EEA Publishes Data on EU GHG Emissions

2 June 2010: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published the latest EU inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The inventory indicates that emissions fell significantly in 2008  for the fifth consecutive year.

The Annual EU GHG inventory 1990–2008 and inventory report 2010show that EU-15 emissions dropped by 1.9% from 2007 while the economy grew by 0.6 %. The reduction takes EU-15 emissions to 6.9% below their levels in the base year (1990 in most cases). This brings the EU-15 closer to reaching the Kyoto Protocol target of reducing emissions in the 2008-2012 commitment period to an average of 8% below the base year level. For the EU-27, the report finds that emissions have been declining steadily since 2003. There is no EU-27 emissions target under the Kyoto Protocol since 12 EU member States were not yet part of the EU at the time, but 2008 emissions fell 11.3 % below their 1990 levels, which means that EU-27 has already achieved more than half of its unilateral reduction target of 20 % by 2020 through domestic emission reductions alone.

European Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard stated that showing that Europe is able to deliver on its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol is "of paramount importance" for the ongoing negotiations on a post-2012 global climate agreement. She stressed the role of binding targets and other ambitious policies of the EU and its member States in achieving significant emission decreases. She also highlighted that the EU has shown that economic growth and low-carbon development can go hand in hand. EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade highlighted the need to ensure that the downward trend in emissions continues and that Europe boosts its climate investments, with the ultimate aim of achieving a more resource-efficient economy.

The EEA has announced that by the end of the summer 2010, it will publish preliminary estimates for the EU's 2009 total emissions, and in the autumn, it will release a more comprehensive report analyzing emission trends, policy effectiveness and progress towards meeting the Kyoto and other EU emission targets. [EEA Press Release] [Hedegaard's Speech] [The Inventory]