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2020 Climate and Energy Package
In 2008, the EU adopted a set of regulatory measures known as the Climate and Energy Package and containing a revised EU Emissions Trading Directive, a Decision on effort sharing in non-ETS sectors, a directive on the promotion of renewable energy, a directive on carbon capture and storage , together with an accompanying impact assessment and revised state aid guidelines.
The objectives of the Climate and Energy Package were to achieve, by 2020, an unconditional reduction of GHG emissions across the EU by 20% against 1990 levels, with an inbuilt option of increasing that target to 30%, if other big emitters signed up to comparable efforts under a global agreement (1), combined with an increase of the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 20%, and an increase in energy efficiency by 20%.
The 2008 legislation was built on the principles of cost-effectiveness and fair distribution. In order to promote cost-effectiveness of the proposed measures, the EU introduced the use of market based instruments (such as emissions trading, transferable guarantees of origin for renewables) and flexibility for Member States in how to achieve their non-ETS targets, while adhering to the principle of fair distribution of efforts according to GDP per capita of Member States. While the ETS sectors were given an EU-level cap in order to promote competitiveness and create a level playing field for industry across the EU, national targets were agreed by Member States in sectors outside the EU ETS. The Member States adopted also differentiated national renewable energy targets, setting out the level of the use of renewable energy in the final energy consumption to be achieved by 2020.
The EU is on track to achieve its 2020 targets.
EU emissions continue to follow the downward trend seen since 2004. While EU GDP grew by 45% between 1990 and 2011, total emissions from the 28 member states, including emissions from international aviation, were 16.9% below 1990 levels in 2011 and an estimated 18% below 1990 in 2012.
The EU’s unilateral commitment to cut emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 includes emissions from international aviation. With the help of the 2009 ‘climate and energy package’ of legislation, the Union is well on track to achieve its 2020 target. Member states’ latest projections show that total emissions in 2020, including international aviation, will be 21% below the 1990 level.
(1) At that time expected to materialise in 2009.