The latest European Environment Agency figures suggest that the European Union (EU) is set to hit its 2020 emissions reduction target.
EU greenhouse gas emission levels fell by 23% between 1990 and 2016, however only a 0.7% reduction was seen in 2016.
While still on course to hit 2020 targets, the EU is expected to have to work much harder to hit more long-term goals such as the 40% reduction target set for 2030, in the absence of further new policies.
Current emission reductions are primarily being put down to the increase in renewable energy share within the power generation market, along with the reduction of coal-based generation.
The reduction was capped due to increased energy use and higher emissions produced by residential and transport sectors.
According to the report, industry and intra-EU flights calculated in the Emissions Trading System, emissions fell by around 2.6% due to a clean-up of a number of large power plants.
It is clear that while efforts are being made to clean up industry and Europe’s air, there is much still to be done to reach the targets set in the Paris agreement by 2040.
The European Environment Agency’s Executive Director, Hans Bruyninckx stated: “The EU is firmly on track to meet its 2020 emissions targets.”
“This evolution illustrates the positive effects of innovation and investments in the low carbon economy of the future.”
“However, it is clear we all need to considerably intensity our efforts if we are to meet our Paris agreement commitments and the more ambitious longer-term goals for 2030 and 2050 in creating a low carbon economy.”