EU greenhouse gas emission budget: implications for EU climate policies

Estimates of the EU's greenhouse gas emission budgets for the rest of the century vary considerably but have one thing in common: The EU's emission budget is very small and shrinking rapidly. If the EU's emission budgets were based only on least-costs considerations, it would range between meager 50 Gt (in 1.5°scenarios) or 90 Gt (in 2°C scenarios) for the period 2020 and 2100. With current annual emissions of about 4 Gt, the EU would have used up its 1.5°C budget by about 2032. In 2° scenarios, the EU budget could be exhausted by around 2042. If, instead, the budget were distributed purely on the basis of equity considerations, the EU emission budget would be much smaller. If, for example, the EU's emission budgets were based on expected EU's share in the global population in 2050, the budget for the period 2021 and 2100 would be 6.9 Gt in 2°C scenarios; the EU would have already exceeded its 1.5°C budget by 10.3Gt in 2020. These are the key messages of a new Ecologic report.

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