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 CO2 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% CO2 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.

On 14 March 2023, the Parliament voted in favour of raising the bar for greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 from 30% to 40% compared to 2005-levels.

What are the proposed national targets?


For the first time, all EU countries are required to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions between 10% and 50%. The national targets vary according to each country’s gross domestic product per capita and cost-effectiveness. In addition, EU countries will have to ensure they do not exceed their annual greenhouse gas emission allocation.

EU country

Previous 2030 target compared to 2005

New 2030 target compared to 2005 (Commission proposal)

Luxemburg

-40%

-50%

Sweden

-40%

-50%

Denmark

-39%

-50%

Finland

-39%

-50%

Germany

-38%

-50%

France

-37%

-47.5%

Netherlands

-36%

-48%

Austria

-36%

-48%

Belgium

-35%

-47%

Italy

-33%

-43.7%

Ireland

-30%

-42%

Spain

-26%

-37.7%

Cyprus

-24%

-32%

Malta

-19%

-19%

Portugal

-17%

-28.7%

Greece

-16%

-22.7%

Slovenia

-15%

-27%

Czech Republic

-14%

-26%

Estonia

-13%

-24%

Slovakia

-12%

-22.7%

Lithuania

-9%

-21%

Poland

-7%

-17.7%

Croatia

-7%

-16.7%

Hungary

-7%

-18.7%

Latvia

-6%

-17%

Romania

-2%

-12.7%

Bulgaria

0%

-10%


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

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

Countries will have limited flexibility about the emissions they can save from previous years, borrow from future years or on how much they can trade allocations with other EU countries.

At Parliament’s request, information on national measures under the effort sharing regulation will be published in an accessible form to ensure accountability from EU countries.

The rules still have to be formally endorsed by EU countries in the Council before they can enter into force.

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.