Achieving 1.5°C compatibility would require the EU to reduce emissions to 66% below 1990 levels excluding LULUCF by 2030 (roughly 1639 MtCO₂e excluding LULUCF sinks). This is 56% below EU’s emissions in 2018, excluding LULUCF. Reaching this goal requires a significant acceleration in emissions reductions of at least 179 MtCO₂e/yr between 2019-2030. To compare, coal phase out and the development of renewables between 2011-2018 resulted in average yearly emissions reductions of 53 MtCO₂e/yr.
The current goal of reducing emissions of ‘at least 55%’ including LULUCF (53% excl. LULUCF), would leave an emissions gap of 713 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030.
In addition to strengthening its emissions reduction goal, the EU also needs to strengthen its policies to reach more ambitious goals. The policies adopted by the EU and member states would only result in emissions reductions of 30-46% (excl. LULUCF). In June 2021, the European Commission is set to propose policies that would allow European Union reach its more ambitious emissions reduction goal.
Long term pathway
To be compatible with 1.5°C pathways, the EU’s emissions (excl. LULUCF) need to fall by 94% below 1990 levels or 294 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050. The majority of these remaining emissions will be from the agriculture sector, and in some scenarios, from the industry sector. Emissions from the energy sector are projected to be negative by the 2040s, and even the late 2030s in some scenarios.
According to the EU’s analysis conducted in 2018 for the EU27+UK, estimates that EU would need reduce emissions by between 95% (for Scenario 1.5TECH) and 92% (for Scenario 1.5LIFE) to reach a net zero goal. The remaining emissions would be almost completely balanced by sinks from LULUCF.