EU progress towards its climate change goals (infographic)


The EU has set out ambitious targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

2020 climate goals to be reached

The EU targets for 2020 have been set out in the climate and energy package adopted in 2008. One of its objectives is a 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels .

In 2015, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU already decreased by 22% compared with 1990 levels.

According to EU countries’ latest projections based on existing measures, the EU will remain on track to meet this target. Emissions are expected to be 26% lower in 2020 than in 1990.

Early estimates , however, show that greenhouse gas emissions in the EU increased in 2017. Discussions are ongoing on how to tightening the EU’s 2030 targets and its 2050 strategy ahead of COP24 to take place in Katowice, Poland, in December.

In order to meet the target mentioned above, the EU is taking action in several areas. One of them is the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) that covers greenhouse gas emissions from large-scale facilities in the power and industry sectors, as well as the aviation sector, which is responsible for about 45% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Between 2005 and 2016, emissions from power plants and factories covered by ETS fell by 26%. This is markedly more than the 23% reduction set as the 2020 target.

Status for national targets To reduce emissions from other sectors (housing, agriculture, waste, transport), EU countries set out the national targets for emissions reductions under the Effort Sharing Decision. The emissions from the sectors covered by national targets were 11% lower in 2016 than in 2005, exceeding the 2020 target for a 10% reduction.



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