MEPs to adopt ambitious greenhouse gas emissions cuts under Paris agreement 


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MEPs vote Wednesday on new legislation setting national targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions and implementing EU commitments under the Paris agreement.

Up to 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be cut in the EU thanks to the Efforts Sharing Regulation. MEPs will vote on the new rules on Wednesday 14 June. One of the EU's most important tools to fight climate change, the legislation covers the majority of the greenhouse gases and aims to reduce emissions not covered by the EU's emissions trading system by 30% by 2030. This would affect sectors such as transport, agriculture, buildings and waste management.

The legislation, if adopted, would make it possible to set binding national targets for EU countries in line with the Paris agreement commitments. MEPs also want to give better support to lower-income EU countries and to farmers who work in an environmentally-friendly way.  

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch member of the ALDE group, was responsible for drafting Parliament's position. During the plenary debate on Tuesday 13 June, UK ALDE member Catherine Bearder spoke on his behalf: “The most powerful signal that the European Parliament can give is that it is serious about tackling climate change and is taking real action implementing the Paris Agreement by adopting the Effort Sharing Regulation." She added: "This law will translate the Paris agreement into concrete actions by the member states.  With or without Trump climate action and green investment under the Paris agreement must move ahead."

How the EU will cut greenhouse gas emissions

In October 2014, EU leaders adopted the 2030 climate and energy framework, which includes a binding target to cut emissions in the EU by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. All economic sectors will have to contribute to achieve these emissions reductions. The industrial and power sectors, covered by the emissions trading system, will have to cut emissions by 43%. Other sectors will have to reduce their emissions by 30% as a result of the Efforts Sharing Regulation. In both cases reductions have to be made compared to the 2005 baseline levels. These targets are also part of the EU's commitment in the Paris agreement.