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You are here: Home / News / New report: total EU greenhouse gas emissions have fallen slightly (2%) from 1990 to 1998

New report: total EU greenhouse gas emissions have fallen slightly (2%) from 1990 to 1998

The EEA, through work by its European Topic Centre on Air Emissions, has compiled the official European Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-1998 in a report and database, both available on this web site.

Full report available here.

The EEA, through work by its European Topic Centre on Air Emissions, has compiled the official European Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-1998 in a report and database, both available on this web site. The report is mainly based on data from the individual Member States, submitted to the European Commission under the EU greenhouse gas Monitoring Mechanism. The methodologies applied are those agreed upon by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The European Commission submitted the inventory to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in accordance with the 15 April 2000 deadline.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) makes the largest contribution to EU greenhouse gas emissions (81%), while methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) (total of 19%) are other important greenhouse gases. In addition industrial fluorocarbon gases contribute approximately 1% to the total greenhouse gas emissions.

Total EU greenhouse gas emissions have fallen slightly (2%) from 1990 to 1998. To achieve the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol target of 8 % reduction by 2008-2012 (from 1990 levels) for the EU, further reductions of emissions, through additional policies and measures, will be necessary.

The reduction is mainly due to a decrease in two Member States (Germany, United Kingdom), while in most Member States emissions have increased since 1990. Total EU CO2 emissions decreased initially in the early 1990s, but started to increase again, and are now on the same level as in 1990. The energy sector (power and heat generation) is the main contributor to EU emissions (32%), followed by transport (24%) and industry (18%). Substantial decreases occurred only in Germany, mainly due to increased energy efficiency and economic restructuring in former East Germany, and in the UK, mainly due to a switch from coal to natural gas.

Total EU methane emissions fell by 16% from 1990 to 1998 for similar reasons as mentioned above for CO2 and account for most of the decrease of the total EU greenhouse gas emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions were reduced by 10%, mainly due to reduction measures in industry.

The EEA will publish later this year a more detailed assessment of the EU greenhouse gas emission trends and the sectors that contribute and of the progress of the EU and of each individual Member State towards achieving the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol targets.

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