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This proposal is based on the emission reduction commitment (known as an INDC) made by the EU prior to the 2015 UN Climate talks.



This seed proposal is a summary of the INDC submitted to 2015 UN climate negotiations by the EU, created by a Climate CoLab Fellow. We invite other CoLab members to link to this proposal or to use it as a starting point for creating a new proposal of their own. The European Council has not reviewed or endorsed this summary.

As part of the climate negotiations conducted each year under the auspices of the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries submit Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that outline pledges for future reductions in their national greenhouse gas emissions. 

The EU has set an economy-wide Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of at least 40% GHG emissions reduction by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

In order to attain the 2030 target the EU establishes the following main goals:

  • An indicative target of at least 27% improvement in energy efficiency in 2030 against projections of future energy consumption, in buildings, transportation and industry.


  • At least 27% share for renewable energy consumed in the EU in 2030, with increased energy security and energy system integration.


  •  Significant decarbonization of the building and transportation sectors.


  • The EU cap&trade scheme, known as the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). ETS sectors emissions amount to around 45% of total EU emissions. ETS sectors are: power and heat generation, heavy industry, and commercial aviation within the EU. Together with all emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) -from the production of certain acids-, and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) - from aluminium production-.   





Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?


  • 1. The EU Emissions Trading System. The eU INDC sts a 43% reduction by 2030 compared to 2005, in sectors part of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). ETS sectors emissions amount to around 45% of total EU emissions. ETS sectors are: power and heat generation, heavy industry, and commercial aviation within the EU, together with all emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) -from the production of certain acids-, and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) - from aluminium production-.


The EU ETS system, launched in 2005, runs on a "cap and trade" basis. A maximum total emissions limit is set for the starting year, and then is reduced every year. The current annual reduction rate is 1,74%. According to the 40% emissions reduction pledge the annual reduction rate of the "cap" is to be set to 2,2% for phase 4 of the ETS system, from 2021 to 2030.

The "cap" emission limit is covered by a number of emission allowances (1 allowance=1 tonne of CO²) that companies receive or buy, and which can be traded. Free allowances are transitional and are planned to be progressively reduced in the period up to 2030.In that period 6,3 billion allowances are expected to be handed out for free. Free allowances are allocated on the grounds of supporting European competitiveness, avoiding carbon leakage, fairness and solidarity between countries, and low-carbon technology and infrastructure adaptations.

The rest of the allowances are auctioned - around 48% in 2013-, on a system of shares by sectors and countries. Under the EU ETS system, at least 50% of the revenue from emission allowances is used to fund climate and energy-related programs- 3 billion Euro in 2013, out of a total 3,6 billion-, like the newly created Innovation and Modernisation Funds.

A 30% decrease target is set for non-ETS sectors by 2030 compared to 2005, . Non EU ETS sectors are all sectors not included in the EU ETS scheme. These include transport, buildings, construction, and agriculture.

The Effort Sharing Decision for 2020 applied the methodology to be used further until 2030 for setting the national reduction targets for non-ETS sectors, on the basis of relative GDP per capita, adjusted in a fair and balanced manner.

  • 2. Renewable energy. A legally binding 27% share in renewable energy consumed in the EU as a whole in 2030 is set. No binding national target is set. Member States are free to set a more ambitious target nationally, while all must be guided by the need to deliver the target collectively. Measures contained in the framework for enhancing the robustness of the energy system and its integration will help in the implementation of a larger share of renewables.


  • 3. Building Sector. Existing legislation is in place to achieve a near-zero carbon building sector by 2050, although its effectiveness must be enhanced. 


  • 3. Transport Sector. The 2030 framework stresses the importance of the transport sector, and refers to legislation already in place. It also invites the European Commission to come forward with new measures and instruments. In parallel, a Member State can, under existing legislation, bring the national transport sector into the ETS system.


  • 4. Land Sector. The Commission is also called to ensure that the mitigation efforts in the agricultural sector are coherent with the EU´s food security and the sustainable intensification of food production. Regarding LULUCF, new policy will be adopted before 2020.



Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

What are the plan’s key benefits?

Apart from limiting global warming, other key benefits of this plan are:

  • The creation of a common European framework extending to 2030 ensures regulatory certainty to investors.
  • The shift to a low-carbon economy will boost investment in r+d+i, create jobs in new markets and help adapt ageing infrastructure.
  • Positive effects on health are expected from cleaner air when emissions are reduced. Changes in habits and consumption will improve health in general.
  • The adoption of a more energy-efficient, less carbon-intensive and cleaner economy will also have a general positive impact on the environment as a whole.

What are the plan’s costs?

The projected average annual cost is € 38 billion over the period 2011- 2013.

More than half of these investments will go into the residential and tertiary sectors. The total cost of the energy system is expected to increase by at least 0,15%.

A new EU investment plan dedicates € 315 billion in public and private investments for the objectives of the 2030 framework over the three years 2015-2017. Some of the funding for investments -capital costs- will come from emission allowances -3 billion € in 2013-, although it´s estimated that most of the burden will be offset by savings from reduced fuel consumption -operational costs-.

The principles of fairness and solidarity will be taken into account when distributing the effort among Member States.

What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?


The EU 2030 Climate and energy Framework objectives will be tracked from 2020 until 2030, as part of the 2050 Low-Carbon Economy Roadmap sequence, after the current 2020 framework expires.

Related plans


This proposal is a summary of the EU´s INDC:

European Union´s 2030 Climate & Energy Framework:

EU 2050 Low-carbon Economy Roadmap:


The Paris Protocol: