Press Release from November 2007
The EU-15 can meet, and may even over-shoot, its 2012 Kyoto target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 8% below 1990 levels if Member States implement now all additional policies being planned, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), released today in Copenhagen.
The report, Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2007, presents an evaluation of data between 1990 and 2005. More importantly, the report evaluates Member State projections of future greenhouse gas emissions and provides a good indication of progress towards Kyoto targets. The report is of particular relevance in the context of the rapidly approaching ‘first commitment period’ of the Kyoto Protocol which runs from 2008 to 2012.
EU-15 Emissions in 2005 — According to the new report:
‘On New Year’s Day 2008 the serious business of Kyoto begins for real. All available measures should now be implemented. Significant emission reductions will take place through the emissions trading scheme, the EU’s ‘cap and trade’ programme for carbon. As the scheme matures and expands we will see it establishing itself as a blueprint for a global carbon market — an important part of any post-Kyoto agreement,’ said Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA.
Within the shared Kyoto target, each EU-15 Member State has a differentiated emissions target, which can be achieved by a variety of means. The 12 new EU Member States are not part of the joint EU-15 target but all, except Cyprus and Malta, have individual targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
Looking ahead — the Road to Kyoto: Based on Member State projections, the report says that existing domestic policies and measures will reduce EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions by a net effect of 4% below base-year levels. When additional domestic policies and measures (i.e. those planned but not yet implemented) are taken into account, the EU-15 could reduce emissions by an additional 3.9%.
The projected use of Kyoto mechanisms by ten of the EU-15 will reduce emissions by a further 2.5%. These governments have set aside EUR 2.9 billion to pay for this. The use of carbon sinks, such as planting forests to remove CO 2, will reduce emissions by an additional 0.9%. As a result, the EU could even achieve an 11.4% reduction, the report says. All new Member States with a target expect to meet their target.
Key instrument: The EU emissions trading scheme will bring significant emission reductions between 2008 and 2012, according to the report. It is expected to contribute a reduction of at least 3.4%, part of which is already reflected in some Member States projections. This would represent a further reduction of at least 1.3% to the total of 11.4% from base-year emissions in the EU-15.
Background to the report
The report, prepared by the EEA and its European Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change (ETC/ACC), complements the annual evaluation report of the European Commission to the Council and European Parliament. For more information see the Commission website.
The EEA report covers 33 countries including:
- EU-15 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
- New Member States: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia.
- Acceding countries: Croatia, Turkey.
- Other EEA member countries: Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.