Greenhouse gas emissions from stationary installations regulated under EU’s carbon market dropped by 2.7 % last year, according to the Point Carbon team at Thomson Reuters. The team analysed verified emission data for 2016 published on 3 April by the European Commission.
Emissions from energy producers and industrial manufacturers in the carbon market edged down in 2016. “EU ETS emissions declined for the fifth consecutive year” said Ingvild Sorhus, senior carbon analyst at Thomson Reuters. “The trend of emissions decoupling from economic activity reinforced further in 2016. The large decline in emissions took place while the European economy grew 1.8 %” he added. ”
Most of the reduction occurred in the power and heat sector, for which emissions decreased by 4.4 % to 967 Mt, despite the flattening out of of power demand. “The drastic decline in power emissions is mainly the result of plunging coal power generation and rising renewables deployment” stated Yan Qin, a senior modelling analyst at Thomson Reuters.
Conventional fossil fuel based generation decreased only slightly in 2016 compared to 2015 whereas the gas share of total generation has increased, according to the analysts. This was mainly driven by growing momentum in phasing out coal among EU countries and low gas prices favouring coal-to-gas switching in the power sector.
Emissions from industrial manufacturers also decreased, by 0.5 % to 787 Mt. Industrial emissions decreased largely as a result of lower production in the metals sector and the closure of plants in the UK.
Aviation is also regulated under the carbon market and airlines have to report emissions for all flights that take off and land at European airports. Aviation saw emissions increasing by 8 % last year to 61.6 Mt, according to the analysts.