The LIFE Unify consortium published a report titled “Implementing the Effort Sharing Regulation at the National Level: Lessons learned and recommendations from the LIFE Unify project“.

The report provides recommendations on how to strengthen and improve the revised regulation based on the experiences collected at the national level. Based on the experiences collected by the LIFE Unify project consortium partners, the report conducts a detailed assessment of policies and measures adopted in ESR sectors in 8 EU countries–Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Germany, France, Poland, Slovenia and Spain– focusing specifically on effective measures and best practices.

The Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) sets legally binding emission reduction targets for each EU Member State for the sectors not covered by the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). These non-ETS sectors are responsible for nearly 60% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions and include road transport, buildings, agriculture, waste and small industry. The Commission’s proposal for the revision of the ESR raises the EU’s overall emissions reduction target from 30% to 40% by 2030. Despite being an improvement, this target is still far from being aligned with the Paris Agreement goal – for which overall at least 50% emission cuts would be needed by 2030 in ESR sectors.

The new report, launched today (March 14, 2022), finds that maintaining and strengthening nationally binding emission reduction targets under the ESR (also post-2030) is of the utmost importance; the report also makes the case for improving national governance and support structures to implement these targets, as well as for strengthening EU sectoral regulations.

Read and download the full report HERE

Kateřina Davidová, Centre for Transport and Energy (CDE), Czechia said:

Despite very lenient targets, Czechia didn’t achieve all of its national targets for 2020 (notably in the waste and transport sectors). Going forward, Czechia has to implement new policies and measures in order to achieve its updated 2030 targets. Czechia should also double down on its already existing successful schemes, such as financial support schemes for households to help fund building renovations and solar power installations. Such measures, if scaled up, could help prevent energy poverty and increase energy security in the long run.”

Johanna Maarja Tiik, Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF), Estonia said:

“The biggest potential for emissions reduction in the ESR sector in the current decade in Estonia lies within the transport sector, as its emissions make up the biggest share in the ESR sector. In order to bend the emissions curve, considering additional means such as implementing fiscal measures as well as a wider scale modal shift is necessary.

Wojciech Szymalski, Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation (ISD), Poland said:

Despite having developed some progressive solutions (like emissions-based road tooling or energy efficiency renovation of housing), Poland had so far little ambition to reduce emissions in transport, buildings, or agriculture, because the ESR allowed for emission growth in those sectors by 2020. Now the ESR ambitions should be raised. The ESR also leaves the decision on tools to be used for climate policy to the member state. This space of freedom is much welcomed in Poland, where a EU-wide ETS system has been recently criticised by politicians as being too uniform.

Ana Marquez, SEO/BirdLife, Spain, said: 

“In Spain, greenhouse gas emissions have increased in the transport and agriculture sectors between 2013 and 2019, while being reduced in the buildings sector. Reductions towards 2030 need to be accelerated in all sectors, with the right policies, the right measures and the right incentives. We encourage the Spanish authorities to be more transparent on the implementation and success of good practices undertaken in ESR sectors. Citizens must be well-informed and well-motivated to support any sectoral initiatives that pave the way towards the decarbonization of the economy.”