The CAN Europe briefing: No cheating from the start shows that opting for a more ambitious approach for the starting level of reducitons in the non-ETS sectors would cut greenhouse gases by at least 850 million tonnes – more than the 2014 emissions of Germany and France combined.
Reducing emissions from road transport, agriculture, waste and buildings is governed by a carbon budget based instrument currently called the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD). For the total amount of polluting carbon these sectors will be allowed to emit after 2020, the starting point is as important as the binding national target.
There is a risk that, based on the current rules, the Commission will decide to set the starting point at the average emissions level for 2016-2018. This is a positive effort to take into account that many countries will overshoot their 2020 target. At the same time however, this would reward Austria, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg, who are not on track to reach their 2020 targets, as their starting point for emission reductions would be then higher than their target in 2020.
The Commission’s proposal is also likely to benefit countries whose average emissions in 2016-2018 are projected to be higher than their 2020 target, namely Denmark, Finland, Germany and the UK.
CAN Europe presents two solutions that have been proposed to overcome this major failure by the French and German governments. The briefing states that the starting point should be based on a linear trajectory from their 2016-2018 average emissions, while for the few countries that will fail to reach their 2020 target, a linear trajectory from their 2020 target should be used. Choosing this option will reduce the EU’s carbon budget by at least 850 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, as compared with the option the Commission is likely to propose. This is more than the 2014 emissions of Germany and France combined.