EU greenhouse emissions fall more than expected

June 4, 2014
Militants of Greenpeace deploy a banner reading "Stop risking Europe" on a reactor of the nuclear power plant of Fessenheim on March 18, 2014

The European Union's greenhouse-gas emissions fell more in 2012 than previously estimated, according to new data released on Tuesday.

By the end of 2012, the EU had reduced its output of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by more than 19 percent compared to 1990 levels, rather than the 18 percent announced in a preliminary reading in October last year.

Emissions fell "largely due to reductions in transport and industry and a growing proportion of energy from renewable sources," according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

"This puts the EU within reach of its 20 percent reduction target, with eight years to go until the 2020 deadline," it said.

In the same period that greenhouse-gas emissions dropped 19 percent, the bloc's economic output grew 45 percent, according to the EEA.

"The EU has demonstrated that there is no conflict between a growing economy and reducing ," executive director Hans Bruyninckx said in a statement.

As the clock ticks on a UN-backed goal of reaching a new global treaty on at talks in Paris late next year, US President Barack Obama vowed Monday to force US power plants to cut by 30 percent.

Connie Hedegaard, the EU's climate action commissioner, said Obama's proposal was "the strongest action ever taken by the US government to fight climate change".

Explore further: Climate: EU emissions down 2.5 percent in 2011

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