European Union and Climate Change
The European Community and the EU member states are parties to the UN Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. The 15 EU member states at the time of Kyoto’s negotiation agreed individually and collectively to reduce emissions 8 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The EU established the world’s most ambitious and far-reaching example of a GHG emissions trading system (ETS). The EU-ETS currently limits CO2 emissions from approximately 12,000 facilities in the 28 EU Member States. An initial “learning phase” (Phase I) ran from 2005 to 2007; a second phase coincided with the Kyoto Protocol compliance period (2008-2012); and the third phase entered force in 2013 to run until 2020.
In November 2014, the EU agreed to a greenhouse gas reduction commitment of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 across its member states. In addition, there are goals on the share of renewable energy and energy efficiency savings of 27 percent. The emission reduction commitment was submitted as the EU’s nationally determined contribution to a Paris agreement to be finalized in December 2015.