Lawmakers in the European Parliament and the European Council announced today that they have agreed to legislation setting out stricter emissions reductions by member states in several sectors.

The sectors covered by the new agreement – including road and domestic maritime transport, buildings, agriculture, waste and small industries – account for 60% of total EU emissions. The proposals aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in these sectors by 40% by 2030, up from the EU’s existing 29% reduction target.

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said:

“Getting to a green and healthy future for all will require considerable work in every sector and every country. Our agreement today provides clarity about the effort required in every Member State and ensures solidarity in the way Europe reaches its climate targets.”

The new 40% target was initially proposed last year as part of the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” roadmap, the EU initiative to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

While the agreement keeps the increased national targets assigned to each member state proposed by the European Commission (see chart below for national targets), it adjusts the way member states can use existing “flexibilities” to meet their targets.

Flexibilities that can be used by member states include banking and borrowing emissions reductions between years, and trading emissions reduction allocations among the states. For example, between 2022 and 2029, if member states exceed their emissions reductions requirements, they will be allowed to bank up to 25% of their annual emission allocations for use in subsequent years, or if their emissions exceed the annual limit, they can borrow allocations from following years, up to 7.5% of allocations until 2025, and up to 5% from 2026 – 2030.

Source: European Council

With the agreement by the Parliament and Council, the proposal will now proceed for formal adoption. The agreement marks a significant step towards the completion of the Fit for 55 negotiations, following shortly after the first major aspect of the strategy to reach agreement last month, requiring all new cars and vans registered in the EU to be zero-emission by 2035.           

Czech minister of environment Marian Jurečka, said:

“I am glad that we managed to reach a swift agreement on this proposal just in time for COP 27. This will allow the EU to show to the world that it seriously intends to reduce emissions in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming within safe levels. It is our responsibility to preserve our planet for all future generations.”

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