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Romania Ambition gap

What is Romaniaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

1.5°C compatible pathways

Romania’s 2030 GHG emissions reduction target, estimated to reflect a 7% increase above 2005 levels, is insufficiently ambitious to align with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, which requires 2030 emissions to be 58-63% below 2005 levels.

In its review of Romania’s NECP, the EU Commission criticised Romania’s lack of ambition in meeting its 2030 targets.1 In a range of areas, from energy efficiency to increasing the share of renewables, Romania is failing to meet the 2030 national targets recommended by the EU. Similarly, a lack of sectoral targets in critical sectors such as transport and agriculture mean that Romania could easily see an increase in emissions from these sectors.1

Long term pathway

Romania has no long-term target in place. To be 1.5°C compatible, Romania would need to reach emissions reductions of 88% below 1990 levels by 2040 (excl. LULUCF) and 94% below 1990 levels by 2050 (excl. LULUCF).

1.5°C scenarios show that remaining emissions in 2050 largely come from agriculture, which, together with waste, is responsible for almost all non-CO₂ emissions. Romania would need to balance its remaining emissions by mid-century through carbon dioxide removal approaches such as reforestation efforts and direct air capture.

1 European Commission. Assessment of the final national energy and climate plan of Romania. 2020.

2 Government of Romania. National Energy and Climate Plan – Romania. 2020.

3 European Environment Agency. EEA greenhouse gases – data viewer. 2021.

4 International Energy Agency. IEA world energy balances, 2020. 2020.

5 European Environment Agency. Share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption. 2021.

6 European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Making the transition to zero-emission mobility: 2021 progress report. 2021.

7 Bankwatch Network. The Romanian renewable energy sector: a potential still untapped. 2020.

8 Romanian Government. National long-term renovation strategy. 2020.

9 Ministry of Public Works Development and Administration. Romanian national long-term renovation strategy: key elements. 2020.

10 Petre, G. Romania might become one of Europe’s biggest hydrogen hubs: investments of over 1,6 bn euros are in early stages of development. CEEnergy News. 2021.

11 Global Gas Plant Tracker, last updated August 2022, by Global Energy Monitor can be found here.


Romaniaʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
Reference year
1.5°C emissions level
2030 Target - NECP2019
Ambition gap
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions
2030 emissions levels
Current policy projections
2030 Target - NECP2019
1.5°C emissions level
Ref. year 1990

Energy system transformation

As the energy sector is responsible for two-thirds of Romanian GHG emissions, ratcheting up the use of renewables is integral in any efforts towards achieving 1.5°C compatibility. Phasing out coal in the power sector would significantly reduce the emissions intensity of electricity and, through electrification of end-use sectors, support the decarbonisation of other sectors.

Alongside power, the transport sector is a considerable source of energy demand, yet Romania has not set an emissions reduction target for the sector. Instead, transport emissions are projected to increase under current policies.1 Romania ranks in the bottom five countries in the EU in relation to electric vehicle (EV) charging points per 100 km, indicating the Romanian government’s lack of policy intent regarding transport emissions.6 Rapidly upgrading EV infrastructure by rolling out public charging points, as part of a greater effort to increase the share of renewables in the transport sector, will be an important step towards decarbonising the energy system.


Romaniaʼs primary energy mix

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
20192030204020501 000
SSP1 High CDR reliance
20192030204020501 000
Low energy demand
20192030204020501 000
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
20192030204020501 000
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Romaniaʼs total CO₂ emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂/yr

  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible emissions benchmarks

Key emissions benchmarks of Paris compatible Pathways for Romania. The 1.5°C compatible range is based on the Paris Agreement compatible pathways from the IPCC SR1.5 filtered with sustainability criteria. The median (50th percentile) to 5th percentile and middle of the range are provided here. Relative reductions are provided based on the reference year.

Reference year
Reference year
Year of net zero
incl. BECCS excl. LULUCF and novel CDR
Total GHG
Megatonnes CO₂ equivalent per year
50 to 62
22 to 35
6 to 21
Relative to reference year in %
−80 to −75%
−91 to −86%
−98 to −92%
Total CO₂
29 to 44
4 to 21
−5 to 9
2046 to 2066
Relative to reference year in %
−83 to −74%
−98 to −88%
−103 to −95%