The proposal to share post-2012 greenhouse gas reductions between EU countries, known as 'Effort Sharing', is one of the key elements of EU action against climate change. It sets the reduction targets for sectors not covered by emissions trading, such as agriculture, transport and households representing 55 per cent of EU emissions. However this proposal, steered by the self-interest of EU member states, sets the bar far too low:
- The proposal as it stands has no clear legally binding commitment to a 30 per cent reduction target by 2020, the reduction promised by EU leaders only 20 months ago.
- Up to two thirds of the reduction efforts will not even be made in Europe, but met through buying external 'off-set credits'. This will not provide the incentives to cut Europe's reliance on fossil fuels, nor to drive the creation of new green jobs in Europe.
- The proposal contains no credible compliance mechanism, such as fines, to ensure that member states achieve their targets.
- The proposal does not include concrete amounts of funding to help developing countries to adapt to climate change and to reduce their own emissions.
"This part of the EU Climate Package is a farce: totally inadequate to the scale of ambition needed if we are to tackle climate change and sets a bad example to international partners currently meeting at the UN climate talks in Poznan.
"Members of the European Parliament have already shown that they understand what is needed from Europe. They must hold their nerve and reject these proposals from European heads of state unless they are significantly improved this week. Europe's international climate credibility is at stake," NGOs stated.
Please see the background briefing for in-depth information on the effort sharing proposal.