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European Parliament Event: The Effort Sharing Decision post-2020: How to ensure that the EU’s largest climate instrument is fit for purpose



The European Commission will soon present new climate policy to reduce the emissions of the non-traded sectors after 2020. These sectors – including road transport, buildings and agriculture, amongst others – are currently covered by the EU’s Effort Sharing Decision (ESD), which regulates almost 60% of the GHG greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. 

Why is this important? What is at stake?

The current ESD framework obliges Member States to decrease emissions from the non-traded sectors by 10% by 2020. Analysis show that these targets will be met without major efforts, proving that there’s room for further ambition in these sectors. However, by 2030, Member States will need to reduce their emissions from road transport, agriculture, waste and buildings by 30%. The new climate proposal will set the ground for measures and flexibilities that will help EU Member States in achieving this 30% target; however, the introduction of loopholes can undermine the effectiveness of the ESD and decrease real GHG savings. How will the sectors be affected? How should the ESD look like to deliver what was promised in the Paris Agreement?

A Policy Event kindly hosted by: 

Kathleen van Brempt, S&D

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, ALDE

Sirpa Pietikäinen, EPP


Carbon Market Watch, T&E, Fern and WWF organized a lunch event on the Effort Sharing Decision on Wednesday 1 June at the European Parliament. With over 110 registered, we counted with the presence of MEPs and their assistants, European Commission representatives, Member States’ representatives, journalists and members of civil society.

The 3 MEPs hosting the event – Kathleen Van Brempt, Sirpa Pietikainen and Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy – gave strong statements, calling the Commission for an ambitious ESD that will go in line with EU’s climate commitments as well as with the Paris Agreement. They also highlighted the important role civil society groups are playing in raising awareness on the importance of strong climate policy.

The two panels of speakers addressed the ESD from two different angles:

1) In the first panel Jasper Braam (German Ministry of Environment) presented Germany’s perspective on a successful ESD, and mentioned the importance the Germany exerted for the proposal to keep the possibility to raise the ambition for 2030. Femke de Jong (Carbon Market Watch) told the audience how allowing loopholes could not only undermined EU efforts to reduce emissions, but potentially allow emissions to increase. Finally, Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf from the Ecologic Institute, made the case for proper governance and highlighted the importance of setting long-term goals to be in line with Paris.

2) The second panel focused on the sectoral perspective of the ESD, presenting the case of the three main sectors covered by this policy instrument. William Todts (T&E) highlighted the importance of standards for vehicles, to help deliver the required emission reductions in the road transport sector. Randall Bowie (RockWool) presented the high potential of the building sector in making a fair contribution to the EU climate targets. David Baldock (IEEP) explained that, despite what some stakeholders say, the agricultural sector has the ability and potential to decrease its emissions through various methods. Further reductions could be achieved through better data, in particular regarding supply chains.

Presentations by the speakers:

Jasper Braam, Federal Ministry for the Environment of Germany

“What should the ESD look like? The German perspective”

Femke de Jong, Carbon Market Watch

“Protect the target: enhance flexibilities, eliminate loopholes”

William Todts, Transport & Environment

“The ESD sectors”

Randal Bowie, Rockwool/European Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy

“How buildings will help de-carbonise our energy system”

David Baldock, Institute for European Environmental Policy

“The Agriculture Sector”

Dr. Nils Meyer-Olhendorf, Ecologic

“Governance and Legal Considerations”

All four

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