57% increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990

Malta also lags behind in using renewable energy sources

Malta has seen a 56.9% increase in greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2012, the highest in the European Union, and is among the countries that use the least amount of renewable energy sources.

Eurostat figures show that Cyprus (+47.7%), Spain (+22.5%), Portugal (+14.9%), Ireland (+7.0%), Greece (+5.7%), Austria (+4.0%) and Slovenia (+2.6%) also saw an increase in CO2 emissions over the past two decades.

Emissions have more than halved in Latvia (-57.1%), Lithuania (-55.6%), Estonia (-52.6%) and Romania (-52.0%), followed by Bulgaria (-44.1%), Slovakia (-41.4%), Hungary (-36.3%) and the Czech Republic (-32.7%) in this time period.

Energy, transport and increased human intervention in the environment have proven to be major contributors to climate change over the last few decades and the European Union has actively pursued emission reduction targets for years.

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%), Greece (-22.6%) and Malta (-20.0%), followed by Hungary (-17.3%), Spain (-16.4%), Romania (-15.8%), Portugal (-14.5%), Italy (-14.1%), Bulgaria (-13.8%), the United Kingdom (-12.7%) and Cyprus (-12.0%).

Twenty 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. 

With 52.1%, Sweden had by far in 2013 the highest share of energy from renewable sources in its gross final consumption of energy, ahead of Latvia (37.1%), Finland (36.8%) and Austria (32.6%).

In contrast, the lowest proportions of renewables were found in Luxembourg (3.6%), Malta (3.8%), the Netherlands (4.5%) and the United Kingdom (5.1%).

At EU level, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy reached 15.0% in 2013, compared with 8.3% in 2004, the first year for which the data is available. 

Four out of the 28 EU Member States have already reached the level required to meet their national 2020 targets: Bulgaria (with a 19.0% share of renewables in 2013), Estonia (25.6%), Lithuania (23.0%) and Sweden (52.1%). Moreover, Romania (with a 23.9% share of renewables in 2013) and Italy (16.7%) are less than 0.5 percentage points from their 2020 targets.

At the opposite end of the scale, the United Kingdom (9.9 percentage points from reaching its national 2020 objective), the Netherlands (9.5 pp), France (8.8 pp) and Ireland (8.2 pp) are the furthest away from their target. 

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