EU GHG emissions still not on track for 2030 target
More work is needed to meet European Union greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets for 2030 despite a drop in reported emissions for 2018, while transport remains a key concern.
Preliminary data from Member States published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) indicates the EU’s total emissions decreased by 2.0% in 2018, bringing the total reductions to 23.2% below 1990 levels. As such, the EU is firmly on track to achieve its 2020 target to reduce GHG emissions by 20%, compared with 1990 levels.
However, Member States’ projections are not yet in line with the target for 2030 of at least a 40% reduction in GHG emissions. According to the EEA analysis, Member States’ current policies can deliver only a 30% reduction by 2030, while implementing all reported planned policies could bring the total reduction to 36%.
As in previous years, the transport sector remains a particular concern with rising GHG emissions, low uptake of renewable energy sources and insufficient reductions of transport fuels’ life-cycle emissions.
The EEA also says there’s slow progress in transport fuels. Its ‘Quality and greenhouse gas intensities of transport fuels in the EU in 2017’ report shows that suppliers of fuel for road transport are not reducing the GHG intensity of fuels fast enough to meet the 6% reduction target by 2020, compared with 2010. Based on data from 22 Member States, the average GHG intensity of the fuels consumed in these countries was only 3.4% lower than in 2010 in 2017 (2.3 % when considering emissions related to indirect land-use change which are used by fuel suppliers for reporting purposes).
According to the EEA report, diesel continues to dominate fuel sales in the EU with 72.3 % of sales in 2017. The share of diesel as compared with petrol has increased over the years, from 55.6 % of total sales in 2001 to 72.3 % in 2017. All diesel sold in the EU contained biodiesel, whereas 87.6% of petrol contained bioethanol.