Progress to greenhouse gas emission targets (CSI 011/CLIM 051) - Assessment published Feb 2008
Climate change (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- CSI 011
- CLIM 051
Key policy question: What progress is made towards the greenhouse gas emissions targets by the EU?
Projections for 2010 indicate that the EU-15 will meet its Kyoto target if Member States implement existing and additional measures fully and quickly, and make use of carbon sinks and Kyoto mechanisms. If all the projected reductions were achieved, the EU-15 could reach a level of emissions 11.4 % lower than base-year emissions, therefore overachieving its -8 % Kyoto target by 3.4 percentage points. The EU-27 does not have a Kyoto target. Twelve EU-15 Member States project they will achieve their individual targets. All ten new Member States with a target expect to meet their target (Cyprus and Malta do not have a Kyoto target).
Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland project that they will meet their targets. Turkey has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol and thus has no Kyoto target.
Past and projected EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions compared with Kyoto target for 2008-2012
Note: The EU15 target including Kyoto mechanisms and sinks is based on an estimated projected use of Kyoto mechanisms and activities under Article 3.3 and 3.4 (carbon sinks)
EEA, 2007. EU-15 Member States greenhouse gas inventories and projections provided before 31 May 2007. EU Member States GHG inventories 1990-2005. EU Member States GHG projections by 2010.
Past and projected greenhouse gas emissions aggregated for the 12 new Member States
Note: For Estonia, Hungary and Latvia, the projections used in last year&amp;#39;s report are used here as no new data were available
- Greenhouse gas emission projections for 2010 in Europe provided by Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
- National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and to the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism provided by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Relative gaps between EU Kyoto and burden-sharing targets and projections for 2010 for EU Member States, EU candidate countries and other EEA member countries
Note: For five Member States (Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), the estimated effect of the EU ETS reported separately was re-introduced in the ´with existing measures´ projections
EEA, 2007. EU-27 Member States greenhouse gas projections provided before 31 May 2007. EU Member States GHG projections by 2010
According to the latest projections from Member States, the EU-15 should achieve its -8 % Kyoto target, since projected 2010 emissions are well below this. The achievement relies, however, on a number of conditions:
- full delivery of emission reductions from existing domestic policies and measures, already implemented by Member States;
- rapid adoption and implementation of additional policies and measures currently under discussion at European and national levels;
- accounting of CO2 removals from land use, land-use change and forestry;
- use of Kyoto mechanisms to the full extent currently being implemented and planned by Member States;
- substantial overachievement of their individual targets by some Member States, to cover the gap left by those Member States which currently anticipate that they will not achieve their targets;
- achievement of the emission reductions, currently projected for the single year 2010, during each year of the whole five-year commitment period, from 2008 to 2012.
Based on Member State projections, existing domestic policies and measures will reduce EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions by a net effect of 4.0 % below base-year levels. When additional domestic policies and measures (i.e. those planned but not yet implemented) are taken into account, the EU-15 could reduce emissions by an additional 3.9 % (Figure 1). The projected use of Kyoto mechanisms by ten of the EU-15 Member States will reduce emissions by a further 2.5 %. These governments have set aside EUR 2.9 billion to pay for this. The use of carbon sinks, such as planting forests to remove CO2, will reduce emissions by an additional 0.9 %. As a result, the EU could even achieve an 11.4 % reduction (Figure 2).
The EU emissions trading scheme will bring significant emission reductions between 2008 and 2012, according to the report. It is expected to contribute a reduction of at least 3.4 %, part of which is already reflected in some Member States projections. This would represent a further reduction of at least 1.3 % to the total of 11.4 % from base-year emissions in the EU-15.
Based on their national projections for 2010, twelve Member States (the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Greece and Luxembourg) expect to meet their 2008-2012 burden-sharing targets through a combination of existing and planned domestic policies and measures, the use of carbon sinks and the use of Kyoto mechanisms (Figure 1). Compared to 2006, this represents an addition of four countries (Portugal, Belgium, Ireland and Austria) to those that projected in 2006 that they would meet their burden-sharing target. The United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany are the only three EU-15 Member States countries which anticipate achieving their targets through reductions from existing measures alone.
As in 2006, Spain, Denmark and Italy are currently not on track to meet their individual targets. Their 2010 projections indicate that they will not meet these targets, despite the use of Kyoto mechanisms and carbon sinks, and the effect of reduced emission caps under the EU ETS (Figure 1). However, the gaps between these countries' projections and their respective targets have been significantly reduced since last year. Furthermore, Spain and Denmark announced recently that they were planning to reach their target through future supplementary action.
Compared to the 2006 analysis, the projected emission reductions from domestic policies and measures in the EU-15 have increased considerably, mostly due to revised projections from Germany and France and to the new availability of projections by some Member States regarding the anticipated effect of the EU ETS.
