European Union Greenhouse Gas Emissions Down 23 Percent. The European Union, the world’s No. 3 greenhouse gas polluter, says its emissions fell 4 percent last year, meaning the 28-nation bloc has already surpassed its target for 2020.
A report by the EU’s environment agency on Tuesday said 2014 emissions were 23 percent lower than in 1990. The EU’s goal is to achieve 20 percent reductions by 2020, but the report said the bloc is headed for 24-25 percent cuts with current measures to fight climate change.
It said the drop in 2014 “was partly due to an unusually warm year, which lowered energy demand.” European Union Greenhouse Gas Emissions Down 23 Percent
EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete called the results “a strong signal” ahead of a December climate conference in Paris that “Europe stands by its commitments and that our climate and energy policies work.”Human activities since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (around 1750) have produced a 45% increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, from 280 ppm in 1750 to 415 ppm in 2019. The last time the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was this high was over 3 million years ago. This increase has occurred despite the uptake of more than half of the emissions by various natural “sinks” involved in the carbon cycle.