Cutting EU greenhouse gas emissions: national targets for 2030  


The Effort Sharing Regulation sets national targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions to help the EU reach net zero emissions by 2050.

To help fight climate change, the EU has set ambitious targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The EU wants to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and this target, along with an interim target of 55% emission reduction by 2030, are set in the European Climate Law. The EU has launched various initiatives to reach these targets. One of them is the Effort Sharing Regulation, which is being updated as part of the Fit for 55 legislative package.

What is effort sharing?

The Effort Sharing Regulation sets binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions for each EU country in sectors not covered by the Emissions Trading Scheme, such as transport, agriculture, buildings and waste management. These sectors account for the majority of the EU’s greenhouse gases (about 60% of total EU emissions).

To guarantee that all countries participate in the EU's efforts to reduce emissions coming from the above-mentioned sectors, the Effort Sharing Regulation establishes binding annual greenhouse gas emission targets for EU countries for the period 2021–2030 as well as sets the rules for determining the annual emissions allocations and how to evaluate progress.

The current reduction target for the sectors covered by the Effort Sharing Regulation is 29% by 2030. As part of the raised ambitions under the European Green Deal, this target should be revised up. On 8 June, Parliament voted in favour of increasing the target to 40% by 2030.


What are the proposed national targets?

As the capacity for cutting emissions varies by EU country, this has been taken into account by basing the targets on the countries' gross domestic product per capita. The proposed 2030 targets would range from -10% to -50% compared to 2005 levels and be in line with the EU's general 40% reduction target.

EU country

Previous 2030 target compared to 2005

New 2030 target compared to 2005 (Commission proposal)




















































Czech Republic






























Source: European Commission proposal for update to Regulation (EU) 2018/842

A strategy to cut emissions will be drawn up for each EU country to make sure they decrease emissions at a constant pace throughout the period.

However, some flexibility is possible in the current system. For example, EU countries are able to bank, borrow and transfer annual emission allocations between each other from one year to another. The European Commission has proposed to set up an additional reserve that would include surplus removals of CO2 by EU countries in excess of their targets under the land use and forestry sector regulation. Member states struggling to reach their national emission reduction targets would be able to draw on this reserve, provided some conditions are met. This could be, for example, if the EU as a whole had reached its 2030 climate target.

MEPs are working on plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Europe ©AP Images/European Union-EP  

What does the Parliament propose?

Members of Parliament's environment committee want to have more transparency and accountability on EU countries’ emissions reductions, as well as less flexibility on banking, borrowing or transferring allowances. They also want to abolish the additional reserve proposed by the Commission.

Other initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Other measures exist to help the EU meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change:

Check out our infographics on the
EU's progress towards reaching its 2020 climate change targets.