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Kyoto-Paris. Evolution of GHG emissions in Spain (2nd part)

03 de julio de 2017

In previous articles, we enumerated some of the undesirable effects of global warming, and we also considered examining the role played by our country, inserted in the European context, regarding the management of GHG contaminants.

We extract some paragraphs from the documented Report "The Transition to a Low Carbon Economy. A look at the financial sector and the food sector "issued by Esade: © Diego Andreucci, Heloise Buckland and Daniel Arenas. April 2017.

Global temperatures are reaching record levels. The last three decades have been successively warmer than any previous decade since 1850 (IPCC - UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - 2014, p.2).

Of the 17 warmest years in history, 16 belong to the 21st century, and 2016 has been the warmest year since records.

Temperatures up to September 2016 were 0.88 ° C higher than the 1961-1990 average and 1.2 ° C higher than pre-industrial levels (WMO, World Meteorological Organization, 2016).

If no significant changes occur, temperatures are expected to rise to 4.8 ° C in the period 2081-2100 with respect to the reference period 1986-2005 (IPCC, 2014, p.10).

Anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are the main cause of the increase in global temperatures.

GHG emissions have increased significantly since the pre-industrial era as a result of economic growth, reaching a record high between 2000 and 2010 (IPCC, 2014, p.46).

Since 1960, global emissions have multiplied by four, going from 9.4 billion tonnes (Mt) of CO2 per year to more than 36,000 Mt.

Today, according to scientists from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other GHGs are the highest in the last 800,000 years. The concentration of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere is currently 400 ppm (parts per million) and is increasing about 2 ppm each year.

The EU-28 was initially and still is today a major driving force behind the Kyoto Protocol (1997-2005) and the Paris Agreements 2015.

The reductions of these gases (especially CO2, although not only this) were assumed by the countries of this "old" European in a significant way. Kyoto's commitment was to reduce emissions during the period 2008-2012, 8% compared to 1990 figures.

Among EU countries it was agreed to "spread the burden" as follows:

  • Alemania: (-21%)
  • Austria: (-13%)
  • Bélgica: (-7,5%)
  • Dinamarca: (-21%)
  • España: (+15%)
  • Finlandia: (-2,6%)
  • Francia: (-1,9%)
  • Grecia: (+25%)
  • Irlanda: (+13%)
  • Italia: (-6,5%)
  • Luxemburgo: (-28%)
  • Países Bajos: (-6%)
  • Portugal: (+27%)
  • Reino Unido: (-12,5%)
  • Suecia: (+4%)

Logically, we would have to ask in the light of the previous numbers, what do positive mean, if we talk about reduction? It means that these countries were allowed a GHG emission, not exceeding the assigned (+)%, compared to 1990 (base year of measurement). For Spain it was 15% as we saw in previous graphs. That is, Spain should not exceed the figure equivalent to 15% of 1990.

What was the evolution of the European countries regarding these GHG emissions?

We see that, jointly, between the 28-EU, there is a decrease in the 24 years considered by the graph (1990-2014).

"In Europe, GHG emissions have declined significantly in recent years. Between 1990 and 2014, they fell by 19%, "according to the aforementioned ESADE report.

"CO2 emissions have increased by 14% in Spain since 1990, while in Europe they have fallen by 19%, (...) according to a study by Esade" reports EFE 05/04/2017.

"The emissions of the year 2015 are 24% below the values ​​of the year 1990 (reduction of 1,335 million)," (for the EU) according to the Climate Change Office of the Catalan Generalitat.

The newspaper La Vanguardia dated 11/06/2017, publishes the following chart:

We collect some paragraphs of the article of the Catalan newspaper, signed by Antonio Cerrillo, commenting the graph:

"Spain is the country of the European Union that has increased its greenhouse gas emissions the most between 1990 and 2015, according to a report by the European Environment Agency." "In absolute terms, Spain is the EU country that has increased its hot gases in the last 25 years. In 2015 it sent to the atmosphere 47,8

Millions of tonnes of CO2 equivalent more than in 1990. Following this ranking, Portugal (with an increase of 9.3 million tonnes of CO2), Ireland (3.8 million), Cyprus (2.8) and Austria (0.046). Only these five countries in the EU have increased their gases, while the other 23 countries have cut them off. Spain absorbs 75% of the sum of the increases of these five countries.

At the other extreme, Germany (which has registered a decrease of 348.9 million tonnes of CO 2) and the United Kingdom (-290 million), present the best results.

In relative terms, the emissions in Spain grew 16.6% since 1990, a percentage surpassed only by Cyprus (50%),

That is, our country, could not lower the barrier of 15% on the values of 1,990. It remained in 2015 with + 16.6% on 1990 values. Clearly, far from the figures for Germany which cut the 1990 figures by -27.9%. The reductions achieved by Lithuania ( -58.2), Romania (-52.7) and Latvia (-56.8).

The data provided by the REE for our country in the evolution of the last six years of CO2 emissions are recorded in the following chart:

60% of the main companies in Spain and Portugal reduced the "carbon intensity" of their operations in 2016. However, total company emissions increased, ending a downward trend in recent years Of emissions. This is one of the main conclusions of the CDP report "Climate Change Report 2016".

If we consider the GHG emission in our country, by sectors:

"The sector that generates the most emissions in Spain is that of energy processing, that is, the burning of fossil fuels for energy, which accounts for almost 80% of all emissions (PWC, 2015, p.36).

Agriculture is the second sector with the highest emissions (11%, with a slight decrease since 1990). These emissions are mainly associated with methane (CH4) resulting from the enteric fermentation of cattle and the use of nitrogen fertilizers (N2O, nitrogen oxide). Also noteworthy are the emissions from waste treatment, which, although they contribute in a limited way (less than 4%), are the ones that have grown the most since 1990 (PWC, 2015, p.37). "

VWe return to Europe

Totales de emisiones de CO2. Uso de combustibles fósiles y procesos industriales
Country
UE-28
1990
Tons
CO2/cap
1995
Tons
CO2/cap
2000
Tons
CO2/cap
2005
Tons
CO2/cap
2010
Tons
CO2/cap
2013
Tons
CO2/cap
2014
Tons
CO2/cap
2015
Tons
CO2/cap
Austria 8.06 8.07 8.33 9.85 9.06 8.78 8.41 8.69
Belgium 11.62 11.99 12.01 11.06 10.17 8.82 8.35 8.58
Bulgaria 9.23 7.13 5.94 6.78 6.54 6.58 7.05 7.47
Croatia 5.25 3.61 4.34 5.18 4.80 4.72 4.75 4.84
Cyprus 5.90 6.54 7.42 7.61 7.19 5.35 5.29 5.29
Czech Rep. 16.65 13.15 12.87 12.44 11.55 10.76 10.52 10.54
Denmark 10.31 11.64 9.98 9.39 8.69 7.76 7.13 6.51
EU28 9.20 8.53 8.42 8.53 7.73 7.18 6.78 6.87
Estonia 23.64 11.79 10.91 13.11 13.92 22.16 21.35 22.29
Finland 11.36 12.14 11.63 11.48 12.54 10.72 9.80 8.81
France 6.70 6.49 6.70 6.70 6.05 5.57 5.05 5.09
Germany 12.92 11.16 10.53 10.22 10.09 10.13 9.59 9.64
Greece 7.71 7.94 8.78 9.39 7.98 6.78 6.46 6.23
Hungary 6.89 5.95 5.71 5.90 5.17 4.67 4.64 4.89
Ireland 9.09 9.55 11.39 11.29 9.03 7.58 7.46 7.81
Italy 7.52 7.64 8.03 8.40 7.10 6.07 5.61 5.90
Latvia 7.63 3.84 3.08 3.58 4.09 3.86 3.93 4.05
Lithuania 9.45 4.09 3.28 4.07 4.30 4.30 4.28 4.34
Luxembourg 30.54 21.74 19.96 23.31 21.95 18.42 18.14 18.05
Malta 6.52 6.40 5.51 6.88 5.99 5.62 5.51 5.62
Netherlands 10.71 11.21 10.82 11.00 11.02 10.09 9.53 9.77
Poland 9.53 9.24 8.15 8.03 8.41 7.88 7.49 7.64
Portugal 4.36 5.26 6.26 6.41 4.92 4.56 4.55 4.91
Romania 7.92 5.72 4.38 4.87 4.05 3.98 4.03 4.16
Slovakia 11.48 8.58 7.88 7.95 7.41 7.05 6.53 6.68
Slovenia 7.67 7.82 7.94 8.88 7.86 7.51 7.35 7.55
Spain 5.87 6.38 7.62 8.35 6.11 5.40 5.31 5.70
Sweden 6.72 7.13 6.63 6.13 5.67 4.62 4.50 4.35
U. Kingdom 10.16 9.48 9.32 9.22 7.87 7.13 6.45 6.16

