By Laura Barron-Lopez - 06/03/14 10:05 AM EDT
Greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union (EU) continued to decline in 2012, falling 19 percent below 1990 levels.
The drop is the lowest emissions reported on record, and puts the EU within reach of it's 20 percent reduction target by 2020, the European Environment Agency reported Tuesday.
Increasing use of renewable energy sources also contributed to the drop.
Italy made up 45 percent of the total EU emissions reductions in 2012. Poland came in second with the greatest reductions, mainly due to a decrease in fuel consumption.
The drop in EU emissions comes as the U.S. government is taking a crucial step to reduce emissions from the largest carbon dioxide contributor, power plants.