The economic crisis reduces the EU countries’ greenhouse gas emissions

2009 - 09 - 01
The economic crisis reduces the EU countries’ greenhouse gas emissions

Yesterday, the European Environment Agency published its preliminary data on the last year’s greenhouse gas emissions. It shows that emissions in the 27 EU countries decreased by 1.5 percent. At the same time, the agency admitted that this was partly due to the economic crisis.

However, emissions have been reduced for the fourth consecutive year. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the original 15 EU countries were to reduce their emissions by 8 percent between 2008 and 2012.

The positive development relates to the economic crisis, which fully broke out in the last autumn. The decline in economic growth resulted in reduced electric power consumption and less traffic, and led to an overall decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.

This information could serve as another impetus in negotiations on a new climate protection agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which soon expires. The EU’s joint position to be advocated by the European Union at the International Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December will be prepared by the Swedish Presidency.

The EU has a leading role on the international political scene in the fight against climate change. Last spring, Member States agreed on their ambitious goal to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. The already agreed climate and energy package should contribute significantly to this goal. Among other things, the package envisages a reform of emissions trading and will also support the development of underground carbon capture and storage technology (CCS).

“Positive data confirms that the EU is on the right track. On the other hand, the real preparedness of the European Union will only come to light when the crisis is over, and production and transport are fully relaunched,” said Director Dalibor Dostal of the European Wildlife conservation organization.

Photo: Pixabay

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