Eurostat provides indicators on progress made in tackling climate change
On the occasion of the publication of the 2015 Energy, Transport and Environment Statistical Book and with regard to the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference to take place in Paris in December 2015, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has published a small selection of data on energy, transport and environment in the EU related to climate change.
Energy, transport and increased human intervention in the environment have proved to be major contributors to climate change over the last few decades. The EU has therefore been actively pursuing ambitious emission reduction targets for years.
Eurostat data illustrates the development of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU from 1990 onward, where the largest reductions (in percentage points) have taken place in the Baltic EU member states and Romania. By contrast, greenhouse gas emissions have increased in 8 EU Member States, including Austria (+4%), while the overall development for all EU Member States is a reduction of emissions of 17.9% compared to 1990 levels.
The second indicator provided by Eurostat is the share of railway transport during the period of 2003 to 2013, which shows Austria with the highest relative increase both with regard to inland passenger transport (+3.2 percentage point increase) and freight transport (+13.4 percentage points). Decreases were mainly recorded in Eastern EU Member States. Overall, at EU level the share of railways in inland passenger transport rose from 6.7% in 2003 to 7.6% in 2013, while for freight transport, it decreased from 18.3% to 17.8%.
The third indicator Eurostat looks at is the level of achievement of Europe 2020 targets on energy consumption from 1990 onward. From 1995, primary energy consumption in the EU increased to reach a peak in 2006. Since then, the overall decline in primary energy consumption has brought it back to its early 1990s levels. Many EU Member States already reached in 2013 the level required to meet their national 2020 targets, while Austria is among the seven Member States whose primary energy consumption is still above their Europe 2020 targets.
Finally, Eurostat provides data on the share of renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy between 2004 and 2013. This share has grown significantly in all Member States, with thirteen Member States having at least doubled their share of renewables over the last 10 years. In 2013, Sweden had by far the largest highest share of energy from renewable sources in its gross final consumption of energy (52.1%), ahead of Latvia (37.1%), Finland (36.8%) and Austria (32.6%). The overall EU share was 15.0% in 2013, compared to 8.3% in 2004. However, Austria is not among the four EU Member States (Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden) which have already reached the level required to meet their national 2020 targets.
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