According to an energy policy report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the current decline in greenhouse gas emissions in the EU is largely due to the growth of renewable energy power generation.
The world energy outlook special report found that the EU's greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were 23% lower than those in 1990, which means that the EU has achieved the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020.
Clean electricity is the main driving factor behind emission reduction, and the carbon emission intensity of power generation in Europe is "far lower than" most parts of the world.
According to the IEA study, the EU is in a leading position in renewable energy technologies, especially offshore wind power. Many EU member states have formulated policies to phase out coal.
However, greenhouse gas emissions from the EU transport sector are still on the rise and fossil fuels are still more used in buildings, the agency said.
The report makes a series of recommendations to help the EU achieve its 2030 targets on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as its longer-term decarbonization goals.
To achieve these goals, stronger policies are needed than existing policies, and the energy sector needs to be at the core, as it accounts for 75% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.
Fatih Birol, executive director of IEA, said the sustainable recovery plan described by the International Energy Agency in its recent World Energy Outlook special report shows how to achieve these three goals simultaneously.
As different countries have different energy policies and approaches to decarbonization, the report concludes that "strong cooperation" is needed within the framework of national energy and climate plans.