Spotlight Activity: EU’s Paris Agreement Pledge
Environmental matters and climate change are the responsibility of the European Union (EU), not individual countries. Thus, under the Paris Agreement the EU submitted one Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for all of its Member States, including Italy, France, Germany, and Spain. The NDC establishes a binding target of an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.
The pledge covers the time-period between 2021 and 2030, and over the next year the EU will determine new objectives for all policy instruments currently in place such as the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), the Effort Sharing Decision, the Renewable Energy Directive, and the Energy Efficiency Directive, as well as new policies needed to achieve and exceed the 2030 goal.
As it currently stands, the 40% reduction by 2030 is not enough to keep the probability of temperatures to stay below 2 degrees Celsius. In fact, at the first annual meeting of the 2050 Pathways Platform, representatives from the governments of France, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Sweden called for “raised levels of ambition of the EU and to present pathways towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris agreement, including intermediary steps.”
Furthermore, according to a report published by the Dutch Environmental Agency, for the EU to achieve a 2 degree C target would require a reduction in CO2 emissions of around 90% to 100% by 2050 compared to 1990. Following illustrative calculations presented in the report, the target for 2030 would be 50-55% reduction of all emissions.
Status: Falling Behind
It is really important that the EU starts a conversation about strengthening its pledge to 50-55% by 2030 for all emissions from a 1990 baseline. Moreover, it should strengthen current climate policies to:
- Accelerate the phase out of coal in countries like Germany and Poland.
- Accelerate the installation of renewable energy, which slowed down significantly between 2014 and 2016.
- Accelerate policies that tackle transportation, especially the electrification of transportation.
- Revise the Emission Trading System (ETS), the cap-and-trade system for emissions from power plants and industrial installations, and flights between European countries.
Please send the following message to the policy maker below:
Dear Miguel Arias Canete,
It is important that the European Union strengthen its pledge to the Paris Agreement to 50-55% by 2030 for all emissions from a 1990 baseline. Emissions need to be reduced substantially over the next decades. In addition to negotiating a more ambitious pledge, the EU should also:
- Accelerate the phase out of coal
- Accelerate the installation of renewable energy, which slowed down significantly between 2014 and 2016
- Accelerate policies that tackle transportation, especially the electrification of transportation
- Reform the ETS
Email address of the European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more about progress of individual EU countries in reducing GHG emissions click on the links below: