Wednesday

16th Aug 2017

Economic crisis helping EU to fight global warming

  • Weak manufacturing is reducing the EU's CO2 emissions (Photo: arbyreed)

Carbon emissions in the EU fell by 1.4 percent in 2012, raising hope the bloc will hit its targets on global warming gasses.

The European Commission released the figures on Tuesday (2 April), with data from 89 percent of the roughly 12,000 installations in the EU emission's trading scheme (ETS) indicating that emissions fell to 1.79 billion tonnes last year.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The figures, which will be confirmed in May, show two consecutive reductions in carbon emissions after a 2.8 percent dip in 2011.

The results put the EU on track to meet its existing targets for a 20 percent reduction in overall emissions by 2020 from 1990 levels.

It is also aiming for a 20 percent increase in renewable energy and a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency in the same time frame.

That said, economic analysts claim that the decline in emissions is partly the result of reduced manufacturing output in Europe caused by the recession and financial crisis.

According to the data, emissions from the industrial sector fell by 3.9 percent in 2012.

At the same time, EU countries which rely heavily on coal - among the cheapest of fuels, saw emissions increase - with Britain, France and Germany seeing a rise of 4.7 percent, 3.9 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Economic stagnation in Europe has also hit the ETS itself, which allows firms to buy permits for CO2 emissions and trade them with other gas-emitting firms.

The crisis has seen the price of the allowances tumble from a peak of €30 to just €3 today, putting the viability of the project in doubt.

The EU parliament is preparing to vote in April on a plan to rescue the ETS.

Lawmakers are also bidding to set ambitious new targets for emission reduction. Last week the European Commission released a Green paper with a view to agreeing on binding emissions targets for 2030.

But with the European economy expected to remain in recession for most of 2013, whatever happens in Brussels, the EU's overall output of CO2 is likely to go down again next year.

Brussels moves to tackle slumped carbon market

The European Commission on Wednesday announced short-term plans to bolster the carbon Emissions Trading Scheme, its flagship environment project undermined by rock bottom carbon prices.

Airbnb too 'different' to pay EU tax

US home rental firm said its “model is unique” because most of the money stays in pockets of local people, as France and Germany prepare EU tax crackdown.

EU cautious with German diesel plan

The European Commission welcomed the German carmakers' pledge to update software in diesel cars, but is waiting for details on how emissions will be reduced.

News in Brief

  1. Russian power most feared in Europe
  2. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  3. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns
  4. Danish police to investigate misuse of EU fishing rules
  5. German constitutional court questions ECB's €2tn spending
  6. Low support for Norway's labour party ahead of elections
  7. Slovakia's future is with core EU, says PM
  8. Italy relieved as migration drops to lowest level since 2014

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  2. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  3. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  4. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  5. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  6. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  7. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  8. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  9. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  10. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides
  11. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  12. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey