CO2 emissions in the EU significantly decreased in 2018

Largest falls in CO2 emissions in Portugal and Bulgaria, highest increases in Latvia

Photo: Strait Times A coal-fired power plant in Bergheim. Germany.

Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion significantly decreased in the European Union by 2.5% over the course of 2018, according to early estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU. According to figures, CO2 emissions fell in 2018 in the majority of the 28 EU nations, with the highest decrease being recorded in Portugal (-9.0%), which was followed by Bulgaria (-8.1%), Ireland (-6.8%), Germany (-5.4%), the Netherlands (-4.6%), and Croatia (-4.3%).

On the other hand, however, eight Member States saw an increase, with the biggest rise registered in Latvia (+8.5%), ahead of Malta (+6.7%), Estonia (+4.5%), Luxembourg (+3.7%), Poland (+3.5%), Slovakia (+2.4%), Finland (+1.9%), and Lithuania (+0.6%).

The European Commission noted that the import and export of energy products have an impact on CO2 emissions in the location where fossil fuels are burned. If coal is imported this leads to an increase in emissions. If electricity is imported, it has no direct effect on emissions in the importing country as these would be reported in the exporting country where it is produced.

CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. They are influenced by factors such as climate conditions, economic growth, size of the population, transport, and industrial activities.

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