New Member States
All the 10 new EU-27 Member States that have a Kyoto target project to meet it with existing measures, except Slovenia (Figure 1). Slovenia projects it will reach its target with additional measures, and the use of carbon sinks and Kyoto mechanisms.
In 2005, the aggregated emissions of the 12 new EU Member States were 28 % below 1990 levels. However, by 2010, if no additional measures are implemented, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase back to a level 20 % below that of 1990 (Figure 3).
The EU-27 does not have a Kyoto target. With the existing domestic policies and measures in place, EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions are projected to remain approximately at 2005 levels by 2010. Alternatively, if the currently planned additional domestic policies and measures are implemented on time, EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions could decrease from 2005 levels down to 11 % below their 1990 levels by 2010.
Other EEA member countries
One of the two EU candidate countries, Croatia, ratified the Kyoto Protocol in May 2007. The other EU candidate country, Turkey, has ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but not the Kyoto Protocol and thus has no Kyoto target.
Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland project that they will meet their targets (Figure 1). Croatia's and Iceland's projections indicate that domestic measures will be sufficient, while Norway and Switzerland plan to use Kyoto mechanisms as well. In addition, Croatia and Switzerland expect further reductions from the implementation of additional policies and measures. Liechtenstein projects that it will not meet its Kyoto target with existing measures.
Projections for 2020
For the first time, it has been possible to aggregate projections for 2020 from Member States to obtain EU-27 projections for 2020. A first assessment of these projections shows that, even if the additional measures currently planned by Member States are adopted and fully implemented, greenhouse gas emissions will increase between 2010 and 2020, reaching a level approximately 2 % higher than in 2005, and only 6 % below their 1990 level. This is a significantly higher level than the unilateral commitment of a 20 % reduction, compared to 1990 levels, endorsed by the European Council in March 2007. However, these projections do not take into account the latest policy developments at international level (Bali conference, December 2007) and European level (proposals from the European Commission on a climate change and energy package, January 2008).
Data related to 2010 projections (with existing and with additional measures) by country can be viewed on EEA greenhouse gas data viewer.
Specific policy question: What progress is projected by sector towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2010?
Changes in EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions by sector
Note: The numbers presented correspond to changes compared to base-year emissions except for the numbers in brackets (past trends for transport and industrial processes), which correspond to changes compared to 1990
EEA, based on EU-15 Member States greenhouse gas inventories and projections provided before 31 May 2007. EU Member States GHG inventories 1990-2005
This assessment is specific to the EU-15 only. Detailed sectoral assessment is available in the latest EEA report on Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe.
From 1990 to 2005, greenhouse gas emissions decreased in all sectors, except transport. However, for 2010, greenhouse gas emissions from domestic transport are projected to be stabilised at current levels with existing domestic policies and measures.
Compared to 2005 levels, if additional domestic policies and measures are used, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to decline further by 2010 in all sectors except industrial processes.
Energy use and supply, excluding transport
Emissions from energy supply and use (combustion of fossil fuels in power plants and other sectors such as households and services), excluding transport, represent 59 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions (Figure 4). These emissions decreased by 3 % between 1990 and 2005 and are projected to:
- stabilise at 2005 levels by 2010 with existing measures,
- decrease further to 7 % below 1990 levels with additional measures (Figure 5).
The share of renewable energy use increased between 2004 and 2005. However, the target of 21 % of renewable electricity by 2010 and especially the overall target of a 20 % share of renewable energy in overall EU energy consumption by 2020 will require further significant efforts in the implementation of renewable energy sources. The 2020 target requires an increase in the share of renewable energy by about a factor 3.
The share of electricity from combined heat and power (CHP) in electricity production in EU-27 has roughly stabilised between 2000 and 2004. Further efforts are needed to increase the share of CHP by 2010.
Emissions from domestic transport represent 21 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions (Figure 4). More than 90 % of total domestic transport emissions are due to road transport. Between 1990 and 2005, EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from domestic transport increased by 26 %. They are projected to be at about the same level by 2010 if only existing domestic policies and measures are used and to be at 18 % above 1990 levels with additional measures (Figure 5).
Emissions from agriculture represent 9 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions (Figure 4). EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture fell by 11 % between 1990 and 2005. Based on existing domestic policies and measures, EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to decrease to 14 % below the 1990 level in 2010 (Figure 5).
Emissions from industrial processes represent 8 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions (Figure 4). EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) were reduced by 16 % compared to base-year levels. They are projected to increase with existing measures and to be stabilised at 2005 levels with the implementation of planned policies and measures (Figure 5). CO2 emissions from cement production in the EU-15 increased by 5 % and might increase further if no decoupling from projected cement production takes place.
Emissions from waste management represent 3 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions (Figure 4). Between 1990 and 2005, EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from waste fell by 38 %. They are projected to be approximately 47 % below 1990 levels by 2010 (Figure 5).
National projections, policies and measures
provided by Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
Deliveries for Projections and national programmes
provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoFrançois Dejean
EEA Management Plan2010 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
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This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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