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2020 Climate & Energy Targets

Many European countries have established targets for 2020 for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for increasing the use of renewable energy or for reducing energy consumption.

An overview of these targets can be found here for greenhouse gas emissions, here for renewables and here for energy efficiency.

The European Union has set several targets for 2020:

  • an overall target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% as compared to 1990 emissions;
  • a subtarget to reduce emissions in the 11'000 biggest industrial and power installations through an EU wide Emissions Trading Scheme, by 21% as compared to 2005 emissions;
  • a subtarget to reduce emissions in the sectors not covered by the ETS, by 10% as compared to 2005 emissions (Effort Sharing Decision). This subtarget is divided into national binding targets for each Member States, spanning from -20% for the richest countries and +20% (so allowing increasing emissions) for the poorest countries;
  • a target to increase the amount of energy produced from renewables sources to 20% of all energy consumed. This target is divided into binding targets for all Member States;
  • a target to reduce energy consumption by 20% as compared to projected consumption. This target is not divided amongst Member States.

Overall, the EU is on track to achieve its targets and in particular to largely overshoot its greenhouse gas emission reduction target. Nevertheless several EU Member States are not on track to achieve their national targets for non-ETS emissions. The same can be said for efforts to achieve the binding renewables and non binding efficiency targets. The European Environment Agency in its 2014 progress report states:

  • 24 EU countries are on track to meet their GHG targets (all except Austria, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg);
  • 20 EU countries are on track to achieve their renewable energy targets (all except Denmark, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom);
  • 20 EU countries are on track to achieve their energy efficiency targets (all except Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden);

The overachievement of the greenhouse gas target, and in particular of the Emissions Trading Scheme target is posing many problems in terms of the collapse of the price of carbon as well as of reducing the level of ambition of the 2030 Climate and Energy Targets.

Latest Publications

  • Open letter from the Coalition for Higher Ambition

    A unique gathering of businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities, trade unions and civil society groups, standing together as the Coalition for Higher Ambition, calls upon EU leaders to ramp up the EU's climate action.
  • Letter to Energy and Environment Ministers on strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy

    February 2019   Clean Planet for all: Strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy   Dear Energy and Environment Ministers, On 4 March and 5 March respectively you will meet in Brussels to discuss the European Commission’s proposed long term strategy vision for a climate neutral economy – A Clean Planet for all.
  • NGO letter on the long term climate strategy ahead of the Competitiveness Council

    In this letter, NGOs Climate Action Network Europe, Carbon Market Watch, E3G - Third Generation Environmentalism, European Environmental Bureau, Sandbag and WWF European Policy Office call upon EU Economy and Industry Ministers to: Endorse the European Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy and support an EU long-term climate target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040; Call upon the European Commission to present a new and integrated EU industrial climate strategy for energy-intensive industries in support of a competitive, circular and net-zero emission heavy industry transition;  Recognise the immediate need to provide a policy framework which supports and incentivises the full decarbonisation and transformation of resource and energy-intensive industry sectors before 2050. NGO letter on the long term climate strategy ahead of the Competitiveness Council
See All: Climate & Energy Targets