MEPs back national carbon cuts under Paris Agreement
- national targets within EU-wide CO2 reduction target of 30% by 2030
- covers emissions from farms, transport, building and waste
- MEPs added measures to encourage governments to start asap
Plans for national greenhouse gas emission cuts were backed by Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday.
These cuts will help deliver on the EU’s overall target for 2030 - a 30% cut from 2005 levels, in line with the Paris Agreement.
The legislation will make it possible to break down the EU target into binding, national ones, for sectors not covered by the EU carbon market - i.e. agriculture, transport, building and waste, which together account for about 60% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Each EU member state will have to follow an emission reduction pathway, calculated from a starting point 2018, instead of 2020 as proposed by the Commission, in order to avoid an increase of emissions in the first years or postponement of their emission reductions.
To ensure long-term predictability, MEPs also set a target for 2050, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to 2005.
Rewarding early action
MEPs also call for an “early action reserve” to encourage member states to take action before 2020, in exchange for more flexibility during the later part of the scheme. This would benefit member states with lower than average per capita GDP and a lower capacity to invest.
To help member states achieve their goals, the regulation allows them to “borrow” up to 10% of the following year’s allowance, reducing it accordingly.
However, MEPs sought to limit the use of forestry as a “flexibility” tool and lowered the ceiling on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) removals, which can be used to reach the reduction targets.
The text was adopted by 42 votes to 4, with 20 abstentions. It will be put to a vote by the full House during the 12-15 June plenary session in Strasbourg.
In July 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation to limit post-2020 national emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in sectors not covered by the EU emissions trading system (ETS). These include transport, buildings and agriculture.
The proposed regulation would be the successor of the Effort Sharing Decision that sets annual national GHG emission limits for the period 2013-2020. The proposed regulation is part of the EU’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. This target was set by the European Council in October 2014, and also constitutes the EU’s international commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.