CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the EU decreased by 2.5% compared to the previous year, according to the EU's statistics watchdog Eurostat on Wednesday.
CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions, the statistical office said.
They are influenced by factors such as climate conditions, economic growth, population size, transport and industrial activities, the watchdog noted, adding that energy product imports and exports also have an impact on CO2 emissions in the member states where fossil fuels are burned.
"For example if coal is imported this leads to an increase in emissions, while if electricity is imported, it has no direct effect on emissions in the importing country, as these would be reported in the exporting country where it is produced," it explained.
According to Eurostat estimates, CO2 emissions fell in 2018 in the majority of EU member states, with the highest decrease being recorded in Portugal (-9.0%) followed by Bulgaria (-8.1%), Ireland (-6.8%), Germany (-5.4%), the Netherlands (-4.6%) and Croatia (4.3%).
Increases were registered in eight member states; Latvia (+8.5%), ahead of Malta (+6.7%), Estonia (+4.5%), Luxembourg (+3.7%), Poland (+3.5%), Slovakia (+2.4%), Finland (+1.9%) and Lithuania (+0.6%).
By Ebru Sengul