The European Union’s annual inventory of greenhouse gas emissions indicates these emissions continued to decrease in 2014, with a 4.1% reduction. In total, GHG emissions are 24.4% below 1990 levels, according to the European Environment Agency.
The report is entitled Annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2014 and inventory report 2016, or EEA Report No 15/2016.
In absolute terms, GHG emissions in the EU have decreased by 1,383 million tonnes (Mt) since 1990, reaching 4,282 Mt of CO2 equivalents in 2014, according to the inventory that was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The reduction over the 24-year period was due to a variety of factors, the EU says, including the growing share in the use of renewables, the use of less carbon-intensive fuels, improvements in energy efficiency, and structural changes in the economy and the economic recession. Demand for energy to heat households has also been lower, as Europe on average has experienced milder winters since 1990.
Emission reductions were largest for manufacturing industries and construction (-372 Mt), electricity and heat production (-346 Mt) and residential combustion (-140 Mt). The increase in non-combustible renewables (particularly wind and solar) also contributed to lower emissions in 2014.
The reduction was accompanied by a 47% increase in gross domestic product over the same period (1990-2014).
In the fall, EEA will publish early estimates for 2015 emissions in the EU, as well as a trends and projections report.