EU emitted 3.3% less greenhouse gas in 2011

May 29, 2013
Cooling towers at Scholven coal-fired power plant in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. Europe emitted 3.3 percent less Earth-warming greenhouse gases in 2011—the lowest level since 1990, a European Environment Agency (EEA) report says.

Europe emitted 3.3 percent less Earth-warming greenhouse gases in 2011—the lowest level since 1990, a European Environment Agency (EEA) report said Wednesday.

The bigger-than-expected drop in the European Union from 2010 was equal to a saving of 155 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, a measure of greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere, it said.

But the continent should not congratulate itself too much—the decline was largely due to a mild winter with lower heating demand.

"The cut in 2011 is good news, however it was largely due to a warmer winter," EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade said in a statement.

"Nonetheless, the EU is making clear progress towards its emissions targets" of cutting by 20 percent on 1990 levels by the year 2020.

On the downside, the report noted a rise in consumption of carbon-intensive fuels such as coal, while 'greener' hydroelectricity production, natural gas consumption and use decreased.

"If Europe is to achieve the transition towards a low-carbon society, it will need sustained investment in technology and innovation," said McGlade.

The report said early estimates by the EU statistics agency Eurostat, also released Wednesday, pointed to a 2.1 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions for the bloc in 2012.

With the 2011 figures now in, the EU had cut its emissions by 18.4 percent from 1990—a reference year chosen by the international community.

This amounted to more than a billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, said the statement, and seemed to place the bloc well on the way to achieving its 2020 target.

The EEA said decreased by five percent in the EU in 2011, but carbon intensity of emissions increased with a near two-percent rise in use of solid fuels like hard coal and lignite.

consumption decreased by four percent and natural gas by almost 11 percent while renewable showed its second-largest decline in the last 21 years.

While wind and solar energy use continued to rise, nuclear power declined mainly due to the closure of plants in Germany.

Road transport emissions declined for the fourth year in a row, but emissions from international aviation and shipping rose in 2011, said the agency.

The EU bloc has repeatedly dismissed calls, mainly from developing countries, to raise its emissions curb target to 30 percent by 2020.

Explore further: Pacific leaders say climate will claim entire nations

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate: EU emissions down 2.5 percent in 2011

Sep 07, 2012

European greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.5 percent in 2011 over 2010, as a mild winter and increase in renewable energy use offset a rise in coal consumption and economic activity, estimates released on ...

German greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2012

Feb 25, 2013

Germany saw increased emissions in greenhouse gases last year due to more coal and gas usage while the country seeks to develop its renewable energy sources, officials said Monday.

EU says emissions down, but pollution scheme falters

May 16, 2013

EU greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for global warming, dropped slightly last year but the much-vaunted system for cutting such pollution ran into even more trouble, the European Commission said on Thursday.

EU on track for Kyoto and 2020 emissions targets

Oct 24, 2012

The European Union (EU) will go beyond its targets to cut greenhouse gases by 2012 under the UN's Kyoto Protocol and is on course for meeting its goal for 2020, it reported on Wednesday.

New EU climate policy unlikely before 2015: Poland

May 23, 2013

The European Union is unlikely to hammer out its new policy on global warming ahead of a global climate deal that could be clinched in 2015, Poland's environment minister said Wednesday.

EU carbon emissions 'plummeted in 2009'

May 31, 2011

Greenhouse-gas emissions by the 27 members of the European Union fell by 7.1 percent in 2009 over 2008, driven by economic recession but also a switch to renewable energy, the European Environment Agency (EAA) ...

Recommended for you

Heavy metals and hydroelectricity

59 minutes ago

Hydraulic engineering is increasingly relied on for hydroelectricity generation. However, redirecting stream flow can yield unintended consequences. In the August 2014 issue of GSA Today, Donald Rodbell of ...

What's wiping out the Caribbean corals?

1 hour ago

Here's what we know about white-band disease: It has already killed up to 95 percent of the Caribbean's reef-building elkhorn and staghorn corals, and it's caused by an infectious bacteria that seems to be ...

Selective logging takes its toll on mammals, amphibians

19 hours ago

The selective logging of trees in otherwise intact tropical forests can take a serious toll on the number of animal species living there. Mammals and amphibians are particularly sensitive to the effects of ...

User comments : 17

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
1.5 / 5 (16) May 29, 2013
Prepare for the coming glaciation.
Neinsense99
3.1 / 5 (17) May 29, 2013
Prepare for the coming glaciation.

Judging by the rhetoric of the last fifteen years or so, your talking points appear to be already frozen in time. Bbbrrrr.......
antigoracle
1.7 / 5 (17) May 29, 2013
But the continent should not congratulate itself too much—the decline was largely due to a mild winter with lower heating demand.

So global warming is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions. The irony, I'm sure, is lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.
Neinsense99
3.3 / 5 (16) May 29, 2013
But the continent should not congratulate itself too much—the decline was largely due to a mild winter with lower heating demand.

So global warming is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions. The irony, I'm sure, is lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.

