The European Union said Wednesday it is making progress on effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A graph depicting the variations in and rise of the Earth's surface temperature over the past 1000 years; aka the "hockey stick" graph. (Image source: Third Assessment Report of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Chapter 2, Figure 2.20.)
The EU's environmental agency says the 27-nation bloc's greenhouse emissions in 2011 were the lowest since it began monitoring them in 1990.
The European Environment Agency says greenhouse gas emissions dropped 3.3 percent compared to 2010, and were 18.4 percent below 1990 levels. It cited a milder winter in 2011 as the main reason for the drop.
Agency director Jacqueline McGlade said Wednesday the European Union was "making clear progress towards its emission targets."
The agency said nearly two-thirds of the emission reductions came from Britain, France and Germany, while the largest increases were in Romania, Bulgaria and Spain.
A U.N. climate conference in December agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that limits the greenhouse gas output of some rich countries.