Raising the EU 2030 GHG Emission Reduction Target
Andreas Burger, Claudia Gibis, Guido Knoche, Benjamin Lünenbürger, Jan Weiß
October 2020
33 p.
Climate targets, Effort Sharing Regulation


The political debate on raising the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target for 2030 from at least 40 per cent up to 55 per cent or even higher is in full swing. While the European Commission has proposed to reduce emissions by at least 55 per cent below 1990 levels, the European Parliament went a step further and adopted a target of 60 per cent emissions reductions. The position of EU Member States is not yet decided at the moment of writing this paper. Important milestones for the decision-making process were the meetings of the European Council (15th and 16th October) and the Environment Council (23rd October), where a general approach to the 2030 target has been adopted. This paper intends to enrich ongoing debates on “how” the EU could commit to a 2030 mitigation objective, with the highest ambition possible as committed to the Paris Agreement. Therefore we focus on the following:

  • a narrative for a strong 2030 climate ambition of the European Union
  • identifying relevant factors for the decision on sharing the target between ETS and non-ETS sectors, and showing a reasonable solution space for the sector split quantitatively
  • Discussing possible options for implementing a higher GHG emission reduction target considering the specific requirements in EU-ETS and Effort Sharing sectors.
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