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EU Legislators Increase Emissions Reduction Requirements for the Road

Agriculture, and Building Sectors to 40% by 2030

The European Parliament and the European Council announced their approval of legislation mandating tougher emission reductions by member states in a number of industries.

The sectors included by the new accord account for sixty percent of total EU emissions. These sectors include road and domestic sea transport, buildings, agriculture, waste, and small industries. The recommendations aim to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in these sectors by 40 percent by 2030, an increase from the EU's current reduction target of 29 percent.

Executive Vice President of the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, stated:

"Achieving a green and healthy future for all will need significant effort from every sector and nation. Our agreement today clarifies the commitment required by each Member State and ensures cohesion in Europe's pursuit of its climate goals."

The additional 40% goal was initially proposed as part of the European Commission's "Fit for 55" plan, the EU initiative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030, relative to 1990 levels.

While the agreement maintains the enhanced national targets established by the European Commission for each member state (see the table below for national targets), it modifies the way in which member states might use existing "flexibilities" to accomplish their targets.

Member states have the ability to bank and borrow emission reductions between years, as well as trade emission reduction allocations with other members. For instance, between 2022 and 2029, if member states exceed their emissions reductions requirements, they will be permitted to bank up to 25% of their annual emission allocations for use in subsequent years, or if their emissions exceed the annual limit, they will be permitted to borrow allocations from subsequent years, up to 7.5% of allocations until 2025, and up to 5% from 2026 to 2030.

With the approval of both the Parliament and the Council, the plan will now be formally adopted. The agreement is a key step toward the conclusion of the Fit for 55 negotiations, coming just after the first major part of the strategy reached an agreement last month, mandating that all new cars and vans registered in the EU by 2035 must be zero-emission vehicles.

The Czech environment minister, Marian Jureka, stated:

"I am pleased that we were able to reach a quick consensus on this proposal just in time for COP 27. This will allow the EU to demonstrate to the world that it intends to reduce emissions in accordance with its commitments under the Paris Agreement to maintain safe levels of global warming. Our obligation is to maintain the earth for future generations."

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