Kyoto target within EU's grasp if all planned measures and projects are implemented, projections show
Copenhagen, 21 December 2004
Kyoto target within EU's grasp if all planned measures and projects are implemented, projections show
The European Union will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by slightly more than required under the Kyoto Protocol provided that Member States implement all the policies, measures and third-country projects they are planning and several cut emissions by more than they have to.
Latest projections compiled by the European Environment Agency show that the 15 pre-2004 EU Member States (the EU-15) should cut their total emissions to 7.7% below 1990 levels by 2010 on the basis of existing domestic policies and measures already being implemented and, more importantly, additional policies and measures currently planned.
Plans by six EU-15 Member States to use credits from emissions-saving projects in third countries through the Kyoto Protocol's "flexible mechanisms" would contribute a further reduction of around 1.1%, taking the total to 8.8% (Annex).
This is more than the 8% decrease from 1990 levels that the EU-15 has committed itself to achieving by 2008-2012 under the Protocol to combat climate change.
Each of the EU-15 countries also has an agreed, legally binding target for limiting or cutting its own emissions to ensure the overall 8% reduction is met.
But the projections show that at present Denmark, Italy, Portugal and Spain are on course for above-target emissions, some by a wide margin, even with use of the Kyoto mechanisms and additional measures planned. Germany is in danger of slightly exceeding its emission limit on the basis of existing policies and measures.
This means the EU-15 may reach its 8% reduction target only if the projected failure of these Member States to respect their targets is compensated by others making bigger emission cuts than required.
This "over-delivery" cannot be taken for granted. Without it, the EU-15 would achieve a total reduction, including use of the Kyoto mechanisms, of only 6.5%.
On the more positive side, however, the projections do not take account of some important measures that should start to deliver emissions cuts over the next few years, such as the EU emissions trading scheme starting on 1 January 2005, or of plans to sequester carbon in "sinks" such as forests or agricultural land. This means actual emission cuts could be larger than projected.
As the EEA reported in July, the EU-15 has so far cut its overall emissions of the six greenhouse gases controlled under the Kyoto Protocol to 2.9 % below 1990 levels (up to 2002, the most recent year for which complete data are available).
Emissions decreased from most sectors, including energy supply, industry, agriculture and waste management. However, emissions from transport increased by nearly 22 % in the same period.
The latest projections show that existing policies and measures -- concrete initiatives already being implemented at EU or national level -- will cut EU-15 emissions by only 1.0% below 1990 levels by 2010, or by just 0.6% if Sweden and the UK do not over-deliver on their targets.
The runaway increase in emissions from transport, especially road transport, is the main reason the projected reduction is not bigger.
Additional policies and measures currently in an advanced stage of planning would take the emissions reduction to 7.7%, provided that six Member States over-deliver on their targets: Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Sweden and the UK. Without over-delivery the cut would be only 5.4%, however.
Two of the Protocol's flexible mechanisms, Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism, allow industrialised countries to invest in emissions-savings projects in third countries and use the resulting emission credits to help meet their Kyoto targets.
Plans by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to make use of this possibility are projected to yield an additional emissions reduction of 1.1%. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have already budgeted a total of around 1.3 billion euro for using the mechanisms over the coming years, though Finland and Sweden have not yet decided whether to use them or not.
Together with the expected effects from both existing and additional policies and measures, use of the mechanisms takes the total projected EU-15 emissions cut to 8.8%, assuming over-delivery by some Member States, or 6.5% with no over-delivery.
Plans by nine of the EU-15 Member States for sequestering carbon in sinks are projected to contribute an emissions reduction of around 0.7%. However, this has not been included in the aggregated projections because not all Member States have used an accepted methodology for making such estimates.
The EU-15 target does not apply to the 10 Member States that joined the EU on 1 May this year. Under the Protocol most of these have their own reduction targets of 8% (Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia) or 6% (Hungary and Poland) compared with a given base year (1990 or earlier). Cyprus and Malta have no targets.
Almost all of the new Member States have seen their emissions decline substantially. In 2002, their combined emissions stood 33 % below the base-year level, mainly due to the introduction of market economies and the consequent restructuring or closure of heavily polluting and energy-intensive industries. However, greenhouse gas emissions from transport exceeded base-year levels by 12%.
All new Member States except Slovenia project meeting or even over-complying with their Kyoto targets by 2010 on the basis of existing domestic policies and measures, even though in most countries emissions will increase between now and then.
Slovenia projects that it will achieve its Kyoto target with the help of additional policies and measures, including carbon sequestration from land-use changes and forestry.
The latest projections are published in the EEA report Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2004. The report is published on the EEA website at http://reports.eea.europa.eu/eea_report_2004_5/en. A more detailed analysis by country and sector is published in the technical report Analysis of greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2004 published on the website at http://reports.eea.europa.eu/technical_report_2004_7/en.
Note to Editors
- The Kyoto Protocol, which will enter into force on February 16, 2005, will control industrialised countries' emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), plus three fluorinated industrial gases: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). The EU is responsible for around 24% of industrialised countries' man-made emissions of the six gases.
