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EU making deeper emission cuts than promised

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Thursday, 14 October 2010

EU making deeper emission cuts than promised

Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "The European Union not only signed the Kyoto Protocol, we not only pledged under Kyoto. The facts show that the world can count on the European Union; what we pledge we also deliver. In this case we are actually heading to overachieving".

Kyoto commitments

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the 15 EU Member States at the time the Protocol was agreed committed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-2012 by an average of 8% below levels in a chosen base year (1990 in most cases). This collective commitment has been translated into differentiated national emission targets for each EU-15 Member State which are binding under EU law. There is no collective target for EU-27 emissions. Ten of the twelve Member States which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 have individual commitments under the Protocol to reduce their emissions to 6% or 8% below base year levels by 2008-2012. Only Cyprus and Malta have no emission target.

Emissions to date

As announced in June 2010 (see IP/10/659), EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 - the latest year for which full data are available - were 6.9% lower than base year levels even though the EU-15 economy grew around 45% over the same period. For the EU-27 as a whole, emissions fell by 14.3% between the base year and 2008. In a separate report, he European Environment Agency provisionally estimates that in 2009 emissions fell sharply due to the economic situation. In 2009 EU-15 emissions were estimated to be 12.9% below their base year levels while EU-27 emissions were estimated at 17.3% below 1990.

Source: EU@UN Partnership in actions