In December 2020, the European Council agreed to increasing the EU’s emissions reduction goal to a ‘net domestic reduction of at least 55%’ below 1990 levels by 2030. Adding ‘net’ means that it will include carbon sinks from the land use and forestry sector (LULUCF), thus weakening this goal by at least 2%. Paris Agreement compatibility for the EU would require emissions reductions of 61-70% below 1990 levels by 2030, excluding LULUCF.
Initial estimates indicate that the EU reduced its emissions by 31% between 1990 and 2020 (excluding LULUCF). Current policies adopted by the EU and its member states would result in emissions reductions of 35-40% below 1990 levels by 2030 (excl. LULUCF), indicating that further substantial policy action is needed to meet the new 2030 goal.
In July 2021, the European Commission presented the “Fit for 55” legislative package of proposals amending existing laws and proposing new regulations aiming at reaching the newly adopted emissions reduction goal.
A fair share contribution to global greenhouse gas emission reductions compatible with the Paris Agreement would require the EU to go further than its domestic target, and provide substantial financial or other support for emission reductions to developing countries on top of its domestic reductions.
The EU should reach net zero GHG emissions by around 2050 with a level of remaining GHG emissions not higher than 355 MtCO₂e by 2050 or 93% below 1990 levels.,
An increase in energy efficiency in all sectors, but especially in buildings and transport sectors, offers a great potential to accelerate decarbonisation.
By 2050 all energy consumed in the EU needs to be generated from renewable sources of energy.