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EU on track to reach Kyoto targets

Canberra, 5 December 2005

Climate change: EU on track to reach Kyoto targets, latest projections show

The European Union is well on its way to achieving its Kyoto Protocol targets for substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent report by the European Commission stated that the latest projections from EU Member States indicate that a combination of existing policies and measures, additional initiatives which are already in an advanced state of planning, and credits gained through the Protocol’s mechanisms for promoting emission-saving projects in third countries, will reduce combined emissions for the 15 ‘old’ countries of the EU (the so-called ‘EU-15’) to 9.3 percent (below 1990 levels) by 2012.

This clearly fulfils the eight percent reduction target from 1990 levels that the Protocol requires the EU-15 to achieve during 2008-2012. The projections show that in the EU-25 (the whole EU, including the ‘new’ 10 Member States) emissions would be cut by more than 11 percent during this period. Seventeen EU Member States with emission targets are currently projected to meet them, while the others are in the process of identifying further modes of action.

The EU’s Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas, said that the EU had proven that emissions could be reduced despite healthy economic growth. “The latest projections show that the EU has successfully transformed its commitment under Kyoto into policies and measures by which it will attain the emissions’ reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol,” he said.

By 2003 - the latest year for which complete data are available - greenhouse gas emissions had been reduced by 1.7 percent in the EU-15 compared with base year levels (in most cases, 1990), yet the economy had grown by 27 percent.

“That does not mean we can be complacent. We will need to fully implement the various emission reduction measures that we have signed up to under our climate change programme and make use of the Kyoto flexible mechanisms that allow for emission-reducing projects in other countries which generate emission credits,” said Commissioner Dimas.

For the EU-25 the reduction was 8.0 percent from base year levels. There is no collective Kyoto Protocol target for EU-25 emissions. Six of the EU-10 have individual commitments to reduce emissions by 8 percent from base years of their choice, while Hungary and Poland have 6 percent reduction targets. Cyprus and Malta have no target.


See table below for further data.


Projected emissions in 2008-2012 compared to base year

/ Target / With existing policies and measures (PAMs) / With existing PAMs and Kyoto mechanisms / With existing, additional PAMs in the pipeline / With additional PAMs and Kyoto mechanisms
EU-15 / -8.0% / -1.6% / -4.1% / -6.8% / -9.3%
EU-25 / - / -5.0% / -7.0% / -9.3% / -11.3%
Austria* / -13.0% / 8.7% / -0.2% / -9.2% / -18.1%
Belgium* / -7.5% / 3.1% / -2.6% / -2.2% / -7.9%
Czech Republic / -8.0% / -25.3% / -25.3% / -26.5% / -26.5%
Denmark* / -21.0% / 4.2% / -2.3% / na / na
Estonia / -8.0% / -56.6% / -56.6% / -60.0% / -60.0%
Finland* / 0.0% / 13.2% / 12.3% / 0.9% / 0.0%
France* / 0.0% / 9.0% / 9.0% / -1.7% / -1.7%
Germany* / -21.0% / -19.8% / -19.8% / -21.0% / -21.0%
Greece* / 25.0% / 4.7% / 34.7% / 24.9% / 24.9%
Hungary / -6.0% / -6.0% / -6.0% / -6.0% / na
Ireland* / 13.0% / 33.4% / 26.6% / na / na
Italy* / -6.5% / 3.9% / 6.2% / 4.1% / -3.7%
Latvia / -8.0% / -46.1% / -46.1% / -48.6% / -48.6%
Lithuania / -8.0% / -50.6% / -50.6% / na / na
Luxembourg* / -28.0% / -22.4% / -45.9% / na / na
Netherlands* / -6.0% / 3.5% / -5.9% / 0.9% / -8.5%
Poland / -6.0% / -12.1% / -12.1% / -12.1% / na
Portugal* / 27.0% / 52.1% / 52.1% / 42.2% / 42.2%
Slovakia / -8.0% / -19.7% / -19.7% / -21.3% / -21.3%
Slovenia / -8.0% / 4.9% / 4.9% / 0.3% / 0.3%
Spain* / 15.0% / 8.3% / 41.3% / 28.0% / 21.0%
Sweden* / 4.0% / -1.0% / -1.0% / na / na
United Kingdom* / -12.5% / -20.3% / -20.3% / na / na

Notes:
1) Under the Kyoto Protocol, the 15 Member States (marked with *) that made up the EU until its enlargement to 25 Member States on 1 May 2004 have to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 8% below 1990 levels during 2008-2012. This target is shared among the 15 Member States under a legally binding burden-sharing agreement (Council Decision 2002/358/EC of 25 April 2002). Most of the ten Member States that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 have individual targets under the Kyoto Protocol. The exceptions are Cyprus and Malta, which have no targets.
2) Existing policies and measures are those for which one or more of the following applies: (a) national legislation is in force; (b) one or more voluntary agreements have been established; (c) financial resources have been allocated; (d) human resources have been mobilised; (e) an official government decision has been made and there is a clear commitment to proceed with implementation. Additional (planned) policies and measures are options under discussion with a realistic chance of being adopted and implemented in future.
3) For countries not providing scenarios with additional policies and measures the scenarios for existing measures are taken for the overall figures for projections (EU-15, EU-25).
4) Data exclude emissions and removals from land-use, land-use change and forestry. Projections for Poland cover only CO2 and N2O. Projections for Spain cover only CO2.

ENDS

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