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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 2008

Greenhouse gas emission trends (CSI 010/CLIM 050) - Assessment published Feb 2008

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Generic metadata

Topics:

Climate change Climate change (Primary topic)

Tags:
climate | csi | greenhouse gases | air | ozone | emissions
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 010
  • CLIM 050
Geographic coverage:
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom
 
Contents
 

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

Key messages

Total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27, excluding emission and removals from land-use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), decreased by 0.7 % between 2004 and 2005 and by 7.9 % between 1990 and 2005. Emissions decreased strongly in the new Member States during the 1990s but since 2000, the trends have been almost identical in the EU-15 and in the new Member States. Between 1990 and 2005, greenhouse gas emissions decreased in all sectors except in the transport sector, where they increased significantly.

In the EU-15, total greenhouse gas emissions (excluding LULUCF) decreased by 0.8 % between 2004 and 2005, by 1.5 % between 1990 and 2005 and by 2.0 % between the Kyoto base year and 2005. This means the EU-15 has achieved one fourth of the total reduction needed to achieve the 8 % reduction from base-year level required by 2008-2012 under the Kyoto Protocol. However, the target can also be reached through actions outside the EU (use of Kyoto mechanisms).

In the 12 new Member States, total greenhouse gas emissions (excluding LULUCF) decreased by 0.3 % between 2004 and 2005 and by 27.8 % between 1990 and 2005. Except in Slovenia, 2005 emissions of all the new Member States that have a Kyoto target were well below their Kyoto target.

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

Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27, the EU-15 and in new Member States, 1990-2005

Note: Index 100 = 2000 levels

Data source:

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

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Change in greenhouse gas emissions in Europe between the base years and 2005, compared to Kyoto targets for 2008-2012

Note: The EU-27, Cyprus and Malta have no target under the Kyoto Protocol, and therefore no legal base year

Data source:

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

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

2005 greenhouse gas emissions

In 2005, total greenhouse gas emissions, excluding emission and removals from land-use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) were:

  • 5 177 million tonnes CO2-equivalent (Mt CO2-eq.) in the EU-27;
  • 4 192 Mt CO2-eq. in the pre-2004 EU Member States (EU-15);
  • 985 Mt CO2-eq. in the 12 new Member States.

In 2005, the EU-15 accounted for 81 % of total EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions. The largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27 were Germany (19 %), the United Kingdom (13 %), Italy (11 %), France (11 %) and Spain (9 %).

2004-2005 trends

Between 2004 and 2005, total greenhouse gas emissions, excluding LULUCF:

  • decreased by by 0.7 % (38 Mt CO2-eq.) in the EU-27;
  • decreased by 0.8 % (35 Mt CO2-eq.) in the EU-15;
  • decreased by 0.3 % (3 Mt CO2-eq.) in the new Member States.

In absolute terms, emissions were reduced most in Germany (-23 Mt CO2-eq.) and Finland (-12 Mt CO2-eq.). In Germany, a shift from coal to gas in the production of public electricity and heat was one of the main reasons for the decrease in emissions. In addition, emissions from road transportation and from households and services declined substantially. In Finland, emission reductions were mainly due to a substantial decrease in the use of fossil fuels in the production of public electricity and heat, mainly due to electricity imports. Coal use, in particular, decreased.

Emissions increased most in Spain (+15 Mt CO2-eq.). This increase came mainly from public electricity and heat production and was due to a rise in electricity generation from fossil thermal power stations (17 %) and a decrease in electricity generation from hydropower plants (-33 %). Other EU-15 countries which saw emissions increase between 2004 and 2005 are: Austria, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.

In relative terms, the largest decreases were observed in Finland (-15 %) and Denmark (-6 %), while emissions in Lithuania and Malta increased by 7 % and 6 %, respectively. Emissions from Turkey increased by 6.5 % (+19 Mt CO2-eq.)

1990-2005 trends

Between 1990 and 2005 (Figure 1), total greenhouse gas emissions, excluding LULUCF:

  • decreased by 7.9 % (444 Mt CO2-eq.) in the EU-27;
  • decreased by 1.5 % (65 Mt CO2-eq.) in the EU-15;
  • decreased by 27.8 % (379 Mt CO2-eq.) in the new Member States.

