The European Union (EU) has witnessed a substantial decrease of over 5 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions during the second quarter of 2023, according to data from Eurostat released on Wednesday.
According to Reuters, the figures reveal that the EU’s emissions from April to June totalled 821 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, marking a 5.3 per cent decline compared to the same period the previous year.
Among the sectors contributing to this reduction, the electricity and gas supply sector experienced the most significant drop at 22 per cent, with manufacturing identified as the primary contributor to emissions, accounting for 23.5 per cent of the total.
The EU’s commitment to combating climate change is evident in its ambitious policies, making it a global leader in this endeavour. The region has set a target to cut net emissions by 55 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030, a crucial step towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Earlier this year, the EU further elevated its renewable energy share goal to 42.5 per cent by 2030, a considerable increase from the previous target of 32 per cent.
The push for renewable energy gained momentum after geopolitical events, particularly the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prompted the EU to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels, turning towards locally produced, low-carbon energy sources like wind and solar power. Despite the commendable progress, challenges persist, with political and industry resistance to green objectives.
The decline in emissions is particularly noteworthy in certain EU member states, with Bulgaria leading the way with a substantial reduction of 23.7 per cent, followed closely by Estonia (-23.1 per cent) and the Netherlands (-10.3 per cent). This encouraging trend indicates that efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions are making headway in various parts of the EU.
Moreover, Eurostat highlighted that out of the 21 EU members that reported a decrease in year-on-year emissions during the second quarter, ten countries achieved this while simultaneously experiencing economic growth, showcasing the compatibility of environmental conservation and economic development.
(With inputs from Reuters)