Greenhouse gas emissions across the whole European Union were up 2.4% in 2010 driven by a cold winter and economic recovery after the 2009 recession, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Despite the 111 million tonnes CO2 equivalent rise after decreasing emissions between 2008 and 2009, the EU remains on target to meet its Kyoto target, says the EEA.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the 27 member states remained 15.4% below 1990 levels in 2010, says the report, while the 15 European nations with a common Kyoto Protocol commitment were 11% below the base year.
While growing GDP and higher energy demand, because of colder weather in 2010, led to higher emissions the rise was limited by increasing use of renewables and gas.
Falling gas prices meant that the fuel was more used for energy purposes, reducing the carbon intensity of fossil fuel consumption across the region.
That factor also meant that emissions from most sectors relying on fossil fuels were also higher, including the residential and commercial sectors, manufacturing and construction and electricity production. Emissions from road transport, however, continued to fall.
Over half of the rise in emissions came from the UK, Germany and Poland, while relative growth in emissions was highest in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia.
But recently reported early estimations for 2011 indicate a 2% decrease in emissions covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).
“[The] rebound effect was expected as most of Europe came out of recession,” says EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade. “However, the increase could have been even higher without the fast expansion of renewable energy generation in the EU.”
For further information:
European ‘traded’ emissions down 2% in 2011 (17-May)
Business leaders call on EU to redouble green growth efforts (3-May)
EU must take action to reduce its environmental footprint (23-Apr)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5142/