Close this search box.

Press Release: New Report on EU’s emission trends adds pressure to increase climate targets

Brussels, 9 October 2013. A report released today shows that Europe’s Member States will not need to implement new domestic measures between now and 2020 to reach their climate targets. The report is added proof that post 2020 targets need to be much higher to incentivise Europe to go beyond business as usual and to unlock the mitigation potential available in sectors like transport and agriculture. In addition to accelerated use of international offsets in the Emissions Trading Scheme, more than 2.3 billion Euros were spent on international offset credits to achieve their Kyoto targets. Meanwhile, renewable energy and energy efficiency measures have been neglected.  

The report “Trend and projections in Europe 2013” published today by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) tracks progress towards Europe’s climate and energy targets until 2020, including the EU’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% below 1990 levels during the 2013-2020 period as well as the international commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

According to the report’s findings, EU Member States are expected to over-achieve this target by 2020. Climate and energy policies already in place are projected to lead to a 21% reduction. Additional already planned measures are expected to lead to a 24% reduction by 2020.

“The report shows that Member States will not need to virtually do anything between now and 2020 to reach the non-ETS targets. This is a huge missed opportunity for further much needed emissions reduction, especially in the buildings, agriculture and transport sectors.” said David Holyoake from Client Earth’s Climate & Energy Programme.

With respect to non-ETS sectors, which represent almost 60% of EU GHG emissions, the EU is already on track for 15% reductions by 2020. This is 5% higher than the required EU target for non-ETS sectors. The report reveals that only six Member States (Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Spain) will need to increase their efforts to reach their national targets. Notably Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg have a compliance gap greater than 10%.

Importantly, ‘effort’ as far as the current Effort Sharing Decision is concerned also includes the use of flexibility mechanisms. Notably, Austria, Luxembourg and Spain, which have placed more emphasis on emission reductions in sectors not covered by the ETS, are expected to use a significant amount of international offsets. Available figures from all eight Member States that intend to use flexibility mechanisms show that they have allocated more than 2.3 billion Euros for the purchase of international offsets.

Meanwhile, the report states that Member States need to double their use of renewable energy by 2020 compared to the 2005-2011 period to reach the legally binding renewable energy target. With the exception of Bulgaria, Denmark, France and Germany, Member States and are not on track to reach their energy efficiency targets and current policies are not sufficiently developed or implemented across the relevant sectors.

“Science tells us that we need to reduce emissions by 95% in 2050 to keep global warming below 2 degrees” said Eva Filzmoser from Carbon Market Watch “It’s a travesty that countries spend billions on international offset credits instead of investing in energy efficiency measures and renewable energies on the home front.”

Additional information:


Press contact:

Eva Filzmoser

Carbon Market Watch

[email protected]

Tel: +32499212081


David Holyoake
t. +32 2 808 3470
m. +32 471 329 903
[email protected]


*** *** ****


Related posts


EU ETS key policy and advocacy milestones

This timeline of future EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) policy milestones is useful for civil society organisations and activists to identify moments for advocacy activities.


2030 climate targets of over 50 top corporations significantly off track to keep within 1.5°C limit

At a time when global carbon emissions need to be almost halved by 2030, 51 major corporations’ climate commitments amount only to reducing their median carbon footprint by as little as 30%, reveals the 2024 Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor. Tighter regulations from governments are needed to raise the bar, both for companies which are taking insufficient action, and those who are not doing anything at all.

Doing accounts

The EU’s double counting problem

Motivated by a desire to keep down the cost of achieving its climate targets, the EU has failed to rule out the double counting of emissions reductions under its Carbon Removals Certification Framework. By so doing it is undermining established standards and its own policies.

Join our mailing list

Stay in touch and receive our monthly newsletter, campaign updates, event invites and more.