Fuente: elaboración propia con datos de COMISIÓN EUROPEA. EDGAR (Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Resarch). http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2ts_pc1990-2015

Industrial processes include: cement production, use of limestone and dolomite carbonates, non-energy use of fuels and other combustion processes, chemicals and metals, solvents, wastes and fossil fuels.

Excluded are: short-cycle biomass burning (such as burning agricultural waste), large-scale biomass burning (such as forest fires), and carbon emissions / removals from land use, Land and forestry.

We finish. We review (based on the subject matter considered here) only the first three key objectives of the 2030 framework established by the European Commission:

  1. A binding goal of greenhouse gas reduction: REDUCE EMISSIONS BY 40% UNDER THE LEVEL OF 1990 ONLY TAKING MEASURES AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL. From 2020 the annual reduction of the emission limit would increase from the current 1.74% to 2.2%. Emissions excluded from emissions trading should be reduced by 30% below the 2005 level and this effort should be shared among all Member States. The Commission invites the Council and the European Parliament to agree by the end of 2014 that the EU will commit itself to the 40% reduction by early 2015 in the framework of the negotiations on the new agreement on combating terrorism. Climate change to be held in Paris at the end of 2015.
  2. Un objetivo vinculante en materia de energías renovables a nivel de la UE: LA ENERGÍA RENOVABLE TENDRÁ UN PAPEL FUNDAMENTAL EN LA TRANSICIÓN HACIA UN SISTEMA ENERGÉTICO SOSTENIBLE, SEGURO Y COMPETITIVO. Si se lleva a cabo teniendo en cuenta el mercado y hecho posible el uso de tecnologías emergentes, el objetivo vinculante de alcanzar como mínimo el 27% de energías renovables en 2030 será muy beneficioso en cuanto a las balanzas comerciales energéticas, a la dependencia de fuentes energéticas locales, al crecimiento y a la creación de puestos de trabajo. A nivel de la UE es necesario un objetivo de uso de energías renovables para atraer inversiones al sector. Sin embargo, esto no se traducirá en objetivos nacionales a través de la legislación de la UE, es decir, que los Estados miembros tendrán libertad para reformar su sistema energético en función de las preferencias nacionales y de las circunstancias. El objetivo europeo alcanzará mediante el nuevo sistema de gobierno que se basará en los planes energéticos nacionales.
  3. Eficiencia energética: una MEJORA DE LA EFICIENCIA ENERGÉTICA contribuirá a alcanzar todos los objetivos de la política energética de la UE y SIN ELLA NO SE PODRÁ HACER NINGUNA TRANSICIÓN HACIA UN SISTEMA ENERGÉTICO SEGURO Y SOSTENIBLE. Se estudiará el papel de la eficiencia energética en el marco de 2030 cuando se revise la Directiva sobre eficiencia energética a finales de año”.

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