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Climate Action
News article8 November 2016Directorate-General for Climate Action2 min read

EU well on track to meet its 2020 emissions reduction target

Emissions in the EU were reduced by 22% between 1990 and 2015 while the economy grew by 50% over the same period.


Emissions in the EU were reduced by 22% between 1990 and 2015 while the economy grew by 50% over the same period.

The EU's progress report ("Implementing the Paris Agreement - Progress of the EU towards the at least -40% target") shows that the EU remains firmly on course to reach its 2020 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. After an emissions drop of 4% in the previous year, 2015 saw a slight rebound of 0.7%. While the EU’s industrial emissions continued to decline, transport emissions increased and emissions from space heating were higher this year after an unusual warm winter in the year before.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "After the Paris Agreement entered into force in record time, our collective attention must now shift to action. And here, the EU is doing its homework: we have already on the table all the legislation needed to deliver on our target to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030. And its swift adoption is a priority for the EU. Once again we have shown that protecting the climate can go hand in hand with economic growth".

After the recent ratification and entry into force, the EU is already putting in place legislation to achieve the commitment it made in Paris to reduce emissions by at least 40 % in 2030 compared to 1990. The proposed legislation includes tightening the EU emissions trading system (ETS) for the period after 2020; binding emissions targets for Member States for sectors outside the ETS for the period 2021 to 2030; and the inclusion of land use, land use change and forestry into the EU's emission-reduction efforts for the same period. Moreover, by the end of the year the Commission will present new legislation to boost renewables and energy savings in the EU.

The EU is also a global leader in helping developing countries to implement their commitments under the Paris Agreement. In 2015, its climate finance contribution increased by more than 20% with a total support of EUR 17.6 billion.

At the ongoing COP22 in Marrakech, the EU is working with the global community on developing the detailed rulebook of the Paris Agreement by 2018 and on catalysing further climate action by all countries, in line with their Paris commitments. These important objectives of COP22 come in the context of the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, triggered by the EU, and the other climate related international achievements of 2016 including on addressing emissions from aviation and hydrofluorocarbons.

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Publication date
8 November 2016
Directorate-General for Climate Action