Regulation (EU) 2018/842 of the European Parliament and of the Council on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and amending Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 ( 2018 / Mitigation Framework )

The Effort Sharing legislation establishes binding annual greenhouse gas emission targets for Member States for the periods 2013–2020 and 2021–2030. These targets concern emissions from most sectors not included in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), such as transport, buildings, agriculture and waste. The Effort Sharing legislation forms part of a set of policies…read more

Commission Decision 2017/175 on establishing EU Ecolabel criteria for tourist accommodation ( 2017 )

The Commission Decision 2017/175 establishes the EU Ecolabel criteria for tourist accommodations. It builds on Regulation no 66/2010 instituting the Ecolabel to define the rules under which a tourist accommodation can acquire the EU Ecolabel certification. The Decision aims at promoting the use of renewable energy sources, saving energy and water, reducing waste and improving…read more

Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure ( 2014 )

This Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in the EU in order to minimise dependence on oil and to mitigate the environmental impact of transport. This Directive sets out minimum requirements for the building-up of alternative fuels infrastructure, including recharging points for electric vehicles and refuelling points…read more

Fluorinated greenhouse gases (Regulation No. 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases and repealing Regulation (EC) No 842/2006) ( 2014 )

The new F-Gas Regulation aims to cut by 2030 the EU’s F-gas emissions by two-thirds compared with 2014 levels. These are certain fluorinated gases (HFCs, PFCs and sulphur hexafluorides), and cuts will come in particular through improving containment and monitoring of these gases, increasing recovery, and restricting their marketing and use. From 2008, anyone producing,…read more

Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020 (Regulations no 1307/2013, no 1308/2013, no 1305/2013, no 1306/2013) ( 2013 )

The CAP has been reformed by strengthening its greening aspects. Climate mitigation and adaptation are explicitly among the key objectives of the CAP, which accounts for about 30% of the overall EU budget/ MFF 2014-2020. The greening measures in the CAP 2014-2020 particularly increase the carbon sink by encouraging more grassland, the protection of forest…read more

Decision No 1386/2013/EU on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’ ( 2013 )

The Decision no 1386/2013/EU sets up the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’. It adopts the '7th Environment Action programme’ or ‘7th EAP’. The priority objectives of the 7th EAP are: (a) to protect, conserve and enhance the Union’s natural capital; (b) to turn the Union into a…read more

Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) (Decision No. 529/2013/EU on accounting rules on GHG emissions and removals resulting from activities relating to LULUCF and on information concerning actions relating to those activities) ( 2013 )

Harmonisation of accounting rules for emissions from land use, land use change and forestry. The objective is to include agriculture and forestry into European climate mitigation efforts. This decision is a direct response to the UNFCCC decision in 2011 to revise the accounting rules for GHG emissions and removals from forests and soils. It meets…read more

Regulation (EU) No 1293/2013 on the establishment of a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 ( 2013 )

Regulation No 1293/201 establishes a Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE) and repeals Regulation (EC) No 614/2007. The LIFE Programme covers the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020. A sub-programme for Climate Action is also set up. LIFE's objectives are: to contribute to the shift towards a resource-efficient, low- carbon and climate-…read more

Energy Efficiency (Directive 2012/27/EU, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC) ( 2012 )

The Directive aims to achieve an EU-wide energy savings of 15% by 2020, which translates into no more than 1,474 Mtoe primary energy or no more than 1,078 Mtoe of final energy by 2020. With the accession of Croatia in 2013, the target was revised to 1,483 Mtoe primary energy or no more than 1,086…read more

Emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles (Regulation (EU) No. 510/2011 setting emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Union’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles ( 2011 )

Sets emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles, including a limit of 175g CO2/km for average CO2 emissions from manufacturers’ fleet of small vans by 2017. Specific targets for individual vehicles vary according to weight. A 2020 target of 147g CO2/km has been adopted. In 2014, 70% of each manufacturer’s newly registered units must…read more

Energy labelling (Directive 2010/30/EU and Regulation 2017/1369 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products) ( 2010 )

Directive 2010/30/EU sets up a framework to harmonise national measures on end-user information. Member States must ensure that information relating to energy consumption is brought to the attention of end-users. The bill also adopts rules for the placing on the market/ putting into service of an “energy-using product (EuP), adopting also rules for importing these…read more

2020 Climate and Energy Package (contains Directive 2009/29/EC, Directive 2009/28/EC, Directive 2009/31/EC and Decision No. 406/2009/EC of the Parliament and the Council ; see below) ( 2009 / Mitigation Framework )

In 2007 EU leaders endorsed an integrated approach to climate and energy policy that aims to combat climate change and increase energy security while strengthening its competitiveness. In 2008 the European Commission proposed binding legislation to implement the 20-20-20 targets. This “climate and energy package” became law in 2009. The core of the package comprises…read more

Clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean road transport vehicles in support of low-emission mobility) ( 2009 )

Member States shall ensure that contracting authorities, contracting entities and operators under a public service contract, take into account the operational lifetime energy and environmental impacts when purchasing road transportation vehicles. This Directive was amended by Directive 2019/1161.…read more

Commission Decisions 2009/300/EC and 2018/59 on the ecological criteria for the award of the Community Eco-label to televisions ( 2009 )

The Commission Decision 2009/300/EC establishes the revised ecological criteria for the award of the Community Eco-label to televisions. In line with Regulation (EC) No 66/2010  on Eco-Labelling, one of the key criterion to gain the label is energy efficiency. The document specifies that the manufacturer shall display the information that energy efficiency cuts energy consumption and thus…read more

Eco-design (Directive 2009/125/EC establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products (recast)) ( 2009 / Mitigation Framework )

The directive aims to establish a coherent framework for eco-design requirements applied to energy-using products. Through implementing measures and voluntary agreements, mandatory minimum requirements are set for products taking account of life-cycle costs. The extension expanded the directive’s scope to encompass all energy related products. Member States must adopt national legislation to implement the directive,…read more

Effort Sharing Decision (Decision No. 406/2009/EC on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020) ( 2009 )

It aims to reduce GHG emissions from sectors not included in the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) such as transportation, buildings, agriculture and waste. Each Member State agreed to a binding national emissions limitation target for 2020 that reflects its relative wealth. The targets range from a reduction of 20% by the richest Member…read more

Emission performance standards for new passenger cars (Regulation (EC) No. 443/2009 setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles) ( 2009 )

This legislation sets emission performance standards for new passenger cars. Car manufacturers must ensure by 2015 that average annual CO2 emissions do not exceed 130g CO2/km. A target of 95g/km is specified for the year 2020. In 2012, 65% of each manufacturer’s newly registered cars must comply on average with the limit value curve set…read more

Fuel Quality (Directives 2009/30/EC and 2015/1513 amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce GHG emissions and amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the specification of fuel used by inland waterway vessels and repealing Directive 93/12/EEC) ( 2009 )

