Enhanced flexibilities for the EU’s 2030 Effort Sharing Decision

Report prepared for Carbon Market Watch

The Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) for the 2013-2020 period is a centerpiece of Europe’s climate legislation as it sets annual emission reduction targets for each Member State for the greenhouse gas emissions from the transport, building, agriculture and waste sectors. To implement the newly agreed 2030 climate target, the European Commission is expected to present a new legislative proposal to reduce emissions from ESD sectors in the 2021-2030 period in the first half of 2016. A higher 2030 climate ambition and the decision not to make use of international carbon offsets has resulted in a search for new options to reduce emissions cost-efficiently – so called flexibilities. A key challenge will be to design these flexibilities in a way to help reduce emissions cost-effectively while upholding the integrity of the climate target and subsequently drive emissions abatement in the transport, building, agriculture and waste sectors.