Today the European Commission published its annual report on the EU's progress towards meeting its Kyoto Protocol target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The European Environment Agency (EEA) also published its latest analysis of greenhouse gas trends in the EU.
These reports highlight the substantial progress the EU is making in breaking the link between carbon emissions and economic growth. By 2010 the EU succeeded in cutting emissions by 15.5% since 1990 while the economy grew by 41% over the same period. Emissions fell for six consecutive years up to and including 2009. The EU-15 remains firmly on course to meet its 8% emission reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol, and is most likely to overachieve it.
Connie Hedegaard made the following statement: "The EU continued decoupling emissions from GDP during the recession. Between 2008 and 2009, emissions fell by 7.1% in the EU-27, much more than the around 4% contraction in GDP. However, last year's estimated 2.4% rise in emissions shows that we need to continue the decoupling process. Pursuing our efforts to make Europe a low-carbon society is the way forward. It will stimulate technological innovation, spur economic growth and create jobs while further reducing emissions so that we meet our 2020 climate and energy targets and long term goals."