Greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union were reduced by 23% between 1990 and 2016, while the economy grew by 53% over the same period, the latest Commission's report reveals as this year's UN Climate Conference COP23 kick-start in Bonn. The report "Two years after Paris – Progress towards meeting the EU's climate commitments” shows that while economic growth has recently picked up, the EU remains firmly on track to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:
"Two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the EU remains fully committed to reducing its domestic emissions by at least 40% between 1990 and 2030. We are on track to meet our 2020 target and close to finalising our climate legislation for the next decade. Our emissions decline while the economy grows, largely thanks to innovative technologies, showing that growth and climate action can go hand in hand. However, there are still challenges ahead, as transport emissions in the EU continue to grow. This is why the Commission will present tomorrow measures to slash emissions from cars and vans in the decade starting 2021".
Under the Paris agreement, the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 while modernising the EU's economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens. In 2016, EU emissions decreased by 0.7% while GDP grew by 1.9%. The EU is one of the major economies with the lowest per capita emissions, and the emissions per unit of GDP continue to fall.
The progress report also looks at the EU's contribution to international climate action. In 2016, the EU and its Member States continued to be a major provider of climate finance to developing countries, increasing their overall contribution to last year reach EUR 20.2 billion. More information on the Commission's website here.