European emissions down

Total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27, excluding emissions and removals from land-use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), decreased by 0.7 per cent between 2004 and 2005 and by 7.9 per cent between 1990 and 2005, according to the European Energy Agency.

Emissions decreased strongly in the new Member States during the 1990s, but since 2000 the trends have been almost identical Europe-wide. 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 per cent between 2004 and 2005, by 1.5 per cent between 1990 and 2005 and by 2.0 per cent between the Kyoto base year and 2005,” says the latest EEA bulletin. “This means the EU-15 has achieved one fourth of the total reduction needed to achieve the eight per cent 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,” it says.

In the 12 new Member States, total greenhouse gas emissions (excluding LULUCF) decreased by 0.3 per cent between 2004 and 2005 and by 27.8 per cent between 1990 and 2005. Projections for 2010 indicate that the EU-15 will meet its Kyoto target if Member States implement existing and additional measures fully and quickly, and make use of carbon sinks and Kyoto mechanisms, according to the EEA. “If all the projected reductions were achieved, the EU-15 could reach a level of emissions 11.4 per cent lower than base-year emissions, therefore overachieving its minus eight per cent Kyoto target by 3.4 percentage points,” it adds. The EU-27 does not have a Kyoto target. Twelve EU-15 Member States project they will achieve their individual targets.

The EEA says that all 10 new Member States with a target expect to meet their target (Cyprus and Malta do not have a Kyoto target). Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland project that they will meet their targets. Turkey has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol and thus has no Kyoto target, according to the EEA.