EU-27: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, by quarter
in million metric tons of CO2
Q4 2022939
Q3 2022853
Q2 2022864
Q1 2022965
Q4 2021978
Q3 2021837
Q2 2021849
Q1 2021941
Q4 2020942
Q3 2020815
Q2 2020736
Q1 2020957
Q4 2019994
Q3 2019889
Q2 2019913
Q1 20191,035
Q4 20181,051
Q3 2018929
Q2 2018923
Q1 20181,085
Q4 20171,069
Q3 2017935
Q2 2017957
Q1 20171,096
Q4 20161,090
Q3 2016923
Q2 2016940
Q1 20161,062
Q4 20151,059
Q3 2015940
Q2 2015939
Q1 20151,071
Q4 20141,050
Q3 2014916
Q2 2014931
Q1 20141,043
Q4 20131,074
Q3 2013940
Q2 2013960
Q1 20131,116
Q4 20121,095
Q3 2012956
Q2 2012986
Q1 20121,154
Q4 20111,127
Q3 2011974
Q2 2011999
Q1 20111,163
Q4 20101,182
Q3 2010994
Q2 20101,024
Q1 20101,172
  • Region: EU
  • Time period: Q1 2010 to Q4 2022
  • Published: May 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 29, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Overall Trend of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Between 2010 and 2022, the EU-27 witnessed a significant decrease in quarterly greenhouse gas emissions, from a peak of 1,182 million metric tons of CO2 in Q4 2010 to 939 million metric tons of CO2 in Q4 2022. This reduction showcases a broad downward trend in emissions over the span of 12 years.

Annual Emissions Fluctuation

Yearly analysis reveals fluctuations in emissions, with 2010 starting off at 1,172 million metric tons of CO2 in Q1 and ending in 2022 with 939 million metric tons of CO2 in Q4. The highest annual peak occurred in Q1 2012 with 1,154 million metric tons, indicating variability in emissions year over year.

Seasonal Patterns in Emissions

A clear seasonal pattern emerges from the data, where Q1 consistently records the highest emissions each year, peaking at 1,154 million metric tons of CO2 in Q1 2012. Conversely, Q3 tends to have lower emissions, with the lowest at 736 million metric tons of CO2 in Q2 2020, suggesting a seasonal influence on emission levels.

Comparative Analysis by Quarter

Comparing the first and last years available, Q1 emissions decreased from 1,172 million metric tons of CO2 in 2010 to 965 million metric tons of CO2 in 2022, showcasing a notable reduction in emissions for the first quarter over the years. This trend is consistent across all quarters, underscoring a general decline in greenhouse gas emissions across the EU-27.

Impact of External Factors

The data from 2020 highlights the impact of external factors on emissions, with a sharp decrease to 736 million metric tons of CO2 in Q2, likely influenced by global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This period marks the lowest quarterly emissions within the dataset, indicating how external shocks can significantly affect environmental outcomes.

Year-over-Year Emissions Trends

Year-over-year comparison reveals a fluctuating trend, with emissions peaking in 2012 and gradually declining thereafter. Notably, the transition from 1,154 million metric tons of CO2 in Q1 2012 to 939 million metric tons in Q4 2022 illustrates the overall progress in reducing emissions, despite occasional upticks in certain years.

Long-term Emission Reduction Progress

Over the last decade, the EU-27 has made tangible progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with a decrease from 1,182 million metric tons of CO2 in Q4 2010 to 939 million metric tons of CO2 in Q4 2022. This gradual decline reflects the effectiveness of environmental policies and initiatives aimed at combating climate change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the trend in greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27 between 2010 and 2022?

There was a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27, from 1,182 million metric tons of CO2 in Q4 2010 to 939 million metric tons of CO2 in Q4 2022.

How have the emissions fluctuated annually?

The emissions varied annually, with a peak of 1,154 million metric tons of CO2 in Q1 2012 and the lowest recorded at 736 million metric tons of CO2 in Q2 2020.

Terms and Definitions

EU-27 refers to the 27 member countries of the European Union, a group of democratic European countries committed to working together for peace and prosperity. The '27' specifies the number of countries included in the collective, following the United Kingdom's exit in 2020.

Greenhouse gas emissions are gases in Earth's atmosphere that trap heat. They include emissions from human activities such as burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation, or from natural processes like decomposition.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is one of the main greenhouse gases. It is emitted into the Earth's atmosphere when fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), solid waste, trees and wood products are burned.

Methane (CH4) is another greenhouse gas, produced both through natural processes and human activities, like the decomposition of wastes in landfills, agriculture, and especially rice cultivation and ruminant digestion.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas that is produced in agricultural and industrial activities, combustion of fossil fuels and biomass, as well as during various other activities.

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular entity, such as an individual, community, industry, or country.

Climate change is a long-term alteration in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It is significantly affected by increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to global warming.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), committing state parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and it is caused by human-made emissions of greenhouse gases.
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