EU GHG emissions reductionsThe EU has made significant progress in cutting emissions in recent decades. EU greenhouse gas emissions (including the UK and Iceland) fell 8.5 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, to 3.7 GtCO2e. This was a reduction of 34 percent, relative to 1990 levels, meaning the EU vastly overshot its 2020 emissions reduction target of 20 percent below 1990 levels. While COVID-19-related lockdowns were largely responsible for the reductions in 2020, EU GHG emissions have been on a downward trend over the past 30 years, with the EU having already surpassed the 20 percent target in earlier years.
From 1990 through to 2020, all but two EU member states managed to cut their emissions by at least 20 percent, with the United Kingdom and Germany reducing their emissions by 49 percent and 41 percent, respectively. In fact, both these countries accounted for almost half of the bloc’s total net GHG emissions reductions during this period. However, due to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, as well as rising emissions in 2021, figures may be negatively impacted in future reports.