Member State actions on climate change

In 2010, EU and EFTA States agreed to work through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to achieve a global annual average fuel efficiency improvement of 2%, and to cap the global net carbon emissions of international aviation at 2020 levels. During 2012, Member States submitted Action Plans to the ICAO for the first time, outlining their respective policies and actions to limit or reduce the impact of aviation on the global climate. Updated and extended State action plans were subsequently provided in 2015 and 2018.


European policy on climate change
The EU plays a leading role in international efforts to limit climate change, and increased its climate finance contributions to €20.2 billion in 2016. This is backed up by a legally binding commitment and legal framework at EU level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency [9], [10], [11], [12]. These ‘climate and energy’ targets for 2020, which the EU is on track to meet, and 2030 are summarised below:

- 20% cut in greenhouse gas emission (from 1990 levels)
- 20% of EU energy from renewables
- 20% improvement in energy efficiency

- At least 40% cut in greenhouse gas emission (from 1990 levels)
- 32% of EU energy from renewables, with an upwards revision clause by 2023
- 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency, with an upwards revision clause by 2023
The EU has also agreed on a ‘2050 low carbon economy’ roadmap that suggests the following targets:
- 60% cut in greenhouse gas emission by 2040 (from 1990 levels)
- 80% cut in greenhouse gas emission by 2050 (from 1990 levels), including a 60% reduction in transport emissions.

At the request of the European Council and the European Parliament, the European Commission presented its vision for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reductions in accordance with the Paris Agreement in November 2018, showing that decarbonisation is possible by 2050, including aviation.3 The goal agreed under the Paris Agreement is to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. While this covers all man-made emissions, including aviation, measures to reduce these emissions are covered by the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement as well as global measures developed through the relevant international organizations, such as ICAO.

From an aviation perspective, the EU has invested approximately €5 billion over the last 10 years to support these commitments through various programmes (e.g. Clean Sky, SESAR, Life, Horizon 2020, Connecting Europe Facility) and a basket of measures (e.g. EU ETS, CORSIA, aeroplane CO2 certification standard) that are summarised in the chapters of this report.


3A Clean Planet for all: A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy.