Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in most source sectors – Products Eurostat News


Climate change can be an overwhelming topic with many indicators involved. To better understand this, Eurostat today published a Stats Explained Article on climate change and its driving forces providing long-term analysis and in-depth context.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the result of human activities that cause anthropogenic climate change, and the EU is an ambitious contributor to global efforts to combat climate change and reduce GHG emissions, committing to be climate neutral by 2050.

Data produced by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and republished by Eurostat show that GHG emissions have fallen in most sectors, with the exception of fuel combustion in transport, including international aviation. This sector increased by 50 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq) (+7%) in 2020 compared to 1990.

Source dataset: env_air_gge

Across all source sectors, the EU succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,546 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents between 1990 and 2020. The greatest absolute decrease (-657 million tonnes of CO2-eq) of emissions produced in the combustion of fuels by energy industries, which mainly produce electricity, heat and derived fuels, followed by manufacturing industries and construction (-322 million tonnes) and households, trade, institutions and others (-215 million tonnes) . In terms of relative evolution, these three sectors recorded respectively a 46%, 44% and 29% decrease in their emissions in 2020 compared to 1990.

Fugitive emissions from fuels show the largest relative change in 2020 compared to 1990 at -59%, but the share in the overall total is much lower (1.8% of total GHG emissions).

This Statistics Explained article on climate change includes a detailed analysis of eight sectors covering industry, transport, agriculture, households and waste management.

For more information:

Methodological data:

  • The GHG emissions inventories are taken from the Eurostat dataset Greenhouse gas emissions by source sector (env_air_gge). This dataset is originally produced and published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). EEA GHG Emissions Inventory data can be accessed through the EEA Greenhouse Gas Data Viewer.
  • The source sectors presented here are groupings of the more detailed classification used in greenhouse gas emissions inventories, called the Common Reporting Format (CRF).

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