Current carbon emissions in the European Union

2021. 10. 29.

Current carbon emissions in a city

Current carbon emissions by country – CO2 emissions in the European Union and its states. How does the Green Deal affect the pollution of greenhouse gases?

What is the level of current carbon emissions? Although greenhouse gases are polluting the Earth at an all-time high level, the strategy to reverse this process is ready. First world countries, the US, and member states of the European Union are reducing carbon emissions by 50% until 2030.

Why is that?

CO2 levels are rising because of fossil fuels. Land use, deforestation, agriculture, and industry are direct human activities linked to the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is the most common greenhouse gas in the air.

co2 levels

Source: IPCC (2014), epa.gov

The current CO2 levels on Earth

Since the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide emissions have multiplied: now it is 12 times higher than it was in 1900, and now it is twice as much as it was in 1970.

carbon footprint in the last 800000 years

Source: climate.gov

As you can see, carbon emissions are peaking nowadays, so it is clear that humans cause global warming. Carbon dioxide produced by the industrial sector is the largest contributor to global warming. By 2020, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has risen ~50% above its pre-industrial level.

CO2 emissions by country

Based on the data of Earth Systems Science, Asia is leading the board of CO2 emissions rate. It produces almost twice as much carbon dioxide as the United States, which is the second biggest contributor.

co2 emissions

Source: ucsusa.org

In Europe, Germany has the most carbon emissions (2%) followed by the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, and France (1%).

Carbon footprint per capita in Hungary

According to Worldometer, CO2 emissions per capita in Hungary are equivalent to 5.23 tons per person. In comparison, this value is

  • 7.38 in China,
  • 15.52 in the United States,
  • 11.44 in Russia
  • 9.44 in Germany.

The conclusion is that highly industrialized countries have bigger per capita emissions than third-world countries, i.e. wealthier countries contribute more to CO2 emissions.

How to reduce the current carbon emissions?

Of course, the best way to reduce carbon emissions is switching to renewable energy sources. Every fossil fuel extraction is bad for the environment and increases our economic footprint.

So, if the question is “Is natural gas worse for the environment than solar power?”, the answer is yes. But if we ask “Is natural gas the most eco-friendly fossil power source?”, the answer is also yes.

  • Coal (anthracite): 228.6
  • Coal (bituminous): 205.7
  • Diesel fuel and heating oil: 161.3
  • Gasoline (without ethanol): 157.2
  • Propane: 139.0
  • Natural gas: 117.0

Source: eia.gov

Natural gas is a cheap, reliable energy source that has less CO2 emission than other non-renewable power sources. Read more about this: Is natural gas environmentally friendly?

Countries in the EU have already started decarbonization. As the following graph shows, Spain, Germany, the UK, Italy, and France are reducing their CO2 emissions by 10-16% year by year.

reducing greenhouse gas emissions by country

Source: statista.com

It is part of the European Green Deal. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 50-55% by 2030 and to reach a zero-carbon emission by 2050.

Conclusion

  • Humans are causing climate change.
  • Use natural gas instead of other fossil fuels.
  • Switch to renewable energy.
  • The goal of the European Green Deal is to maintain the decreasing use of non-renewable energy sources.