The EU’s NDC establishes the target of reducing at least 55% of its emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. It is an economy-wide and absolute pledge, covering all sectors and gases (EU NDC, 2020).

The overarching measures in force in EU are three-folded: Emissions reduction targets under current EU legislation are divided between the sectors covered by the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), which is put a price in the carbon and established a cap for emission allowances; by the non-ETS sectors under the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR), which individual binding targets for Member States is set considering emissions not covered by the EU ETS; and land-use related emissions and removals addressed by the regulation on emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF).

Additionally, the EU passed regulations to improve energy efficiency (improve at least 32.5% by 2030), for increasing renewable energy in final energy consumption (at least 32% by 2030) and reduce CO2 emissions in the road transport sector, increasing performance (reducing emissions) of cars and lorries.

The EU agreed to reduce at least 55% GHG emissions below 1990 levels by 2030. Though this is a stronger target, it is not enough to reach 1.5°C, and a proposal between 58% and 70% is needed (European Parliament proposed 60%). Also due to methodological complexities caused by Brexit, CAT cannot rate this NDC. Nevertheless, CAT points out that the reduction would have to be between 2,324 – 2,329 MtCO2e or 52.8% (Climate Action Tracker, 2021).

CAT suggests more ambitious policy measures, which would lead to significant reductions. For instance, revise the Renewable Energy Directive based on new proposals from the ‘Fit for 55%’ package, and decrease the emissions cap of the EU-ETS, steering a coal phase-out and better performance for cars and the increase in the share of electrical vehicles.