EU Says Emissions Down 2 Percent In 2008

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union says it reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2 percent in 2008 from the previous year as an economic recession cut back energy use.

A report released Wednesday by the EU's environment agency says the 27-nation bloc is now more than halfway toward a goal of cutting emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

It has now made 11.3 percent of that reduction some 12 years before the deadline. The EU's climate change chief suggests Europe now hike its target to 30 percent.

The report says the cut was also a result of higher prices for coal which encouraged power companies to switch to less polluting natural gas.

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