The directives provide the legislative basis for reducing the GHG intensity of fuels used in vehicles for transportation by 10% by 2020. They apply to all fuels used in road transportation, including petrol, diesel and biofuels, and to gasoil that is used in non-road mobile machinery. The 10% target comprises 6% reduction of GHG intensity…read more

Geological storage of carbon dioxide (Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide and amending Council Directive 85/337/EEC, European Parliament and Council Directives 2000/60/EC, 2001/80/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2006/12/EC, 2008/1/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006) ( 2009 / Mitigation Framework )

The Directive establishes a legal framework for the environmentally safe geological storage of CO2. It covers all CO2 storage in geological formations in the EU, and lays down requirements covering the entire lifetime of a storage site. It implements a permit regime for exploration and storage, and selection criteria for storage sites. The Directive defines…read more

Regulation No 1222/2009 on the labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency and other essential parameters ( 2009 )

The aim of this Regulation is to increase the safety, and the economic and environmental efficiency of road transport by pro­moting fuel-efficient and safe tyres with low noise levels. It establishes a framework for the provision of harmonised information on tyre parameters through labelling, allowing end-users to make an informed choice when purchasing tyres. The…read more

Revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) (Directive 2009/29/EC amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community) ( 2009 )

A revision and strengthening of the Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). A single EU-wide cap on emission allowances will apply from 2013 and will be cut annually, reducing the number of allowances for businesses to 21% below the 2005 level in 2020. The free allocation of allowances will be progressively replaced by auctioning. From 2013…read more

Third Energy Package (Directive on electricity 2009/72/EC, repealing Directive 2003/54/EC and Directive on gas 2009/73/EC, repealing Directive 2003/55/EC) ( 2009 )

The development of a resilient and integrated energy market across the EU - the Internal Energy Market – has been supported by the subsequent Energy Packages. The First Energy Package concerned common rules for the internal market in electricity and for the internal market in natural gas. It was updated in 2003 by the Second…read more

Regulation (EC) No 106/2008 on a Community energy-efficiency labelling programme for office equipment ( 2008 )

The present regulation establishes a Community energy-efficiency labelling programme for office equipment. It is a recast of Regulation (EC) No 2422/2001. In order to promote the energy efficiency criteria, the Commission and the other Community institutions shall specify energy-efficiency requirements not less demanding than the Common Specifications for public supply contracts having a value equal…read more

Clean Sky (Council Regulation (EC) No. 71/2007 setting up the Clean Sky Joint Undertaking and No 558/2014 of 6 May 2014 establishing the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking) ( 2007 )

The “Clean Sky” Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) is aiming to unite public and private driving forces (human and financial) in European aviation and to develop the technologies necessary for a clean, innovative and competitive system of air transport, through research. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% and NOx by 80% by 2020. The…read more

Cogeneration (Directive 2004/8/EC on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market and amending Directive 92/42/EEC) ( 2004 )

This Directive facilitates the installation and operation of electrical cogeneration plants. In the short term, the Directive should make it possible to consolidate existing cogeneration installations and promote new plants. In the medium to long term, the Directive should to create the necessary framework for high efficiency cogeneration. Member States must evaluate progress by 2007…read more

Regulation No 525/2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information at national and Union level relevant to climate change ( 2004 )

Decision 280/2004/EC concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol was repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013. The EU has established a mechanism for monitoring and reporting GHG emissions to evaluate the progress made…read more

Energy taxation (Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity) ( 2003 )

Introduces generalised arrangements for the taxation of energy products and electricity. The Community system of minimum rates (previously confined to mineral oils) is extended to coal, natural gas and electricity. Energy products and electricity are only taxed when used as motor or heating fuel. The framework authorises Member States to adopt tax refund mechanisms to…read more

EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) (Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC) ( 2003 )

This Directive establishes a Community GHG emissions trading scheme from 2005, to enable the Community and the Member States to meet their Kyoto Protocol commitments. Directive 2004/101/EC reinforces the link between the EU’s emission allowance trading scheme and the Kyoto Protocol by making the latter’s “project-based” mechanisms (Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism) compatible…read more

Directive 2002/91/EC, Directive 2010/31/EU and Directive 2018/844 on the energy performance of buildings ( 2002 )

Minimum energy performance requirements of new and existing buildings, certification of their energy performance and the regular inspection of boilers and air conditioning systems in buildings in the residential sector and the tertiary sector (including offices and public buildings). In the 2010 recast, the EU executive expects the overhaul to bring its energy consumption down…read more

Directive 1999/94/EC relating to the availability of consumer information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions in respect of the marketing of new passenger cars ( 1999 )

The Directive 1999/94/EC on the consumer information of fuel economy and CO2 emissions of new cars obliges dealers of new passenger cars to provide potential buyers with useful information on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This consumer information system is to be set up using the following four methods: attaching a fuel consumption and CO2…read more

2030 framework for climate and energy policies (strategic document) ( 2014 / Mitigation Framework )

To ensure that the EU is on the cost-effective track towards meeting its objective of cutting emissions by at least 80% by 2050, the Commission proposed the ‘2030 framework for climate change and energy policies’. It was adopted by the European Council in October 2014 as a strategic document, although binding legislation is yet to…read more

European Energy Security Strategy ( 2014 )

The Commission adopted the Energy Security Strategy in response to the political crisis in Ukraine and the overall importance of a stable and abundant supply of energy. The strategy seeks to respond to the high dependence on energy imports (53% total energy consumed imported, including 88% of crude oil, 66% of natural gas, 42% of…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

The European Union and its 28 Member States submitted a joint NDC: at least 40% domestic reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990

Source: NDC

Reductions in the ETS and non-ETS sectors amounting to 43% and 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 by 2030 against a 2005 baseline (collective EU target)

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

At least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 by 2030 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

Reducing by 2050 GHG emissions by 80–95 % by 2050 against a 1990 baseline

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): Decision N... (2013 / Legislative)

Maximum quantity of hydrofluorocarbons to be placed on the market and corresponding quotas by 2015, 2030

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Fluorinate... (2014 / Legislative)

In 2020, the target is for the emissions from the ETS sectors to be 21% lower than in 2005

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Reduction of EU GHG emissions by at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Source(s):

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

20% of EU energy consumption to come from renewable resources by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

An EU target of at least 27% is set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU by 2030

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

An indicative target at the EU level of at least 27% is set for improving energy efficiency in 2030 compared to projections of future energy consumption based on the current criteria by 2030 against a 2014 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): 2030 frame... (2014 / Executive)

On 30 November 2016 the Commission proposed an update to the Energy Efficiency Directive, including a new 30% energy efficiency target for 2030 by 2030 against a 1990 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Energy distributors or retail energy sales companies have to achieve 1.5% energy savings per year through the implementation of energy efficiency measures by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

