The EU can increase its climate targets to be in line with a global 1.5°C target

A new study conducted by Climact and New Climate Institute shows that  current policies are insufficient to meet the EU’s 2030 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. However by applying current best practice policies found in some Member States EU wide, the EU can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 62% by 2030.

This study also reveals that:

  • The power sector can deliver the biggest share of such additional emission reductions through renewables and electrification.
  • The main contributors are strong policy support for renewable energy and a faster coal exit. The study shows that while current EU climate and energy policies assume that a full coal exit will only be realised by roughly 2050, a complete coal exit by 2030 would further reduce emissions from the power sector by -62%, if substituted with renewable energy.
  • Best practice examples from Denmark, who is the clear front-runner, show that a pace leading to 74% renewable electricity penetration by 2030, translating into a 45% overall renewable energy potential, is feasible for Europe. Other EU countries like the UK and Germany have also shown significant growth in renewable energy penetration.
  • In transport, the key lever is faster penetration of electric vehicles by applying a similar policy package as Norway’s EU wide. Other countries, like France, Austria as well as the Netherlands are also becoming increasingly ambitious. Altogether extending best practice policies could lead to almost halving transport emissions by 2030 in Europe, the study shows.
  • Renovating existing building faster and deeper, together with shifting heating systems towards electricity-based heat pumps and supporting district heating could lead to a significant reduction of 70% in greenhouse gas emissions coming from the building sector by 2030. The Netherlands is the frontrunner in terms of building renovation in Europe.
  • Energy demand in Europe can be reduced by almost 45% below the 2007 baseline – compared to the -30% in the European Commission’s proposal – as a result of the broad application of all these best practices policies.
  • For the Industrial sectors, a combination of policies increasing resource efficiency and supporting the shift away from fossil fuel use can lead to much stronger reductions than what current policy can deliver.

The report is available here


Claude Turmes, Member of the European Parliament ( Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance) and European Parliament’s rapporteur on the Energy Union Governance Regulation

“Let’s call the bluff: the weak 2030 targets as proposed by the European Commission will not put the EU on track to reach its objective under the Paris Agreement. In order to achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 at the latest and honour our climate commitments, EU decision-makers should have the political courage to revise renewables and energy efficiency targets upwards. 35% is the bare minimum. The Parliament’s vote is a first step, now it’s up to Member States to take their responsibilities.”

Imke Lübbeke. Head of EU Climate and Energy Policy. WWF European Policy Office

“This report is yet more proof that our current 2030 renewables and energy efficiency targets are way out of date. We can reduce emissions further and faster by increasing the target levels, and by getting out of coal for good. Doing so would finally bring the EU more in line with the Paris Agreement, as well as providing huge benefits to citizens in terms of health and the economy.”

Julien Pestiaux, author of the study, Climact

“What we’ve clearly identified in the course of our study is that most of what we need for the low carbon transition is often not only already technically available but also tested in one or several European countries. Clearly not all policies can be replicated as such in all Member States, but many of these innovative practices that can be leveraged and improved further in more EU Member states, thanks to a more effective collaboration at EU level.”