Effort sharing regulation: EU ambassadors approve provisional agreement

Today, EU ambassadors gave their support to the provisional agreement reached between the Estonian presidency and the European Parliament in December 2017 on the effort sharing regulation. The draft regulation sets out binding emission reduction targets for member states in sectors falling outside the scope of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) for the period 2021-2030.

This agreement brings the EU closer to fulfilling its Paris climate commitment of an at least 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The regulation aims to ensure that the non-ETS sectors emissions reduction target of 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels is reached in the effort sharing sectors, including buildings, agriculture (non-CO2 emissions), waste management and transport (excluding aviation and international shipping).

“The EU will retain its leading and decisive role in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We are grateful for the important work done by the Estonian Presidency on the effort sharing regulation. There is a political consensus in Europe on the global warming and the measures that should be taken. Bulgaria is part of this consensus. As a Presidency we will work for our shared interest to achieve a maximum level of progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thereby improve air quality. Protecting the environment and the health of European citizens is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency,” said Neno Dimov, Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Water.

Timeline and next steps

The European Commission presented two proposals on the sectors not covered by the ETS – effort sharing and LULUCF – in July 2016 on the basis of the guidelines provided by the European Council in its October 2014 conclusions.

Given the links between the two proposals, ministerial discussions on non-ETS sectors took place in parallel. These files were on the agenda of three Environment Council meetings before a negotiating position was agreed: a policy debate on 17 October 2016, a state-of-play briefing on 19 December 2016 and a progress report in June 2017.

The Council reached its general approach on 13 October 2017 and started negotiations with the European Parliament shortly thereafter. The European Parliament adopted its position during its plenary session on 14 June. On 21 December 2017 the Estonian presidency secured a provisional deal with the European Parliament.

Now that the provisionally agreed text has been endorsed by the EU ambassadors, it will be forwarded to the Parliament. Subject to final approval by the Parliament and subsequent formal adoption by the Council, the legislative act will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and enter into force twenty days following its publication.