EU’s carbon emissions fall in climate boost even as economy grows

BRUSSELS – The European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions tumbled at the end of 2022r even as the region’s economy grew, a positive signal for the bloc’s efforts to meet its own climate goals.

Emissions in the EU fell by 4 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier, according to Eurostat data published on Monday. Gross domestic product climbed 1.5 per cent over the same timeframe. 

It’s a positive indicator as the EU works toward its target of cutting emissions by 55 per cent by the end of the decade, and further adds to evidence that the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hasn’t led to a short-term increase. Emissions were 6 per cent down compared with pre-pandemic levels.

The data shows that 23 out of the EU’s 27 member states saw emissions fall, with Ireland – where rapid economic growth was mirrored by a 12 per cent surge in greenhouse gas – a standout exception. Slovenia saw the biggest cuts and most member states achieved declines while growing their economies. 

Across the bloc, emissions decreased in six out of nine sectors, including a 10 per cent plunge in electricity. The three exceptions were transportation and storage, services and mining.

Previous reports have shown that the EU managed to cut its energy demand significantly over the winter. BLOOMBERG

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