Published: 11:14, August 17, 2023 | Updated: 13:02, August 17, 2023
EU greenhouse gas emissions fall 3% in the first quarter
By Reuters

In this file photo taken on March 28, 2022, a worker rides his bicycle to the BP oil refinery Ruhr Oil in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union fell by nearly 3 percent in the first quarter of 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

Greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union fell by nearly 3 percent in the first quarter of 2023, even as the bloc's economy grew slightly, statistics agency Eurostat said on Wednesday.

The EU's emissions over the January to March quarter amounted to 941 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents, down 2.9 percent from a year earlier, while the economy grew 1.2 percent year-on-year.

Electricity and gas supply - the sector where emissions fell the most - still contributed 19 percent to the total figure, with agriculture accounting for 13 percent and transportation and storage responsible for 10 percent

As the world grapples with increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather from climate change, including heatwaves in Portugal and Spain, the EU is pushing towards its target of net-zero emissions by 2050. Earlier this year it banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035.

ALSO READ: EU Parliament backs overhaul of Europe's biggest climate policy

Emissions fell in 21 of the bloc's 27 countries, with the largest decreases seen in Bulgaria, Estonia and Slovenia. They grew however in Ireland, Latvia, Slovakia, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Households were responsible for the biggest share - nearly a quarter - of total greenhouse gas emissions, Eurostat said, while manufacturing accounted for a fifth.

ALSO READ: EU climate chief exit seen as blow to its green goals

Electricity and gas supply - the sector where emissions fell the most - still contributed 19 percent to the total figure, with agriculture accounting for 13 percent and transportation and storage responsible for 10 percent.