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Brussels, 31 August 2009

Climate change: Commission welcomes provisional 2008 data showing further EU progress towards Kyoto targets

The European Commission welcomes the provisional figures for 2008 released today indicating that the EU's greenhouse gas emissions fell again for the fourth year running. The European Environment Agency estimates that emissions from the EU-15 member states fell by 1.3% in 2008 compared with 2007 levels, taking them to 6.2% below their levels in the base year (1990 in most cases). This represents another significant step by the EU-15 towards meeting its Kyoto Protocol target of reducing emissions in the 2008-2012 period by 8% below the base year level. EU-27 emissions are estimated to have fallen 1.5% in 2008 to stand 13.6% lower than the base year level.

EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas commented: "These provisional figures are a further confirmation that the EU is well on track to reach its Kyoto target, even if one should recognise that part of the reduction in emissions is due to the economic slowdown. This trend needs to be further consolidated in the coming years. The EU has already shown that it can successfully decouple its emissions from economic growth. The swift implementation of the EU climate and energy package should give a new impetus to this trend. This is a timely message to the rest of the world in the run up to the Copenhagen climate conference in December."

Provisional estimate is a first

The provisional 2008 figures are based on a range of economic data sources published at national and European level, including verified emissions from businesses participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which showed a 3% fall in 2008 (see IP/09/794 ).

The provisional figures mark the first time an official estimate has been produced of EU greenhouse gas emissions in the previous year. Previously the European Environment Agency has waited for member states to provide complete emission inventories and has then published EU-wide results only some 18 months after the end of the year in question. EU-wide emissions data for 2007 were published at the end of May (see IP/09/851 )

Further information

European Environment Agency information note:

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