Well Behind Paris Agreement Goals: EU Underperforms on CO2 Reduction Target

Written by | Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Most European countries are off their carbon reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement based on the ranking by Climate Action Network Europe (CAN), Europe’s leading NGO coalition on climate change. The non-profit ranks countries as “good”, “bad” and “ugly” and says that EU members are “nowhere close enough” to cap the global rise in temperatures to “well below 2°C” and close to 1.5°C, the main objective of the Paris Agreement.


Among the countries keeping up with the goal are Sweden, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, which are considered to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the UK have been labeled as “bad” and thus lost their leading position on environmental issues. The “ugly” ranking is represented by most Central and Eastern European countries.


CAN said that no EU country was performing sufficiently well in both ambition and progress towards reducing carbon emissions. Director of CAN Europe said that he was “underwhelmed” by “the lack of willingness to act on climate” by Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the UK. Prof. Dr. Hermann E. Ott of German League for Nature, Animal and Environment Protection (DNR) said that it was becoming very obvious that Germany had become a “third division team”.


Despite some surprising results, there are also a few nuances in the ranking. For example, Sweden became the leader among EU countries as it over-performed the requirements of the Paris Agreement. The Czech Republic, on the other hand, did not perform very well on climate targets but hinted it would like to reduce lignite consumption by 73% by 2040, which CAN Europe hailed as “a step in the right direction”.


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