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Reducing greenhouse gases by 2020
This Decision contributes to meeting the commitment made by the European Union to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % by 2020 in relation to 1990 levels. It sets objectives for reducing emissions for each of the Member States and defines the means for checking whether they have been met. These objectives could be increased in line with international agreements.
Decision No 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020.
This Decision sets out minimum contributions for Member States in terms of greenhouse gas emissions *, following commitments made by the Community for the period from 2013 to 2020.
Emission levels for the period from 2013 to 2020 and flexibility
Each Member State has annual emissions quotas forming a linear trajectory from 2013 to 2020. Each year between 2013 and 2020, Member States’ emissions must be lower than the corresponding annual emissions quota. The annual emissions quota for 2020 corresponds to the percentage fixed in Annex II to the Decision for each Member State.
During the period from 2013 to 2019, a Member State may carry forward from the following year a quantity of up to 5 % of its annual emission allocation *. The unused part of the quota may be carried over to subsequent years. It is also possible, under certain conditions, to transfer a part of this allocation to other Member States.
In 2012, the European Commission will assess the progress achieved by the Community and Member States with regard to the implementation of the Action Plan for Energy Efficiency. Following this assessment, the Commission shall propose strengthened or new measures, if necessary.
Use of credits from project activities
In order to fulfil their obligations, Member States may use the following greenhouse gas emission reduction credits:
- Directive 2003/87/EC during the period 2008-2012 and corresponding to projects registered before 31 December 2012;
- CERs issued for emission reductions from projects implemented in LDCs;
Each year, Member States may transfer up to 3 % of their unused annual allocation to another Member State. They may also carry over the unused part to subsequent years.
Reporting, evaluation of progress, amendments and review
Pursuant to Decision 280/2004/EC, Member States must declare the following in their reports:
- their annual greenhouse gas emissions;
- use, geographical distribution and types of credit used;
- forecasted progress and national projections;
- information on policies and national measures.
Every two years, the Community will evaluate progress achieved and compliance with commitments.
If the emission allocations which have been set are exceeded, the Member State concerned must take the following steps:
- a deduction from the Member State’s emission allocation of the following year;
- the development of a corrective action plan;
- the temporary suspension of the eligibility to transfer to another Member State part of their emission allocation and rights to use credits from project activities.
Adjustments applicable upon the approval by the Community of an international agreement on climate change
Following the signing of an international agreement on climate change by the Community providing for a reduction of 20 % in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990, the Commission has to present, in the three next months, a report on the following points:
- the nature of measures decided at international level;
- options required at Community level in order to move to the 30 % reduction target endorsed by the European Council of March 2007;
- the impact on the competitiveness of industry and agriculture, including carbon leakage risks;
- the impact of the international agreement on other economic sectors;
- accounting methods for emissions to land use and forestry;
- modalities relating to afforestation, reforestation, deforestation and forest degradation in third countries;
- the need for additional policies and measures.
In the event that no international agreement is approved by 31 December 2010, the Commission will have to prepare a proposal for including land use, land use change and forestry in the Community’s reduction commitment.
The objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), approved by Decision 94/69/EC, is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations. It is essential that the global annual temperature does not exceed 2° C above pre-industrial levels. In this regard, emissions of these gases should be reduced by 50 % by 2050.
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
OJ L140 of 5.6.2009