“The GHG inventory report shows that the EU is well on track to meet its emission reduction targets with domestic policy measures only. Our policies and tools seem to be working,” says Professor Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the EEA. “Although we are expecting an even sharper decline in 2009, caused mainly by the recession, we need to ensure that the downward trend in emissions continues and that Europe boosts its climate investments, with the ultimate aim of achieving a more resource-efficient economy.”
The combination of high coal and carbon prices accompanied by a drop in natural gas prices in 2008 induced heat and electricity producers to replace more polluting coal by gas and as a result, reduce their GHG emissions. The use of biomass and other renewable sources (wind and hydroelectric power) has also increased significantly in 2008. The economic recession, which started during the second half of the year, also contributed to emission reductions from several sectors including the manufacturing and construction, and road transport sectors. Road transport emissions were also affected by high oil prices, the continued decline in gasoline consumption and a reversal of the upward trend in diesel sales.