Has the EU Commission weakened its climate proposal? Possibly

Climate Action Tracker Policy Brief

Published: 26/02/2015

Under the UNFCCC, all governments “in a position to do so” are asked to submit an “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) to a future international climate agreement by the end of the first quarter of this year. The EU was one of the first to reach an internal decision on an INDC target. In October 2014, the EU announced it would reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by “at least 40%” below 1990 levels by 2030. On 25 February, the EU Commission issued a proposal that provides crucial details of the intended reductions as an input to the EU internal discussions.

This policy brief by the Climate Action Tracker reviews the new elements of the proposal, such as forestry accounting, the use of conditional targets and a global long-term goal. The formulation in the final agreement on its INDC, which is expected end of March 2015, will determine whether the inclusion of forestry will weaken the EU’s action on climate change. The Climate Action Tracker notes that the original proposal is already less ambitious than the range of what studies find to be the EU’s fair contribution.