European Commission Publishes Kyoto Protocol Target Progress Report

24 October 2012: The European Commission has released an annual report detailing progress in 2011 towards achieving the EU target under the Kyoto Protocol, while the European Environment Agency (EEA) has published an associated analysis of EU greenhouse gas (GHG) trends. The report on progress finds that EU GHG emissions have decreased for the 27 EU Member States by 2.5% in 2011.

The EC progress report, titled “Approximated EU GHG Inventory Early Estimates for 2011,” highlights that a majority of emissions reductions occurred in the residential and commercial sectors, in part due to a mild winter, and notes a 47 million ton decrease in emissions from EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) sectors. The report also underscores the increasing share of renewable energy in total energy consumption. It includes sectoral results for energy, industrial processes, agriculture, waste and other source categories in addition to examining uncertainties, methodologies and data sources, and member State GHG emissions. The full report of the EU's 2011 GHG emissions will be available in 2013.

The EEA projection report, “GHG Emission Trends and Projections in Europe 2012,” examines: 2008-2012 emission targets and compliance under the Kyoto Protocol; current progress towards 2008-2012 Kyoto targets; the EU ETS; 2020 GHG emission targets in the EU and European countries; and projected progress towards 2020 targets. The report notes that EU countries are on target to meet their Kyoto targets underscoring challenges faced by Italy and Spain.

Commenting on the release of the reports, EU Commissioner Connie Hedegaard highlighted that the EU is "delivering on its Kyoto commitment." She stressed that emissions were reduced by 18% while the economy grew by 48% since 1990, stressing that the figures "prove once again that emissions can be cut without sacrificing the economy." [Publication: Approximated EU GHG Inventory Early Estimates for 2011] [Publication: Approximated EU GHG Inventory Early Estimates for 2011 - Summary] [Publication: GHG Emission Trends and Projections in Europe 2012] [EU-UN Press Release] [EEA Press Release] [EU DG-Climate Action Press Release]