The European Commission has announced the formal adoption of the climate and energy package that sets legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the share of renewable energy and cut CO2 emissions from new cars and transport fuels. The adoption of the package was agreed in December 2008 and will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal, which is expected in May.

The package consists of four legislative texts: (i) a Directive revising the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which covers approximately 40 per cent of EU greenhouse gas emissions; (ii) an "effort-sharing" Decision setting binding national targets for emissions from sectors not covered by the EU ETS; (iii) a Directive setting binding national targets for increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix; and (iv) a Directive creating a legal framework for the safe and environmentally sound use of carbon capture and storage technologies.

The package is complemented by two more legislative acts: (i) a Regulation requiring a reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars; and (ii) a revision of the Fuel Quality Directive, which now requires fuel suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the fuel production chain.