EU ETS emissions fell 9 per cent in 2019

Based on preliminary like-for-like EC data examined by Refinitiv, Reuters has reported that greenhouse gas emissions in Europe’s carbon market fell by 8.7 per cent last year.

Approximately 45 per cent of the EU output of greenhouse gases is regulated by the Emissions Trading System (ETS), and Refinitiv’s analysis found stationary emissions covered by the scheme such as power plants and factories, totalled 1.536 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e), down 8.7 per cent on the previous year.

Not surprisingly the majority of the reduction was due to the losing coal-fired energy output as it was replaced by cleaner gas-fired generation and renewable power. Within the figures, the main fall came from power and heating generation, falling by 14 per cent, to 766.9 million tonnes, the fall in emissions in the industrial sector was lower, with a 2.7 per cent fall to 768.8 million tonnes.

As with the UK carbon emissions figures, the replacement of coal leads to significant reductions that will would normally be hard to replicate going forward, however, in a time of global reductions due to the pandemic this might lead to 2020 continuing the trend – the issue then remains what happens afterwards.

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