Only three European Union countries are on track to meet their carbon reduction targets under the Paris agreement, according to a leaderboard published this week by Carbon Market Watch and Transport & Environment, while the worst laggards try to undermine the EU mechanisms that drive national climate programs.
“Sweden tops the list, followed by Germany and France,” the two organizations said in a release. “At the other end, Poland, Italy, Spain, and Czech Republic push to weaken the Commission proposal, countering Europe’s efforts to comply with the Paris agreement.”
The assessment is based on countries’ adherence to the EU’s Effort Sharing Regulation, which covers 60% of the continent’s emissions and sets binding national targets for 2021-2030.
“EU politicians portraying themselves as climate leaders should put their money where their mouth is by closing loopholes in the EU’s key climate law and pushing for more ambition,” said Carbon Market Watch’s EU policy director, Femke de Jong. “Only with determined climate action will lawmakers ensure that European citizens can enjoy the significant benefits of a decarbonized society, such as clean air.”
“This is the most important climate law that will enable Europe to deliver on the Paris agreement. But the great majority of countries want to rig the law with loopholes so they can continue business as usual,” said T&E transport and energy analyst Carlos Calvo Ambel. “Either Europe follows the lead of Sweden, Germany, and France, which are going in the right direction though not far enough, or we should forget about our climate leadership.”