20% reduction in primary energy use compared with projected levels, by improving energy efficiency by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Obligated energy distributors and/or retail energy sales companies achieve a cumulative end-use energy savings target by 31 December 2020 at least equivalent 1.5% a year from 2014 to 2020 of the annual energy sales to final customers of all energy distributors or all retail energy sales companies by volume, averaged over the most recent 3-year period prior to 2013 by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

The Union’s 2020 energy consumption has to be no more than 1 474 Mtoe of primary energy or no more than 1 078 Mtoe of final energy by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

Union’s 2020 20% headline target on energy efficiency by 2020 against a 2012 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2012 | Source(s): Energy Eff... (2012 / Legislative)

The biofuels and bio-liquids should contribute to a reduction of at least 35% of GHG emissions. From 2017, their share in emissions savings should be increased to 50% by 2020

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Biofuel GHG emissions must be >35% lower than the fossil fuel they are replacing by 2017, 2018 against a 2015 baseline

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2018 | Base year: 2015 | Source(s): Fuel Quali... (2009 / Legislative)

Manufacturer's average emissions to be reduced yearly by 2014-2020 against a 2011 baseline

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

Increasing aircraft fuel efficiency, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 20 to 30 % compared to ‘state-of-the-art’ aircraft entering into service as from 2014 by 2020

General | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Clean Sky ... (2007 / Legislative)

Reduce CO2 emissions by 50% and NOx by 80% by 2020 against a 2007 baseline

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Clean Sky ... (2007 / Legislative)

Reducing the GHG intensity of fuels used in vehicles for transportation by 10% by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

General | Intensity Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Fuel Quali... (2009 / Legislative)

Average emissions of 95 g CO2/km as average emissions for the new car fleet, in accordance with Article 13(5) by 2020

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Emission p... (2009 / Legislative)

At least 10% share of renewables in final energy consumption in the transportation sector by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Average emissions of 147 gCO2/km for the average emissions of new light commercial vehicles registered in the Union subject to confirmation of its feasibility, as specified in Article 13(1) by 2020

General | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

The specific emissions of CO2 of each light commercial vehicle which is designed to be capable of running on a mixture of petrol with 85% bioethanol (‘E85’), and which complies with relevant Union legislation or European technical standards, shall be reduced by 5% by 2015

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): Emission p... (2011 / Legislative)

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Every year, governments in EU countries must carry out energy efficient renovations on at least 3% (by floor area) of the buildings they own and occupy by 2020 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): 2020 Clima... (2009 / Legislative)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

EU legislation on climate change has been characterised by a strategy of co-operation with the international community, compliance with the Kyoto Protocol and a will to maintain leadership through ambitious targets and emission reduction mechanisms.

The European Council endorsed the objective of reducing EU emissions of GHGs to 80–95% below 1990 levels by 2050. The Roadmap for transforming the European Union into a competitive low carbon economy by 2050 (the Roadmap) was adopted by the European Commission in 2011. It describes a cost-effective pathway to reach this objective and gives direction to sectoral policies for all economic sectors, national and regional low-carbon strategies and long-term investments. The EU also developed a 2050 Energy Roadmap and a White Paper on Transport, detailing how these emission reductions are to be achieved in the energy and transport sectors respectively.

The Roadmap recommends that the EU should achieve its target largely through domestic measures since, by mid-century, international credits to offset emissions will be less widely available and any credits used would increase the overall emissions reduction beyond 80%.

The economic modelling underlying the Roadmap showed that to achieve an 80% European “domestic” reduction by 2050, cuts of the order of 40% and 60% below 1990 levels should be achieved by 2030 and 2040, respectively. All sectors will need to contribute. It also showed that the most cost-efficient pathway to the 2050 target would require a 25% emissions cut by 2020.

The Roadmap estimated that, over the next 40 years, additional annual investment equivalent to 1.5% of EU GDP – or EUR270bn (USD338.8bn) – on top of overall current investment of 19% of GDP would be required. This proposed increase would return Europe to the investment levels seen before the economic crisis. Much or all of this extra investment would be recovered through lower import bills for oil and gas. These savings were estimated at EUR175bn–EUR320bn (USD220bn–USD402bn) a year. This investment in clean technologies, infrastructure such as “smart” electricity grids and environmental protection would have multiple benefits in terms of reduced energy dependency and created domestic value-added, the development of new sources of growth and employment creation, as well as lower air quality-related health costs which could reach up to EUR88bn (USD110bn) a year by 2050.

In 2011 the Commission published its Proposals for the EU 2014–2020 Multi-Annual Financial Framework, which was adopted by the European Council in 2013. The Financial Framework establishes that 20% of the 2014-2020 EU budget is to be dedicated to climate mitigation and adaptation measures.  

Energy supply

The EU’s energy policy aims primarily at ensuring the security of energy supplies, competitive energy markets with affordable prices, and sustainable energy consumption by reducing GHG emissions, pollution, and fossil fuel dependence.

To pursue these goals within a coherent long-term strategy, the EU has formulated targets for 2020, 2030, and 2050.

The 2020 Energy Strategy (2011) defines energy priorities between 2010 and 2020. It aims to reduce GHG emissions by at least 20%; increase the share of renewable energy in energy consumption to minimum 20%; improve energy efficiency by at least 20%. The 2030 framework for climate change and energy policies (October 2014) lays down the objectives to be met by 2030: a binding EU target of at least a 40% reduction in GHG emissions (base year 1990); a binding target of at least 27% of renewable energy in the EU; an energy efficiency increase of at least 27%, to be reviewed by 2020 potentially raising the target to 30%; the completion of the internal energy market by reaching an electricity interconnection target of 15% between EU countries by 2030 (intermediary target of 10% in 2020), and pushing forward important infrastructure projects. The 2030 framework also launched preparation of the Energy Union aiming at affordable, secure and sustainable energy, by “pooling resources, connecting networks and uniting member states’ power when negotiating with non-EU countries”. Specific legislative proposals are expected in 2015.

A European Energy Security Strategy, adopted in May 2014 partly in response to the political crisis in Ukraine, presents short and long-term measures to guarantee security of supply. It mandates short-term energy security stress tests for individual member states, calls for an increase in emergency gas stocks and developing emergency infrastructure, completion of the internal energy market, reduction in energy demand (especially in buildings and industry) and switching to alternative fuels.

The development of the Internal Energy Market (electricity and gas) has been supported by the First, Second and Third Energy Packages. They enable new entrants in Member State gas and electricity markets; enable consumers to choose their own gas and electricity suppliers and further liberalise electricity and gas markets; regulate transmission network ownership by ensuring a clear separation of supply and production activities from network operation; ensure more effective regulatory oversight by truly independent national energy regulators; reinforce consumer protection; regulate third party access to gas storage and LNG facilities; lay down rules concerning transparency and reporting about gas reserves; and promote regional solidarity by co-ordinating national emergency measures and developing gas interconnections.

