This increase is largely due to the effect of the economic recovery, leading to growth in gross domestic product (GDP) after the sharp drop in activity caused by the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, compared with the pre-crisis third quarter of 2019, the EU economy’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 4% (from 889 to 854 million tonnes of CO2-eq).
In the EU, GDP grew slightly more than GHG emissions in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter of 2021 (+2% for GHG emissions, +3% for GDP). Most EU countries experienced growth in both GDP and emissions, but some countries even managed to reduce emissions while GDP grew.
In the third quarter of 2022, the main economic sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions are ‘Industry’ (23%), ‘Electricity, gas supply’ (21%), ‘Households’ and ‘Agriculture’ (both 14%), followed by ‘Transport and storage’ (13%).
Emissions in the third quarter of 2022 increased in 16 of the 27 EU Member States compared to the same quarter of 2021, indicating a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the EU countries with increased emissions over the same period were Ireland (+17%), Estonia and Malta (both +8%). On the other hand, the largest decreases in emissions were recorded in Lithuania (-6%), Slovakia and the Netherlands (both -5%).