People, Environment

EU Emissions Down

EU Emissions DownEU Emissions Down

European Union greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2014 to their lowest level since 1990, although the bloc said more diesel vehicles had increased carbon dioxide on its roads and significant cuts were needed. The European Environment Agency said on Tuesday 2014’s 4.1% decline, which coincided with a 1.4% GDP rise, resulted from more renewables, better energy efficiency, the recession and milder winters, Reuters reported. Germany and Britain led the way, accounting together for some 45% of reductions at the EU level in 2014. The fall is in line with a pattern of declining emissions to an overall 24.4% over the 24-year period. Observers say the 28-nation bloc was making progress toward its target of a 40% emissions reduction cut by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. While emissions decreased in most sectors, road transport accounted for the largest increase in carbon dioxide pollution, growing by 124 million tons between 1990 and 2014. Despite improvements in vehicle fuel consumption, road transport made up some 20% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2014. For EU member states to meet their targets in sharing out the burden of cutting emissions, pollution from transport “would need to fall significantly”, the agency said in its annual report.