In the second quarter of 2022, EU economy greenhouse gas emissions totalled 905 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq), a 3% increase compared with the same quarter of 2021. The documented increase is largely related to the effect of the economic rebound, which can be drawn from gross domestic product (GDP) growth, following the sharp decrease in activity due to the COVID-19 crisis. On a global scale, the CO2 emissions are expected to rise to 40.6 billion tonnes (GtCO2) in 2022, a record, according to partial projections made by scientists from the Global Carbon Project published recently.

EU economy GreenHouse Gas Emissions

Bar chart: Greenhouse gas emissions by economic activity and GDP, EU, million tonnes of CO2 equivalents, chain linked volumes (2015) million euro, Q12010 - Q2 2022
This information comes from data on quarterly estimates for greenhouse gas emissions by economic activity published by Eurostat. Quarterly estimates of greenhouse gas emissions complement quarterly socio-economic data, such as GDP or employment.
Source datasets: env_ac_aigg_q and namq_10_gdp

EU economy GreenHouse Gas Emissions

In the second quarter of 2022, the economic sectors responsible for the most emissions of greenhouse gases were ‘manufacturing’ (23%), ‘electricity, gas supply’ (19%) and ‘households’ (17%), followed by ‘transportation and storage’ (14%) and ‘agriculture’ (13%). 

Bar chart: Growth rates of greenhouse gas emissions by economic activity, EU, % change compared with the same quarter of previous year, Q2 2022
Source dataset: env_ac_aigg_q

Greenhouse gas emissions increased in most sectors compared with the same period of 2021, except for ‘households’ and ‘agriculture’, which decreased by 8% (-13 million tonnes of CO2-eq.) and 1% (-1 million tonnes of CO2-eq.), respectively. The highest increases were recorded in ‘transportation and storage’ (+22% or 22 million tonnes of CO2-eq.), ‘electricity, gas supply’ (+6% or 10 million tonnes of CO2-eq.) and ‘services’ (+6% or 4 million tonnes of CO2-eq.)

At global scale, among the practices that emit the most emissions are those related to land use, like deforestation and its 3.9 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2022. Indonesia, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo alone contribute to more than half (58%) of these emissions. The solution for most scientifics and researchers is to stop deforestation, expand forests and protect oceans. Especially since the Earth and the oceans, which normally absorb half of CO2 emissions, are less efficient than before, in particular due to the droughts of recent years. Between 2012 and 2021, climate change has reduced the storage of ocean and land sinks by 4% and 17% respectively.

To reverse the curve, it would be necessary to reduce emissions by around 1.4 billion tonnes of CO2 each year. The equivalent of the decline seen during the coronavirus outbreak.

EU economy GreenHouse Gas Emissions

Source: Eurostat, Global Carbon Project