The development of renewable energy sources and EU domestic production of energy is addressed through individual member states’ mandatory targets set by the Renewable Energy Directive (2009), which reflects Member States’ different starting points and potential for increasing renewables production (further regulated by the Effort-Sharing Decision, 2009). These range from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden. The EU has also put in place European certification schemes, subsidies and other incentive mechanisms to support the use of renewable energy.

Energy demand

The promotion of energy efficiency and energy demand management is ensured in particular through the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012), which establishes a common framework of measures for the support of energy efficiency. Other pieces of legislation also promote more energy efficient products and uses, including the Directive on the energy performance of buildings (recast 2010), Directive on eco‐design requirements for energy‐using products (recast 2009) and Directive on labelling and standard product information on energy consumption by energy-related products (2010).

Carbon pricing

A key component of EU climate legislation is the “Emission Trading System” (EU ETS), which entered into force in 2005 in order to help reach the targets agreed at Kyoto. This mechanism currently covers around 45% of total EU GHG emissions and has been amended several times to extend it to new sectors (for example, aviation) or to new GHGs (besides CO2, the EU ETS also covers nitrous oxides and perfluoro­carbons). In parallel, the EU has set up a mechanism for monitoring GHG emissions to enable a more accurate and regular evaluation of the progress of emissions reduction.

The EU ETS is constantly being improved and initiatives are under way to adjust the availability of certificates over the emission trading phases to address overallocation (i.e. backloading) and ensure greater environmental efficiency of the system. Thus, for the third phase 2013-2020, a single EU-wide cap on emissions was introduced instead of individual national caps, to guarantee the overall environmental outcome of the system. Auctioning of allowances, rather than free allocation, was adopted as the default method – with at least 40% of allowances auctioned in 2013. Allocation rules across Member States were harmonised to limit competitiveness distortions and strengthen the system’s incentives for clean technologies. Finally, 300m allowances were set aside to fund the deployment of innovative renewable energy technologies as well as carbon capture and storage through the ‘NER 300’ programme.

In the next phase of the EU ETS, starting in 2021, the system will undergo a further structural reform. The 2030 framework for climate change and energy policies establishes that the emission cap will be lowered by 2.2% per year from 2021, compared with 1.74% currently. It also proposes the introduction of a market stability reserve (MSR) to address the surplus of emission allowances that has built up in recent years and to improve the system’s resilience. A binding legislative proposal on the MSR, put forward in January 2014, is yet to be adopted, as diverging views exist on the start date of the MSR (2021 or earlier) and on the destination of the 900m temporarily backloaded allowances, which could be either released into the market or placed directly into the planned MSR.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Following the decision adopted at the UNFCCC 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) on revised accounting rules from soils and forests, the EU adopted a Decision on accounting rules and action plans on GHG emissions and removals resulting from activities related to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF). This was a first step towards incorporating removals and emissions from forests and agriculture, the last major sectors without common EU-wide rules, into EU climate policy. Member states are obliged to report on how they increase removals of carbon as well as decrease GHG emissions in forests and soils. The legislation goes further than the UNFCCC decision as it phases in mandatory accounting for the management of grassland and cropland at the national level. It is expected that these measures will contribute to enhancing the overall environmental integrity of GHG accounting. In line with the international context, the accounting for draining and rewetting of wetlands remains on a voluntary basis.

The Commission’s proposal for the Reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013 was adopted in 2013. The reformed CAP integrates climate change mitigation and adaptation measures by introducing two rural development policy priorities for restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems, for resource efficiency and for the fight against climate change. Some 30% of the direct payments to farmers are conditional upon the implementation of greening measures that have co-benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation. The payments must comply with EU policies supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy and promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management, such as the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Water Framework Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive.

The EU’s approach to REDD+ builds mainly on the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan (2003), which aims to reduce deforestation through preventing illegal timber logging. “The EU supports a policy target of halting global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and a reduction of gross tropical deforestation by at least 50% by 2020” (EU Commission). The Commission has also committed around EUR107m (USD134m) in 2007-2012 to support REDD+ pilot projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Almost EUR64m (USD80m) are to be channelled through FLEGT. REDD+ activities are co-ordinated by the EU REDD Facility (managed by the European Forest Institute), through bilateral and multilateral initiatives including Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and UN-REDD, and through a number of earth observation projects, such as COCOS (contributes to creation of a global carbon observation system) or DevCoCast (involves developing countries in global environmental data exchange).

Transportation

The EU has set emission performance standards for new passenger cars and new light commercial vehicles, aviation within the EU has been included in the EU ETS, targets for reducing the GHG intensity of fuels have been set, and mechanisms to support research and development of clean vehicles are in place.

In 2009 the EU introduced mandatory emission reduction targets for new cars, amended in April 2014 in order to implement the 2020 climate and energy package targets. The fleet average emission level to be achieved by all new cars is 130 gCO2/km by 2015 and 95gCO2/km by 2021. Emissions from vans are to be reduced to 147 gCO2/km in 2020 from the 180.2g in 2012 (the latest year for which figures are available), with a transitory 2017 target of 175 gCO2/km. In addition, the European Commission proposed in May 2014 a strategy to curb emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs – trucks, buses, coaches), given that current technologies should be able to achieve cost-effective reductions in CO2 emissions from new HDVs of at least 30%.

The Fuel Quality Directive, introduced in 1998 and revised in 2009, includes requirements to reduce the GHG intensity of energy supplied for road transport (Low Carbon Fuel Standard) and establishes sustainability criteria for biofuels.

The Commission’s legislative proposal to address the indirect land-use change impacts (ILUC) of biofuels aims to limit global land conversion for biofuel production, and raise the climate benefits of biofuels used in the EU. The use of food-based biofuels to meet the 10% target of renewable energy in transportation in the Renewable Energy Directive is intended to be limited to 5-7%. This is to stimulate the development of alternative, second generation biofuels from non-food feedstock, such as waste or straw, which emit substantially fewer GHGs than fossil fuels and do not directly interfere with global food production. The estimated global land conversion impacts will be considered when assessing the GHG performance of biofuels.

Adaptation

Co-ordination of adaptation policy at the EU level was initiated by a 2009 White Paper. The proposed measures have largely been implemented, including for example the launch in 2012 of the web-based European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT13).

To further co-ordinate national adaptation policies and create a systematic exchange of best practices, the European Commission proposed in 2013 the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change, and considers proposing a legally-binding instrument in 2017 if individual Member States’ actions are deemed insufficient. The objective of the Strategy is to “enhance the preparedness and capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change at local, regional, national and EU levels, develop a coherent approach and improve coordination”. It proposes eight specific actions to achieve such an objective, including promoting action in Member States, better informed decision-making, climate-proofing action at the EU level, and strengthening the institutional framework for co-ordination, financing, and monitoring.

