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Most of central and eastern Europe on track to meet Kyoto targets

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Seven of the central and eastern European countries that plan to join the European Union are on track to achieve their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto climate change protocol, in most cases by a wide margin, their latest projections show.

NEWS RELEASE


Copenhagen, 2 December 2003


Most of central and eastern Europe on track to meet Kyoto targets


Seven of the central and eastern European countries that plan to join the European Union are on track to achieve their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto climate change protocol, in most cases by a wide margin, their latest projections show.


Slovenia is the only one of the 10 acceding and candidate countries in cetral and eastern Europe that currently expects to miss its target, according to the projections compiled by the European Environment Agency.


Overall emissions of the six greenhouse gases declined substantially in most countries in the region during the 1990s, mainly due to the introduction of market economies and the consequent restructuring or closure of heavily polluting and energy-intensive industries.


However, greenhouse gas emissions from transport are a growing concern, as they are in the European Union.

After dropping in the early 1990s, these emissions have been increasing strongly in central and eastern Europe since the middle of the last decade. In 2001 the 10 countries’ combined emissions from transport of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, exceeded the 1990 level for the first time, by 4 %.


Under the protocol, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia must cut their national greenhouse gas emissions to 8 % below the levels in a chosen base year (see Annex for details) by 2008-2012.


Hungary and Poland have reduction targets of 6 % from their base years, to be met by the same dates.


In the latest year for which complete data are available – in most cases 2001 - the 10 countries’ greenhouse gas emissions, taken together, were an estimated 36% below base year levels. The reductions ranged from 60.8 % in Latvia to 17.8 % in Hungary.


The only exception was Slovenia, whose greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to have increased by 1.4 %.


The latest national projections show that six of the countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and the Slovak Republic – expect to meet their Kyoto targets comfortably with the help of initiatives already being implemented at home, known as ‘existing domestic policies and measures.’


In 2010, Latvia and Estonia anticipate having the largest emissions reductions, of 58.2 % and 56.6 %, respectively, from their base year (1990) levels.


The smallest cut, 6 %, would be in Hungary, enabling it exactly to meet its reduction target.


Slovenia, however, expects its emissions in 2010 to be 9.6 % higher than in its base year (1986), thereby missing its 8 % reduction target by a substantial margin. Lithuania and Romania have not provided projections.


Six countries also plan additional domestic policies and measures. In Slovenia’s case these would still leave it 6.5 percentage points short of meeting its target.


For the other five countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and the Slovak Republic - the additional domestic policies and measures further increase the margin by which they expect to reduce emissions beyond what their targets require.


The latest projections are published in the EEA report Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2003. A summary of the report is published on the EEA website at http://reports.eea.europa.eu/environmental_issue_report_2003_36-sum.


Notes for Editors


  • The countries that will join the EU next May, known as the acceding countries, are Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. Bulgaria and Romania are negotiating to join at a later date, while Turkey has applied for EU membership but has not yet started negotiations.
  • The Kyoto Protocol, which has not yet entered force, will control industrialised countries’ emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), plus three fluorinated industrial gases: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
  • The report, prepared by the EEA and its Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change (ETC/ACC), is intended to support, complement and provide additional analysis for the European Commission’s annual progress report under the EU greenhouse gas emissions monitoring mechanism (Council Decision 1999/296/EC). The Commission’s fourth report will be published at http://www.europa.europa.eu/comm/environment/climat/gge.htm.
  • Six countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia) did not provide emissions data for all gases and all years between 1990 and 2001. For the missing years estimates were prepared by the ETC/ACC for the purposes of the report.
  • Domestic policies and measures are regulatory, negotiated or economic instruments which have the effect of reducing emissions.

About the EEA


The European Environment Agency is the main source of information used by the European Union and its Member States in developing environment policies. The Agency aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe’s environment through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy-making agents and the public. Established by the EU in 1990 and operational in Copenhagen since 1994, the EEA is the hub of the European environment information and observation network (Eionet), a network of around 300 bodies across Europe through which it both collects and disseminates environment-related data and information.


The Agency, which is open to all nations that share its objectives, currently has 31 member countries. These are the 15 EU Member States; Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, which are members of the European Economic Area; and the 13 EU acceding and candidate countries, namely Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, the Slovak Republic and Turkey. The EEA is the first EU body to take in the acceding and candidate countries. Negotiations on EEA membership are also under way with Switzerland.


Annex


Kyoto Protocol emission targets compared with projections to 2010 for acceding and candidate countries in central and eastern Europe


 

Base year

Emissions target for 2008-2012

Change of emissions in 2001 compared with base year

Projected emissions change in 2010 based on existing domestic policies and measures

Gap between target and projected emissions in 2010 based on existing domestic policies and measures 1)

Gap between target and projected emissions in 2010 based on both existing and additional domestic policies and measures 1)

   

(% of base year emissions)

(% of base year emissions)

(in % of base year emissions)

(in % of base year emissions)

(in % of base year emissions)

Bulgaria

1988

-8.0

-50.7

-14.9

-6.9

-12.1

Czech Republic

1990

-8.0

-23.0

-31.4

-23.4

-26.7

Estonia

1990

-8.0

-55.4

-56.6

-48.6

-52.0

Hungary

ave. 1985-87

-6.0

-17.8

-6.0

0.0

no data provided

Latvia

1990

-8.0

-60.8

-58.2

-50.2

no data provided

Lithuania

1990

-8.0

-60.7

 

no data provided

no data provided

Poland

1988

-6.0

-32.3

-14.6

-8.6

-13.3

Romania  

1989

-8.0

-44.0  

 

no data provided

no data provided

Slovakia

1990

-8.0

-30.6

-26.6

-18.6

-25.5

Slovenia

1986

-8.0

1.4

9.6

17.6

6.5


Gap (over-delivery or shortfall) between Kyoto emission targets and projections to 2010 for acceding and candidate countries in central and eastern Europe, based on existing and additional domestic policies and measures


Seven of the central and eastern European countries that plan to join the European Union are on track to achieve their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto climate change protocol, in most cases by a wide margin, their latest projections show.

Note: Projections for Poland cover only the energy sector



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