Climate change in Europe: facts and figures
Find out the key facts and statistics about climate change in Europe: regional impact, top emitters, the reduction of greenhouse gases and more.
What are the facts on climate change? ©AP Images/European Union 2018 – EP
Climate change is a global issue, but how is it affecting Europe? Discover facts and figures highlighting different aspects of this issue: causes, consequences and evolution.
The EU's biggest greenhouse gases emitters
The EU is the world's third largest greenhouse gases emitter after China and the United States and followed by India, Russia and Japan (2015).
Within the EU, the top six emitters in 2017 were Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Poland and Spain. The energy sector was responsible for 80.7% of greenhouse gases emissions in the EU in 2017, while industry for 8,7%, followed by agriculture (8.72%), industry (7.82%) and the waste sector (2.75%).
Discover more data in our infographic on greenhouse gas emissions by country and sector in the EU.
Reducing the EU's greenhouses gases emissions
In 2008 the EU set a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. Much progress has been made: in 2015 there was already a decrease of 22% compared with 1990 levels.
In 2014, the EU set a new objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. According to the European Environmental Agency, the projected reductions based on the state of play of EU measures in 2017 will fall short of the target. It estimates there will be a decrease of about 30% in 2030.
See our infographics on the EU's progress towards reaching its 2020 climate change targets.
The impact of climate change on Europe
Climate change is already affecting Europe in various forms, depending on the region. It can for example lead to biodiversity loss, forest fires, decreasing crop yields and higher temperatures. It can also affect people's health. For instance, people people can die as a result of heatwaves.
Latest News from
ESMA Publishes Final Report For Guidelines on Internal Control30/09/2020 16:33:00
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, yesterday published the Final Report for its Guidelines on Internal Control for Credit Rating Agencies.
Education must not fall victim to COVID-1930/09/2020 15:25:00
Last week, I took part with my colleague Vice-President Dubravka Šuica in an event organised jointly with UNICEF.
Joint Leaders' Statement at the United Nations Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Gender Based Violence30/09/2020 13:25:00
We the co-leaders of the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Gender Based Violence.
Council finalises its position on the Horizon Europe package30/09/2020 12:48:00
The Council yesterday finalised its position on the proposed regulation establishing Horizon Europe, the EU framework programme for research and innovation for the years 2021 to 2027 (Horizon Europe regulation) and on the proposed decision on the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe (specific programme decision).
Increasing the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target is necessary and feasible30/09/2020 11:33:00
Environment Committee MEPs quizzed Executive Vice-President Timmermans on the new 2030 Climate Target Plan, demanding early action to reach carbon neutrality.
New Migration Pact proposal gets mixed reactions from MEPs30/09/2020 09:25:00
Civil liberties committee members questioned how the new Asylum and Migration Pact proposed by the European Commission would function during a debate on 24 September.
EU and Georgia sign Financing Agreements for COVID-19 Recovery worth €129 million29/09/2020 17:05:00
Today, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, signed two financing agreements worth €129 million to assist Georgia in coping with the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the country's economy.
MEPs spell out their priorities for the Digital Services Act29/09/2020 16:33:00
MEPs’ demands on how digital services, including online platforms and marketplaces, should be regulated were set out in a vote in the Internal Market Committee on Monday.
Press statement by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič following the third meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee29/09/2020 15:25:00
Press statement given yesterday by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič following the third meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee.
The EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights: Joint statement on behalf of the Council of Europe and the European Commission29/09/2020 13:25:00
The European Commission's Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, and the Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, yesterday issued a statement concerning the resumption of negotiations on the European Union's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.