EU greenhouse gas emissions +2.4% in 2010: estimates
(PARIS) - The EU's greenhouse-gas emissions rose 2.4 percent in 2010 over 2009 following the financial crisis, but the bloc remains on track for meeting Kyoto Protocol targets, figures released on Friday said.
Early estimates of the 27 European Union (EU) economies, issued by the European Environment Agency (EAA), also showed that the 15 EU members which collectively signed up to Kyoto commitments saw an emissions rise of 2.3 percent year-on-year.
Greenhouse-gas emissions from Spain, Greece and Ireland decreased but there was a pickup of emissions from Britain and Germany.
Emissions by the EU-15 were 10.7 percent below the base level set for the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. The 15 have a collective target of an eight-percent reduction for the period of 2008-2012 compared to 1990, putting that 2.7 percent ahead of the eight-percent goal.
However, Austria, Italy and Luxembourg were still lagging behind their Kyoto targets at the end of 2010.
The EU-27 do not have a collective commitment under Kyoto. Overall, their emissions were 15.5 percent lower than 1990 at the end of last year.
However, they have vowed to deepen this to at least 20 percent by 2020.
In 2009, EU-15 emissions fell by 6.9 percent over 2008, and those of the EU-27 by 7.1 percent.
The future of the Kyoto Protocol is under discussion at talks in the 194-party UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Protocol's current commitments, expiring at the end of 2012, require only advanced economies that have ratified the treaty to commit to legally binding curbs on carbon emissions.
Critics flaw Kyoto because these pledges do not apply to emerging giant economies, such as China, which is the world's No. 1 emitter, nor to the United States, the No. 2 emitter, which has refused to ratify the pact.
The EAA figures exclude the counting of forests.
Under controversial Kyoto rules, forests are "carbon sinks" considered to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas, and thus can be offset against national emissions.
Official figures for 2010 emissions will be published at the end of May or early June next year, the Copenhagen-based agency added.
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