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Climate Action

Effort sharing: Member States' emission targets


The Effort Sharing legislation establishes binding annual greenhouse gas emission targets for Member States for the periods 2013–2020 and 2021–2030. These targets concern emissions from most sectors not included in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), such as transport, buildings, agriculture and waste.

The Effort Sharing legislation forms part of a set of policies and measures on climate change and energy that will help move Europe towards a low-carbon economy and increase its energy security.

Under the current Regulation, the national targets will collectively deliver a reduction of around 10% in total EU emissions from the sectors covered by 2020 and of 30% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

Together with a 21% cut in emissions covered by the EU ETS by 2020 and 43% by 2030, this will allow the EU to achieve its climate targets for 2020 and 2030.

On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted a series of legislative proposals setting out how it intends to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050, including the intermediate target of an at least 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The package proposes to revise several pieces of EU climate legislation, including the EU ETS, Effort Sharing Regulation, transport and land use legislation, setting out in real terms the ways in which the Commission intends to reach EU climate targets under the European Green Deal.

    Emission reductions by 2020: -10%

    The Effort Sharing Decision forms part of the EU's climate and energy policy framework for 2020.

    It sets national emission targets for 2020, expressed as percentage changes from 2005 levels. It also lays down how the annual emission allocations (AEAs) in tonnes for each year from 2013 to 2020 are to be calculated and defines flexibilities.

    The national targets are based on Member States’ relative wealth, measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

    Less wealthy countries have less ambitious targets because their relatively higher economic growth is likely to be a stronger emission driver and they have relatively lower investment capacities.

    The national emission targets for 2020 range from a 20% reduction by 2020 (from 2005 levels) for the richest Member States to a 20% increase for the least wealthy one, Bulgaria. Croatia, which joined the EU on 1 July 2013, is allowed to increase emissions by 11%.

      Emission reductions by 2030: -30%

      The Regulation on binding annual emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 (Effort Sharing Regulation) adopted in 2018 is part of the Energy Union strategy and the EU's implementation of the Paris Agreement.

      It sets national emission reduction targets for 2030 for all Member States, ranging from 0% to -40% from 2005 levels.

      More information on targets and flexibilities for 2021-2030

        National action needed

        In contrast to sectors in the EU ETS, which are regulated at EU level, Member States are responsible for national policies and measures to limit emissions from the sectors covered by Effort Sharing legislation.

        Examples of potential policies and measures include:

        • reducing transport needs
        • promoting public transport
        • a shift away from transport based on fossil fuels
        • support schemes for retrofitting buildings
        • more efficient heating and cooling systems
        • renewable energy for heating and cooling
        • more climate-friendly farming practices
        • conversion of livestock manure to biogas.

        EU-wide measures will help

        Measures taken at EU level will help Member States to reduce emissions. For example:

        • CO2 emission standards for new cars and vans will cut emissions from road transport
        • Emission reductions from buildings will be aided by measures to improve the energy performance of buildings, eco-design requirements for energy-related products, and energy labelling systems to inform consumers
        • Restrictions on fluorinated industrial gases (F-gases) and implementation of other EU environmental policies, e.g. on soil protection and waste, will also contribute to reaching the national targets.

        Gases and sources

        The Effort Sharing Decision covers the six greenhouse gases controlled by the Kyoto Protocol during its first commitment period (2008-2012):

        • carbon dioxide (CO2)
        • methane (CH4)
        • nitrous oxide (N2O)
        • hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
        • perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
        • sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

        The Effort Sharing Regulation adds to those nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), which is a very small source in the EU.

        The targets apply to domestic greenhouse gas emissions from IPCC source categories of energy, industrial processes and product use, agriculture and waste.

        They do not apply to emissions covered by the EU ETS and emissions and removals from land use, emission and removals from land use change and forestry (LULUCF), which are covered by the Kyoto Protocol and from 2021 by the LULUCF Regulation.


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          Questions and Answers on the Effort Sharing Decision (October 2013)


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