Romania has more than halved its greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, aided by a 15.8 percent drop in primary energy consumption, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
With an overall reduction of 17.9 across the EU, Romania was among four states which reduced their greenhouse emissions by over 50 percent: Latvia (-57.1 percent), Lithuania (-55.6 percent), Estonia (-52.6 percent) and Romania (-52.0 percent). Other notable drops were registered in Bulgaria (-44.1 percent), Slovakia (-41.4 percent), Hungary (-36.3 percent) and the Czech Republic (-32.7 percent). In contrast, increases were registered in Malta (+56.9 percent), Cyprus (+47.7 percent), Spain (+22.5 percent), Portugal (+14.9 percent), Ireland (+7.0 percent), Greece (+5.7 percent), Austria (+4.0 percent) and Slovenia (+2.6 percent).
The biggest emitter in the EU was Germany (965 million tons of CO2), followed by the United Kingdom (615 million), France (507 million), Italy (471 million), Poland (401 million) and Spain (354 million). Together, these six Member States generated around 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU in 2012.
Being close to the 20 percent target across EU that had been set for 2020, the objective has been doubled recently, with at least a 40 percent reduction compared to 1990 levels to be achieved by 2030.
Romania’s primary energy consumption target set for 2020 was of 43 million tons of oil equivalent. Our country had already dropped below the limit in 2005, when it had reached a consumption of 36.7 million tons. However, consumption dropped by a further 15.8 percent since then, reaching 30.9 million tons in 2013.
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.
Moreover, our country is about 0.5 percent away from reaching its 2020 target for renewable energy, with a 23.9 percent share of energy consumption from renewable sources.
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 percent share of renewables in 2013), Estonia (25.6 percent), Lithuania (23.0 percent) and Sweden (52.1 percent), while 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.
Since the transport sector has some of the highest greenhouse emissions, targets were set for road transportation to be replaced with railway. For this chapter Romania did not score so well, with a 7 percent fall in the share of railway transport in overall inland passenger transport.
Other states that saw decreases were Hungary (-3.2 pp), Poland (-3.0 pp) and Bulgaria (-2.6 pp), while the highest relative increases were registered in Austria (from 9.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2013, or a 3.2 percentage point increase) and the United Kingdom (+3.0 pp).
Our country has also seen an 8.5 percent drop in freight railway transport, following the general trend at EU level.