EU countries last year released 3.6 per cent more carbon into the atmosphere when compared to 2009, according to data issued by the European Commission.

However, the picture is still incomplete because data relating to Malta and Cyprus could not be worked out due to a cyber attack on the Commission’s registry, which Brussels has yet to fix.

According to the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, member states are obliged to give an annual account of how much CO2 their registered emitters, normally power stations and heavy industrial plants, release in the atmosphere.

Since the attack earlier this year, the Commission managed to fix the problem in relation to 25 member states but the registries of Malta and Cyprus are still undergoing security checks.

Malta made it clear it was in a position to report its figures for 2010 with regard to emissions from the Delimara and Marsa power stations.

“While verified reports covering all installations within the Maltese registry have been received by the national authority, uploading this data to the registry has not been possible and the Commission has therefore been unable to publish it. It is pertinent to note that all installations within the Maltese registry are in full compliance with regard to reporting requirements,” a government spokesman said.

In 2009, the Marsa power station reported 961,727 tons of carbon emissions and Delimara had emitted 935,386 tons. In both cases the registered emissions were lower than those for 2008.

On a general level, the 2010 preliminary figures show that emissions in the EU increased to 1.754 billion metric tons in 2010, the first gain in three years, from 1.695 billion tons in 2009. The main reason for the increase seems to be a recovering economy and freezing weather that boosted energy consumption.