The Environment Council today approved the EU's intended nationally determined contribution to achieve an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2030.
This translates the agreement by EU Heads of State and Government in October 2014 on the EU 2030 climate and energy framework, in accordance with the requirements for upfront information agreed at the Lima climate conference in December 2014.
The EU Presidency and the Commission will communicate this intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
A new global climate agreement is to be concluded in Paris in December this year. Countries have agreed to submit their intended nationally determined contributions, containing emissions reductions targets, well in advance of Paris and by March 2015 for those ready to do so.
Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said:
"I am proud that the EU is able to submit this ambitious and timely contribution. It is our fair share of what has to be done to achieve the internationally agreed below 2°C target. I now call on all our partners, especially major and emerging economies, to come forward in time and at least match our level of ambition. In Paris, we will have a real opportunity to conclude an agreement that will help the world avoid dangerous climate change. The EU is committed to agreeing an ambitious Protocol that will address emissions reductions, facilitate adaptation to climate change impacts and provide support from those countries in a position to do so to implement climate action in countries that need it."
The EU's intended contribution puts the EU on a cost-effective pathway towards long term domestic emission reductions of 80%. This is consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s assessment of the reductions required from developed countries as a group, to reduce emissions by 80-95% compared to 1990 levels by 2050. It is also in line with the objective of reducing global emissions by 60% compared to 2010 levels by 2050, at the upper end of the IPCC's range of 40-70% reductions necessary to achieve the below 2°C target.