LUXEMBOURG, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Economic problems in the European Union are reflected in declines in energy consumption, Europe's statistical office Eurostat said Wednesday.
Eurostat reported that gross inland energy consumption declined 6 percent from 2008-11. A modest uptick in consumption was reported in 2010 with 1.76 billion tons of oil equivalent but declined in 2011 to 1.70 billion tons.
The largest energy consumers in 2011 were listed in order as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
Eurostat reported that Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia and Romania were the least dependent on energy imports. The energy dependence rate was reported at 54 percent collectively for the 27 members of the European Union for 2011, which is largely unchanged from 2008.
The European Union by 2020 aims to cut carbon emissions 20 percent from 1990 levels as it moves to increase the use of renewables in its energy mix.
The European Union and the United States on Wednesday announced negotiations for a comprehensive trade and investment agreement. The European Union said the agreement could be the largest trade deal of its kind, adding 0.5 percent -- about $115 billion -- to EU annual economic output.
"Both sides are keen to tackle trade-related aspects of customs and trade facilitation, competition and state-owned enterprises, raw materials and energy, small- and medium-sized enterprises and transparency," the European Union said.