Official Journal of the European Union

CE 84/756

(2004/C 84 E/0851)


by Camilo Nogueira Román (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(20 January 2004)

Subject:   Compliance with the Kyoto protocol by the Spanish state

The Commissioner responsible for the environment, Mrs Margot Wallström, recently announced that the EU will not be able to meet its obligations under the Kyoto protocol, stating that the Union member with the worst record is the Spanish state, which is considered unlikely to meet the 33,3 % target by 2010.

Given that the Commissioner had written to all the national governments urging them to step up their efforts to reach the target, can the Commission explain this failure of the Spanish state to comply? What measures has the Spanish government taken to adjust to the proposed objectives?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(4 March 2004)

The recent Commission progress report on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (1) shows that the policies and measures taken in the Member States so far will not be enough to meet their Kyoto emission targets. A letter has been sent to Member States proposing that the additional measures that are needed to meet the EU's Kyoto targets be identified in the course of 2004, underlining the necessity for Member States to keep the timeline for implementation of the EU emission trading Directive (2), to update national policies and measures within the next 12-18 months, and to include more substantive information on their projections for using the Kyoto Protocol's mechanisms to supplement domestic action.

Spanish emissions were 32 % above 1990 levels in 2001, while its 2008-2012 commitment is to an increase of no more than 15 %.

Since the publication of the Commission's report, Spain has adopted a climate change action plan consisting of a package of 440 greenhouse gas reduction measures. The measures proposed include fiscal incentives for companies that generate or use clean energies, a shift from coal to gas-fired electricity generation, the promotion of biofuels, the promotion of renovation of private vehicles, installation of solar energy in public buildings and the promotion of public transport in companies and public administrations.

A Decision for a monitoring the mechanism of Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol was formally adopted by Council on 26 January 2004. This Decision requires Member States to notify national programmes to the Commission within three months of their adoption. In accordance with this Decision, the Commission will assess the progress of the Community and its Member States towards fulfilling their commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol as set out in Decision 2002/358/EC later in 2004. A report compiled on the basis of this assessment will be submitted to the Parliament and to the Council.

(1)  COM(2003) 735 final.

(2)  Directive 2003/87/EC of the Parliament and of the council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC, OJ L 275, 25.10.2003.