The latest figures from the European Environment Agency (EEA) have indicated that 10 out of 15 European member states are set to miss targets for emission levels. Overall emissions are up 1% on last year's figures and despite the majority of gases being down to an increase in European heating, transport accredited to a 1.3% increase.
An increase in transport volumes, in particular road transport, has led to the rise, according to the agency.
As part of the Kyoto Protocol, the EU is striving to reduce emissions by 2012 at the latest. To reach the set target, they need to be 8% lower than levels recorded in 1990. Within the EU, Ireland, Spain and Portugal are furthest away from meeting the guidelines, despite Spain noting a decrease in emissions last year.
An EEA spokesman said: 'Ireland's emissions in 2001 stood 31% higher than in 1990, well over double the 13% increase it is allowed between 1990 and 2012. For the first time in five years Spain's emissions decreased, by 1.1% compared with 2000, due to higher hydropower production.'
At the opposite end of the scale, Luxembourg, Germany and Sweden showed the greatest reduction in emissions.
The spokesman said: 'Luxembourg shows the biggest emissions cut of any member state in percentage terms, decreasing by 44% since 1990. Germany, the largest EU emitter, has achieved the deepest reduction among the big member states, with an 18% cut since 1990. Between 2000 and 2001 Germany's emissions rose by 1.2%, however.'
The UK also fared favourably, noting a 12.0% reduction in emissions since 1990.
CO2 is one of six gases which the Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce over the next decade, in a bid to alter climate change.
The spokesman said: 'EU emissions of CO2, by far the most important greenhouse gas, accounting for 82% of total EU emissions, increased by 1.6% between 2000 and 2001. They stood 1.6% higher in 2001 than in 1990.'