A Triptych sectoral approach to burden differentiation; GHG emissions in the European bubble

G. J.M. Phylipsen, J. W. Bode, K. Blok, H. Merkus, B. Metz

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98 Citations (Scopus)


As Parties to the Climate Convention EU Member States have opted for a joint fulfilment of post-2000 greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations. No agreement could be reached on a joint EU target before the distribution of the burden of emission reductions among Member States had been agreed upon. This paper presents a sectoral approach to burden sharing, which incorporates important national circumstances. The three categories distinguished are the power sector, the internationally operating energy-intensive industry and the remaining domestically oriented sectors. Emission allowances are calculated by applying rules, such as a limitation of coal use for power production, minimum requirements for renewable energy, and minimum energy efficiency improvement rates in industry. For the domestic sectors a per capita emission allowance approach is used. The approach is applied to EU Member States to show the distribution of emission reductions for 2010. Also a comparison with other burden differentiation approaches is made. Results of the analysis played an important role in internal EU discussions, resulting in a better understanding among negotiators of differences in national circumstances and their role in emission levels. This improved understanding led to a political agreement on emission reduction targets that are substantially higher than targets Member States had been prepared to accept earlier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-943
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Burden differentiation
  • Emission reductions
  • Sectoral approach


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