Analysis published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) found that EU emissions increased by 0.5% in 2015, largely driven by heat demand due to a colder winter and an increase in road transport.

Despite the increase, the UK recorded the largest decline in emissions amongst the Member States. Both the UK and Germany have accounted for 48% of the total reduction in EU emissions over the last 25 years. For 2015, the UK reduced emissions by more than 19,400kt of CO2 equivalent, a 3.7% decrease, more than the combined reductions of the eight other nations that recorded a decrease in emissions in 2015.

Lower emissions in the UK were attributed to the “liberalising of energy markets” and the switch from oil and coal to gas in electricity production. In fact, the UK’s electricity and heat production represents the largest emissions reduction across the bloc, accounting for 7.5% of the overall reductions.

The EU recorded a 4% decline in emissions in 2014. However, 19 Member States saw emissions increase in 2015, with Spain, Italy and Netherlands accounting for the largest increases. Rising emissions in these countries were triggered by “substantial” increases in coal generation and the use of gas in the residential sector.