The latest projections indicate that the EU-15 countries will meet their 8 per cent reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol. Out of the 12 remaining EU member states, 10 have also individual commitments under the protocol. It is projected that they will reduce their emissions to 6 or 8 per cent below base year levels. This will be achieved through a combination of policies and measures already taken, the purchase of emission credits from projects in third countries, the acquisition of allowances and credits by participants in the EU Emissions Trading System ( EU ETS ), and forestry activities that absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: These projections further cement the EUs leadership in delivering on our international commitments to combat climate change. They show the EU-15 is well on track to meet its Kyoto target for 2008-2012. And with the EU climate and energy package adopted earlier this year we have already put in place the key measures to reduce our emissions much further to at least 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. No other region of the world has yet done this.
But a 20 per cent cut is not enough to prevent dangerous climate change, and that is why the EU has pledged to scale up our reduction to 30 per cent, provided other major emitters contribute their fair share to an ambitious global climate agreement in December in Copenhagen. It is crucial that our partners in the industrialised world and the big emerging economies live up to their responsibilities.
There is no collective target for EU-27 emissions. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the 15 countries which were EU member states when the Protocol was agreed ( the EU-15 ) are committed to reducing their collective greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-2012 to 8 per cent below levels in a chosen base year ( 1990 in most cases ). This collective commitment has been translated into differentiated national emission targets for each EU-15 member state, which are binding under EU law.
Ten of the twelve member states which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 have individual commitments under the Protocol to reduce their emissions to 6 per cent or 8 per cent below base year levels by 2008-2012. Only Cyprus and Malta have no emission target.
Projections for EU-15 and EU-27
As announced in May ( see IP/09/851 ), EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 – the latest year for which full data is available – were 5.0 per cent lower than base year levels. This contrasted with economic growth of around 44 per cent over the same period. For the EU-27 as a whole, emissions fell by 12.5 per cent between the base year and 2007.
Additionally, the European Environment Agency estimates that in 2008 emissions from the EU-15 member states fell further, to 6.2 per cent below their levels in the base year. EU-27 emissions are now estimated to be 13.6 per cent lower than the base year level.
The Commissions progress report ( Progress towards achieving the Kyoto objectives. Communication from the Commission, COM( 2009 ) 630 ) shows that existing policies and measures – those already implemented – are expected to reduce EU-15 emissions to 6.9 per cent below base year levels in the commitment period 2008-2012. The report is based on the latest projections by member states, as compiled by the European Environment Agency.
The plans by 10 of the EU-15 member states to buy credits from emission-saving projects carried out in third countries under Kyoto’s three market-based mechanisms – international emissions trading, the Clean Development Mechanism and the Joint Implementation instrument – would result in a further emission reduction of 2.2 per cent. This would take the overall reduction to around 9.0 per cent ( rounded value ) and thus over-deliver on the EUs Kyoto commitment. Acquisition of allowances and credits by EU ETS operators is expected to deliver a further 1.4 per cent reduction.
Planned afforestation and reforestation activities, which create biological sinks that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, would contribute an additional cut of 1.0 per cent. Additional policies and measures under discussion would, if fully implemented, bring further cuts of up to 1.6 per cent. This would take the overall reduction to around 13.1 per cent, giving a broad safety margin for achieving the 8 per cent reduction target.
All of the ten EU-12 member states that have a Kyoto target are projected to meet or over-achieve their Kyoto commitments.
Current uncertainty over the duration and severity of the economic recession, and thus its impact on emissions, could lead to the revision of projections in future once the outlook becomes clearer. Additionally, the projections of some member states may understate future emission reductions, as they do not yet take account of the EU climate and energy package adopted earlier this year ( see IP/09/628 ).
Furthermore, the methodology used to estimate the EU ETS effect needs further improvement. Robust and consistent methodologies and assumptions are needed in order to more accurately project the EU ETS effect.
Greenhouse gas emission projections need to be considered in the perspective of the effective reductions already achieved, which amounted to -9 per cent for the EU-27 and -4 per cent for the EU-15 between 1990 and 2007. Therefore, reduction efforts will need to accelerate substantially across the EU in the future if it is to meet its -20 per cent or -30 per cent target by 2020.
The progress report is available at:
DG Environment climate change homepage:
European Environment Agency press release:
For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
Please see attached for the European Commissions latest Copenhagen Express, a weekly newsletter on progress towards Copenhagen.
Tomorrow Friday 13 November: What price biodiversity? Launch of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity ( TEEB ) Report
An EU-supported study The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity ( TEEB ), a key biodiversity report for policy makers, will be launched in Brussels tomorrow.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity is a major international initiative to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity, to highlight the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to draw together expertise from the fields of science, economics and policy.
The TEEB Report for Policy Makers outlines how decision makers can take the value of the natural world into account. The report underlines the urgency for action and states that failing to account for the value of ecosystems and biodiversity will lead to the wrong choices being made in responding to global challenges.
Press conference with EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas and the TEEB study leader, Pavan Sukhdev, who will present the results of the report. You can watch the recorded press conference online via Europe by Satellite ( EbS ) at 5pm UK time here.
Biodiversity is under threat all over the globe, with potentially disastrous consequences, and little is being done to prevent it. Nature provides us with clean air, water, food, materials and medicines, regulates our climate and protects us from disaster, but we often take this for granted. It is extremely difficult to put a price on these benefits, but The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity ( TEEB ) study is working to develop a framework to help calculate the true value of these ecosystem services.
Following an interim report in May 2008, and a short Climate Issues Paper in September 2009, the Report for Policy Makers is one of the main deliverables of TEEB and the first of four reports that will be published consecutively between autumn 2009 and autumn 2010. The final results of TEEB will be presented at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010.
The TEEB study was launched by Germany and the European Commission in response to a proposal by the G8+5 Environment Ministers ( Potsdam, Germany 2007 ) to develop a global study on the economics of biodiversity loss. Pavan Sukhdev, a senior banker at Deutsche Bank, and a Founder-Director of the Green Accounting for Indian States Project, was appointed as the independent study leader. Several other partners are now supporting TEEB.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversitys website ( TEEB ):
European Commissions website:
• VNR: I-051194Halting the loss of Europes biodiversity by 2010
• VNR/ I-051244NATURA 2000: Safeguarding Europes biodiversity
• Video stockshots: I-044901Environment: nature and biodiversity – 2004
Source: Media Newswire