Climate change in Europe: facts and figures 


Share this page: 

What are the facts on climate change? ©AP Images/European Union 2018 - EP 

Find out the key facts and statistics about climate change in Europe: regional impact, top emitters, the reduction of greenhouse gases and more.

Climate change is a global issue, but how is it affecting Europe? Discover facts and figures highlighting different aspects of this issue: causes, consequences and evolution.

The EU's biggest greenhouse gases emitters

The EU is the world's third largest greenhouse gases emitter after China and the United States and followed by India, Brazil and Russia (2012).

Within the EU, the top six emitters in 2015 were Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Poland. The energy sector is responsible for 78% of greenhouse gases emissions in the EU in 2015, while industry for 8,7%.

Discover more data in our infographic on greenhouse gas emissions by country and sector in the EU.

Reducing the EU's greenhouses gases emissions

In 2008 the EU set a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. Much progress has been made: in 2015 there was already a decrease of 22% compared with 1990 levels.

In 2014, the EU set a new objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. According to the European Environmental Agency, the projected reductions based on the state of play of EU measures in 2017 will fall short of the target. It estimates there will be a decrease of about 30% in 2030.

See our infographics on the EU's progress towards reaching its 2020 climate change targets.

The impact of climate change on Europe

Climate change is already affecting Europe in various forms, depending on the region. It can for example lead to biodiversity loss, forest fires, decreasing crop yields and higher temperatures. It can also affect people's health. For instance, people people can die as a result of heatwaves.

Check out our infographic to find out how climate change is affecting different European regions.