Climate change: Parliament votes to reduce member states’ emissions by 40%

©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre
  • All EU countries must reduce emissions by 2030 compared to 2005
  • Reduction targets for each member state based on GDP per capita and cost-effectiveness
  • Possibilities to trade, borrow and save emissions will be limited
  • More transparency as information on national actions to be made public

The new Effort Sharing Regulation reduces the allowed maximum level of greenhouse gas emissions in member states from transport, buildings and agriculture until 2030.

Parliament today adopted with 486 votes to 132 and 10 abstentions the revision of the so-called Effort Sharing Regulation. It sets binding annual reductions for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission for road transport, heating of buildings, agriculture, small industrial installations and waste management for each EU member state and currently regulates roughly 60% of all EU emissions.

The revised law increases the 2030 GHG reduction target at EU level from 30% to 40% compared to 2005-levels. For the first time, all EU countries must now reduce GHG emissions with targets ranging between 10 and 50%. The 2030-targets for each member state are based on GDP per capita and cost-effectiveness. Member states will also have to ensure every year that they do not exceed their annual GHG emission allocation.

Flexibility and transparency

The law strikes a balance between the need for EU countries to be flexible to achieve their targets while ensuring a just and socially fair transition, and the need to close loopholes so the overall EU reduction target is met. For this reason, there are limits on how many emissions member states can save from previous years, borrow from future years as well as on how much they can trade allocations with other member states.

In order to be able to hold member states accountable, the Commission will make information public on national actions in an easily accessible form, as requested by Parliament.


After the vote, rapporteur Jessica Polfjärd (EPP, SV) said: “With this law, we take a major step forward in delivering on the EU’s climate goals. The new rules for national emission cuts ensure that all member states contribute and that existing loopholes are closed. This allows us to send a clear signal that the EU is serious about being the global champion for a competitive and efficient climate agenda.”

Next Steps

The text now also has to be formally endorsed by Council. It will then be published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later.


The Effort Sharing Regulation is part of the “Fit for 55 in 2030 package”, which is the EU’s plan to reduce GHG emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels in line with the European Climate Law.