EU countries could meet a quarter of carbon targets by buying foreign credits

A leaked draft of an EU decision, due to be published on 23 January, suggests that a target to cut the bloc’s emissions by 20% relative to 1990 levels by 2020 will go ahead

It also suggests that EU countries would be able to meet up to 25% of their national greenhouse gas reduction targets by buying emission credits abroad. States could sell their excess credits to others.

The targets for each member state are still being calculated under a complex burden-sharing formula. States with a “currently low GDP and thus high GDP growth expectations” – such as recently acceded eastern European countries – will be allowed to increase emissions relative to 2005 (the last year for which verified data exists), but are still expected to limit growth.

To ensure a “fair contribution” from all EU countries, no member state would be asked to cut emissions by more than 20% compared with 2005, and none would be allowed to increase them by more than 20%.

The proposals include a mechanism to increase the EU goal to 30 % if global climate talks produce an international agreement in which industrialised countries taken on comparable emission reductions. If this goes ahead, the limit on foreign credits currently set at three per cent of total emissions – equivalent to a quarter of emission reductions – would rise to eight per cent.

Related Environmental Services

Powered by ENDS Directory

Compliance Search

Discover all ENDS content in one place, including legislation summaries to keep up to date with compliance deadlines

Compliance Deadlines

Plan ahead with our Calendar feature highlighting upcoming compliance deadlines

News from ENDS Europe

News from ENDS Waste & Bioenergy