Bulgaria is on third place among the 28 EU Member States in regard to the production of carbon dioxide (CO 2), according to Eurostat’s analysis of the environmental assessment of these emissions in 2017.

In the past year, the country produced more than 8 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, which equals to more than 27 million tonnes of CO 2 due to thermal power plants and domestic heating.

The EU Court of Justice, just a year ago, published its judgment in a case against Bulgaria for violation of EU Directive 2008/50 on ambient air quality. The document says that the Court finds Bulgaria guilty of systematically and constantly exceeding the average daily and annual average standards for fine particulate matter throughout the country. For the moment, the Court of Justice does not impose sanctions, but in future non-compliance with the above EU Directive is possible to be imposed serious fines.

The leader for CO 2 emissions is Malta – plus 12.8 percent, followed by Estonia – plus 11.3 percent, Bulgaria – plus 8.3 per cent, Spain – plus 7.4 per cent, Portugal – plus 7.3 per cent, etc.

The biggest reduction in CO 2 emissions was registered in Denmark and Finland – about minus 6 per cent, as well as Britain and Ireland – minus 3 per cent.

The largest CO 2 producers are also the biggest economies in Europe: Germany – 23 per cent of EU total of emissions, Italy and France – 10 per cent.

Eurostat estimates that in 2017 carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion increased by 1.8% in the European Union compared to the previous year. CO2 emissions are a key factor for global warming and account for about 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. They are influenced by factors such as climatic conditions, economic growth, population size, transport and industrial activities.

According to the latest WHO data, nearly 7 million people die each year from diseases associated with exposure to polluted air. Only in the territory of the Union, the polluted air last year caused the death of over half a million Europeans, noted the WHO experts.