• EU emissions from fossil fuel combustion rise 0.7% in 2015
  • Carbon dioxide emissions increase in majority of EU nations

European Union emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide rose 0.7 percent last year, according to early estimates by the bloc’s statistical office Eurostat.

The biggest increase of greenhouse gas discharges was in Slovakia, where emissions rose 9.5 percent compared with 2014, Eurostat said on Tuesday. Portugal and Hungary ranked next, with emissions from fossil fuel combustion rising 8.6 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

Out of the EU’s 28 member states, pollution rose in 17, fell in eight and was unchanged in two. Data from Sweden is still under revision and was not included in the statistics.

“CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 80 percent of all EU greenhouse gas emissions,” Eurostat said in a statement. “They are influenced by factors such as climate conditions, economic growth, size of the population, transport and industrial activities.”

The EU, which wants to lead the global fight against climate change, has a binding target to cut carbon by 20 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. The region’s leaders agreed to reduce pollution by at least 40 percent by 2030, a goal that EU lawmakers are now translating into legislation.

The largest fall in emissions occurred in Malta, where carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion fell 26.9 percent. It dropped 16 percent in Estonia and 9.9 percent in Denmark, according to Eurostat.

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