|The EU-15 are not tracking to meet their Kyoto obligations. Click to enlarge.|
Absent additional measures, the EU 15—the 15 longest-standing members of the European Union—will fail to meet their target reduction in greenhouse gases of 8% from the 1990 level required under Kyoto, according to an official report released today by the European Environment Agency.
According to the report, The European Environment: State and Outlooks 2005, given current trends and measures, the 15 will deliver a reduction in GHG emissions of 1.6% below the 1990 base year levels—a shortfall of 6.4%. The transportation sector, with an increase in greenhouse gas emissions of 24% from 1990 through 2003, is one of the leading impediments to achieving the target.
Aggressive implementation of additional measures could push that down to a 6.8% reduction.
The use of Kyoto mechanisms by various member states would reduce emissions by a further 2.5%, leading to total reductions of 9.3%, sufficient to reach the EU-15 target. This would, however, rely on over-delivery by some countries. All EU-10 member states (the new members) project that existing domestic measures will be sufficient to meet their Kyoto targets in 2010, in one by using carbon sinks.
Total EU-15 GHG emissions in 2003 were 1.7% below base-year levels. Increases in carbon dioxide emissions were offset by reductions in nitrous oxide, methane and fluorinated gas emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from road transport increased whereas emissions from manufacturing industry decreased.
Total EU-15 GHG emissions (including Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms) in 2003 were 1.9 index points above the hypothetical linear EU target path. Many EU-15 Member States were not on track to meet their burden-sharing targets. Total GHG emissions in the EU 10 decreased considerably (by 32.2%) between the aggregate base year and 2003, due mainly to the economic restructuring transition process towards market economies.
Regarding other EEA countries, Iceland and the EU candidate countries Bulgaria and Romania are on track to achieving their Kyoto targets while Norway and Liechtenstein will, with existing domestic policies and measures, fall short of theirs.
|Relative gaps between GHG projections and 2010 targets, based on existing and additional domestic policies and measures, and changes by the use of Kyoto mechanisms.||Change in EU-15 emissions of greenhouse gases by sector and gas 1990-2003.|
Improvements in industrial efficiency and reductions in methane emissions from waste have provided the most substantive gains. But longer car journeys have more than offset gains in engine performance, and ship and airline journeys are also increasing fast.
The EU-15 member states are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
The EU-10 member states are: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
The report provides an overview of Europe’s environment and points to challenges of which greenhouse gas emissions is just one. Other areas of concern include biodiversity, climate change, marine ecosystems, land and water resources, energy use, air pollution and health. For the first time, the report has a country by country analysis with performance indicators and comparisons for all of the participants: the EU-25 plus Bulgaria, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Romania, Turkey and including Switzerland.