In the fourth quarter of 2022, EU economy greenhouse gas emissions totalled 938 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq), a 4% decrease compared with the same quarter of 2021 (978 million tonnes of CO2-eq). This decrease is accompanied by some economic rebound, as shown by the 1.5% increase in the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared with the same quarter of 2021. It is also positive that compared with the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019, EU economy greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 6% (from 994 to 938 million tonnes of CO2-eq).
This information comes from data on quarterly estimates for greenhouse gas emissions by economic activity published by Eurostat today. Quarterly estimates of greenhouse gas emissions complement quarterly socio-economic data, such as GDP or employment. This article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article on quarterly greenhouse gas emissions.
Source datasets: env_ac_aigg_q and namq_10_gdp
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the economic sectors responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions were ‘manufacturing’ and ‘households’ (each with 21%), ‘electricity, gas supply’ (20%), ‘agriculture’ (13%), followed by ‘transportation and storage’ (11%).
Data show that compared with the fourth quarter of 2021, emissions decreased in 6 out of 9 economic sectors, varying between -0.3% in the ‘water supply; sewerage, waste management’ and ‘construction’ sectors and -9.7% in the ‘electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply’ sector. The only 3 sectors in which emissions increased were ‘transportation and storage’ (+7.0%), ‘services (except transport and storage)’ (+1.6%) and ‘mining and quarrying’ (+1.0%).
Greenhouse gas emissions down in 23 EU countries
Emissions in the fourth quarter of 2022 decreased in almost all EU countries when compared with the same quarter of 2021, except for Ireland (+12.3%), Latvia (+6.8%), Malta (+6.4%) and Denmark (+1.9%), where they increased. This group of EU members also saw their GDP increase.
Among the EU countries that reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the largest decreases were registered in Slovenia (-15.9%), Netherlands (-9.9%) and Slovakia (-6.9%).
Source dataset: env_ac_aigg_q and namq_10_gdp
Of the 23 EU countries that saw a decrease in emissions, only 5 recorded a decrease in their GDP (Estonia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Finland, and Sweden), meaning most managed to decrease emissions while growing their GDP.