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EU still among top 3 world CO2 emitters, new data shows

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By Marie Jamet  & Sandrine Amiel
EU still among top 3 world CO2 emitters, new data shows

The European Union is still among the world's top three CO2 emitters after China and the United States, new data shows.

The figures, which date from 2018, were released on Wednesday by the Global Carbon Project on the occasion of the UN Climate Summit in Madrid (COP25)

While the ranking considers the EU as a whole, it also looks at the performance of individual EU countries. Germany and the United Kingdom are among the top 10 countries emitting the most CO2 in 2018.

The EU has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 17% in the past decade, but this is not enough to compensate for the rise coming from emerging economies. China and India, in particular, have increased their respective shares by 36% and 71%.

Between 2017 and 2018, the EU is the only one of the five largest CO2 emitters to have reduced its emissions (-2%). The two largest increases were recorded in India and Russia with + 7.5% and + 3.7% respectively.

In 2018, the five countries emitting the most CO2 accounted for nearly 65% ​​of global emissions.

According to the Global Carbon Project, the EU is expected to further downsize its emissions in 2019.

The trend will also be downwards in the US, but not in China and India.

Overall, the agency estimates that emissions in 2019 will be 4% higher than in 2015 -- the date of the Paris Agreement.

Coal consumption dropped by 10% in Europe in 2019, but the decline in global emissions from coal was offset by higher emissions from natural gas and oil.

Within the EU, CO2 emissions have decreased by 1.4% per year on average over the last 10 years.

But progress remains insufficient, according to experts.

"It is urgent to redouble our efforts to stay within the *well below 2°C* target set in the Paris Agreement," Philippe Ciais, a researcher at LSCE - Pierre Simon Laplace Institute, was quoted as saying in the Global Carbon Project report.

Germany and the United Kingdom, EU's biggest polluters

In the European Union, Germany and the United Kingdom remain the two biggest emitters of CO2 of the last decade.

Poland, a coal-dependent country, went up in the ranking from sixth to third largest emitter in the EU.