Climate action — binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions (2021–2030)
Regulation (EU) 2018/842 on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement
The regulation, known as the effort sharing regulation (ESR), sets out:
the European Union (EU) Member States’ obligations on their minimum contributions in specific sectors to meet the EU’s target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions* by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030;
rules on annual emission allocations and ways to measure progress.
The regulation applies to greenhouse gas emissions which are covered neither by the EU emissions trading system nor by Regulation (EU) 2018/841 on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) , such as the emissions generated by buildings, agriculture, waste management and transport (apart from air and international maritime transport).
The regulation does not apply to greenhouse gas emissions from activities:
covered by Annex I of Directive 2003/87/EC (production and processing of ferrous metals, various energy and mineral activities) — see summary;
relating to civil aviation.
Member States must:
reduce their 2005 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2030 according to the percentages set out in Annex I, which range from 0% (Bulgaria) to 40% (Luxembourg and Sweden);
ensure steady progress on their reduction efforts by keeping their annual emissions below a linear trajectory starting in 2021 and leading to the targeted 2030 emission level;
submit a corrective plan within 3 months if the European Commission finds that they are making insufficient progress towards the national reduction target.
Flexibility provisions in the regulation allow Member States to:
borrow up to 10% of their annual emission allocation for the following year between 2021 and 2025 and 5% between 2026 and 2029;
bank any emissions below their annual allocation for use in a subsequent year;
transfer up to 5% (2021–2025) and 10% (2026–2030) of their annual allocation to another Member State;
use revenue from transferring annual allocations to tackle climate change in the EU and elsewhere;
offset any excess in their annual allocations, subject to certain conditions, against reductions in combined land emissions (afforested and deforested land, managed cropland, grassland, forest land and wetland) (Annex III).
Nine Member States (listed in Annex II: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Sweden) may cancel a limited percentage of their emissions trading system allowances up to a combined maximum of 100 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, in order to compensate an excess of emissions in the ESR sectors. They had to notify the Commission by 31 December 2019 in order to use this flexibility.
Commission compliance checks in 2027 and 2032 may lead to emission penalties on Member States which produce more emissions than their annual allocation.
The regulation establishes a safety reserve of up to 105 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Member States which meet certain gross domestic product and greenhouse gas emissions criteria may receive allocations from the reserve to compensate for the emissions they may produce in excess of their 2030 targets.
adjusts and publishes the annual emission allocations for each Member State;
ensures accurate accounting, through the Union Registry, of compliance with the regulation’s rules;
adopts implementing and delegated acts;
keeps the regulation under review and presents a report to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union within 6 months of each global stocktake under the Paris Agreement (see summary).
The regulation amends Regulation (EU) No 525/2013, which has been subsequently repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 — see summary).
Application & Background
It has applied since 9 July 2018.
The regulation is a further step towards meeting the EU’s previous commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.
The sectors covered by the regulation cover almost 60% of total domestic EU emissions.
The annual limits for greenhouse gas emissions per Member State under the linear reduction trajectory are set out in an implementing act, Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/2126 (December 2020).
Greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, nitrogen trifluoride and sulphur hexafluoride.
Regulation (EU) 2018/842 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and amending Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 (OJ L 156, 19.6.2018, pp. 26–42).
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) 2018/842 on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement (COM(2021) 555 final, 14.7.2021).
Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action, amending Regulations (EC) No 663/2009 and (EC) No 715/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directives 94/22/EC, 98/70/EC, 2009/31/EC, 2009/73/EC, 2010/31/EU, 2012/27/EU and 2013/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 2009/119/EC and (EU) 2015/652 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 328, 21.12.2018, pp. 1–77).
Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Regulation (EU) 2018/841 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry in the 2030 climate and energy framework, and amending Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 and Decision No 529/2013/EU (OJ L 156, 19.6.2018, pp. 1–25).
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