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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Progress to greenhouse gas emission targets / Progress to greenhouse gas emission targets (CSI 011/CLIM 051) - Assessment published Oct 2012

Progress to greenhouse gas emission targets (CSI 011/CLIM 051) - Assessment published Oct 2012

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Generic metadata

Topics:

Climate change Climate change (Primary topic)

Tags:
ghg emissions | kyoto targets | greenhouse gases | kyoto protocol
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 011
  • CLIM 051
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
2008-2012, 2020
Geographic coverage:
Europe Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: What progress is made towards the greenhouse gas emissions targets by the EU?

Key messages

At the end of 2011, almost all European countries were on track towards their Kyoto targets for 2008–2012. The EU‑15 is on track towards this 8 % reduction target, compared to base-year levels under the Kyoto Protocol.

Projections from EU Member States indicate that their emissions outside the EU ETS will be lower than their national targets set under the Climate and Energy Package. Total EU emissions are projected to fall slightly until 2020. With the current set of national domestic measures in place, Member States are expected to reach a level in 2020 which is 19 % below 1990 levels and close to the 20 % reduction target.

Absolute and relative gaps between average 2008–2011 non‑ETS emissions and Kyoto target for non‑ETS sectors

Note: * 'EU‑15 (no overachievement)' corresponds to the situation of the EU‑15 where all surplus Kyoto units from target overachievement in the EU‑15 are not taken into account, to reflect the possibility that Member States with a surplus could use any remaining allowances for their own purposes and not necessarily make them available to compensate for Member States with a shortfall. Subsequent to the effect of allocation of allowances to the EU ETS, the target and annual emissions are those of the sectors not covered by the EU ETS. The target for non-ETS sectors corresponds to the difference between the initial permissible emissions and the amount of allowances allocated under the EU ETS. A positive value indicates a country for which average 2008–2011 non‑ETS emissions were lower than the annual target. The assessment is based on average 2008–2011 emissions and the planned use of flexible mechanisms, as well as the expected effect of LULUCF activities. EU‑15 values are the sum of the gaps/surplus for the 15 EU Member States party to Burden-Sharing Agreement. For Croatia, Iceland and Switzerland, total emissions are used as they have currently no installations under the EU ETS.

Data source:
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Actual progress of the EU‑15 towards its burden-sharing target in absolute and relative terms

Note: The X-axis (0 % line) corresponds to the achievement of the EU-15 reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol (– 8 % compared to base-year emissions). Positive values correspond to contributions to the achievement of the EU-15 Kyoto target, while negative values represent shortfalls. The difference between target and GHG emissions concerns the sectors not covered by the EU ETS, which represent the right emissions and target to consider for the assessment of actual progress towards Kyoto targets.

Data source:
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Projected gaps between 2020 GHG emissions and national targets in sectors not covered by the EU ETS

Note: Progress calculated based on domestic emissions only, without accounting for possible use of flexibility options. The 2020 targets and 2005 non‑ETS emissions are all consistent with 2013–2020 ETS scope, i.e. they take into account the extension of the ETS scope in 2013 and the unilateral inclusion of installation in 2008–2012. Relative gaps are calculated as a ratio between the difference (projected non‑ETS 2020 emissions – estimates of 2020 targets under the ESD) and EEA estimates of 2005 non‑ETS emissions consistent with 2013–2020 ETS scope

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Current progress towards 2008-2012 Kyoto targets

Twenty-five EU Member States (all except Cyprus and Malta), Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have individual GHG reduction targets under the KP. The EU‑15, i.e. the 15 pre-2004 EU Member States, has a common target to be achieved collectively under the 'burden-sharing agreement'. This agreement sets differentiated emission reduction targets for each EU‑15 Member State.

At the end of 2011, almost all European countries were on track towards their Kyoto targets for 2008–2012. The EU‑15 is on track towards this 8 % reduction target, compared to base-year levels under the KP. The combined performance of all EU‑15 Member States resulted in an overachievement of approximately 211 Mt CO2-equivalent per year (a quantity which represents 4.9 % of the EU‑15's base year emissions).

The gaps (absolute and relative) between the average non ETS emissions and Kyoto target for non ETS in the period 2008-2011 is presented in Figure 1.

Aggregated average non-ETS emissions from EU‑15 Member States from 2008 to 2011, without the use of carbon sinks and flexible mechanisms, were lower than the relevant EU‑15 target by 71.5 Mt CO2-eq. per year, which represents 1.7 % of total EU‑15 base‑year emissions. Carbon sink activities are expected to contribute towards an additional emission reduction of 58 Mt CO2-equivalent per year (1.4 % of EU‑15 base‑year emissions). The use of the KP's flexible mechanisms by ten EU‑15 Member States is expected to increase the overall emission budget by 84 Mt CO2‑equivalent per year (2.0 % of EU‑15 base‑year emissions). However, to ensure that EU-15 reaches its common target, all Member States must achieve their respective burden-sharing target as the excess Kyoto units resulting from overachievement by some countries might not be available to the EU-15 for achieving compliance.

Figure 2 presents the actual progress of the EU-15 in absolute and relative terms, highlighting the share of non ETS emissions, the use of flexible mechanisms and the use of carbon sink activities and international emission credits.

Projected progress towards 2020 targets

The 2020 unilateral 20% GHG reduction target corresponds to a 14% decrease in GHG emissions between 2005 and 2020. This target was divided into two sub-targets: a 21% reduction target for emissions covered by the EU-ETS and a 10% reduction target for the remaining non-ETS emissions. The Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) established the national emission targets not covered by EU ETS.

Projections from EU Member States indicate that their emissions outside the EU ETS will be lower than their national targets set under the Climate and Energy Package. Total EU emissions are projected to fall slightly until 2020. 

With the current set of national domestic measures in place, Member States are expected to reach a level in 2020 which is 19 % below 1990 levels and close to the 20 % reduction target.

At national level, projections show that thirteen Member States could achieve their individual 2020 targets in the sectors not covered by the EU ETS with the current set of domestic policies and measures. Eight additional Member States would achieve their target through the implementation of additional measures. The remaining six Member States would not achieve their targets through domestic emission reductions alone, even if the currently planned measures were to be implemented. These Member States could still meet their national 2020 targets through the use of flexibility options provided by the ESD, whereby transfers of annual emissions allocations between years and between Member States are allowed, as well as the limited use of project-based credits from two of the KP flexible mechanisms, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Joint Implementation (JI).

Figure 3 provides the projected gaps between 2020 GHG emissions and national targets in non ETS-sectors.

A detailed analysis on the current GHG emission trends and projections in Europe can be found in EEA's 2012 report on ‘Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe – Tracking progress towards Kyoto and 2020 targets’.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

François Dejean

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2012 1.3.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 1 year in October-December (Q4)
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100