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Climate and energy targets – EU largely on track but mixed picture across Member States

European Union Member States are showing mixed progress towards three climate and energy targets for 2020, even though the EU as a whole could reduce greenhouse gases emissions by 21% in 2020 with the set of national measures already adopted. These findings come from new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessments.

EEA’s report ‘Trends and projections in Europe 2013’ considers EU progress in meeting greenhouse gas emission reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets. The European Union reduced emissions between 1990 and 2012 by approximately 18 % – so it is already close to the target of 20 % emissions reduction by 2020.

The EU was also on track towards its common target for renewable energy consumption – renewables contributed 13 % of final energy consumption in 2011, which should increase to 20% by 2020. The collective primary energy consumption of the EU is expected to decrease towards the political objective by 2020, although more policies are needed at Member State level.

While the assessment of Member State progress shows overall relatively good progress towards climate and energy targets, no single Member State is on track towards meeting all three targets. Equally, no Member State is underperforming in all three areas.

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, said: “EEA’s latest analysis confirms that renewable energy and energy efficiency are having a significant effect on bringing down emissions. We must keep building on this success – to achieve the emissions cuts demanded by science, Member States must ensure that they are not making choices today that become obstacles to a low carbon future.”