In 2011, the UK reduced its greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country in Europe. An increase in renewable energy generation is one of the biggest causes, but mild weather and a weak economy also had some impact.
The report, released by the European Environment Agency, also gives France and Germany honorable mentions. At this point, Spain and Italy are the only two European countries at risk of not meeting their goals, which could be due in no small part to their struggling economies.
The European Union will meet its target under the 1997 treaty, which requires developed countries to cut emissions by a little more than 5% from 1990 levels by the end of 2012. The economy grew by 48% during this time, and emissions decreased by 18%. This is a good indication that the EU will reach its goal of cutting emissions 20% by 2020.
With the exception of Italy and Spain’s numbers, the UK is giving the European Union a hefty boost into meeting these goals. It would be great to see Europe surpass the 20% reduction goal if everyone gets down to business.
Image CC licensed by NHD-INFO: Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm