Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated in the European Union by burning fossil fuels – mainly oil and petroleum products, natural gas, coal and peat – increased by 6.3% in 2021, when most restrictions were lifted compared to 2020, shows data released on Friday by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat). Romania is among the countries whose emissions have increased more than the European average.
The largest increases in CO2 emissions from energy use in 2021 compared to 2020 were recorded in Bulgaria (18%), Estonia (13.1%), Slovakia (11.4%), Italy (10.6% ), Poland (8.6%), Spain (7.4%) and Romania (6.6%), all higher than the European average.
The only two countries with an estimated decrease in CO2 emissions are Portugal (minus 5.5%) and Finland (minus 1.5%), according to Eurostat data.
Eurostat says that in 2021, when most of the COVID-19 containment measures were lifted by the EU Member States, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the EU (mainly oil and oil products, natural gas, coal and peat) increased by 6.3% compared with the previous year. CO2 emissions from energy use are a major contributor to global warming and account for some 75% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. Climate conditions (e.g. cold/long winter or hot summer), economic growth, size of the population, transport and industrial activities are some factors that influence emissions.
CO2 emissions from fossil fuels originate in the country where the fuels are burned for electricity generation, transport, steel production etc., which consequently impacts imports and exports of energy products. For example, importing coal for electricity generation leads to an increase in emissions in the importing country. In contrast, electricity imports do not affect the importing country’s emissions, as these are reported in the exporting country where electricity was produced.