Region: EU ETS-covered emissions record decrease in 2020

, SEE Energy News

In 2020 greenhouse gases emissions from stationary installations covered by EU ETS has fallen by a record amount since the launch of the trading scheme, according to preliminary data published by the European Commission.

Verified emissions from installations under the EU ETS in 2020 amounted to 1.303 billion tons of CO2 equivalent. However, this is still preliminary data and the actual 2020 is projected to 1,367 billion tons, which is still by 163 million tons or 10.7 % lower compared to the previous year.

The data show the largest fall in emissions since the full launch of the EU ETS in 2008, even exceeding the drop recorded in 2009 following the previous year’s financial crisis, and the third consecutive annual decline, after a small rise was recorded in 2017.

The biggest driver of last year’s fall in emissions was the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted Governments to impose lockdown measures. This forced much of the Europe’s industry to a halt throughout large periods of the year, while many people worked from home and domestic and international travel declined. Higher installed renewable capacity and increased coal-to-gas switching also contributed to a sharp fall in energy sector emissions.

Stationary installation emissions fell in 28 of the 31 countries covered by the EU ETS last year, while in 2019, six of the 31 countries had reported a rise in emissions.

The largest reduction of any country was reported by Estonia, where emissions fell by a projected 33.8 %, followed by Greece with a drop of 21.5 %.