The European Union (EU) achieved its three main climate and energy targets by 2020, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment, published today. The 2030 target of a 55 % reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions can be reached if additional efforts are made and new policies are adopted and implemented.
According to EEA estimates, in 2020, EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions were 31 % lower than in 1990 (counting gross emissions only — see below for net emissions). This constitutes a substantial overachievement of the 20 % reduction target.
However, only 21 Member States reached their national target in 2020, based on preliminary data. This means that Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Ireland and Malta would need to use flexibilities, such as buying emission quotas from other EU countries, to comply with their legal objectives.
Achieving a 20 % reduction in energy consumption seemed unlikely for many years, but the widespread lockdowns in 2020, due to COVID-19, appear to have pushed EU’s primary and final energy consumption below target levels, by 5 % and 3 % margins, respectively. Sustaining further reductions in energy consumption will be needed to keep on track towards long-term goals.
Source & further information: European Environment Agency