Legally binding reduction targets for Member States have been the backbone of EU climate policies since 2009. At a moment where the EU increases its climate ambition significantly, reduction targets for Member States must continue. They should be the unequivocal starting point of reforms to make EU climate rules fit for the EU's new climate targets – a new Ecologic Institute policy brief explains why.
What matters for the climate is the total amount of emissions and removals over time and corresponding levels of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration. The current focus on reductions achieved as of a specific moment in time disguises this. Emission budgets that quantify the total amount of permissible emissions would address this problem. The EU should establish an emission budget within its Climate Law. This emission budget should include all GHG emissions, not only CO2. These are some of the key findings of this briefing paper.