Energy Efficiency

EU Carbon Emissions Lowest Since 1990

In its 2013 inventory report, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) found that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fell by 3.3 percent in the EU in 2011 (latest available data), leading to the lowest emissions level since 1990.

The EU’s total GHG emissions in 2011 were 18.4 percent below 1990 levels, according to the report. The UK, France and Germany accounted for almost two-thirds of the reduction, while the largest increases came from Romania, Bul- garia and Spain.

The 2011 emissions drop was due largely to a milder winter compared to 2010, which led to a lower demand for heating, said EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade. “Nonetheless,” she said, “the EU is making clear progress towards its emission targets.”

However, she cautioned, “there was an increase in consumption of more carbon-intensive fuels such as coal, while [hydro] production and gas consumption decreased. If Europe is to achieve the transition towards a low-carbon society, it will need sustained investment in technology and innovation.” 

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