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Progress made in cutting emissions


The EU is on track to meet its emissions reduction target for 2020 and has put in place legislation to achieve its 2030 climate and energy targets. On this basis, Member States are making plans to achieve their 2030 targets.

2020 target

The EU is on track to meet the 20% emissions reduction target for 2020.

Latest figures:

  • EU greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 23% between 1990 and 2018, while the economy grew by 61% over the same period.
  • From 2017 to 2018, emissions declined by 2%. The most significant decline was in sectors covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), in particular power plants. Emissions from stationary installations covered by the EU ETS decreased by 4.1% compared to 2017. Emissions not covered by the EU ETS, such as emissions from transport, buildings, agriculture and waste, decreased by 0.9%. This reduction comes after three years of slightly increasing emissions from these sectors.
  • Emissions from international aviation continued to increase in 2018, and are up 19% over the last five years. These are in principle covered by the EU ETS, for the moment limited to flights in the European Economic Area (EEA).

2030 target

The EU has put in place legislation to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030 – as part of the EU's 2030 climate and energy framework and contribution to the Paris Agreement.

This includes:

The effective implementation of all climate, energy and mobility targets laid down in Union law could lead to EU greenhouse gas reductions up to around 45% in 2030 compared to 1990. However, Member States need to further accelerate implementation to achieve the 2030 targets.

Progress towards targets under effort sharing legislation

Emissions from most sectors not included in the EU ETS, such as transport, buildings, agriculture (non-CO2-emissions) and waste, are covered by the EU effort sharing legislation.

The EU as a whole is expected to overachieve its 2020 target and to remain well below the aggregated emission limits set under the Effort Sharing Decision for the period 2013-2020.

However, Malta, Germany, Ireland and Austria may end up with levels of emissions higher than their limits over the period 2013-2020, according to their national projections. In this case, they will need to use flexibility mechanisms, for example, transfers of emission allocations from other Member States to comply with their legal obligations.

Member States are also planning how to achieve their 2030 effort sharing targets. If policies as planned in the draft national energy and climate plans are implemented, the EU could reduce emissions from the sectors covered under the effort sharing legislation by more than 25% by 2030, as compared to 2005.

This is clear progress as compared with existing policies, which would reduce emissions by around 20% by 2030. However, to achieve the 2030 EU emissions reduction target of 30% for the effort sharing sectors, Member States will need to identify and implement additional measures.

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 on track to meet its targets under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Further details:

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 1990;
  • require the EU to keep its emissions at an average of 20% below base-year levels over the whole second period (2013-2020), not only by 2020.

Monitoring & reporting

Every year, the Commission publishes its climate action progress report. It also reports regularly to the UN.

Key documents:

More information on monitoring and reporting



2019 - EU Climate Action Progress Report

Member States' emission profiles

Austrian flag Austria German flag Germany Polish flag Poland
Belgian flag Belgium Greek flag Greece Portuguse flag Portugal
Bulgarian flag Bulgaria Hungarian flag Hungary Romanian flag Romania
Croatian flag Croatia Irish flag Ireland Slovakian flag Slovakia
Cypriot flag Cyprus Italian flag Italy Slovenian flag Slovenia
Flag of the Czech Republic Czechia Latvian flag Latvia Spanish flag Spain
Danish flag Denmark Lithuanian flag Lithuania Swedish flag Sweden
Estonian flag Estonia Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg British flag United Kingdom
Finish flag Finland Maltese flag Malta
French flag France Dutch flag The Netherlands LULUCF Explanatory note

Previous reports

For previous reports and additional documents, see documentation on Emissions monitoring & reporting.