The 1990-2005 trends in total EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions were dominated by developments in Germany (-226 Mt CO2-eq. ), the United Kingdom (-114 Mt CO2-eq.) and Spain (+153 Mt CO2-eq.). Significant changes were also observed in Romania (-95 Mt CO2-eq.), Poland (-87 Mt CO2-eq.) and Italy (+63 Mt CO2-eq.).

In relative terms, emissions decreased strongly in the new Member States between 1990 and 2000, mainly due to the introduction of market economies and the consequent restructuring or closure of heavily polluting and energy-intensive industries. However since 2000, the trends have been almost identical in the EU-15 and in the new Member States (Figure 2). Between 1990 and 2005, emissions decreased most in Latvia (-59 %), Lithuania (-53 %) and Estonia (-53 %), while emissions increased most in Malta (+55 %), Spain (+53 %) and Portugal (+43 %).

In the other EEA member countries, the most significant trend was the +84 % increase in emissions from Turkey (+150 Mt CO2-eq.).

Comparison with Kyoto targets (Figure 3)

In the EU-15, total greenhouse gas emissions, excluding LULUCF, decreased by 2.0 % (87 Mt CO2-eq.) between the Kyoto base year and 2005. Therefore in 2005, EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions stood well above the -8 % Kyoto target. The emissions of four EU-15 Member States (Sweden, the United Kingdom, Finland and France) were lower than their respective burden-sharing targets, while emissions from Greece were close to to target. Significant reductions need still to be made especially in Spain, Austria and Luxembourg, either by reducing domestic emissions or by making use of Kyoto mechanisms (see also CSI 011 and EEA report on Greenhouse gas emissions trends and projections in Europe).

Of the 12 new Member States, Cyprus and Malta do not have a Kyoto target. The emissions of the other new Member States, except Slovenia, were well below their Kyoto target in 2005. The situation was similar in the EU acceding country Croatia.

2005 emissions of the other EEA member countries stood above these countries' respective Kyoto targets. Reductions will be needed either by domestic measures or by making use of Kyoto mechanisms.

Data related to emission trends since 1990 and progress towards Kyoto targets can be viewed at country level on the EEA greenhouse gas data viewer.

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

Shares by sector in EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions in 2005

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.

Downloads and more info

Changes in EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions by sector, 1990-2005

Note: International marine and aviation not included in the categories Total emissions, Energy and Transport.

Data source:

EEA, based on EU Member States greenhouse gas inventories.

Downloads and more info

Changes in EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions by sector, 1990-2005

Note: International marine and aviation not included in the categories; Total emissions, Energy and Transport.

Data source:

EEA, based on EU Member States greenhouse gas inventories.

Downloads and more info

Changes in greenhouse gas emissions from new Member States by sector, 1990-2005

Note: International marine and aviation not included in the categories Total emissions, Energy and Transport.

Data source:

EEA, based on EU Member States greenhouse gas inventories.

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

Greenhouse gas emissions can be viewed by country, year, gas and sector on the EEA greenhouse gas data viewer.

Greenhouse gas emissions due to energy supply and use including transport represent 80 % of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27, as well as in the EU-15 (Figure 4). Between 1990 and 2005, EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions decreased in all sectors except in the transport sector, where they increased significantly (Figure 5).

2004-2005 trends in the EU-15

In absolute terms, the main sectors contributing to emissions reductions between 2004 and 2005 in the EU-15 were public electricity and heat production, households and services, and road transport.

  • CO2 emissions from public electricity and heat production decreased by 0.9% (-9.6 million tonnes) mainly due to a reduction in the reliance on coal.
  • CO2 emissions from households and services decreased by 1.7 % (7.0 million tonnes). Important decreases in emissions from household and services were reported by Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. One general reason for the decrease is the warmer weather conditions (milder winter) compared to the previous year.
  • CO2 emissions from road transport decreased by 0.8% (6 million tonnes). This is mainly attributed to Germany, and is due to increased amounts of diesel oil driven cars, the effects of the eco-tax and fuel buying from outside Germany (fuel tourism).

