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The 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework

In preparation of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Paris in December 2015 the European Council agreed, in October 2014, on a new ‘2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework’, with the intention to keep all the elements of the framework under review.23 Through the policy framework the Council endorsed a binding EU target of at least 40 per cent domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. The Union also included that target in its nationally determined contribution submitted to the UNFCCCTh The target is to be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible, with reductions in the EU ETS and non-EU ETS sectors amounting to 43 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively, by 2030 compared to 2005. This will require a new effort-sharing decision with efforts distributed on the basis of relative GDP per capita.25

An EU target of at least 27 per cent is also set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU in 2030. This target will be binding at EU level. It will be fulfilled through Member States’ contributions guided by the need to collectively deliver the EU target without preventing Member States from setting their own more ambitious national targets, as well as taking into account their degree of integration in the internal energy market.26

The policy framework furthermore sets an indicative target at the EU level of at least 27 per cent improved energy efficiency in 2030, compared to projections of future energy consumption. This is to be reviewed by 2020, having in mind an EU level of 30 per cent. The Commission will propose priority sectors in which significant energy efficiency gains can be reaped, and ways to address them at EU level. Targets will not be translated into nationally binding targets.27

When adopting the framework the Council called for a policy on how to include land use, land use change, and forestry into the 2030 greenhouse gas mitigation framework before 2020 and stressed the importance of a fully functioning and connected internal energy market, something that has proven very challenging to achieve in practice^8

According to projections, total EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 are estimated to be 27 per cent below 1990 levels. Additional measures are thus needed for the EU to meet the new 2030 target. In line with this, an amendment to the EU ETS was decided in late 2015 and the Commission is expected to make proposals to implement the non-ETS emissions reduction target of 30 per cent.29 Changes to the EU ETS agreed are discussed presently in the relevant context.

In the following sections the EU ETS and the specific rules on carbon dioxide emissions from cars, the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, and the rules governing so-called carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be given closer attention. Finally, EU legislation relating to energy efficiency will be addressed. First, however, a few words on monitoring and reporting, that being a prerequisite for making any commitments and for participating in the international climate change regime.

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