Effort Sharing Regulation

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Proposed by the European Commission as a follow-up to the Effort Sharing Decision, the Effort Sharing Regulation is one of the EU's two main tools for reaching the Paris Agreement's targets. In the agreement, the EU pledged to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% before 2030, comparing to 1990 levels. The other main tool is the Emission Trading System.

The Effort Sharing Regulation covers emissions from areas not included in the Emission Trading System: transport, buildings, agriculture, small industry and waste. According to the regulation, Member States must decrease their emissions by 30% during the period 2021-2030 compared to 2005 levels.

The 30% target is divided between the Member States, who all have their own national targets. The main criterion for determining the targets is the country’s GDP, meaning that rich countries have to cut their emissions more than poorer countries. However, Member States are allowed to offset a part of the emissions with allowances from the Emission Trading System and through planting forests. The regulation sets limits to how much these flexibilities can be used.

The regulation was proposed by the European Commission in July 2016 and is currently in the common legislative procedure.

Links for further research

European Parliament Briefing: Effort sharing regulation, 2021-2030 Limiting Member States' carbon emissions