EU Biomass Plaintiffs v. European Union (Opened in 2019 )

Citation/reference number: Not available
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Whether the European Union’s 2018 revised Renewable Energy Directive illegally treats forest biomass as a renewable fuel by not counting CO2 emissions from burning wood fuels.
Current status: open

On March 4th, 2019, plaintiffs from six countries filed suit against the European Union in the European General Court in Luxembourg to challenge the treatment of forest biomass as a renewable fuel in the European Union’s 2018 revised Renewable Energy Directive (known as RED II). RED II requires EU Member States to achieve an EU-wide…read more

Armando Ferrão Carvalho and Others v. The European Parliament and the Council (Opened in 2018 )

Citation/reference number: Case no. T-330/18
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Action seeking an injunction to order the EU to enact more stringent greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets through existing programs
Current status: open

Ten families, including children, from Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Kenya, Fiji, and the Swedish Sami Youth Association Sáminuorra, brought an action in the EU General Court seeking to compel the EU to take more stringent greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions reductions. Plaintiffs allege that the EU’s existing target to reduce domestic ghg emissions by 40%…read more

ExxonMobil Production Deutschland GmbH v Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: C-682/17
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Whether a company can receive a free allocation of emissions allowances in the EU greenhouse gas emission trading scheme for a certain type of installation at a natural gas processing facility
Current status: closed

On March 10, 2016, ExxonMobil filed a challenge against Germany in the Verwaltungsgericht Berlin (Administrative Court, Berlin, Germany), concerning an application to the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) for the allocation of greenhouse gas emission allowances (“ghg allowances”) free of charge to a Exxon-owned natural gas processing installation in Germany which, among other activities, engages…read more

INEOS Köln GmbH v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland (C‑58/17) (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: [2017] Case C‑58/17
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Company challenged national legislation that excluded incompletely oxidised carbon in a liquid state from free emissions allocations
Current status: closed

INEOS operates a petrochemical plant that incorporates an industrial thermal power plant to provide steam through the combustion of liquid and gaseous waste materials stemming from the manufacturing processes of the site’s chemical production facilities. On 23 January 2012, INEOS applied to the Deutsche Emissionshandelsstelle (German Emissions Trading Authority, "the DEHSt") for a free allocation of…read more

PPC Power a.s. v. Finančné riaditeľstvo Slovenskej republiky and Daňový úrad pre vybrané daňové subjekty (European Court of Justice, 2018) (Opened in 2017 )

Citation/reference number: [2017] Case C-302/17
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Company challenged national legislation emissions taxation as incongruous with EU law
Current status: closed

PPC Power operates an installation in Slovakia that is subject to the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). In addition to EU ETS requirements, the government of Slovakia imposed an 80% tax on emissions allowances that were transferred or unused, and therefore allocated free of charge. This tax was applied between 1 January 2011…read more

Borealis Polyolefine GmbH v. Bundesminister (European Court of Justice, 2016) (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] Case C-191/14
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Legal validity of “correction factor” calculation for emissions allowances
Current status: Decided

This European Court of Justice rejected arguments from three industrial firms—one German, one Dutch, and one Italian—that they should be granted a larger number of free greenhouse gas emissions allowances under the European Union’s greenhouse gas Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The Court also instructed the European Commission to revise its approach to determining how many…read more

INEOS Köln GmbH v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland (C‑572/16) (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] Case C‑572/16
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Company challenged national provision establishing a time limit for applying for free emissions allocations for the period 2013-2020
Current status: closed

INEOS operates an installation that produces chemical products and that has been subject to EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) requirements since 2008. INEOS applied to the German government for free allocation of emission allowances for their installation for the period 2013-2020. INEOS filed this application on time. Later, INEOS challenged the German government's decision about…read more

Republic of Poland v. European Parliament and Council of the European Union (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] Case C‑5/16
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Poland sought annulment of Decision (EU) 2015/1814 of the European Parliament establishing a market stability reserve for emissions allowances
Current status: closed

The Republic of Poland's application asks the European Court of Justice to annul Decision (EU) 2015/1814 of the European Parliament, which established a market stability reserve within the third period of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), between 2013-2020. The market stability reserve began in 2019 and deducted 900 million allowances from the total quantity,…read more

Schaefer Kalk GmbH & Co. KG v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] Case C‑460/15
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Company challenged rejection of application to subtract CO2 that is subsequently chemically bound and not emitted from its emissions report
Current status: closed

Schaefer Kalk GmbH & Co. KG (Schaefer Kalk) operates an installation for the calcination of lime in Hahnstätten, Germany, which is subject to the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). In the process of getting its monitoring plan approved, Schaefer Kalk applied for authorisation to subtract the CO2 transferred for the production of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) to…read more

Trinseo Deutschland Anlagengesellschaft mbH v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Opened in 2016 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] Case C‑577/16
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Company challenged rejection of application of free allocation of emissions allowances
Current status: closed

Trinseo operates an installation for the production of polycarbonate that obtains the steam needed for that production from a plant which is operated, on the same site, by another company, Dow Deutschland Anlagengesellschaft, which is subject to the emission allowance trading scheme established by Directive 2003/87/EC. Trinseo applied for free allocation of emission allowances to its…read more

ArcelorMittal Rodange et Schifflange SA v. State of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C‑321/15
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Company challenged the surrender without compensation of emissions from an installation whose objectives have been suspended
Current status: closed

ArcelorMittal Rodange et Schifflange SA (ArcelorMittal) operated an installation in Schifflange, Luxembourg until the end of 2011, which was subject to the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS). Luxembourg's Minister of the Environment allocated ArcelorMittal a total quantity of 405,365 emissions allowances for the period between 2008 to 2012. On 23 April 2012, ArcelorMittal requested that the Minister of…read more

Borealis AB, Kubikenborg Aluminum AB, Yara AB, SSAB EMEA AB, Lulekraft AB, Värmevärden i Nynäshamn AB, Cementa AB, Höganäs Sweden AB v. Naturvårdsverket (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2016] Case C‑180/15
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Legal validity of “correction factor” calculation for emissions allowances
Current status: closed

Eight companies operating greenhouse gas emitting installations challenged the final emissions allocations decided by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency during Phase III of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) after the correction factor calculation had been applied. The operators argued that they were entitled to additional allowances because their installations consume heat from wasted greenhouse…read more

Bundesrepublik Deutschland v. Nordzucker AG (European Court of Justice, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C-148/14
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Referred question regarding proper penalties to be levied for excess emissions under EU’s GHG emissions trading scheme
Current status: Decided

Nordzucker AG (“Nordzucker”), a sugar refinery operator in Germany, produced an emissions report for 2005 pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC, part of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme. Nordzucker’s emissions report excluded emissions resulting from steam generation necessary to operate the refinery’s drying facility on the basis of a letter from a German Ministry…read more

Elektriciteits Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland EPZ NV v. Bestuur van de Nederlandse Emissieautoriteit (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C‑158/15
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Corporation challenged monitoring plan for coal storage
Current status: closed

