EU's 2021 greenhouse emissions fell 22% from 2008 peak

A coal-fired power station scheduled to shut down is seen in As Pontes, Spain, February 8, 2022. Picture taken February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Miguel Vidal

Dec 21 (Reuters) - European Union's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) level in 2021 fell by 22% from a peak hit in 2008, the bloc's statistic Office said on Wednesday.

Its latest annual analysis, which excludes an expected rebound in emissions this year, found the top five emitters of the 27 EU member states - Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Spain - accounted for roughly 60% of emissions of carbon dioxide, the dominant GHG.

Eurostat studied 64 emitting industries, aggregated into six groupings, plus household consumption.

Overall GHG emissions - including methane and nitrous oxide as well as carbon dioxide - stood at 3.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq) in 2021, 1.01 billion tonnes of CO2-eq lower than a peak so far hit in 2008 when the EU data set began.

Mining and quarrying recorded the largest drop, down 42% between 2008 and 2021, followed by utilities, steam and air conditioning supply (-39%), manufacturing, transportation and storage (-23%) and households (-13%), Eurostat said.

This year's rebound in economic activity as lockdowns were eased, nuclear and hyrdopower energy underperformed, increasing demand for fossil fuel power, and summer heatwaves led to increased air-conditioning use, has driven emissions higher in 2022.

Eurostat's data from November showed that GHG emissions in industries and households in the second quarter of 2022 increased by 3% compared with the same period in 2021, totalling 905 million tonnes of CO2-eq.

Reporting by Dina Kartit, edited by Barbara Lewis

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