1990-2005 trends in the EU-15

Between 1990 and 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-15 decreased in all sectors except in the transport sector, where they increased significantly (+26 %) (Figure 6). CO2 emissions from international aviation and navigation (which are not included here) increased by 96 % and 50 %, respectively. The largest relative decreases was observed in emissions from the waste sector. Most of the emissions reductions occured in the 1990s, largely a result of:

  • increasing efficiency in power and heating plants,
  • the economic restructuring in eastern Germany,
  • the liberalisation of the energy market and subsequent changes in the choice of fuel used in electricity production from oil and coal to gas in the United Kingdom,
  • significant reductions in nitrous oxide emissions in the chemical industry in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

After 1999, emissions rose again until 2004, due to increasing energy and transport demand. More solid and gaseous fuels were used for the production of public electricity and heat (whereas liquid fuels were used less). Higher transport volumes (freight and passengers) led to higher emissions from road transport, which is responsible for more than 90 % of domestic transport emissions. The use of diesel oil increased by 22 % while the use of gasoline decreased by 13 %.

Energy supply and use (excluding transport)

  • Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 3 %, due to a significant decrease of CO2 emissions from manufacturing industries and construction.
  • CO2 emissions from manufacturing industries and construction decreased by 10 %, mainly due to efficiency improvements and structural changes in Germany after reunification. After an increase observed between 2003 and 2004, these emissions remained stable in 2005.
  • CO2 emissions from public electricity and heat production increased by +6 %, driven by increasing electricity production in thermal power plants (+38 %). However, in 2005, these emissions were decreasing for the second consecutive year (-0.9 % compared to 2004).
  • CH4 emissions from fugitive emissions decreased by 53 %, mainly due to the decline of coal mining.
  • CO2 emissions from households decreased by 1.7 %, while the number of dwellings increased by 18 %.
  • Decoupling of greenhouse gas emissions from energy consumption has been observed in all Member States, although there are large differences between Member States.

Transport

  • Greenhouse gas emissions (domestic transport) increased by 26%, mainly due to CO2 emissions from road transport (which represent more than 90 % of domestic transport emissions). However, for the first time since 1990, CO2 emissions from road transport decreased by 0.8 % (6.0 million tonnes) between 2004 and 2005. This is mainly attributed to Germany, and is due to an increased share of diesel-powered cars, increasing fuel prices (including effects of the eco-tax) and purchase of fuel outside Germany.
  • CO2 emissions from international aviation grew by 96 % and CO2 emissions from international navigation (maritime transport) grew by 50 %. These emissions grew faster than in all other transport modes.
  • N2O emissions 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. This strong growth is expected to stop soon as the whole fleet will soon be equipped with catalytic converters.

Industrial processes

  • Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, N2O and fluorinated gases) were reduced by 11 %.
  • CO2 emissions from cement production increased by 5 %.
  • N2O emissions from chemical industries decreased by 54 %, mainly due to specific measures at adipic acid production plants in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and France.
  • Large increases mainly as the result of 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.
  • HFC emissions from refrigeration and air conditioning increased by a factor of more than 400.

Agriculture and waste

  • Greenhouse gas emissions fell by 11 %. In particular, N2O emissions from agricultural soils fell by 13 %, due to a decline in fertiliser and manure use.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from waste fell by 38 %, mainly due to the development of landfill gas recovery.

1990-2005 trends in the new Member States

Between 1990 and 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in the new Member States have been reduced in all the main sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions except for transport, where emissions increased by 30 % (Figure 7).

Transport emissions decreased by 6 % between 1990 and 1995, but increased after 1995. The new Member States seem to be repeating the experience of Ireland, Portugal and Spain: starting from a relatively low transport level, all these countries experienced high economic growth which resulted in strong growth in transport and related greenhouse gas emissions.

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 twice per year in April-June (Q2) and October-December (Q4)

Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
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Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100