EU’s GHG emissions ‘stabilised in 2015’

The trend of declining greenhouse gas emissions in the EU carbon market has slowed down nearly to a halt. That’s according to a report by Thomson Reuters which stated emissions […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The trend of declining greenhouse gas emissions in the EU carbon market has slowed down nearly to a halt.

That’s according to a report by Thomson Reuters which stated emissions under the region’s carbon market stabilised in 2015 after a four-year decline.

Emissions in the power and heat sector dropped by 0.4% to 1,014 million tonnes despite higher power consumption.

According to Senior Analyst Yan Qin the carbon intensity in the power sector continued to decrease “thanks to a greater amount of wind and solar power generation and improved profitability for gas-fired power plants”.

However, despite progress for wind and solar, fossil fuels generation comprised a greater share of power production compared to 2014 because of drought-stricken hydropower plants in Spain and Portugal.

Emissions from energy producers and industrial manufacturers remained virtually unchanged, dropping by 0.4% to 792 million tonnes, the report added.

That’s due to lower industrial production in the steel and cement sectors as well as more efficient refining, Ms Qin said.

However, emissions from the aviation sector increased by 3.6% last year to 57 million tonnes.

She went on: “The aviation sector became less CO2 efficient last year as emissions grew faster than flight traffic, which grew by only 1.5% in 2015.”