EEA publishes briefing on national climate policies in European countries

03 December 2019

Article: 53/4807

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a new briefing which analysed the actions EU member states have made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve climate and energy targets.

The briefing found that member states reported improved and more complete information about their climate policies, including their expected emission savings. However, evidence on the achieved emission cuts and costs of these policies is still insufficient.

EU member states reported 1,925 climate change mitigation policies and measures. More than 400 of these policies are new since 2017, and are mostly at the planning stage.

The EEA data shows that most EU member states’ climate policies are either economic instruments (44%), such as subsidies or feed-in tariffs, or regulations (43%), such as energy efficiency.

The reported policies mainly target energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), including enhancing buildings’ energy efficiency (18%), deploying more renewable energy (16%), switching to low carbon fuels or electric vehicles (8%), or by improving vehicles’ fuel efficiency (7%). More than 10% of the measures related to agriculture, including many of the new actions reported. In the agriculture sector, the data shows that the most common objectives are reducing fertilizer or manure use on cropland and improving animal waste management.

The EEA recently estimated that the EU and its member states have reduced their total greenhouse gas emissions by 23.2% from 1990 to 2018. At the same time, member states’ projections are not yet in line with the target of at least a 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.

According to the EEA analysis, member states’ current policies will deliver a 30% reduction by 2030, while implementing all reported planned policies could bring the total reduction to 36%.

The briefing is underpinned by a more detailed analysis in a report prepared by the European Topic Centre on Climate change Mitigation and Energy (ETC/CME), with further details of the policies are presented via an online database.

Source: EEA, 27 November 2019