EU greenhouse gas emissions data is reported in line with international requirements and inventories of emissions have improved over time, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors. However, better insight is needed into specific sectors such as agriculture and forestry, say the auditors. They also suggest further improvements to reporting on how EU and national mitigation policies contribute to meeting emission reduction targets for 2020, 2030 and 2050.
The EU takes part in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, targeting cuts of 20 % by 2020, 40 % by 2030 and 80-95 % by 2050. To monitor progress towards these goals, the EU and its Member States report their greenhouse gas inventories each year. They also draw up projections to estimate future progress in reducing emissions, and to indicate whether mitigation policies and measures will be effective.
The auditors assessed whether the European Commission, assisted by the European Environment Agency, properly checked the quality of EU greenhouse gas inventories and of the information on planned emission reductions at EU level.
The auditors found that the EU and Member State inventories covered the seven main greenhouse gases and all key sectors, as required by international reporting rules. They also found that the EU greenhouse gas inventory had improved over time. The quality review of inventories was satisfactory and the overall level of uncertainty had decreased in recent years, although the same types of checks were not performed for the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector as for other sectors.
“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and thus limiting global warming, is an overriding challenge the EU must meet”, said Nikolaos Milionis, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report. “The Commission strives to provide accurate data about emission levels. Now it should further improve information on trends and estimates of policy impacts.”