Last week, the European Commission welcomed a provisional agreement on the EU’s Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) – establishing binding annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets for Member States in sectors which are currently not included in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).
The agreement was reached with the European Parliament and Council – bringing the block closer to the adoption of the Commission’s Fit for 55 legislative package to deliver the EU’s climate ambition under the European Green Deal. This follows the recent milestone deal to end the sale of new CO2-emitting cars in Europe by 2035.
Strengthening the EU’s Effort-Sharing Regulation
This agreement maintains the Commission’s proposal to boost the emission reduction target for these sectors from 29 per cent to 40 per cent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The updated emission reduction targets for Member States range from 10 per cent to 50 per cent compared to 2005 and will result in a further convergence of Member States’ emissions per capita in 2030.
The sectors now covered by the ESR include building, agriculture, waste, small industry, and transport. Potential measures that Member States can take to reduce emissions and achieve their targets include: promoting public transport; retrofitting buildings; more efficient heating and cooling systems; and more climate-friendly agricultural practices.
“Today we took another important step towards delivering Europe’s climate ambition for 2030. It is a strong signal to COP27 that the EU is taking the necessary measures to cut emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030. The sectors covered in the Effort Sharing Regulation currently generate about 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. 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”, said Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal.
What happens next?
The new “provisional deal” will now need to be formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council. Once this process is completed, the two new legislations will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and enter into force.
The European Green Deal is the EU’s long-term growth strategy to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. The revision of the Effort Sharing Regulation is one of the Fit for 55 proposals presented by the Commission in July 2021 to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.