The European Union has set ambitious targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. European lawmakers are poring through the EU’s largest climate tool, the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). This law covers some 60% of the EU’s greenhouse gases.
It was an unprecedented show of unity. The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement – the world's answer to climate change. The US may have withdrawn from the agreement, but others are sticking to the plan. The EU has ambitious goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions: a cut of 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels across all sectors. It's a tall order. But not impossible. MEPs are combing through the Effort Sharing Regulation: the centrepiece of Europe's efforts to implement the goals of the Paris deal, covering up to 60% of total EU emissions. This will include sectors such as buildings, agriculture, waste management, small industry and transport – industries not covered by the 2005 Emissions Trading System. We have to take climate change even more seriously than we're already doing and we have to step up our efforts in Europe as well in order to stay within the boundaries of the Paris agreement. As the name implies, each EU country will carry their fair share of the burden. Binding national targets will be set – wealthier nations have to cut more. Poorer countries will get some leeway. The European Parliament insists that common climate goals should precede national interests. The law aims to cut up to 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions – a gargantuan task to put Europe well on its way towards a low-carbon economy.