UK emissions down ... and up
New European data reveals mixed picture for UK greenhouse gas emissions
Verified emissions data from the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions across the EU fell by 3.3% in 2011 compared to 2010, but declined by 7% in the UK. Early estimates for 2012 from Eurostat reveal that UK CO2 emissions increased by 3.9% even though total carbon emissions across the bloc are expected to have decreased by 2.1% against the 2011 figure.
The EEA data, which has been submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), confirms that total EU GHG emissions in 2011 were 18.4% below 1990 levels. The overall decline in emissions between 2010 and 2011 was achieved despite a slight increase in economic growth, with GDP up 1.6%, and was larger that earlier estimates by the EEA. According to the agency, the reduction was due largely to reduced demand for heating.
“The greenhouse gas emissions cut in 2011 is good news, however, it was largely due to a warmer winter,” commented EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade. “Nonetheless, the EU is making clear progress towards its emission targets.”
Almost two thirds of the emissions reduction in 2011 came from the UK, France and Germany, says the EEA. Since 1990 – the baseline year for most GHGs covered by the Kyoto protocol – UK GHG emissions have declined by 28.8%.
Eurostat estimates that CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion decreased by 2.1% in the EU27 in 2012, adding to the 4.1% fall recorded in the previous year. It says carbon emissions decreased in nearly every member states in 2012, except Malta (+6.3%), the UK (+3.9%), Lithuania (+1.7%) and Germany (+0.9%).
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