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Greenhouse Gas Emission Statistics: 33% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years

Eurostat published statistics on greenhouse gas emissions classified by technical processes and by emitting economic activities. The five major emission source sectors include: energy including transport, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, land use and forestry, and waste management. The presented data comprises emissions from international aviation and exclude emissions or removals from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF).

The main trends in greenhouse gas emissions are as follows:

-  Compared to 1990 levels, in 2020 EU greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 33%. This means an absolute reduction of 1 563 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents.

-  As can be seen from the Figure above, there was a decrease in emissions between 1990 and 1999 (with the exception of 1996, when a cold winter led to an increase in heating needs). From 1999 to 2008, the trend in EU greenhouse gas emissions remained relatively unchanged. In 2009, there was a sharp drop in emissions as a consequence of the global economic crisis. Between 2015 and 2017, GHG emissions increased slightly. In 2020, emissions decreased by 10.7% compared to 2019 levels, indicating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

-  In 2020, greenhouse gas emissions from economic activity in the EU were almost 24% lower than in 2008. The image above shows that the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases is electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply followed by manufacturing and households.

-  Germany, France, Italy and Poland are the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions including production activities plus households. As can be seen from the figure below, in 2020 in ten EU Member States, including Germany, Finland and Bulgaria, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply was the main reason for GHGs, while in eight states, for example, Belgium, Netherlands and Romania, manufacturing was the main emitter. Three countries (Denmark, Lithuania, Luxembourg) have transportation and storage activities as the dominant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Households were the major source in France, Croatia, Italy and Hungary.