Emissions Reduction | WWF

Emissions Reduction

Global warming caused by human-made carbon emissions threatens the world’s communities and ecosystems.
We need to stop emitting carbon by 2050 at the latest to stand a chance of addressing this threat to our existence. Reaching full decarbonisation by this time requires strong policies, measures and actions today.

The EU’s climate targets for 2020 (20% emissions reductions compared to 1990 levels) and 2030 (at least 40% reductions) are not enough to avoid dangerous climate change.

In Paris in 2015, 196 parties, including the EU, signed a historic climate agreement in which they committed to “pursue efforts” to limit global warming to 1.5° C.  The EU has to commit to reducing its carbon pollution faster than it is currently in order to meet this goal.

What is WWF doing?

WWF believes that EU carbon emissions must be cut by 55% by 2030 and by at least 95% by 2050 to stand a chance of upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and avoiding runaway climate change.

The two key EU policy instruments set up to drive emissions reductions are the Effort Sharing Regulation and the Emissions Trading System. Currently, both these policies are being reviewed by the EU institutions for the 2030 timeframe. This review offers a once in a decade chance to get things right.  

To achieve this, WWF is advocating and campaigning for:
  • a reformed Emissions Trading System which makes polluters pay a real price for their emissions;
  • an improved Effort-Sharing Regulation which sets higher national emission reduction targets, and is not undermined by ‘loopholes’ which allow countries to emit more than they should.

Policy timeline


Our emissions reduction team

Sam Van Den Plas
Senior Policy Officer, Climate & Energy
+32 2 740 09 32

Sarah Azau
Senior Communications & Media Officer
+32 2 743 88 06

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