EU’s greenhouse gas emissions down 2.5% in 2011

The European Union's (EU) greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.5% in 2011 despite higher coal consumption, according to new estimates from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The decrease in emissions were mainly due to a milder winter in most parts of the EU, which resulted in lower heating demand from households, and reduced natural gas consumption.

Renewable energy consumption continued to increase in 2011, which contributed to the observed decrease in emissions.

The economic sectors not covered by the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) reduced emissions by approximately 3.1%.

Sectors contributing most to lower emissions in the EU in 2011 were households and the service sector. The transport sector also contributed, by reducing emissions for the fourth consecutive year.

Based on the EEA estimates, EU 2011 emissions stand approximately 17.5% below the 1990 level.

Source: EEA

However, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy, released in June 2012, coal consumption in Europe increased by 3.3% last year compared with 2010.

The EEA’s official 2011 greenhouse gas emissions for the EU will be available by mid-2013.

Leigh Stringer

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