Lithuania halved greenhouse gas emissions since 1990

DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

In 2013, the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption in Lithuania was 23 percent, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), reports.

Compared with 1990, most Member States reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. Emissions have more than halved in Latvia (-57.1 percent), Lithuania (-55.6 percent), Estonia (-52.6 percent) and Romania (-52.0 percent), followed by Bulgaria (-44.1 percent), Slovakia (-41.4 percent), Hungary (-36.3 percent) and the Czech Republic (-32.7 percent). In contrast, increases were registered in Malta (+56.9 percent), Cyprus (+47.7 percent), Spain (+22.5 percent), Portugal (+14.9 percent), Ireland (+7.0 percent), Greece (+5.7 percent), Austria (+4.0 percent) and Slovenia (+2.6 percent). At EU level, emissions were 17.9 percent below 1990 levels. While the EU is now confident of achieving its Europe 2020 target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent in 2020, it has recently doubled its objective in the context of the COP21, with at least a 40 percent reduction compared to 1990 levels to be achieved by 2030.

Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU as a whole stood in 2012 at 4 683 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, with the biggest emitter being Germany (965 million), followed by the United Kingdom (615 mn), France (507 mn), Italy (471 mn), Poland (401 mn) and Spain (354 mn). Together, these six Member States generated around 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU in 2012.

The transport sector has the second biggest greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. More than two thirds of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions are from road transport. For this reason shifting inland journeys from road to rail is part of the EU strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Between 2003 and 2013, the share of rail in inland passenger transport performance rose in a majority of Member States, with the highest relative increases being registered in Austria (from 9.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2013, or a 3.2 percentage point increase) and the United Kingdom (+3.0 pp). In contrast, the largest decreases were recorded in Romania (a 7.0 pp fall), Hungary (-3.2 pp), Poland (-3.0 pp) and Bulgaria (-2.6 pp). Regarding freight transport, the trend is the opposite: most Member States have seen the share of rail in their freight transport performance fall between 2003 and 2013. Railway freight transport declined mainly in Eastern EU Member States, notably in Estonia (-26.8 pp), Bulgaria (-25.2 pp), Poland (-18.5 pp), Lithuania (-16.4 pp) and Slovakia (-16.1 pp), while the largest increase was recorded in Austria (+13.4 pp), followed by Denmark (+5.3 pp) and Germany (+5.1 pp).

At EU level, the share of railways in inland passenger transport performance rose from 6.7 percent in 2003 to 7.6 percent in 2013, while for freight transport, it decreased from 18.3 percent to 17.8 percent.

From 1995, primary energy consumption in the EU increased to reach a peak in 2006. Since then, the overall decline in primary energy consumption has brought it back to its early 1990s levels. Compared with 2005, all EU Member States have seen their primary energy consumption in 2013 fall, except Estonia and Poland. The largest reductions were registered in Lithuania (-27.9 percent), Greece (-22.6 percent) and Malta (-20.0 percent), followed by Hungary (-17.3 percent), Spain (-16.4 percent), Romania (-15.8 percent), Portugal (-14.5 percent), Italy (-14.1 percent), Bulgaria (-13.8 percent), the United Kingdom (-12.7 percent) and Cyprus (-12.0 percent).

20 EU Member States have already reached in 2013 the level required to meet their national 2020 targets, while Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and the United Kingdom registered primary energy consumption still above their Europe 2020 targets.

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