CO2 emissions are a major cause of global warming and account for around 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. In terms of fossil fuel combustion, Eurostat estimates that in 2016 emissions decreased by 0.4% in the European Union (EU) compared to the previous year. Our country emitted 1.6% more carbon dioxide.
The European Statistical Office, Eurostat, which yesterday released its first estimates on CO2 emissions from energy use in 2016, said in a statement that the accumulation of these gases in the atmosphere is influenced by factors such as Climatic conditions, economic growth, population size, transport and industrial activities.
It also notes that imports and exports of energy products obviously have an impact on countries where fossil fuels are burned. For example, if coal is imported, there is an increase in emissions, while if what is imported is electricity, there is no direct effect on emissions in the importing country, since these will be recorded in the exporting country where it is produced.
Emissions decreased by 0.4%
According to Eurostat estimates for 2016 CO2 emissions increased in most Member States, mainly in Finland (+ 8,5%), Cyprus (+ 7,0%), Slovenia (+ 5,8%) and Denmark (+ 5.7%). However, there were also declines in 11 Member States, particularly Malta (-18.2%), Bulgaria (-7.0%), Portugal (-5.7%) and the United Kingdom (-4.8%).
In the case of Spain, Eurostat data show that our country emitted 1.6% more CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, compared to 2015 records. This percentage represents 7.7% of the total carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere throughout the European Union over the past year.
As we already reported in Energynews, according to IRENA the International Renewable Energy Agency, CO2 emissions related to global energy can be reduced by 70% by the year 2050 and completely eliminated by 2060 and, in addition, with a net positive economic outlook.
In its recent report “Perspectives for the Energy Transition: Investment Needs for a Low-Carbon Energy System it says that increasing renewable energies and energy efficiency in the G-20 countries and in the world can help achieve CO2 emissions reductions needed to keep the temperature rise below two degrees Celsius, avoiding the more serious impacts of climate change.
While the overall energy investment required for the decarbonisation of the energy sector is considerable – an additional US $ 29 billion by 2050 – it actually amounts to a small proportion (0.4%) of the world’s GDP, the organization notes.