Low-Carbon Europe 2050 (LowCarbonEU)

The European Union has set itself the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 % by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. Decisions taken by the European Council have repeatedly confirmed this target and the Paris Agreement signed in December 2015 has accorded it new importance: It not only limits the temperature increase to significantly below 2 °C, indeed to below 1.5 °C if at all possible, but also sets the objective of net global decarbonisation in the second half of the 21st century. The major challenge in the near future is to advance the implementation of these goals.

The “Low-Carbon Europe 2050” project develops a target scenario for a decarbonised Europe – defined as achieving 95 % greenhouse gas reduction compared to 1990. Technical decarbonisation options are analysed against the backdrop of specific regional framework conditions including all the sectors with relevant emissions and a description is given of how to achieve decarbonisation in technical terms. Alongside a detailed analysis of individual topics, the study focuses on systemic questions in particular:

  • What are the challenges and opportunities when regarding Europe as a whole?
  • What potentials are there for sector coupling?
  • What role do synthetic energy sources play such as hydrogen or hydrocarbons produced using renewable electricity?

The developed scenario’s results and reduction measures in the individual sectors (levers) are incorporated into the already existing scenarios at EU level and at the level of individual member states.


  • Umweltbundesamt (UBA)