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EU economy greenhouse gases above pre-pandemic levels

Christian Fernsby |
In the fourth quarter of 2021, EU economy greenhouse gas emissions totaled 1 041 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq), slightly Eincrease is largely due to the effect of the economic rebound after the sharp decrease of activity in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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For comparison, the emissions for the same period in 2019 amounted to 1 005 million tonnes of CO2-eq.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the economic sectors responsible for most emissions of greenhouse gases were households (22%), manufacturing and electricity supply (both 21%), followed by agriculture (12%) and transportation and storage (11%). Greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors increased compared with the same period of 2020, with the highest increases recorded in transportation and storage (+18%), mining (+11%) and electricity supply (+10%).

Despite the effect of the economic rebound between the same quarters of 2020 and 2021, the long-term trend of EU greenhouse gas emissions displays a steady reduction.

Emissions in the fourth quarter of 2021 increased in all EU Member States when compared with the same quarter of 2020, reflecting recovery from the pandemic.

In some Member States, like Cyprus (+0.3%), the Netherlands and Slovenia (both +2%) and Luxembourg (+3%), emissions in the fourth quarter of 2021 remained low compared with the same quarter of 2020, while in Estonia (+28%), Bulgaria (+27%) and Malta (+23%) emissions increased substantially.

In some cases, like Estonia (+28%), Bulgaria (27%), Sweden (+14%), and Latvia and Belgium (both +13%) for example, the registered increase was noticeably more pronounced than the decrease recorded between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the same quarter of 2020.

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