EU carbon market is having a hard time being effective

(EurActiv, 19 Jun 2019) 11,000 industrial sites subject to the so-called Quotas Directive are collectively reducing their emissions. However, this is not necessarily because of the European emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). EURACTIV’s partner le Journal de l’Environnement reports.

Between 2017 and 2018, there was a 4% drop in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 11,000 European industrial sites required to participate in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). In the meantime, carbon emissions of the world’s twenty leading economic powers have seen a 2% increase.

Electricity vs. Industry

Would that mean Europe’s heavy industry and energy sector are at the forefront of the climate battle? It’s not that simple.

In a study published on 17 June, six carbon economy research centres attempted to assess the climatic efficiency of the EU ETS.

Looking at climate data from the European Commission’s directorate general dealing with environmental issues, researchers found that the reduction of emissions was mainly due to the electricity sector.

“Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels – the vast majority of which are emissions  linked to the production of electricity – decreased by 5.7% in 2018.”

At the same time, industrial carbon emissions only decreased by 0.7%.

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EurActiv, 19 Jun 2019: EU carbon market is having a hard time being effective