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. EU Greenhouse Gas Emissions On The Rise

Recent Envisat image of NO2 concentrations over Europe.

Brussels (AFP) Jun 21, 2005
The European Union said on Tuesday that the bloc's carbon-dioxide emissions rose in 2003, but that it remains confident of meeting its long-term goal of limiting the gases responsible for global warming.

The EU's executive commission said that greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon-dioxide (CO2), rose by 1.5 percent in 2003 from the previous year on average across the 25 member states.

In the 15 states that were members in 2003, emissions rose 1.3 percent.

It named Britain, Italy and Finland as the worst offenders.

Under the Kyoto Protocal on international climate change, the original 15 members have to reduce their emissions by an average eight percent from 2008-2012, compared to levels it produced in 1990.

"Despite the fact that we have a higher CO2 emission in the European Union in 2003, it should be noted that our latest report in December last year shows that we are going to meet our Kyoto targets," a spokeswoman said.

"It is also important to note that in 2003, many of the 42 measures that the EU is implementing in relation to reducing CO2 emissions were not in place," said the spokeswoman, Barbara Helfferich.

She said that of the total 53 million-tonne increase, the biggest producers were households and services with 18 million tonnes, industry with 17 million tonnes and transport which produced six million tonnes.

Helfferich also said the EU hoped to be able to make headway on cutting greenhouse gas production at the summit of the Group of Eight industrialised nations in Scotland next month.

"We are very hopeful that we will reach some type of understanding between our global partners and ourselves that we need to go forward with further measures against global warming," she said.

"We need everybody on board, in particular the United States, which is one of the biggest emitters of CO2 and other greehouse gases."

Greenhouse gases, including CO2 and nitrogen oxides, are blamed for depleting the earth's ozone layer, which filters the sun's harmful rays.

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