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EU on track to meet Kyoto carbon targets

New figures confirm the EU is on track to meet Kyoto carbon targets, despite the 2010 spike in its emissions, driven by the union’s gradual economic recovery last year.

Last year, greenhouse gas emissions were 15.5% below 1990 levels, following a six-year trend through to 2009.

EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the report was proof the EU has successfully decoupled emissions from economic growth through the wider use of low-carbon technologies. “The EU continued decoupling emissions from GDP during the recession,” she said in a statement. “Between 2008 and 2009, emissions fell by 7.1 per cent in the EU-27, much more than the around four per cent contraction in GDP.”

“Pursuing our efforts to make Europe a low-carbon society is the way forward,” she said. “It will stimulate technological innovation, spur economic growth and create jobs while further reducing emissions so that we meet our 2020 climate and energy targets and long-term goals,” she added.

The EU-15’s emissions were 10.7% below 1990 levels, comfortably below the legally-binding target of 8% by 2012 set by the Kyoto Protocol.

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