Malta's carbon dioxide emissions rose by an estimated 12.8 per cent in 2017, Eurostat figures revealed on Friday - the largest increase across all of the European Union. 

The 12.8 per cent estimated increase was higher than the 11.3 per cent estimated increase in CO2 emissions in Estonia or 8.3 per cent in Bulgaria, and several magnitudes greater than the EU-wide average increase of 1.8 per cent. 

Despite the large estimated increase, Malta's small size meant its share of the EU's carbon dioxide emissions remained a relatively negligible 0.05 per cent.

Malta's poor performance on the EU's CO2 emissions charts represents a dramatic reversal from last year's results, when Malta's estimated emissions fell by an EU-topping 26.9 per cent. 

That result was in large part due to the closure of the Marsa power station. 

Estonia's 2017 emissions results also stood in stark contrast to its previous year's showing: while in 2016 the Baltic state registered the EU's second-highest decrease in emissions, one year later it has placed second on the oppposite end of the table, with the EU's second-highest increase. 

The Eurostat figures suggest the EU is struggling to reach its targets to cut carbon emissions, with average CO2 emissions rising at roughly twice the pace in 2017 (1.8 per cent) as during the previous year (0.7 per cent).

Just six EU member states managed to reduce emissions last year, with only Denmark and Finland managing to cut emissions for two successive years. 

Industrial powerhouse Germany accounts for 23 per cent of all the EU's emissions - more than double the share of the EU's second- and third- largest contributors, the UK (11.3 per cent) and France (10 per cent). 

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