European Union

Making policy for climate’s sake

Europe is the land where climate policy has been explicit. Seeking to lead the world in terms of climate mitigation policy, it has integrated policy across many, varied states, and its nations have developed and implemented ambitious policies of their own. The challenge in Europe is to continue providing leadership in the face of an economic crisis, while accounting for national differences in outlook and policy.

subjectEmissions Drivers

These graphs show the changes in emissions drivers in the Power, Industry, and Buildings sectors in the EU


Agriculture Contribution of agricultural emissions drivers to changes in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in EU27 (Methane)

Methane emissions from livestock declined as the number of cattle decreased.


    Power Power sector variables and impact on average emissions factor in the EU27

    During the 1990s, increases in coal and natural gas efficiency and growing nuclear output drove down grid emissions intensity. In the 2000s, the fuel mix shifted away from coal and toward other sources, especially renewable energy. The efficiency of coal plants fell in the 2000s, possibly due to increased sulfur and other pollution controls.


      Industry Energy efficiency index (Odex) in industry in the EU27

      Industrial energy efficiency improved across the board since 1990. There were no structural changes in industry that affected emissions intensity.


        Buildings Impacts of drivers on residential emissions

        Population increase and smaller households- which led to more buildings and total floorspace —increased residential emissions. However, these factors were more than offset by increases in energy efficiency and renewable energy and a shift to electricity from other fuel sources.


          Transport Emissions intensity indices—EU27 + Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey

          Emissions intensity declined steadily. Passenger transport efficiency improved more than freight transport efficiency. However, within road transport, freight improved three times as much as passenger travel (18% versus 6%) between 1995 and 2010 (not shown).