Elektriciteits Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland EPZ NV (EPZ) operates a coal-fired power plant in the Netherlands and holds a quantity of its unburned coal in a storage site approximately 800 metres from the power plant, which is separated from it by a public road. When designing the monitoring plan for the installation operated by EPZ for the third…read more

European Commission v. Council for the European Union (European Court of Justice, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C-425/13
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): European Commission challenged negotiating directives of Council establishing detailed negotiating procedures and reporting requirements
Current status: open

Australia approached the European Commission (the “Commission”) to negotiate linking the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme with Australia’s emissions trading system. A formal recommendation authorizing the opening of negotiations with Australia was adopted by the Commission and forwarded to the Council for the EU (the “Council”). After Member States requested greater involvement in the…read more

Sandra Bitter v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland (European Court of Justice, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C-580/14
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Company challenged the principle of proportionality under EU ETS
Current status: closed

Sandra Bitter, insolvency administrator for the German company Ziegelwerk Höxter GmbH, filed a for a preliminary ruling on whether a fine of EUR 100 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted imposed by German authorities on non-surrendered emissions prior to the company's insolvency violated the principle of proportionality under Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of…read more

ŠKO-ENERGO, s.r.o. v. Odvolací finanční ředitelství (European Court of Justice, 2015) (Opened in 2015 )

Citation/reference number: [2015] Case C-43/14
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenged imposition of a gift tax to GHG emissions allowances granted free of charge under EU law
Current status: Decided

ŠKO-ENERGO, s.r.o. acquired free greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission allowances pursuant to Article 10 of Directive 2003/87 (“Article 10”), which provided that EU Member states must allocate at least 90% of allowances free of charge from 2008 through 2012. The Czech Republic Tax Office levied a 32% gift tax on the allowances pursuant to Czech Law…read more

Ålands Vindkraft AB v. Energimyndigheten (European Court of Justice, Grand Chamber, 2014) (Opened in 2014 )

Citation/reference number: [2014] Case C-573/12
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenged Sweden’s green energy certificate scheme under Directive 2009/28
Current status: Decided

A Finnish wind farm challenged defendant Swedish energy agency’s refusal to grant a green electricity certificate. The agency refused on the grounds that only green electricity production installations located within the Swedish territory may be awarded the certificate. Plaintiff claimed that the territorial limitation of Sweden’s energy certificate scheme under Directive 2009/28 was inconsistent with…read more

Essent Belgium NV v. Vlaamse Reguleringsinstantie voor de Elektriciteits- en Gasmarkt (European Court of Justice, Fourth Chamber, 2014) (Opened in 2014 )

Citation/reference number: [2014] Cases C-204/12 to C-208/12
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Electricity supplier challenged Belgium’s regional support scheme for the production of renewable energy on the basis that quotas could not be met with electricity produced outside the region.
Current status: Decided

A Belgian electricity supplier (Essent) challenged the decision of the defendant regulatory authority (VREG) to impose fines on Essent for failing to meet its quota obligation for the use of renewable energy. Pursuant to Belgium’s national support scheme, VREG refused to accept Essent’s submission of “guarantees of origin” attesting to the production of green electricity…read more

Green Network SpA v. Autorità per l’energia elettrica e il gas (European Court of Justice, 2014) (Opened in 2014 )

Citation/reference number: [2014] Case C-66/13
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Question referred from appeals court regarding whether Italian law at issue was precluded by EU law
Current status: Decided

An Italian company, Green Network SpA (“Green Network”), imported renewable energy from a Swiss supplier in 2005. Under Italian law, energy companies were required to purchase a certain number of green certificates each year, but could seek an exemption where they imported renewable energy from countries with analogous laws promoting renewable energy. Where the exporting…read more

Opinion of Advocate General Sharpston (European Court of Justice, 2014) (Opened in 2014 )

Citation/reference number: [2014] Case C-426/12
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Requesting guidance as to the meaning of the term ‘dual use’ in Directive 2003/96/EC
Current status: Issued

Advocate General Sharpston was asked for guidance as to the meaning of the term ‘dual use’ in the second indent of Article 2(4)(b) in relation to sugar production and lime fertilizer, the by-product arising from that process, of the Directive 2003/96/EC, which introduced a regime imposing minimum harmonized levels of taxation on all energy products…read more

Agrargenossenschaft Neuzelle eG v. Landrat des Landkreises Oder-Spree (European Court of Justice, 2013) (Opened in 2013 )

Citation/reference number: [2013] Case C-545/11
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Preliminary ruling on two 2009 amendments to agricultural rules.
Current status: Decided

This case was a request for a preliminary ruling on two 2009 amendments to the agricultural rules in the Council Regulation that establish economic support schemes for farmers. The support scheme provided direct income support to farmers, however it was amended such that all direct payments beyond a certain amount should be reduced by a…read more

Billerud Karlsborg AB v. Naturvardsverket (EU Court of Justice, 2013) (Opened in 2013 )

Citation/reference number: [2013] Case C-203/12
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge penalties for failure to surrender emissions allowances
Current status: Decided

The Swedish environmental protection agency, imposed penalties on the Billerud companies for failing to surrender credits under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2006. The Billerud companies challenged the penalties arguing that since the failure was due to an internal error and the companies had a sufficient number of allowances at the time, they should…read more

European Commission v. Republic of Latvia (European Union Court of Justice, 2013) (Opened in 2013 )

Citation/reference number: [2013] Case C-267/11
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Appeal of finding that the Commission's notification was not timely
Current status: Decided

Latvia brought an action for annulment of the contested decision of its national allocation plan (NAP) for the 2008-2012 period arguing that the Commission’s request for further information was not timely under Art 9.3 Directive 2003/87. The General Court annulled the contested decision, and the Commission appealed. The court upheld the annulment.…read more

Iberdrola S.A. et al.,Judgement of the Court of 17 of Oct. 2013 (Case C-566/11, 2013) (Opened in 2013 )

Citation/reference number: [2013] Case C-566/11
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge to emissions allowance
Current status: Decided

Spain amended its system for purchasing wholesale electricity by reducing the remuneration of electricity production to remove unfair windfalls for electricity producers caused by issuance of allowances for free under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Electricity producers challenged the measure asserting that it was contrary to Directive 2003/87/EZ (establishing EU ETS) because it effectively…read more

Industrie de bois de Vielsalm & Cie v. Region Wallone, European Court of Justice C-195/12 (Opened in 2013 )

Citation/reference number: [2013] Case C-195/12
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Adequacy of Swiss government's climate change mitigation targets and implementation measures
Current status: Decided

European Union adopted Directive 2004/8/EC to promote high-efficiency cogeneration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Directive, Member States are to adopt certain support mechanisms to encourage cogeneration. In implementing the Directive, Walloon decided to exclude biomass from wood, because of the potentially negative environmental consequences. Industrie de bois de Vielsalm (IBV), which operates a…read more

