The EU27 unconditional commitment of -20% relative to 1990 emission levels is rated Inadequate. If the conditional target of -30% relative to 1990 were adopted, the EU27 target would be rated Medium, just short of the Sufficient category, in which reductions from 1990 stretch roughly from -30% to -45%. LULUCF accounting was calculated based on Party-provided projections; if future emissions instead were to follow a historical mean, larger credits, as much as 120 MtCO2eq more, could result. In addition, the EU supports proposals to remove emissions from natural disturbances and to count removals from harvested wood products. This has not been accounted for here, but could lead to higher credits (or lower debits). However, the inclusion of international aviation into the European emissions trading scheme is the first effort to regulate emissions from this sector globally. The impact of this on EU27’s 2020 target was not quantitatively evaluated here.
The aggregate effective Kyoto Protocol target (2008-2012) for the EU27 is estimated as -7.7% relative to 1990 emission levels. The EU27 proposed to decrease emissions by -20 to -30% relative to 1990 by 2020 and by -80 to -95% below 1990 by 2050. In the Copenhagen Accord the EU announced its target of -30% of 1990 emissions by 2020 as part of a global agreement post-2012 provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable efforts and developing countries contribute according to their capabilities. EU clarified that its accounting rules for this post 2012 target are more stringent than the current rules under the Kyoto Protocol:
- A single 1990 base-year is used, not allowing for different base years for F-gases or Economies In Transition as under the Kyoto Protocol.
- It does not recognise surplus AAUs from the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
- Emissions from international aviation are included in the target and the legislation foresees the need to include international maritime emissions, if no progress is achieved at the international level to include these.
- Emissions and removals from LULUCF are at present not included in the achievement of the reduction target, but may be at a later stage given the legislation foresees already that accounting rules should ensure permanence and environmental integrity.
In May 2012, the EU27 submitted a provisional QELRO level of 80 for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, to be fulfilled jointly with the European Union and its Member States. This means that EU27 joint average yearly emissions during the period of 2013-2020 are proposed to be 80% of 1990 levels.
Date of pledge
Denmark and the European Commission on behalf of the European Union and its member States (2012) Information by Parties included in Annex I listed in annex 1 to decision 1/CMP.7 on their quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol
Denmark and the European Commission on behalf of the European Union and its member States (2012) Submission to the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP): Information by Parties included in Annex I listed in annex 1 to decision 1/CMP.7 on their quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, 19 April 2012
Belgium and the European Commission on behalf of the European Union and its member states (2010) Submission to the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP): Reference levels for Forest Management
Hungary and the European Commission on behalf of the European Union and its member states (2011) Submission to the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP): Forest management reference level
Council of the European Union Council (2009) Conclusions on EU position for the Copenhagen Climate Conference (7-18 December 2009) 2968th ENVIRONMENT Council meeting Luxembourg, 21 October 2009
Czech Republic on behalf of the European Community and its member states (2009) Definitions, modalities, rules and guidelines for the treatment of land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) in the post 2012 period (AWG-KP). Views and proposals for further elaboration of the options, elements and issues contained in annex III to the report of the first part of the sixth session, and annex IV to the report at the resumed fifth session, including views on how and which proposals could address cross-cutting issues, 12 February 2009, FCCC/KP/AWG/2009/MISC.5
Council of the European Union (2008) Brussels European Council, 11 and 12 December 2008, 17271/1/08
Targets for 2020 were calculated from the most recent national inventory submissions (2012).
We calculated EU's LULUCF accounting quantities for the period 2013-2020 for afforestation, reforestation and deforestation using the current Kyoto rules, and for forest management using a net-net approach with a projected reference level for 2013-2020. Some EU countries have included a background level for natural disturbances.
The EU provided historical data on forest management and afforestation, reforestation and deforestation data for many of its member states.
Where members did not submit data it was - wherever available - compiled using the time series data from the national inventories (2012).