BRUSSELS (AP) -- The EU's environment agency says European Union greenhouse gas emissions declined for a fourth year in a row in 2008 because the economic downturn curbed fumes from power plants, factories and transportation.
The EEA says its estimates show a 1.5 percent drop in emissions for the entire 27-nation EU and a 1.3 percent fall for the richer 15 countries of the bloc.
These 15 states -- including Germany, Britain and France -- have promised to cut emissions by 8 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. So far, they have reduced output by 6.2 percent, the EEA says.
The figures published Monday are an estimate. A more detailed official figure for the EU's 2008 emissions will be published in June 2010.