The EU has set targets for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. The long-term objective for 2050, agreed by the European Council in 2009, is an 80-95 % reduction in GHG emissions compared to 1990. In the short to medium term, the EU aims to reduce GHG emissions by 20 % by 2020, and by at least 40 % by 2030.
The 20 % target for 2020 is to be achieved by a 21 % reduction in GHG emissions in the sectors covered by the EU ETS (compared to 2005) and by a 10 % reduction in the non-ETS sector (compared to 2005). The ETS sector comprises energy industries, large industrial installations and aviation. Emission reductions in the non-ETS sector are broken down into national targets for all EU Member States under the Effort Sharing Decision (see next section). These targets are complemented by a 20 % target for the share of renewable energy in total EU final energy consumption and a 20 % target for energy efficiency (energy consumption compared to business-as-usual projections), both to be achieved by 2020. EU climate legislation includes the ETS (recently reformed with the introduction of a future market stability reserve), ecodesign and energy labelling, the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Fuel Quality Directive, CO2 limits for cars and vans, and legislation on fluorinated gases.
The EU participates in international efforts to reduce GHG emissions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC commits developed nations to GHG emissions reductions in the period up to 2020. In December 2015, the Parties to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement, a legally binding climate agreement that applies to all countries and aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, making efforts to stay below 1.5 degrees.