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Climate Action

European Climate Change Programme


The European Commission established the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP) in 2000 to help identify the most environmentally and cost-effective policies and measures that can be taken at European level to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The immediate goal was to help ensure that the EU meets its target for reducing emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

The programme built on previous emissions-related activities at EU level, such as the first Community strategy to limit CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency (1991) and initiatives in the field of renewable energy and energy demand management.

It also dovetailed with the EU’s Sixth Environmental Action Programme (2002-2012) and Sustainable Development Strategy.

The programme was coordinated by a Steering Committee and developed through a multi-stakeholder consultative process involving the Commission, Member States, industry and environmental groups.

First European Climate Change Programme

The first ECCP (2000-2004) examined an extensive range of policy sectors and instruments with potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Working groups:

  • Flexible mechanisms: emissions trading
  • Flexible mechanisms: Joint Implementation and Clean Development Mechanism
  • Energy supply
  • Energy demand
  • Energy efficiency in end-use equipment and industrial processes
  • Transport
  • Industry (sub-groups on fluorinated gases, renewable raw materials and voluntary agreements)
  • Research
  • Agriculture
  • Sinks in agricultural soils
  • Forest-related sinks

Each working group identified options and potential for reducing emissions based on cost-effectiveness, as well as impacts on other policy areas and potential co-benefits, for instance in terms of energy security and air quality.

One of the most important and innovative initiatives that resulted from the first ECCP is the EU Emissions Trading System.

Second European Climate Change Programme

The second ECCP launched in 2005 explored further cost-effective options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in synergy with the EU’s Lisbon strategy for increasing economic growth and job creation.

Working groups:

  • ECCP I review to facilitate and support the implementation of the priorities identified in the first phase (5 subgroups: transport, energy supply, energy demand, non-CO2 gases, agriculture)
  • Aviation
  • CO2 and cars
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Adaptation to the effects of climate change
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships

Additional measures were investigated on flexible mechanisms, agriculture, sinks in agricultural soils and forest-related sinks.

A number of specific actions identified during the first phase were also further developed – e.g. the E2MAS energy audit and management scheme, the Motor Challenge Initiative and promotion of renewables in heating applications


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