2020 climate & energy package


The 2020 package is a set of binding legislation to ensure the EU meets its climate and energy targets for the year 2020.

The package sets three key targets:

  • 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels)
  • 20% of EU energy from renewables
  • 20% improvement in energy efficiency

The targets were set by EU leaders in 2007 and enacted in legislation in 2009. They are also headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The EU is taking action in several areas to meet the targets.

Emissions trading system (ETS)

The EU emissions trading system is the EU's key tool for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from large-scale facilities in the power and industry sectors, as well as the aviation sector.

The ETS covers around 45% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2020, the target is for the emissions from these sectors to be 21% lower than in 2005.

National emission reduction targets

This covers the sectors not in the ETS – accounting for some 55% of total EU emissions – such as:

  • housing
  • agriculture
  • waste
  • transport (excluding aviation).

EU countries have taken on binding annual targets until 2020 for cutting emissions in these sectors (compared to 2005), under the "Effort-sharing decision".

The targets differ according to national wealth – from a 20% cut for the richest countries to a maximum 20% increase for the least wealthy (although they were still projected to have to make efforts to limit emissions).

Progress is monitored by the Commission every year, with each country required to report its emissions.

Renewable energy – national targets

EU member countries have also taken on binding national targets for raising the share of renewables in their energy consumption by 2020, under the Renewable Energy Directive.

These targets also vary, to reflect countries' different starting points for renewables production and ability to further increase it – from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden.

The overall effect will enable the EU as a whole to reach:

  • its 20% target for 2020 (more than double the 2010 level of 9.8%)
  • a 10% share of renewables in the transport sector.

Innovation and financing

The EU supports the development of low carbon technologies for example through the:

Energy efficiency

Measures for increasing energy efficiency are set out in the:


Achieving the goals of the 2020 package should also help

  • increase the EU’s energy security – reducing dependence on imported energy and contributing to achieving a European Energy Union
  • create jobs, advance green growth and make Europe more competitive.

Useful documents

Background technical reports and studies


Studies on climate change related aspects

The views expressed in the studies below are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.