Emissions from industrial companies have fallen in the EU due to the economic recession

2010 - 05 - 18

Emissions from industrial companies in the European Union that fall under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) fell by 11.6 percent last year as a result of the economic recession. The European Commission released this information today.

“It is attributed to several factors. First, the reduced economic activity as a result of the recession and second, to the low natural gas prices in 2009, making it much more attractive to produce energy from gas than coal (which produces more emissions),” the Commission noted in its today’s statement.

Greenhouse gas emissions falling under ETS amounted to 1.873 billion tonnes last year. However, a total of almost two billion tonnes of allowances were issued to the European companies. They could therefore monetise the difference on the market. In 2008, ETS company emissions totalled around 2.12 billion tonnes.

However, the impacts of this fluctuation may not be positive in the long run. “The European companies were only able to reduce their emissions by reducing production as a result of their lower sales due to the economic recession. They did not have to invest in their modernisation and measures to reduce greenhouse gas production. When the crisis subsides and production starts again, their emissions will rise,” warned Director Dalibor Dostal of the European Wildlife conservation organization.

The ETS is one of the tools in the fight against climate change. Until 2012, most of the greenhouse gas emission allowances under this quota should be free of charge for businesses. If they do not use them, they may sell them, and they may purchase more as required. Then, however, they should gradually purchase allowances, even if different transition periods or different launches will apply, depending on the sector.

Photo: Pixabay

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