Emissions reductions above 50% in 2030 are feasible in the EU

An assessment of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 associated with a 30% renewable energy target and 30-40% energy efficiency targets

Published: 18/04/2016

The European Commission is currently preparing proposals for the revision of greenhouse gas, energy efficiency and renewables legislation. Compared to the emissions levels of 1990 the EU has put forward a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of at least  40% by 2030. Current plans are to achieve this by reducing energy demand by at least 27% and achieving a renewable energy share of 27% in gross final energy consumption. However, the agreement reached at the COP21 in Paris stressed the importance of achieving deeper emissions cuts in order to keep global temperature increases below 1.5 °C whereas the EU’s 40% target is in line with 2-2.4 °C. To remain consistent with deep emissions reduction levels, EU GHG targets have to be strengthened, most notably by enhancing renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Ecofys, commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe, modelled different energy efficiency and renewable energy targets with the 2030 Target Tool and showed that it is feasible to achieve emissions cuts of more than 50%, especially by aiming for higher energy efficiency targets.