Economic recovery drove rise in EU greenhouse gases

EU greenhouse gas emissions were pushed up by the economic recovery and a cold winter in 2010, according to new figures. As many European countries emerged from the 2009 recession, […]

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By Vicky Ellis

EU greenhouse gas emissions were pushed up by the economic recovery and a cold winter in 2010, according to new figures.

As many European countries emerged from the 2009 recession, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions increased by 2.4 % or 111 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

The UK, Germany and Poland together accounted for more than half (56%) of the EU’s total net increase in emissions.

Jacqueline McGlade, the European Environment Agency’s Executive Director said: “Emissions increased in 2010. This rebound effect was expected as most of Europe came out of recession. However, the increase could have been even higher without the fast expansion of renewable energy generation in the EU.”

The EEA says the total use of energy from renewable sources rose in 2010 by 12.7%.

Out of the gases covered in the report, carbon dioxide (CO2) was responsible for the largest increase in 2010, making up 82% of total EU emissions.

Despite this, the figures from the greenhouse gas inventory – published by the EEA today – show the 27 EU Member States are “fully on track” to meet the EU’s Kyoto target.

Homes and businesses saw a rise in emissions because they needed more heating during the colder winter, while manufacturers and builders, as well as public heat and electricity producers also saw a rise in CO2.