EU Greenhouse gas emissions fall to new low, environment

Since 1990, the EU has cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate warming by almost one fourth, the EEA said.

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(Reuters)
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Emissions of greenhouse gases in the EU fell to a new low in 2014, the bloc's environmental watchdog said on Tuesday, citing more use of renewable energy and better energy efficiency.

The reduction in 2014, the most recent year covered in the report, was 4.1 per cent lower than in the previous year, the Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency (EEA) said.

Since 1990, the EU has cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate warming by almost one fourth, the EEA said.

"It is an important step towards reaching our 2030 and 2050 climate targets," EEA Chief, Hans Bruyninckx said in a statement.

The EU has set out to reduce emissions of at least 40 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and by 80 per cent by 2050.

He said that the EU needs to increase "investments in technology and innovation aimed at reducing our dependence on fossil fuels."

Factors that contributed to the 24.4-per-cent drop from 1990 included more use of renewable energy sources, the use of less carbon intensive fuels and improvements in energy efficiency, the EEA said.

The agency also cited the economic recession and lower demand for energy to heat households due to milder winters since 1990.

Road transport was one sector that bucked the trend with higher carbon dioxide emissions in the period 1990 to 2014. 

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