Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in Europe decreased between 2004 and 2005, according to preliminary data from a forthcoming report by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The report, Annual European Community greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2005 and inventory report 2007, was submitted to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the European Community’s official submission on 14 April. The full report will be published in mid-June 2007, however, the EEA is releasing the main messages of the report early.
The drop in emissions, while positive, must be viewed in context. It represents a decrease over only one year and may not be representative of the trend over a longer period.—Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA
The key points of the report are:
EU-15: Emissions of GHGs decreased by 0.8 % between 2004 and 2005.
EU-15: Emissions of GHGs decreased by 1.5 % compared to 1990.
EU-27: Emissions of GHGs decreased by 8 % compared to 1990 levels.
In absolute terms, the main sectors contributing to emissions reductions between 2004 and 2005 in the EU-15 were public electricity and heat production, households and services, and road transport.
Emissions from public electricity and heat production decreased mainly due to a reduction in the reliance on coal. The reduced emissions from households and services have to be further analysed, but appear to be due to climatic conditions. The decrease in emissions from road transport has also to be further analysed, but appears to be a combination of reduced fuel consumption and increased use of diesel cars.
Germany, Finland and the Netherlands contributed most to the EU-15 reduction.
Germany: a shift from coal to gas in the production of public electricity and heat was one of the main reasons for the decrease in emissions. In addition, emissions from road transport and from households and services declined substantially.
Finland: emission reductions were mainly due to a substantial decrease in the use of fossil fuels in the production of public electricity and heat. Coal use, in particular, decreased.
The Netherlands: less fossil fuel was used for the production of public electricity and heat.
The EEA compiles the greenhouse gas inventory report annually using information reported by national governments under the EC GHG Monitoring Mechanism.
The report contains domestic GHG emissions data from 1990 to 2005 for the EU-15 and the EU-27. Domestic, in this context, refers to emissions from within each Member State, which are then added up to give an EU total. The data may be subject to change up to May 2007 as a result of initial checks by the UNFCCC secretariat and updates by EU Member States, however, the main trends outlined will not change.
Official reporting of emissions for compliance purposes under the Kyoto Protocol does not begin until 2010, when emissions will be reported for 2008. In the meantime, this report tracks progress towards Kyoto targets.
The EU-15 has a common target to reduce GHG emissions by 8%, compared to the base year using domestic reductions (cutting emissions from each Member State) as well as Kyoto mechanisms (EU Member States invest in emissions reductions initiatives outside the EU in return for credits). This inventory report suggests that domestic emissions of GHGs decreased by approximately 1.9% compared to the base year under the Kyoto Protocol.
The base year for most greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol is 1990 for the EU-15, but some Member States use 1995 as the base year for fluorinated gases.
The EU-15 includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.
The EU-27 includes: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.