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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Greenhouse gas emission trends / Greenhouse gas emission trends (CSI 010/CLIM 050) - Assessment published Feb 2007

Greenhouse gas emission trends (CSI 010/CLIM 050) - Assessment published Feb 2007

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Generic metadata

Topics:

Climate change Climate change (Primary topic)

Tags:
climate | csi | projection | ghg emission targets | climate change | greenhouse gases | air | ozone | emissions | kyoto protocol
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 010
  • CLIM 050
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: What progress has been made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Europe?

Key messages

EU-25

Total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-25, without emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), decreased by 4.8 % between 1990 and 2004. Greenhouse gas emissions increased by 0.4 % (18 million tonnes CO2-equivalents) between 2003 and 2004.

EU-15

In 2004 total greenhouse gas emissions in the pre-2004 EU Member States (EU-15), excluding LULUCF, were 0.6 % (24 million tonnes CO2 equivalents) below 1990. Compared to the base year level, emissions in 2004 were 0.9 % (38 million tonnes CO2 equivalents) lower (Figure 1). This means the EU-15 was little more than a tenth of the way towards achieving the 8 % emissions reduction from base-year level required by 2008-2012 under the Kyoto Protocol . Only five EU-15 Member States were on track to meet their burden sharing targets (Figure 2). Increases in carbon dioxide emissions were offset by reductions in nitrous oxide, methane and fluorinated gases. The main reason for increases between 1990 and 2004 was growing road transport demand. The large increase of CO2 emissions from road transport was only partly offset by reductions in emissions from energy use in manufacturing industries and from manufacture of solid fuels.

New Member States

Greenhouse gas emissions have declined substantially in almost all new Member States. In 2004, emissions were 23 % below 1990 level (Figure 3). This is mainly due to the introduction of market economies and the consequent restructuring or closure of heavily polluting and energy-intensive industries. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport decreased by 5 % between 1990 and 1995 but increased after 1995. In 2004 they exceeded 1990 levels by 28 %. All new Member States who have a Kyoto target were on track to meet their target (Figure 4).

Distance-to-target (burden-sharing targets) for EU-15 Member States in 2004, including Kyoto mechanisms and carbon sinks

Note: The distance-to-target indicator (DTI) measures the deviation in percentage points of actual emissions in 2004 from a (hypothetical) linear path between base-year emissions and the burden-sharing target for 2010

Data source:

EEA, based on EU-15 Member States greenhouse gas inventories provided before 6 June 2006.

Downloads and more info

Actual and projected greenhouse gas emissions aggregated for eight new Member States

Note: Data exclude emissions and removals from land-use change and forestry.

Data source:

EEA, based on new Member States greenhouse gas inventories provided before 6 June 2006.

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Distance-to-target (Kyoto Protocol for new Member States in 2004

Note: The distance-to-target indicator (DTI) measures the deviation in percentage points of actual emissions in 2004 from a (hypothetical) linear path between base-year levels and 2010

Data source:

EEA, based on new Member States greenhouse gas inventories provided before 6 June 2006.

Downloads and more info

Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27, the EU-15 and in new Member States, 1990-2005, index 100 = base year level (EU-15) or 1990 levels (EU-27, new Member States)

Note: N/A

Data source:

EEA, based on EU-15 Member States greenhouse gas inventories 1990-2005.

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

The overall EU-25 greenhouse gas emission trend is dominated by the two largest emitters Germany and the United Kingdom, accounting for about one third of total EU-25 greenhouse gas emissions. These two Member States achieved total greenhouse gas emission reductions of 316 million tonnes compared to 1990. Italy and France, the third and fourth largest emitters, increased (12 %) and decreased (-1 %) their emissions between 1990 and 2004. Emissions in Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain increased by more than 20 % since 1990.

EU-15

Assuming a hypothetical linear target path from base-year greenhouse gas emissions to 2010 EU Kyoto target, total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions were 4.7 index points above this target path in 2004 (Figure 1). When the use of flexible mechanisms and carbon sinks is taken into account, total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 were still 2.3 percentage points above the linear target path (Figure 2).

In 2004, four EU-15 Member States (Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany and France) were below their burden sharing target paths excluding Kyoto Mechanism. If Kyoto mechanisms are taken into account, the Netherlands was also below its burden sharing target. Eleven Member States were above their burden sharing target paths: Greece and Germany (excluding Kyoto Mechanisms), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain (including Kyoto Mechanisms). Compared to 2003, Finland, Denmark, Ireland and Luxembourg departed most from their target path due to decreasing fossil fuel combustion, except for Luxembourg where the increase is mainly due to increased road transportation.

