The Mystical dorm room was silent on this Monday afternoon. But suddenly, Verum began whooping with joy. Orak, who had been fast asleep, woke up with a start. He said, “Verum, what’s happened? Why are you so happy?”

“The European Union (EU) had a target of reducing its emissions by 20% compared to the 1990 levels. The EU is a political and economic union of 27 countries in Europe,” started Verum, “It not only met the target but surpassed it at 34%! This means the reduction was 1.94 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, a gas which causes global warming.”

“Whoa, that is huge!” said Orak, “But how did you find out?”

“Some time back, the European Environment Agency (EEA) submitted official data to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” said Verum, “According to this data, the EU had reduced its emissions by 26% in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic. This means it had already achieved the target of 20% by the time the lockdowns impacted the emissions.

As the countries of the EU shut down their economies to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak, the emissions fell further by 11%. This is good news! The emission levels dropped in all sectors except transport and refrigeration and air conditioning.”

“What led to this fall in the emission levels?” said Felix.

“Firstly, the EU has been increasing the use of renewable energy. It has also been trying to switch from coal to gas to generate electricity,” said Verum, “Along with this, the winters in the region have become warmer. So, the demand for heating is lower.”

She added, “But the EU isn’t out of the woods yet. Experts are worried about the risk of a rebound in the emission levels. In spring last year, emission levels rose by 18% as the EU’s economy started recovering from the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Oh, it’s important to continue these efforts to lower emissions,” said Orak.