I suppose deeply flawed logic is a kind of logic, if you don't mind stretching the definition to the breaking point....
Howhot
3.5 / 5 (11) May 29, 2013
From the headlines
EU emitted 3.3% less greenhouse gas in 2011

I'm impressed that the EU was able to drop 3.3% in one year. They must have a lot of government incentives and programs in place to encourage change. Just like what we need in America. I wonder how they are weeding themselves off of Oil. There is only about 44 years worth left, maybe 20 that will be in the price range a consumer can afford or is able to even obtain a few gallons of.

In the mean time we are on the road to a 2C change in global temp averages due to the CO2 released by the burning of fossil fuel at 2050 more or less. (I calculated 2056 btw for 2C). I wonder what the @anti has calculated?
Shakescene21
3 / 5 (4) May 30, 2013
"EU emitted 3.3% less greenhouse gas in 2011"

That's good news but shortly we'll be getting the data from China. I'm sure that China's CO2 emmissions will have increased by more that the EU's emmissions decreased. So Global Warming is becoming worse despite the EU's commendable efforts.

I'm convinced that the only way to stop Global Warming is to fund a massive technological effort that will make carbon-neutral energy cheaper than fossil fuels. When carbon-neutral is cheaper the world will abandon fossil fuels voluntarily and Global Warming will be history.
antigoracle
1.5 / 5 (15) May 30, 2013
But the continent should not congratulate itself too much—the decline was largely due to a mild winter with lower heating demand.

So global warming is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions. The irony, I'm sure, is lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.

I suppose deeply flawed logic is a kind of logic, if you don't mind stretching the definition to the breaking point....

As I said; lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.
deepsand
3.1 / 5 (18) May 30, 2013
Prepare for the coming glaciation.

Guess you missed the fact that the cherry-picked HADCRUT data that the denialists repeatedly trot out as proof of falling temperatures actually show a WARMING trend from 2008 through 2012.
deepsand
3.2 / 5 (18) May 30, 2013
But the continent should not congratulate itself too much—the decline was largely due to a mild winter with lower heating demand.

So global warming is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions. The irony, I'm sure, is lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.

I suppose deeply flawed logic is a kind of logic, if you don't mind stretching the definition to the breaking point....

As I said; lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.

Actually, Potty Mouth, a look at your ratings indicates that the vast majority have a firm grasp of the depth of your ignorances, including those relating to logic.
Neinsense99
3 / 5 (14) May 30, 2013
But the continent should not congratulate itself too much—the decline was largely due to a mild winter with lower heating demand.

So global warming is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions. The irony, I'm sure, is lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.

I suppose deeply flawed logic is a kind of logic, if you don't mind stretching the definition to the breaking point....

As I said; lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.

Actually, Potty Mouth, a look at your ratings indicates that the vast majority have a firm grasp of the depth of your ignorances, including those relating to logic.

@antigoracle, the Fecal Fiend, doesn't understand that his conclusions do not follow from his claims. Somebody should call and tell him that "It's coming from inside the head!"
antigoracle
1 / 5 (9) May 30, 2013
But the continent should not congratulate itself too much—the decline was largely due to a mild winter with lower heating demand.

So global warming is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions. The irony, I'm sure, is lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.

I suppose deeply flawed logic is a kind of logic, if you don't mind stretching the definition to the breaking point....

As I said; lost on the AGW Alarmist returds.

Actually, Potty Mouth, a look at your ratings indicates that the vast majority have a firm grasp of the depth of your ignorances, including those relating to logic.

Yep the ratings indicate another consensus amongst you AGW Alarmist returds or more appropriately CULT. Cultist behavior to the core and one that you are obviously proud of.
deepsand
3.4 / 5 (14) May 30, 2013
Potty Mouth seems to have passed through the Looking Glass.
Shelgeyr
1.6 / 5 (13) May 30, 2013
EU emitted 3.3% less greenhouse gas in 2011


Yet another indicator of the EU's overall decline.
ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (14) May 31, 2013
Prepare for the coming glaciation.

Guess you missed the fact that the cherry-picked HADCRUT data that the denialists repeatedly trot out as proof of falling temperatures actually show a WARMING trend from 2008 through 2012.
LOL. AGWite desperation. Laughable and pathetic.
freethinking
1 / 5 (5) Jun 02, 2013
The reason EU has dropped its carbon emissions IS SOLELY because it is in economic decline. But expecting Hezbollah Progressives to speak the truth is about as crazy as expecting them not to use every means they have available to destroy those that disagree with them.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (7) Jun 02, 2013
EU emitted 3.3% less greenhouse gas in 2011

Yet another indicator of the EU's overall decline.

The reason EU has dropped its carbon emissions IS SOLELY because it is in economic decline.

Well, since the EU had a GDP growth of 1.1% in 2011...would you care to explain how a cut in emissions despite growth can be explained due to 'economic decline'?

With numbers, please.

I'd be interested to see how the math on that works.
Howhot
3.8 / 5 (4) Jun 03, 2013
As much as @wishes-he-was-a-freethinker would like to blame EU's drop of carbon emissions on the effects of austerity (the EU economic decline), the traitorous freethink must not be aware of the progressive AGWites push to develop sustainable alternative energy sources like wind, and solar. That and less consumption of coal, oil and gas.

Also as @antialias clearly points out, GDP for the EU was 1.1% your explanation has to be wind, solar and lower fossil fuel consumption. *unlike in the USA*