Greenhouse gas emissions from the EU-15 member states rose by 0.3% between 2003 and 2004, equivalent to 11.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to the latest figures from the European Commission.
Despite this rise, EU-15 emissions stood 0.9% lower than in the base year (mostly 1990) even though the EU-15 recorded economic growth of 32% over the same period. Nevertheless greater efforts are needed to reduce EU-15 emissions to 8% below base year levels for the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period 2008-2012. The figures have been released as the EU prepares to issue national allocations for phase 2 of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)
“It is very encouraging that we have broken the link between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions, but this decoupling needs to be accelerated,” Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said.
The inventory for 2004, compiled by the European Environment Agency, shows emissions rose in 10 of the member states though there were falls in CO2 emissions from households and from electricity and heat production. Nonetheless, the 2004 result puts actual EU-15 emissions further above the level they are projected to be at if policies and measures agreed at EU level were fully implemented. National Allocation Plans (NAPs) for phase 2 must be submitted by 30 June, after which the Commission has three months to approve them or require changes.
Further details of 2004 greenhouse gas emissions are available at: