EU GHG emissions hit -4% in Q422

According to data published by Eurostat, greenhouse gas emissions in the EU economy decreased by 4% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. The total emissions amounted to 938 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq). This reduction in emissions occurred alongside a 1.5% increase in the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the same period. It is also noteworthy that emissions in the fourth quarter of 2022 were 6% lower compared to the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019.

The sectors contributing the most to greenhouse gas emissions in the EU economy during the fourth quarter of 2022 were manufacturing and households, each accounting for 21% of the emissions. The electricity and gas supply sector followed closely behind with 20% of the emissions, while agriculture accounted for 13% and transportation and storage contributed 11%.

The data reveals that emissions decreased in six out of nine economic sectors when compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. The largest reduction of 9.7% occurred in the electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply sector. However, emissions increased in the transportation and storage sector (+7.0%), services (except transport and storage) sector (+1.6%), and mining and quarrying sector (+1.0%).

In terms of country-specific emissions, most EU countries witnessed a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in the fourth quarter of 2022, except for Ireland, Latvia, Malta, and Denmark, where emissions increased. Notably, these countries also experienced an increase in their GDP. Among the countries that reduced emissions, the largest decreases were observed in Slovenia (-15.9%), the Netherlands (-9.9%), and Slovakia (-6.9%).

It is worth mentioning that out of the 23 EU countries that saw a decline in emissions, only five experienced a decrease in their GDP. This indicates that the majority of countries successfully managed to reduce emissions while achieving economic growth. The findings highlight the progress made in curbing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and the potential for decoupling economic growth from carbon-intensive activities.

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