Across the EEA-33 countries, emissions of lead decreased by 93 %, mercury by 71 % and cadmium by 64 % between 1990 and 2016. The majority of the decrease in lead emissions occurred by 2004 mainly as a result of the phase out of leaded petrol across Europe. The largest emission source presently is ‘Energy use in industry’, contributing around one-third of total emissions. Since 1990 the two sectors contributing most to the decrease in mercury emissions are ‘Energy use in industry’ and ‘Industrial processes and product use’.
Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs said: “Our cooperation on environment with the Eastern Partner countries is stronger than ever. We have seen numerous actions implemented as well as progress in environmental legislation. Further work on the implementation of new legislation, on mainstreaming environmental principles and the principles of a circular economy into other policy areas is still needed, and I am confident that EU assistance in this area will contribute to achieving tangible results.”
The Joint Research Centre has published a new guidance to help competent authorities in Member States regulate emissions to air and water from about 55 000 large industrial installations across Europe.
A study published in Nature Climate Change suggests a way forward for reconciling the different methods currently used to measure land-based greenhouse gas emissions, addressing a limit also acknowledged in the IPCC special report on 1.5oC, published on 8 October 2018.
Petrochemicals – components derived from oil and gas that are used in all sorts of daily products such as plastics, fertilisers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents and tyres – are becoming the largest drivers of global oil demand, in front of cars, planes and trucks, according to a major study by the International Energy Agency.
Even with increased production, by 2050 the European pulp and paper industry can reduce its energy consumption by 14% and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 62% compared to 2015 levels.