New Member States

The aggregated emissions of the new EU Member States were 23 % below 1990 levels in 2004 (Figure 3). Apart from Cyprus and Malta, which do not have a target under the Kyoto Protocol, all new Member States were on track to meet their Kyoto target in 2004 (Figure 4). Greenhouse gas emissions from transport decreased by 6 % between 1990 and 1995 but increased sharply from 1995 onwards. By 2004, these emissions exceeded 1990 levels by 28 %.

Specific policy question: What are the emission changes by sector and by greenhouse gas?

Shares by sector in EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions in 2004

Note: Emissions from the energy supply and use sector include emissions from energy supply industries, fugitive emissions, emissions from energy use in industry and other emissions from energy use

Data source:

EEA, based on EU-15 Member States greenhouse gas inventories provided before 6 June 2006.

Downloads and more info

Changes in EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions by gas and by sector base year-2004

Note: N/A

Data source:

EEA, based on EU-15 Member States greenhouse gas inventories provided before 6 June 2006.

Downloads and more info

Changes in greenhouse gas emissions for eight new Member States by gas and by sector base year-2004

Note: This figure covers the following new Member States: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia

Data source:

EEA, based on new Member States greenhouse gas inventories provided before 6 June 2006.

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

EU-15

Greenhouse gas emissions due to energy supply and use including transport represent 80 % of all EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions (Figure 5).

The increase of emissions for the EU-15 as a whole has been determined by higher CO2 emissions from transport, from iron and steel production, from oil refining and higher HFCs emission from refrigeration and air conditioning. Spain and Italy saw the largest absolute emission increases. Germany, the largest emitter followed by the United Kingdom, saw further emission reductions.

Sources and sectors with increasing emissions (Figure 6):

  • Transport CO2 emissions (with 20 % of total EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions) increased by 25 % due to road transport growth in almost all EU-15 Member States. Emission of N2O from transport increased by more than 100 %. The reason is mainly that catalytic converters, which reduce cars' exhaust emissions of certain air pollutants but produce N2O as a by-product, have become standard equipment.
  • CO2 emissions from energy industries increased by 4 % due to increasing fossil fuel consumption in public electricity and heat plants. Most Member States had increases between 1990 and 2004, whereas ht large Member States Germany and the United Kingdom reduced their emissions by 12 %. The most important reason for Germany were efficiency improvements in coal-fired power plants and for the United Kingdom it was fuel switch from coal to gas in power production.

Sources and sectors with decreasing emissions (Figure 6):

  • Reductions were achieved especially in CO2 emissions from manufacturing industries and construction (-9 %), mainly due to efficiency improvements and structural change in Germany after reunification.
  • CH4 emissions from fugitive emissions decreased most (-48 %, mainly due to the decline of coal mining), followed by the waste sector (-36 %, mainly due to reducing amount of untreated biodegradable waste in landfills and installing landfill gas recovery).
  • N2O emissions from industrial processes decreased by 55 % mainly due to specific measures at adipic acid production plants in the UK, Germany and France. Also N2O emissions from agricultural soils fell by 8 % between base year and 2004, due to a decline in fertiliser and manure use.
  • HFC, PFC and SF6 emissions from industrial processes, which account for 1.6 % pf greenhouse gas emissions, decreased by 6 % between 1990 and 2004. Large increases mainly as the result of the expanding use of HFCs as a substitute for ozone depleting CFCs that were gradually phased out in the 1990s were offset by decreases of emissions from the production of halocarbons and SF6.

New Member States

In the new Member States, CO2 is most important greenhouse gas (81 % of total emissions) and it was reduced by 33 % between base year and 2004. Second is CH4 (share 10 %, decrease 40 %) compared to the base year, emissions of all of these gases decreased significantly. The share of F-gases is 0.6 %. These emissions have been increasing since 1990 (147 %), but there are still countries which do not report F-gases. Between base year and 2004 greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced in all the main sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions except for transport, where emissions increased by 29% (Figure 7).

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

François Dejean

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 1 year in April-June (Q2), October-December (Q4)
Document Actions
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100