Technology & Science

EU greenhouse gas emissions plunge below 2020 target

The European Union, the world's No. 3 greenhouse gas polluter, says its emissions fell four per cent last year, meaning the 28-country bloc has already surpassed its target for 2020.

Canada not on track to meet its goal, environmental groups say

Miguel Arias Canete, left, the EU's commissioner for climate and energy, announces the latest European emissions figures with European Environment Agency executive director Hans Bruynincks on Tuesday in Brussels. The EU has already met its 2020 climate change target, while Canada is struggling with its own goal. (Olivier Hoslet/EPA)

The European Union, the world's No. 3 greenhouse gas polluter, says its emissions fell four per cent last year, meaning the 28-country bloc has already surpassed its target for 2020.

A report by the EU's environment agency on Tuesday said 2014 emissions were 23 per cent lower than in 1990. The EU's goal is to achieve 20 per cent reductions by 2020, but the report said the bloc is headed for 24 to 25 per cent cuts with current measures to fight climate change.

It said the drop in 2014 "was partly due to an unusually warm year, which lowered energy demand."

EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete called the results "a strong signal" ahead of a December climate conference in Paris that "Europe stands by its commitments and that our climate and energy policies work."

Canada's goal is to reduce emissions 17 per cent by 2020 from their level in 2005. The United States has pledged to cut emissions by about the same.

Environmental groups and the federal government's environmental watchdog say Canada is not on track to meet that goal. The country's longer-term goal is to cut emissions 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

All G7 countries have pledged to stop using fossil fuels, the major source of greenhouse gas emissions, by 2100.

With files from CBC News

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