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LONDON—Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions are falling fast, mainly because of the rapid spread of the wind turbines and solar panels that are replacing fossil fuels for electricity generation.
European Union data shows that once countries adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), they often exceed their targets—and this finding is backed up by figures released this week in a statement by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The UNFCCC statement says: “This is a powerful demonstration that climate change agreements not only work, but can drive even higher ambition over time.
“The successful completion of the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period can serve as a beacon for governments as they work towards a new, universal climate change agreement in Paris, in December this year.”
In the EU, the leading countries for making savings are Germany, Sweden, France, Italy and Spain, which account for two-thirds of the total savings on the continent. But most of the 28 countries in the bloc are also making progress towards the EU’s own target of producing 20% of all its energy needs from renewables by 2020. It has already reached 15%.