- Besides the EU emissions trading scheme, recent EU-wide measures that should also start to deliver emission reductions soon include legislation to improve the energy performance of buildings and to promote combined heat and power generation. Other existing EU policies and measures include: promotion of electricity from renewable energy; improvements in energy efficiency of large industrial installations; promotion of energy-efficient appliances; promotion of biofuels in transport; an auto industry agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of new passenger cars; and recovery of methane from landfills.
- The report, prepared by the EEA and its Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change, is intended to support, complement and provide additional analysis for the European Commission's annual progress report under the EU greenhouse gas emissions monitoring mechanism (Council Decision 1999/296/EC). The Commission's fourth report will be published at http://www.europa.europa.eu/comm/environment/climat/greenhouse_monitoring.htm
About the EEA
The European Environment Agency is the leading public body in Europe dedicated to providing sound, independent information on the environment to policy-makers and the public. Operational in Copenhagen since 1994, the EEA is the hub of the European environment information and observation network (Eionet), a network of around 300 bodies across Europe through which it collects and disseminates environment-related data and information. An EU body, the Agency is open to all nations that share its objectives. It currently has 31 member countries: the 25 EU Member States, three EU candidate countries — Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey - and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. A membership agreement has been initialled with Switzerland. The West Balkan states — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro — have applied for membership of the Agency.
Emissions projections for EU-15 Member States, based on existing and additional domestic policies and measures and use of Kyoto mechanisms, compared with their Kyoto targets
|EU burden sharing target (in % of base year emissions)||With existing policies and measures||With additional policies and measures||Gap including use of Kyoto Mechanisms|
|Projections for 2010 (in % of base year)||Gap between projections and target (in % of base year)||Projections for 2010 (in % of base year)||Gap between projections and target (in % of base year)||(in % of base year)|
|Austria||-13.0 %||+8.7 %||+21.7 %||-9.2 %||+3.8 %||-5.2 %|
|Belgium||-7.5 %||+6.5 %||+14.0 %||-3.3 %||+4.2 %||-1.4 %|
|Denmark||-21.0 %||+15.7 %||+36.7 %||-||-||+31.3 %|
|Finland||0.0 %||+16.5 %||+16.5 %||-0.5 %||-0.5 %||-|
|France||0.0 %||+9.0 %||+9.0 %||-1.7 %||-1.7 %||-|
|Germany||-21.0 %||-19.7 %||+1.3 %||-||-||-|
|Greece||+25.0 %||+38.6 %||+13.6 %||+22.4 %||-2.6 %||-|
|Ireland||+13.0 %||+29.4 %||+16.4 %||+3.6 %||-9.4 %||-16.3 %|
|Italy||-6.5 %||+3.7 %||+10.2 %||-3.4 %||+3.1 %||-|
|Luxembourg||-28.0 %||-22.4 %||+5.6 %||-||-||-17.9 %|
|The Netherlands||-6.0 %||+3.3 %||+9.3 %||-||-||-0.1 %|
|Portugal||+27.0 %||+53.1 %||+26.1 %||+45.7 %||+18.7 %||-|
|Spain||+15.0 %||+48.3 %||+33.3 %||+28.0 %||+13.0 %||-|
|Sweden||+4.0 %||-0.2 %||-4.2 %||-||-||-|
|United Kingdom||-12.5 %||-13.9 %||-1.4 %||-22.5 %||-10.0 %||-|
|Total EU-15||-8.0 %||-1.0 %||+7.0 %||-7.7 %||+0.3 %||-0.8 %|
Note: For projected emissions, plus figures signify that the target is not met; minus figures mean a projected over-delivery compared to the target. The column 'Gap including use of Kyoto mechanisms' shows the gap after use of the Kyoto mechanisms combined with existing policies and measures in the case of Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. For Austria, Belgium and Ireland, the gap is shown after use of the Kyoto mechanisms in combination with additional domestic policies and measures.
Source: Information provided under the EC GHG Monitoring Mechanism and in 3rd national communications
Emissions projections for new EU Member States, based on existing and additional domestic policies and measures, compared with their Kyoto targets
|Kyoto target (in % of base year)||With existing policies and measures||With additional policies and measures|
|Projections for 2010 (in % of base year)||Gap between projections and target (in % of base year)||Projections for 2010 (in % of base year)||Gap between projections and target (in % of base year)|
|Czech Republic||-8.0 %||-30.0 %||-22.0 %||-||-|
|Estonia||-8.0 %||-56.6 %||-48.6 %||-60.0 %||-52.0 %|
|Hungary||-6.0 %||-6.0 %||+0.0 %||-||-|
|Latvia||-8.0 %||-58.2 %||-50.2 %||-||-|
|Lithuania||-8.0 %||-43.3 %||-35.3 %||-||-|
|Poland||-6.0 %||-12.1 %||-6.1 %||-||-|
|Slovakia||-8.0 %||-26.6 %||-18.6 %||-33.5 %||-25.5 %|
|Slovenia||-8.0 %||+4.0 %||+12.0 %||-3.9 %||+4.1 %|
Note: For projected emissions, plus figures signify that the target is not met; minus figures mean a projected over-delivery compared to the target. All data are excluding sequestration from land-use change and forestry. Slovenia projects it will achieve its target if carbon sequestration is included.
Source: Information provided under the EC GHG Monitoring Mechanism and in 3rd national communications.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
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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