04 Jun 2010 05:06:13
EU 'halfway to meeting CO2 targets'
The European Union (EU) is half way towards meeting its 2020 carbon reduction targets, a new report shows.
Emissions are now 11.3 percent down on 1990 levels across the 27 EU member states, according to figures from the Greenhouse Gas Inventory compiled by the European Environment Agency.
The target is for the EU to cut carbon emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2020; however UK energy and climate change minister Chris Huhne said that he backs plans to increase the target to 30 per cent.
Since 2008 the downward trend in emissions was shown to have picked up pace. An increase in renewable energy sources, high coal and carbon prices and lower prices for natural gas were named as some of the reasons behind this.
High oil prices also led to a reduction in transport emissions and the economic recession decreased the pollutants being issued by the manufacturing and construction industries. The aviation and marine sectors also saw a drop in emissions for the first time since 1992.
Spain was shown to be one of the largest contributors to the reduction, accounting for one third of the net reduction within the EU 27, thanks to its increased use of renewables and the replacement of coal with natural gas.