European Commission figures show that verified emissions from more than 11,000 power plants and factories amounted to 1.81 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent last year - about 4.5% below the 2013 level.

“Even while our economies are getting back in the growth track, emissions continue to decrease,” says Miguel Arias Cañete, European commissioner for climate action and energy.

“This sends a powerful signal ahead of the new global climate deal to be agreed in Paris this December: carbon markets deliver cost-effective reductions.