Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Image courtesy of NASA.

Climate Change

EU Leaders’ Landmark Climate Goal Could Be Undone By Gutting Of National Targets

EU leaders’ agreement this morning on a more ambitious climate goal has been welcomed by Transport & Environment (T&E), but it said governments delayed a decision on the future of national targets needed to achieve it.

Originally published on Transport & Environment.
By Eoin Bannon

EU leaders’ agreement this morning on a more ambitious climate goal has been welcomed by Transport & Environment (T&E), but it said governments delayed a decision on the future of national targets needed to achieve it. The European Council signed off on “at least” a 55% net cut in CO2 emissions by 2030, but in a last-minute change to their statement, the leaders said they were still debating “the future of the Effort Sharing Regulation.”[1] The European Commission is already considering scrapping or weakening the law that sets national climate targets and regulates 60% of EU emissions.

Ellen Valkenborgs, climate manager at T&E, said: “Leaders have upped the EU’s ambition, but are they willing to do their fair share at national level? Without stronger national targets there is little incentive for governments to tax new polluting vehicles and end subsidies for diesel and petrol company cars, measures which are as important as EU CO2 standards.”

Last month, the Commission said it is considering phasing out the effort sharing law or removing key sectors from the law’s reach.[2] Currently, the effort sharing law sets binding annual emission reduction targets for each EU country to achieve in the road transport, buildings, agriculture and waste sectors.

If governments were no longer required to bring down emissions in road transport and buildings, those sectors would be included in the bloc’s carbon market. Citizens would have to pay more for their road fuel and heating through higher carbon prices. Lower-income households which cannot afford to upgrade their vehicles and retrofit their homes would be hit the hardest.

Environmental NGOs, including T&E, Greenpeace, and WWF, told Commission president Ursula von der Leyen that her proposal to scrap or weaken the law would jeopardise efforts to meet a new EU climate target of -55%.

Ellen Valkenborgs said: “It’s now in EU leaders’ hands to put forward a plan that guarantees minus 55% is delivered. Strong national targets need to be part of it. Without making the effort sharing law more ambitious, governments will put the target just agreed at risk.”


[1] Page 9, European Council conclusions, 11 December 2020.

“19. The European Council will return to the matter and adopt additional guidance in time before the Commission puts forward its proposals. The future of the Effort Sharing Regulation will be tackled on this occasion.”

[2] The Commission recently published a so-called “Inception Impact Assessment” where it outlines three options to review the current Effort Sharing Regulation. All three options under consideration point toward the inclusion of road transport in the ETS, which could repeal or seriously weaken national climate targets. The public consultation for the Inception Impact Assessment closed on 26 November.

Featured image courtesy NASA, top image by Zach Shahan/CleanTechnica.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Climate Change

China now emits more greenhouse gas pollution than the 37 member nations of the OECD combined, a new report from the Rhodium Group says. China’s climate...


Proposal will reduce, but not fully eliminate, fossil fuel pollution from new buildings throughout the state


Originally published on By Madeline Tyson President Biden’s infrastructure plan (The American Jobs Plan) aligns recovery stimulus and climate action. This is smart: experts conclude that the green stimulus delivers high returns...


Originally published on the NRDC Expert Blog. By Simon Mui  With transportation now the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., the state that...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.