The EEA report ‘‘Trends and projections in Europe 2019 - Tracking progress towards Europe’s climate and energy targets’ presents an analysis of the EU progress towards the 2020 and 2030 targets for climate and energy.
This report was prepared by the EEA and its European Topic Centre for Climate Change Mitigation and Energy (ETC/CME). The ETC/CME is coordinated by VITO/EnergyVille and is a consortium of European institutes that assists the EEA in providing support to EU policy in the field of climate change mitigation and energy. VITO/EnergyVille was responsible for assessment of progress towards energy efficiency targets.
The EEA analysis shows that the EU is firmly on track to achieve its 2020 target to reduce GHG emissions by 20 %, compared with 1990 levels. Preliminary data from Member States indicate that the EU’s total emissions decreased by 2.0 % in 2018, bringing the total reductions to 23.2 % below 1990 levels. However, Member States’ projections are not yet in line with the target for 2030 of at least a 40 % reduction in GHG emissions. According to the EEA analysis, Member States’ current policies can deliver only a 30 % reduction by 2030, while implementing all reported planned policies could bring the total reduction to 36 %.
The target to increase the share of renewables in final energy consumption to 20 % in the EU by 2020 is “within reach”, according to the report. The EEA estimates that the share of renewables was 18.0 % in 2018. In the transport sector however, only 7.6 % of energy came from renewable sources in 2017 and an estimated 8.1 % in 2018, leaving the sector at risk of missing the 10 % target set for 2020. The share of renewable energy is not yet increasing fast enough to reach the EU target of 32 % by 2030. According to the EEA analysis, the share of renewables has been growing at an average rate of 0.7 percentage points every year but, over the next decade, the increase needs to be at least 1.1 percentage points per year on average.
The EEA estimates that final energy consumption — energy consumed by end users — in the EU in 2018 grew for the fourth consecutive year, by 0.1 %. The worrying overall trend is most prevalent in buildings, where final energy consumption increased by 8.3 % from 2014 to 2017, and in transport where the increase was 5.8 % in the same period. Meanwhile, estimates indicate that primary energy consumption — total energy demand — decreased by 0.9 % in 2018. With these trends, meeting the 2020 energy efficiency target appears increasingly difficult, the EEA warns. Moreover, to meet the 2030 target of 32.5 % reductions, EU energy consumption needs to decline more than twice as fast as it did from 2005 to 2017. Despite the overall trends and the risk of missing the 2020 energy efficiency target at EU level, a number of Member States have demonstrated notable progress in this area, the EEA notes.