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EU emissions rise despite climate change policies

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Greenhouse gas emissions for the European Union increased in 2010, despite the economic recession and policies intended to tackle climate change.

The increase of 2.4% takes Europe further away from its international commitments to cut carbon dioxide by 2020, and runs counter to advice from climate scientists, who agree that global emissions must peak by 2020 if climate change is not to become catastrophic and irreversible.

The European Environment Agency, which compiled the statistics, said that the rise was owing to signs of economic recovery in some areas, and a colder winter.

But the agency, the EU's environmental watchdog, said emissions might have been higher still if it were not for a strong increase in the production of energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind.

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