4 August 2016

What is the EU doing on climate change?

Climate change is an important global issue. Without action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, global warming is likely to exceed 2°C above pre-industrialised levels, and could even be as much as 5°C by the end of the century. This would have a huge impact on the world's landscape and sea levels. 

Action to tackle climate change and cut greenhouse gas emissions is therefore a priority for the EU. In particular, EU leaders have committed to transforming Europe into a highly energy-efficient, low carbon economy. The EU has also set itself the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.

The EU's first package of climate and energy measures was adopted in 2008 and set targets for 2020. The EU is making good progress towards these targets, but to provide more certainty for investors, an integrated framework is needed to cover up to 2030. The EU has therefore endorsed the 2030 climate and energy framework, which outlines a number of key targets and policy measures for the 2020-2030 period.

The EU and its 28 member states are signatories to both the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol and the new Paris climate change agreement.