Greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union decreased modestly in 2016, according to estimates published in the latest climate ‘trends and projections’ assessments released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The estimates confirm that the EU remains on track to meet its emission reduction target set for 2020, but more work is needed to meet longer-term goals.
According to preliminary estimates, emissions for 2016 in the EU decreased by 0.7% from 2015. The slight drop corresponds to a 23% decrease in emissions between 1990 and 2016. The decrease in 2016 was mainly due to a rising share of renewable energy and a switch from coal to gas in the EU’s fuel mix for power generation, despite an increase in energy consumption and growth in emissionsin the residential and transport sectors.
A higher demand for heating (because of weather conditions) and a higher transport demand in 2016 help explain the increase. Emissions from these sectors are now 11% below 2005 levels.