Republic of Poland v. European Commission (European Court of Justice, March 7, 2013) (Opened in 2013 )

Citation/reference number: [2013] Case T-370/11
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge against scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community
Current status: Decided

Challenge brought by Poland against Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community. In support of the action, the Republic of Poland raised four pleas. The first alleged an infringement of the TFEU on the ground that the Commission did not take into account the specificity of each Member…read more

Flachglas Torgau GmbH v. Federal Republic of Germany (European Court of Justice 2 CMLR 17) (Opened in 2012 )

Citation/reference number: [2012] 2 CMLR 17 (Grand Chamber)
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Flachglas sought access to information re: Germany’s allocation of emissions licenses that the German Government had refused on confidentiality grounds.
Current status: Decided

Flachglas Torgau requested information about Germany’s allocation of emissions licenses during 2005-2007. The requested information was contained in internal documents produced by the Ministry for the Environment concerning legislation process for GHG emissions trading. The Ministry refused this request, citing the confidentiality of proceedings of public authorities. The 2003 Directive concerning public access to information…read more

Air Transport Association of America v. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (EU Court of Justice, 2011) (Opened in 2011 )

Citation/reference number: [2011] Case C-366/10
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Application challenging U.S. airlines’ inclusion in EU’s Emission Trading System
Current status: Decided

U.S. airline operators filed a claim in the European Union Court of Justice seeking to avoid inclusion in the EU’s Emissions Trading System on the grounds that it was invalid as applied to them and not justified by international law or specific arguments between the EU and the United States. The Court, confirming an earlier…read more

Afton Chemical Limited v. Secretary of State for Transport (European Court of Justice, 2010) (Opened in 2010 )

Citation/reference number: [2010] Case C-343/09
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): MMT producer challenged limits and labeling requirements on the use of MMT
Current status: Decided

Afton Chemical, a British MMT producer, challenged the EU limits and labeling requirements for the use of the metallic fuel additive MMT. The European Court of Justice ruled that the limit on MMT, adopted in the revised fuel quality Directive 98/70/EC, does not violate the precautionary principle and the principles on equal treatment and proportionality.…read more

Arcelor SA v. Parliament and Council (General Court, 2010) (Opened in 2010 )

Citation/reference number: [2010] Case T-16/04
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Steel producer challenged validity of Directive 2003/87/EC
Current status: Decided

General Court of the European Union dismissed an action brought by Arcelor, a steel producer, challenging the validity of the Emissions Trading Directive. Arcelor claimed that application of certain articles of the directive violated several principles of Community law, including the right of property, the freedom to pursue an economic activity, the principle of proportionality,…read more

Ville de Lyon v. Caisse des dépôts et consignations (European Court of Justice, 2010) (Opened in 2010 )

Citation/reference number: [2009] Case C-524/09
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): To access information on greenhouse gas emissions allowance transactions
Current status: Decided

This reference for a preliminary ruling arose when the City of Lyon requested the administrator of the French national registry of greenhouse gas emission allowances to provide information on the sales of emissions allowances by the operators of the urban heating sites in 2005. The administrator refused to provide the information. The court found that…read more

Republic of Estonia v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, Seventh Chamber, 2009) (Opened in 2009 )

Citation/reference number: [2009] Case T-263/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge to Commission’s decision, which held that Estonia’s NAP was inconsistent with Directive 2003/87
Current status: Decided

In 2006, the Republic of Estonia notified the Commission of its NAP for the period from 2008 to 2012. In 2007, the Commission held that its NAP was incompatible with the criteria set forth in Directive 2003/87 and decided that the total annual quantities of emission allowances should be reduced to 47.8% less than that…read more

Republic of Poland v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, Second Chamber, 2009) (Opened in 2009 )

Citation/reference number: [2009] Case T-183/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge to Commission’s decision, which held that Poland’s NAP was inconsistent with Directive 2003/87
Current status: Decided

In 2006, the Republic of Poland notified the Commission of its NAP for the period from 2008 to 2012. In 2007, the Commission held that its NAP was incompatible with the criteria set forth in Directive 2003/87 and decided that the total annual quantities of emission allowances should be reduced to 26.7% less than that…read more

BOT Elektrownia Bełchatów S.A. & Others v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-208/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting part of the Polish Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants in the above actions challenged the Commission of the European Communities’ decision rejecting the Polish Phase II national allocation plan (NAP) for the allocation of GHG emission allowances. The Court dismissed all actions as inadmissible because the Commission’s decision did not directly and individually affect the Applicants.…read more

Buzzi Unicem SpA v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-241/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting in part the Italian Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicant Italian cement producer sought to annual a Commission decision rejecting in part the Italian Phase II national allocation plan (NAP). The court dismissed the action as inadmissible because the Applicant was unable to demonstrate that it was directly and individually affected.…read more

Cementownia “Odra” S.A. v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-199/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting part of the Polish Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants in the above actions challenged the Commission of the European Communities’ decision rejecting the Polish Phase II national allocation plan (NAP) for the allocation of GHG emission allowances. The Court dismissed all actions as inadmissible because the Commission’s decision did not directly and individually affect the Applicants.…read more

Cementownia “Warta” S.A. v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-198/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting part of the Polish Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants in the above actions challenged the Commission of the European Communities’ decision rejecting the Polish Phase II national allocation plan (NAP) for the allocation of GHG emission allowances. The Court dismissed all actions as inadmissible because the Commission’s decision did not directly and individually affect the Applicants.…read more

Cemex Polska sp. z o.o. v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-203/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting part of the Polish Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants in the above actions challenged the Commission of the European Communities’ decision rejecting the Polish Phase II national allocation plan (NAP) for the allocation of GHG emission allowances. The Court dismissed all actions as inadmissible because the Commission’s decision did not directly and individually affect the Applicants.…read more

Dyckerhoff Polska sp. z o.o. v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-196/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting part of the Polish Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants in the above actions challenged the Commission of the European Communities’ decision rejecting the Polish Phase II national allocation plan (NAP) for the allocation of GHG emission allowances. The Court dismissed all actions as inadmissible because the Commission’s decision did not directly and individually affect the Applicants.…read more

Grupa Ożarów S.A. v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-197/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting part of the Polish Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants in the above actions challenged the Commission of the European Communities’ decision rejecting the Polish Phase II national allocation plan (NAP) for the allocation of GHG emission allowances. The Court dismissed all actions as inadmissible because the Commission’s decision did not directly and individually affect the Applicants.…read more

Gόrażdże Cement S.A. v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-193/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting part of the Polish Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants in the above actions challenged the Commission of the European Communities’ decision rejecting the Polish Phase II national allocation plan (NAP) for the allocation of GHG emission allowances. The Court dismissed all actions as inadmissible because the Commission’s decision did not directly and individually affect the Applicants.…read more

