EU member states must step up to meet climate target by 2030

Member states' national climate plans are insufficient to cut the European Union's greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, the European Commission concluded from a review on Monday. Due to a late submission, an assessment of the Belgian plan will not follow until early next year.

According to the Commission's analysis, based on current draft plans, EU emissions risk being reduced by only 51 per cent compared to 1990 levels by the end of the decade. In sectors such as transport and buildings, where emissions need to be cut by 40 per cent compared to 2005, there is still a 6.2 per cent gap.

The draft plans fall short in other areas too. For instance, the share of renewables in the energy mix would only increase to between 38 and 39 per cent, compared to a target of 42.5 per cent. There is also a need to step up efforts to meet targets around carbon storage and energy efficiency, according to the Commission.


"It is clear that we need stronger commitments to put us firmly on the right path to climate neutrality," said commissioner for Climate Action Wopke Hoekstra. Each member state will be given a set of recommendations to boost ambitions by 30 June next year - the deadline for submitting final plans.

"It is clear that we need stronger commitments to put us firmly on the right path to climate neutrality"

The Commission based its analysis on the draft plans of the 21 member states that submitted their most recent plans by the deadline. Austria, Poland and Bulgaria have not yet submitted a plan. Ireland, Latvia and Belgium, which submitted its plan at the end of last month, were too late for a full analysis, which will follow in early 2024.

The late submission of the Belgian plan stemmed from disagreement over the regional distribution of efforts the country should make to reduce emissions in sectors such as transport, agriculture and buildings. Belgium has to cut emissions by 47 per cent, but Flanders did not want to deviate from its 40 per cent target.


EU commissioner for Climate Action Wopke Hoekstra © PHOTO GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

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