The EU Burden Sharing Agreement

When ratifying the Climate Convention, the EU had already declared its intention to comply jointly. When signing the Kyoto Protocol, the EU repeated its intention to jointly fulfil the quantified emission reduction commitments under Article 4 of the protocol. The member states made their so-called called Burden-Sharing Agreement in June 1998, which distributes the total common EU commitment to achieving an 8 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2008 to 2012 compared to the 1990 level through the pattern of differentiated responsibility for the individual member states presented in Table 8.1.

The difference between member states' commitments under the Burden-Sharing Agreement is striking. Germany and Denmark will need to reduce their emissions by 21 per cent at the same time as countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain may increase their emissions by 15 to 27 per cent. The agreement was implemented through a decision by the European Council in April 2002 in connection with the decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol (Decision No 2002/358/EC). The protocol was simultaneously ratified by the EU and its member states on 31 May 2002. It should be noted that the ten new EU member states (not represented in Table 8.1) are assigned individual targets of -8 per cent (except Hungary and Poland, whose target is -6 per cent). These new member states do not participate in the internal burden-sharing for the period of 2008 to 2012. Along with the other member states (the EU 15), they do, however, have to implement EU climate policies and measures, including the EU emissions trading scheme.

Table 8.1 Burden-sharing decided by the European Council

Member states Targets for 2008 to 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol and the EU Burden-Sharing Agreement (change in percentage from the 1990 level)

Austria

-13

Belgium

-7.5

Denmark

-21

Finland

0

France

0

Germany

-21

Greece

+25

Ireland

+ 13

Italy

-6.5

Luxembourg

-28

The Netherlands

-6

Portugal

+27

Spain

+ 15

Sweden

+4

UK

-12.5

0 0

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