Lafarge Cement S.A. v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case T-195/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting part of the Polish Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants in the above actions challenged the Commission of the European Communities’ decision rejecting the Polish Phase II national allocation plan (NAP) for the allocation of GHG emission allowances. The Court dismissed all actions as inadmissible because the Commission’s decision did not directly and individually affect the Applicants.…read more

Société Arcelor Atlantique et Lorraine v. Premier Minister (European Court of Justice, Grand Chamber, 2008) (Opened in 2008 )

Citation/reference number: [2008] Case C-127/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge to the directive under the principle of equality
Current status: Decided

The European Court of Justice upheld provisions of Directive 2003/87 implemented by French legislation, which applied the greenhouse gas trading scheme to installations in the steel sector. Arcelor, a worldwide steel enterprise, challenged the directive under the principle of equality. Arcelor argued that non-ferrous metals and plastics are both industries emitting greenhouse gases, yet they…read more

Drax Power & Others v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2007) (Opened in 2007 )

Citation/reference number: [2007] Case T-130/06
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge to Commission decision rejecting UK NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicant contended that the Commission wrongly rejected the United Kingdom national allocation plan (NAP) for a second time following its decision in Case T-178/05, United Kingdom v. Commission, on the grounds that the proposed amendments were notified too late. The court dismissed the application as inadmissible.…read more

EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, Third Chamber, 2007) (Opened in 2007 )

Citation/reference number: [2007] Case T-387/04
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): German energy producer sought annulment of German National Allocation Plan (NAP)
Current status: Decided

European Court decision on the implementation of Directive 2003/87/EC establishing the greenhouse gas allowance trading scheme. EnBW (major German energy producer) requested the annulment of the Commission decision of 7 July 2004 on the German National Allocation Plan (NAP). EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG disagreed with the allocation methods for power stations decommissioning nuclear energy installations…read more

Federal Republic of Germany v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, Third Chamber, Extended Composition, 2007) (Opened in 2007 )

Citation/reference number: [2007] Case T-374/04
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Germany sought annulment of Commission decision rejecting ex post adjustments of the National Allocation Plan (NAP)
Current status: Decided

European Court concluded, inter alia, that while Member States have a degree of freedom in establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community, the Commission is authorized to verify that the adopted measures are consistent with Directive 2003/87. Furthermore, individual allocation of allowances for greenhouse gas emissions and the national allocation…read more

Fels-Werke GmbH v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance, 2007) (Opened in 2007 )

Citation/reference number: [2007] Case T-28/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Sought to annul Commission decision rejecting part of the German Phase II NAP
Current status: Decided

Applicants sought to annul Commission decision rejecting part of the German Phase II national allocation plan (NAP). The court dismissed the action as inadmissible because the Applicants were not individually affected. The decision as appeal to the European Court of Justice in Case C-503/07, Saint-Gobain Glass Deutschland v. Commission of the European Communities (European Court…read more

U.S. Steel Košice v. Commission of the European Communities , T-27/07 (Opened in 2007 )

Citation/reference number: [2007] Case T-489/04; [2007] Case T-27/07
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge Slovak National Allocation Plan for EU Emissions Trading Scheme compliance
Current status: Decided

In Case T-489/04 (“U.S. Steel Kosice I”), applicant U.S. Steel Kosice requested the annulment of a 2006 Commission decision on the Slovak NAP for Phase I of the EU ETS on the grounds that the Slovak Republic had been pressured by the Commission during allegedly non-transparent, bilateral negotiations into reducing the total number of allowances…read more

Commission of the European Communities v. Finland (European Court of Justice, 2006) (Opened in 2006 )

Citation/reference number: [2006] Case C-107/05
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Action against Finland for failure to fulfill obligations
Current status: Decided

Finland failed to apply in full the EU ETS to the province of Aland. The Commission brought this action under the Article 226 EC procedure, contending that Finland had failed to properly implement the Directive. The Court agreed with the Commission, holding that Finland, by not implementing Directive 2003/87/EC in due time, failed to fulfill…read more

Commission of the European Communities v. Italian Republic (European Court of Justice, 2006) (Opened in 2006 )

Citation/reference number: [2006] Case C-122/05
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Action against Italy for failure to fulfill obligations
Current status: Decided

Action brought against the Italian Republic by the Commission for its failure to adopt all laws, regulations, and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Directive 2003/87/EC. The court ruled that the Italian Republic had failed to fulfill its obligations under Article 31(1) of the directive.…read more

Re Greenhouse Gas Emission Allowance: United Kingdom v. Commission of the European Communities (Court of First Instance of the European Communities, First Chamber, 2005) (Opened in 2005 )

Citation/reference number: [2005] Case T-178/05
Jurisdiction: European Union
Core objective(s): Challenge to a Commission decision that refused to allow an increase in UK's emission of greenhouse gases.
Current status: Decided

European Court reversed a Commission of the European Communities decision barring the UK from amending its national allocation plan (NAP) under Article 9 of Directive 2003/87, which established a scheme for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowance trading within the European Community. A Member State is entitled to propose amendments to its NAP after it has…read more

The legislative process at the European Union (EU) level involves the European Commission (independent from national governments), the European Parliament (elected by EU citizens), and the Council of the European Union, which represents Member States. Most often, the Commission proposes new legislation, but it is the Council and Parliament together that pass the laws.

The main forms of EU legislation are directives, regulations and decisions. Directives and regulations can be adopted by the Council in conjunction with the European Parliament or by the Commission alone. A regulation is a general measure that is binding in all its parts, directly appli­cable in the Member States and addressed to everyone. A directive, on the other hand, is addressed to the member states. It is binding as to the result to be achieved, but leaves member states to choose the form and method they adopt to achieve it. The Commission is required to verify that member states transpose correctly and in due time the directives that have been adopted and can sanction them if they fail to do so. Decisions are EU laws relating to specific cases. They can be adopted by the Council (sometimes jointly with the European Parliament) or by the Commission.

The Commission can also publish Action Plans, White Papers, Green Papers, Commission regulations and Communications. An Action Plan serves to detail actions needed to reach the goals set in individual directives. A White Paper sets out the Commission’s policy programme in a specific area. Before a White Paper is written, a Green Paper is published, which is a consultative document including suggestions and options for new policy. Each single proposal for legislation announced in a White Paper or deriving from a policy initiative announced in it is subject to one or more rounds of open consultation and an impact assessment. White Papers, Green Papers and Communications can serve to identify future legislative proposals. Commission regulations primarily serve as administrative acts on the functioning of the EU Institutions. The Treaty of Lisbon (2009) created a new category of legislation, Delegated Acts, by which, under strict conditions, the legislator can delegate to the Commission the power to adopt acts amending non-essential elements of a legislative act, in particular to specify certain technical details.

Last modified 22 August, 2017