for each Member State
- 12/2017 - Final review reports from the 2017 annual review covering Member States' emission estimates for the year 2015
- 06/2017 - Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/1015 on ESD emissions for the year 2014 for each Member State
- 12/2016 - Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/2132 on ESD emissions for each Member State for the year 2013
- 12/2016 - Final review reports from the 2016 comprehensive review covering Member States' emission estimates for the years 2005, 2008-10 & 2013-14
- Presentations from workshops organized to develop Member States' capacity and to share best practice on reducing ESD emissions
Evaluation of ESD implementation
- 08/2016 - Supporting study for the evaluation of Decision No. 406/2009/EC (Effort Sharing Decision)
- 20/07/2016 - COM/2016/483 - Report on evaluating the implementation of Decision No. 406/2009/EC pursuant to its Article 14
- 20/07/2016 - SWD/2016/251 - Staff working doxument accompanying the report