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EU climate change policy

Commission proposals fail to live up to promises on climate action


The European Commission today presented its proposal on how to share the effort of greenhouse gas reductions between EU member states. The legislation sets out the emissions reductions required by EU member states until 2030 in sectors not covered by the EU’s emissions trading scheme. Commenting on the proposal, Green climate change policy spokesperson Bas Eickhout MEP stated:

"The Commission is failing to live up to the promises and commitments made by the EU on climate change. With the ink hardly dry on the UN climate agreement, the Commission is acting as if the COP21 Paris climate summit never happened. The proposed national effort sharing targets for emissions reductions to 2030 are clearly below the level they need to be at if the EU is to play its part in meeting the goal of limiting the increase in global temperatures to well below 2 degrees and to try and limit the increase to below 1.5 degrees. If the EU is serious about addressing the problem, it urgently needs to increase the ambition of today’s proposal. To add insult to injury, instead of monitoring compliance with targets annually, as is currently the case, the Commission is proposing to only verify this every 5 years.

“The Commission's proposals include various loopholes, which will undermine the effectiveness of these rules in delivering actual emissions reductions. EU governments would be allowed to avoid permanent greenhouse gas reductions through creative accounting of how greenhouse gases are stored by forests or the soil. Scandalously, EU member states could also use surplus allowances from the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) to offset emissions reductions in sectors outside the ETS, instead of actually reducing their emissions. Instead of abusing the surplus of permits that is undermining the ETS, the EU should simply cancel these permits and remove the 'hot air' from the malfunctioning system. Anything else would clearly not help tackle climate change."