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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K616: 歐洲氣候變遷的事實和數據

Climate Change in Europe: A Look at Facts and Figures

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.K616: Climate Change in Europe: A Look at Facts and Figures

Climate change is an issue of global concern, and its impact on Europe is significant. This article delves into essential facts and figures that shed light on various aspects of this challenge, encompassing its causes, consequences, and evolution.



While carbon dioxide (CO2) remains the most well-known greenhouse gas, it constitutes approximately 80% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU as of 2021. However, other greenhouse gases, though present in smaller quantities, can have a more substantial warming effect. For example, methane accounted for 12% of the EU's greenhouse gas impact in the same year. Some greenhouse gases occur naturally, but human activities contribute to their accumulation. Additionally, man-made gases like fluorinated gases, commonly used in industries, possess a global warming potential several thousand times stronger than CO2.



Among the largest greenhouse gas emitters worldwide in 2019, the EU ranked fourth, following China, the United States, and India. However, the EU's share of global greenhouse gas emissions decreased from 15.2% in 1990 to 7.3% in 2019. Within the EU, the top five emitters in 2019 were Germany, France, Italy, Poland, and Spain. The energy sector accounted for 77.01% of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU in 2019, followed by agriculture (10.55%), industry (9.10%), and the waste sector (3.32%).



Since setting a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, the EU has made significant progress. By 2015, emissions had already decreased by 22% compared to 1990 levels. Subsequently, in 2014, the EU established a new objective to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030, using 1990 as the baseline. According to the European Environmental Agency's projections based on EU measures in 2017, the anticipated reduction may fall short, reaching around 30% by 2030. As a result of climate change, Europe is experiencing various impacts, varying from region to region. These effects include biodiversity loss, forest fires, declining crop yields, and rising temperatures. Additionally, climate change is impacting people's health, leading to fatalities during heatwaves.



Transportation is the only sector that continues to witness higher emissions compared to 1990 levels. It contributes nearly 30% of the EU's total CO2 emissions, with road transport being responsible for 72% of that figure. Cars and vans alone account for about 15% of the EU's CO2 emissions. However, alternative modes of transportation, such as buses, currently offer a cleaner option, especially when considering that cars can be shared among multiple individuals, making them a more environmentally friendly choice.



Aviation and shipping, while comprising less than 3.5% of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions, have been the fastest-growing sources. Emissions from planes are projected to increase up to 10 times higher in 2050 compared to 1990 levels, while emissions from ships could rise by up to 50%.



The EU plays a vital role in UN climate change negotiations and has signed the Paris Agreement, with all EU countries as signatories. They coordinate their positions and set common emission reduction goals at the EU level to collectively combat climate change.



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