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European Commission - Statement

Commission welcomes ambitious agreement on key legislation to cut down greenhouse gas emissions

Brussels, 21 December 2017

The European Parliament and the Council today reached a provisional agreement on the effort sharing regulation - a major Commission proposal for implementing the EU's 2030 climate target. It reduces emissions in transport, buildings, waste and agriculture in line with the EU's climate target for 2030. Today's agreement follows the just recently agreed new rules on accounting of emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), see STATEMENT/17/5286. Taken together, these are central building blocks in EU climate policy and its drive for Europe's transition to a low-carbon economy.

Both proposals form part of the implementation of the Juncker Commission priorities for "a resilient Energy Union and a forward-looking climate change policy" and cover over 50% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the EU. They play thus a decisive role in meeting the EU's commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by at least 40% till 2030, compared to 1990 levels. These agreements, together with the recently endorsed revision of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) after 2020 (see IP/17/4501), mean that the legal framework of the EU's 2030 climate policy is now in place. It shows that the work towards the completion of the Energy Union is on track and that the work initiated by the Juncker Commission is being delivered.

Welcoming the political agreement, Energy Union Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: "Today is one of the final significant steps towards completion of the EU's 2030 climate policy framework, which will enable us to not only deliver on our Paris Agreement commitment but also to achieve the goals of the Energy Union."

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete added: "Today is proof of Europe's intention to stay at the forefront of global climate action, by delivering at home. I thank the Parliament and Council for their work to reach this ambitious outcome. Negotiations have further strengthened our tools to deliver on our Paris commitment. The agreement on the Effort Sharing Regulation puts us firmly on track to achieve our 2030 climate target".


Main elements:

  • 30% emissions reduction – compared to 2005 in the sectors not covered by the EU ETS (notably transport, buildings, waste and non-CO2 emissions from agriculture);
  • A fair distribution of effort among the Member States, with annual national targets based primarily on GDP per capita;
  • A starting point for the target trajectory which increases environmental ambition;
  • A compliance system and several flexibilities for Member States to allow them to reach their targets cost-effectively, including new flexibilities related to the EU ETS and LULUCF, and a new reserve for Member States that exceed their national targets for 2013-2020 but only if the EU as a whole achieves the 30% reduction target for 2030.

The national CO2 reduction targets remain unchanged from the Commission proposal, see table in IP/16/2545.


Effort Sharing Regulation

When taking up office, the Juncker Commission identified as one of its priorities the need for a "Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-looking Climate Change Policy". As announced in its March 2016 Communication on "The Road from Paris: assessing the implications of the Paris Agreement" the Commission is committed to turn the European Union commitments into concrete policy action and legal instruments implementing the 2030 energy and climate framework.

The EU 2030 climate and energy framework was adopted at the October 2014 European Council. It aims to reduce the EU's greenhouse gas emissions by 40 % by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. The Effort Sharing Regulation will require emissions cuts in non-ETS sectors including buildings, transport, waste and agriculture in 2021-2030, through binding annual targets for all Member States. The new legislation will contribute to the EU's wider emissions target by cutting emissions in non-ETS sectors by at least 30% by 2030 compared to 2005.


Next steps

Today's provisional agreement (reached by written procedure following the 3rd trilogue in the 'trilogue' negotiation format between the Parliament, Council and Commission) must now be formally approved by the European Parliament and Council. Following approval, the regulation will be published in the EU's Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later.


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