SDG 13 - Climate action (statistical annex)
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (statistical annex)
Data extracted in August 2018
Planned article update: September 2019
This article provides an overview of statistical data on SDG 13 ‘Climate action’ in the European Union (EU). It is based on the set of EU SDG indicators for monitoring of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an EU context.
This article is part of a set of statistical articles, which are based on the Eurostat publication ’Sustainable development in the European Union — Monitoring report - 2018 edition’. This report is the second edition of Eurostat’s series of monitoring reports on sustainable development, which provide a quantitative assessment of progress of the EU towards the SDGs in an EU context.
Greenhouse gas emissions
This indicator measures man-made emissions of the so-called ‘Kyoto basket’ of greenhouse gases (GHG) , which are integrated into a single indicator expressed in units of CO2 equivalents using each gas’s global warming potential (GWP). Emissions data are submitted annually by Member States to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and published by Eurostat based on data from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
As seen in Figure 1, by 2016, the EU as a whole cut GHG emissions by 22.4 % compared to 1990 levels. The EU is thus on track to reach the 2020 emissions reduction target. This trajectory amounts to a long-term average decrease of 1.2 % per year in the period 2001 to 2016, which accelerated to 1.4 % per year between 2011 and 2016.
Greenhouse gas emissions intensity of energy consumption
The GHG intensity of energy consumption is the ratio between energy-related GHG emissions and gross inland consumption of energy. It expresses how many tonnes of CO2 equivalent of energy-related GHGs are emitted in a certain economy per unit of energy consumed. The data on energy emissions are sourced from the GHG emissions reported to the UNFCCC. Gross inland consumption is reported by each Member State to Eurostat and is the sum of final energy consumption, distribution losses, transformation losses and statistical differences.
Across the EU, GHG emissions intensity of energy consumption between 2000 and 2016 decreased by 12.1 % with considerable variation by country. The average annual fall amounted to 0.8 % in the long- and 1.0 % in the short-term period (since 2001 and 2011, respectively).
Mean near surface temperature deviation
This indicator tracks deviations in average near surface temperature worldwide and for Europe compared with the 1850 to 1899 average. These measurements have been taken for decades by a dense network of stations across the globe. The data are monitored using standardised measurements, and quality control and homogeneity procedures are used to ensure data are compatible and comparable. The average annual temperature shown here is expressed in relation to the ‘pre-industrial’ baseline period of 1850 to 1899, when widespread temperature measurement was first established . Data presented in this section stem from the EEA, based on the Met Office Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit (HadCRUT4). Over the ten-year period from 2008 to 2017, global near surface temperature was on average 0.89 °C above pre-industrial levels. The year 2017 was one of the three warmest years ever measured worldwide (together with the years 2015 and 2016), with temperatures between 1.0 °C and 1.1 °C above pre-industrial levels. These data indicate that almost half of the warming towards the two degrees (2 °C) threshold has already occurred.
This indicator includes the overall losses from weather- and climate-related disasters. It is based on data from the NatCatSERVICE managed by Munich Reinsurance Company . The NatCatSERVICE is a global database of natural catastrophe data around the world, collected since 1974.
Climate-related losses have fluctuated substantially from year to year with extremes marked by particularly damaging events such as the 2000 extreme precipitation event in France and Italy (EUR 13 billion), the 2002 flood in central Europe (over EUR 20 billion) and the 2003 drought and heat wave (almost EUR 15 billion), all at 2016 values . Annual variability makes it difficult to assess any trend. Furthermore, because there have been fewer singularly damaging events in recent years, any calculation of a trend would be misleading, as low disaster costs in the short term cannot be used as an indicator of future occurrences.
The intention of the international commitment on climate finance under the UNFCCC is to enable and support enhanced action by developing countries to advance low emission and climate resilient development. The data presented in this section are reported under the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (MMR) to the European Commission.
As seen in Figure 9, the EU contribution towards the goal of USD 100 billion per year increased from around EUR 14.5 billion in 2014 to EUR 20.2 billion in 2016. These numbers include financial flows from all Member States, as well as funds from the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Population covered by the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy signatories
The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Europe, now part of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, represents a growing climate initiative at multiple levels of governance with actors all across the globe pledging to deliver comprehensive climate change mitigation and adaptation and energy action plans and establish a regular monitoring process. Here the number of citizens living within regions that act as signatories to the Covenant of Mayors in Europe is monitored as an indication of the initiative’s reach.
According to data from the Covenant of Mayors office, 7 383 active authorities out of the 7 755 who had signed by the beginning of 2018 were from the EU. In the first half of 2018, signatories represented about 198.0 million inhabitants in the EU — an increase of 38.0 million within five years.
More detailed information on EU SDG indicators for monitoring of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as indicator relevance, definitions, methodological notes, background and potential linkages, can be found in chapter 13 of the publication ’Sustainable development in the European Union — Monitoring report - 2018 edition’.
- The ‘Kyoto basket’ of GHGs includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and the so-called F-gases F-gases, i.e., hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
- European Environment Agency (2018), Global and European temperature.
- Munich RE, NatCatSERVICE.
- European Environment Agency (2018), Economic losses from climate-related extremes.