EU emissions up 3% as recession eases

European Union carbon emissions increased by slightly more than 3% last year as the continent's economy improved.

Europe matched the UK with an increase as around 1,935 million tonnes (Mt) of greenhouse gases were emitted by the 27 countries in the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and Norway.

The rise, which is attributed to an improved economic outlook, is however 50 Mt below the 2010 EU ETS cap of 1,985 Mt, meaning the scheme is oversupplied for the second year in a row and the fifth time in six years.

And according to Thomson Reuters Point Carbon increased investment in renewables has also kept the emissions increase down.

Thomson Reuters Point Carbon manager of European carbon analysis, Kjersti Ulset, said: "Although emissions are up from 2009 levels, they are still significantly below 2008 levels.

"Showing that production is still below pre-recession levels, the picture is further complicated by the fact that effects from growth are to some degree offset by an improvement in carbon intensity.

"Spain, Portugal and Greece saw large increases in hydro-generation in 2010, which more than offset the increase in overall demand for power, contributing to large drops in power sector emissions."

The analysis is based on the verified emissions data published by the European
Commission via its Community Independent Transaction Log (CITL) for 10,221 installations accounting for 90% of 2009 emissions.

Luke Walsh


recession | renewables


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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