Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion significantly decreased in the 27 member states of the European Union in 2019, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union on Wednesday.

Emissions from mainly oil and oil products, coal, peat and natural gas fell by 4.3% year on year, Eurostat said.

CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for some 80% of all man-made EU greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

They are influenced by factors including climate conditions – cold/long winters or hot summers, economic growth, population size, transportation, and industrial activities.

CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are generated in the country where the fuels are burned for purposes such as electricity generation, transport, steel production etc.

“Consequently, imports and exports of energy products have an impact: for example if coal is imported for electricity generation this leads to an increase in emissions in the importing country, while if electricity as such is imported, it has no effect on emissions in the importing country, as these emissions would be reported in the exporting country where the electricity has been produced,” it explained in Eurostat’s statement.

According to Eurostat estimates, emissions fell in 2019 in the majority of EU member states, with the highest decrease in Estonia at 22.1%, followed by Denmark at 9.0%, while Greece and Slovakia recorded a fall of 8.9% each.

The largest falls in CO2 emissions from energy use were seen in Estonia and Denmark with the highest increase observed in Luxembourg.

Four member states showed increases: Luxembourg with a 7.5% rise, ahead of Austria at 2.8%, Malta with 2.0% and Lithuania with 1.6%.

Early estimates of CO2 emissions from energy use for 2019 are computed by Eurostat based on aggregated monthly energy statistics for fossil fuels (oil and oil products, natural gas, coal and peat) for the years 2018 and 2019.

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