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EU fossil fuels emissions lower thanks to gas crisis

By AFP - Jun 10,2023 - Last updated at Jun 10,2023

PARIS — Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in the European Union fell by 2.8 per cent last year, thanks to reduced use of natural gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Eurostat reported on Friday.

The European Union’s statistical agency said in a report that CO2 emissions from the 27 EU nations was almost 2.4 billion tonnes last year.

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 75 per cent of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. 

While natural gas use was down, by around 13 per cent, emissions from coal and oil were up slightly “reflecting, among other things, the efforts invested by EU countries to achieve the voluntary gas demand reduction target introduced in August 2022”, as the conflict in Ukraine hit supplies. 

According to Eurostat, the fall in energy-related emissions also varied greatly from country to country. 

The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium saw the biggest falls, with The Netherlands leading the way with a 12.8 per cent reduction.

At the other end of the scale, Bulgaria registered the biggest increase in CO2 emissions of 12 per cent, followed by Portugal and Malta.

The European Union has ambitious plans to become a “climate neutral” economy by 2050, with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

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