Indicator Assessment

Progress to greenhouse gas emission targets

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-37-en
  Also known as: CSI 011 , CLIM 051
Published 03 Mar 2009 Last modified 09 Feb 2021
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Projections from EU Member States for 2010 indicate that the EU-15 will meet its Kyoto target by a large margin through further implementation of existing and additional measures, and use of carbon sinks and of Kyoto mechanisms. If all the projected reductions were achieved, the EU-15 could reach a level of emissions 11.3 % lower than base-year emissions, therefore overachieving its - 8 % Kyoto target by 3.3 percentage points. Furthermore, the EU emission trading scheme will also bring important further reductions, which are not yet fully accounted for by Member States in their projections.

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 and Norway project that they will meet their targets, but not Switzerland. Turkey had not ratified the Kyoto Protocol as of June 2008 and thus had no Kyoto target.

This indicator is discontinued. No more assessments will be produced.

Gaps between 2010 projections and Kyoto targets

Note: Countries are sorted by regional grouping (EU-15, EU-12, other EEA countries and Croatia) and ranked by relative gap between 2010 projections (including additional measures, carbon sinks and Kyoto mechanisms) and Kyoto target

Data source:

Past and projected EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions compared with Kyoto target for 2008-2012

Note: 2010 projections from Denmark and Luxembourg correspond to average projections for the whole 20082012 period

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Past and projected EU-12 greenhouse gas emissions

Note: N/A

Data source:


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 increase slightly (1 %). If the additional measures currently planned by Member States are implemented, a continuous decrease of EU-27 is projected from 2006 until 2020. Nevertheless, current projections indicate that without accounting for the effects of the measures included in the EU energy and climate change package, the EU will not be able to reach the 20% reduction target it is committed to achieve, compared to 2020.


According to the latest projections from its 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.

Projected emission reductions in EU-15

  • With the existing domestic policies and measures in place, emissions are expected to decrease by 1.0 % between 2006 levels and 2010, to reach a level 3.6 % below base-year emissions.
  • If adopted on time and fully implemented, the additional domestic policies and measures currently under discussion in ten Member States could bring a further reduction of 3.3 % relative to the base year.
  • The use of Kyoto mechanisms (clean development mechanism and joint implementation), currently foreseen by ten countries, would help to reduce emissions by a further 3.0 %.
  • The effect of carbon sink activities is estimated to bring an additional 1.4 % reduction.

As a result, if all the projected reductions from domestic policies and measures, carbon sinks and Kyoto mechanisms were achieved, the EU-15 could reach a level of emissions 11.3 % lower than base-year emissions, therefore overachieving its 8 % reduction target by 3.3 percentage points (Figure 1). The EU emissions trading scheme will bring additional emission reductions between 2008 and 2012, which are yet not accounted for in the Member States projections.

Projected progress of EU-15 Member States

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 3). These twelve countries are the same as in the 2007 assessment. Germany, Greece, Sweden and the United Kingdom are the only four EU-15 Member States countries which anticipate achieving their targets through reductions from existing measures alone.

As in the 2007 assessment, Denmark, Italy and Spain 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 (Figure 3). However, updated projections by Spain and Italy reduced their gap between projections and targets compared to last year.

EU-12 Member States

In 2006, aggregated emissions of the EU-12 Member States were 25 % below 1990 levels. However, by 2010, if no additional measures are implemented, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase from the current level to a level 19 % below that of 1990 (Figure 2).

All the 10 Member States that joined the EU after 1st May 2004 (EU-12) and that have a Kyoto target project to meet it with existing measures, except Slovenia. Slovenia projects that it will reach its target with additional measures, and the use of carbon sinks and Kyoto mechanisms (Figure 3).

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 Liechtenstein project that they will meet their Kyoto target (with existing measures only in Iceland, with use of carbon sinks in Croatia and with use of Kyoto mechanisms in Liechtenstein). Norway projects to meet its target with additional measures, the use of Kyoto mechanisms and the use of carbon sinks. Even with the additional measures it plans to implement and the use of Kyoto mechanisms, Switzerland does currently project that it will not reach its target.

Data related to 2010 projections (with existing and with additional measures) by country can be viewed on EEA greenhouse gas data viewer.

Share of EU-15 sectors and key sources in 1990 and 2006

Note: Emissions from international aviation and international maritime navigation, not covered by the Kyoto Protocol, are not included here

Data source:

Changes in EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions by sector

Note: Some Member States did not report projections for all sectors or scenarios

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This assessment is specific to the EU-15 only. Detailed sectoral assessment is available in the latest EEA report 5/2008 on Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe.

From 1990 to 2006, greenhouse gas emissions decreased in all sectors, except transport.  They are projected to further decrease (or stabilized at 2006 level in the case of emissions from industrial processes). Significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions between 2006 and 2010 (in relative terms) can be expected from existing measures in the waste sector and from additional measures in the transport sector. The targets on renewable energy for 2010 and 2020 will not be met without significant further efforts from Member States.

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. These emissions decreased by 4 % between 1990 and 2006 and are projected to:

  • decrease slightely (1 %) from 2006 levels by 2010 with existing measures
  • decrease further to 4 % below 2006 levels with additional measures (Figure 5).

The share of renewable energy use increased only by 0.5 % between 2005 and 2006. 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 CHP generation in EU-15 gross electricity production increased slightly from 9.2 % in 2000 to 10.1 % in 2006. Further efforts are needed to increase the share of CHP by 2010 to reach the indicative target of 18 %.

Transport (excluding international aviation and maritime transport)

Emissions from domestic transport represent 21 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions. If international maritime and air transport is included than the share accounts for 28 % (Figure 4). More than 90 % of total domestic transport emissions are due to road transport. Between 1990 and 2006, 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 6 % below 2006 levels with additional measures (Figure 5), which equivalents to 19 % above 1990 levels.


Emissions from agriculture represent 9 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions.  EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture fell by 11 % between 1990 and 2006. Based on existing domestic policies and measures, EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to decrease by 2 % from 2006 levels in 2010 (Figure 5).


Emissions from industrial processes represent 8 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions. EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) were reduced by 12 % compared to 1990. They are projected to stabilise with existing measures and to decrease from 2006 levels with the implementation of planned policies and measures (Figure 5). CO2 emissions from cement production in the EU-15 increased by 6 % and might increase further if no decoupling from projected cement production takes place.


Emissions from waste and waste management represent 3 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions (Figure 4). Between 1990 and 2006, EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from waste fell by 39 %, they are projected to decrease further from 2006 levels to approximately 45 % below 1990 levels by 2010 (Figure 5).

Supporting information

Indicator definition

This indicator illustrates the projected trends in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in relation to the EU and Member State targets, using existing policies and measures and/or additional policies and/or use of Kyoto mechanisms. The greenhouse gases are those covered by the Kyoto Protocol (CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, HFCs and PFCs), weighed by their respective global warming potential, aggregated and presented in CO2-equivalent units.


Million tonnes in CO2-equivalent


Policy context and targets

Context description

The indicator is aimed to support the Commission's annual progress assessment of the EU and the Member States reduction of emissions towards achieving the Kyoto Protocol target under the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism (Council Decision 280/2004/EC)


For the EU-15 Member States, the targets are those set out in Council Decision 2002/358EC in which Member States agreed that some countries be allowed to increase their emissions, within limits, provided these are offset by reductions in others.

The EU-15 Kyoto Protocol target for 2008-2012 is a reduction of 8 % from 1990 levels for the basket of six greenhouse gases. For the new Member States, the candidate countries and other EEA member countries, the targets are included in the Kyoto Protocol.

Overview of national Kyoto targets (reduction from base year levels):

Kyoto Target 2008-2012









Czech Republic






















































United Kingdom


15 old EU Member States (EU15)


In 2007, the EU committed to a unilateral 20% GHG reduction target, which corresponds to a 14% decrease in GHG emissions between 2005 and 2020. The EU Climate and Energy Package adopted in 2009 sets a legislative framework to achieve this objective in a two-fold way: a 21% reduction of emissions covered under the EU ETS compared to 2005 levels, to be achieved across the whole EU, and an effort to reduce emissions not covered by the EU ETS by about 10% compared to 2005 levels, shared between the EU 27 Member States through differentiated national GHG targets under the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD).

Related policy documents



Methodology for indicator calculation

Projected progress calculates the gap between emission projections and the Kyoto target. Two types of projections are considered:

  1. projections with existing domestic policies and measures
  2. projections with existing and additional domestic policies and measures, including projected use of Kyoto Mechanisms and effects of carbon sinks.

Further detail available in the latest EEA report on ‘Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2012-Tracking progress towards Kyoto and 2020 targets’.

Methodology for gap filling

Further detail available in EEA report on ‘Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2012’.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.



Methodology uncertainty

The methodology proposed consists in simple additions of data reported by Member States. However, uncertainty arises from the following:

  • projections can be subject to updates which might not be reflected in the assessment if these updates were recently made;
  • the projections taken into account are fully consistent with MS submissions under the Monitoring Mechanism. However, other sets of projections with different data might have been published by countries (e.g. national allocation plans, national communications to UNFCCC).

Data sets uncertainty

Uncertainties in the projections of GHG emissions can be significant but have not been assessed. Several countries carry out sensitivity anaylses on their projections.

Rationale uncertainty

Not relevant.

Data sources

Other info

DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 011
  • CLIM 051
Frequency of updates
This indicator is discontinued. No more assessments will be produced.
EEA Contact Info


Geographic coverage

Temporal coverage