The European Union (EU) economy is set to experience a 4% decline in greenhouse gas emissions during Q4 2022 when compared to the same quarter in 2021. This decline comes alongside signs of economic recovery evidenced by a 1.5% increase in the EU Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during Q4 2022 in comparison to the same period in 2021. The pandemic was responsible for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 6% in Q4 2019, from 994 to 938 million tonnes of CO2. This information is based on quarterly estimates of greenhouse gas emissions released by Eurostat. These estimates can be used in conjunction with other socioeconomic data such as GDP and employment.
During Q4 2022, the manufacturing and households sectors were responsible for the highest greenhouse gas emissions levels, accounting for 21% each. The electricity and gas supply sector followed at 20%, with agriculture contributing 13%, and transportation and storage at 11%. It was found that six out of nine economic sectors decreased their emissions, with a change ranging from -0.3% in the water and sewerage, waste management, and construction sectors to -9.7% in the electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply sectors. Conversely, emissions increased in three sectors: transportation and storage (+7.0%), services (excluding transportation and storage) (+1.6%), and mining and quarrying (+1.0%).
Twenty-three EU member states recorded a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, with just three exceptions: Ireland (+12.3%), Latvia (+6.8%), and Malta (+6.4%). Denmark experienced a slight increase (+1.9%), while all other countries decreased their emissions. Countries that demonstrated the largest declines in their emissions were Slovenia (-15.9%), the Netherlands (-9.9%), and Slovakia (-6.9%). Of the 23 countries that achieved a decrease in their greenhouse gas emissions, only Estonia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Finland, and Sweden recorded a decrease in GDP, indicating that most countries have been able to reduce their emissions while simultaneously increasing their GDP.