The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed in 1997. This protocol set legally binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or emission allowances for 37 industrialized countries for the first-period commitment from 2008 to 2012. This has led to the need for policies to be set for countries to respond to Kyoto commitments.
In March 2000, the European Commission presented a Green Paper entitled “Greenhouse gas Emissions Trading system in the European Union”, with some first ideas for the EU ETS.
Greece signed the Protocol in April 1998 alongside the other EU Member States. and the European Commission. All Member States of the EU ratified the Protocol in May 2002. Greece ratified it by Law 3017/2002 (Government Gazette A'117 / 30.05.2002). Pursuant to Article 4 of the Protocol, which allows for joint fulfillment of the obligations under the Protocol, the Council of Environment Ministers of the EU of 4 March 2002, an agreement was reached in a Council Decision approving on behalf of the European Community the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and jointly responding to its respective obligations.
The implementation of the Kyoto Protocol provided for the allocation of mandatory emission targets per Member State and the parallel operation of the Emissions Trading System (Emissions Trading System). This system allows for the purchase of rights between the parties involved. The international operation of the Rights Trading system begins in 2008. It started in the European Union from 2005-2007.
This decision was notified to the Secretariat of the Convention in Bonn on the same day that the instruments of ratification of the Protocol were deposited with the Depositary (New York).
Greece, according to this decision, pledges to limit its emissions increase to + 25% over the period 2008-2012 in order to contribute to the EU's common target of an 8% reduction in emissions for the same period.
To meet this commitment, our country has developed a National Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program for the period 2000-2010.
The greenhouse gases (GHGs) whose concentrations are recorded and their emissions monitored are :
As Indirect greenhouse gases are considered the following:
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
Organic substances (NMVOCs)
Sulfur oxides (SOx)
Fluorinated gases, together with carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrogen monoxide (N2O), form the group of gases known as “greenhouse gases”. The emissions of these gases are controlled by the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC).
Under the Kyoto Protocol, the GHG greenhouse gas emissions in the “base year” are the starting and reporting point for monitoring the progress of domestic emissions of each EU-15 member country for all Member States that have signed the Protocol of Kyoto.
The EU of 15 have made a joint commitment to reduce emissions by 8% between 2008-2012 compared to emissions in the so-called “base year”. The base year is not a “year” in itself, but corresponds to an emission level that will result in emission reductions.
The EU-15 Member States have shared the burden of achieving the target – 8%, allowing individual Member States to achieve different degrees of emission reduction compared to base year emissions. Consequently, the progress towards the targets for each Member State starts from its own level of individual time-based emissions.
For carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrogen oxide (N2O) 1990 is used as the ‘base year' for all EU-15 Member States. However, for fluorinated gases, EU-15 Member States may choose to use emission levels in 1995. Twelve of the 15 Member States chose to use 1995 as the reference year for fluorinated gas emissions.
For the EU-15, base emissions were slightly higher than 1990 levels. Progress towards the common target of 8% is therefore better. In practice, EU-15 base emissions can be considered close to 1990 emissions.
Diversification of European Union objectives
The EU-28 is not targeting the Kyoto Protocol and therefore a comprehensive base year can not be applied in this case to any discussion or report on progress towards achieving the Kyoto targets. In March 2007, the Council of the European Union decided that the EU would firmly commit itself to an independent commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020 compared to 1990. However, the relevant “base year” for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol shall be taken into account when distributing the burden between the Member States.
Greece, as a member of the European Union and in the framework of the joint fulfillment of the commitments, has undertaken to limit the increase of greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-2012 to 25% compared to the base year emissions. The base year for CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions is taken in 1990, while for PFCs, HFCs and SF6 are taken in 1995.
Carbon dioxide - CO2
What is Carbon Dioxide
CO2 is the main factor responsible for the development of the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere due to human activity through the burning of fossil fuels. Includes coal, gas, oil, solid waste, burning forests and timber products. It is also produced as a result of certain chemical reactions in production processes such as the production of concrete. It is removed from the atmosphere by its absorption from plants through the biological carbon cycle.
Carbon dioxide appears naturally in the atmosphere as part of the Earth's carbon cycle. This cycle represents the natural circulation of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans, soil, plants, and animals. Human activities change the carbon cycle by adding more CO2 to the atmosphere and affecting the ability of natural sinks, such as forests, to remove it from the atmosphere.
Emission source of carbon dioxide
While CO2 emissions come from a variety of natural sources, CO2-related with human activities are responsible for the warming in the atmosphere from the Industrial Revolution (~ 1750) and beyond. Today, it represents at least 80% of the total GHG emissions.
Many billion tons of carbon are exchanged naturally each year between the atmosphere, the oceans and the terrestrial flora. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere showed deviations of less than 10% over the 10,000 years prior to the industrial revolution.
The use of carbon-based fossil fuels has increased up to 12 times in the 20th century, while carbon dioxide concentrations have increased significantly in the atmosphere by more than 30%.
At least 25 billion tonnes of CO2 a year are emitted in the atmosphere. CO2 can remain in the atmosphere for 50 to 200 years depending on how it is recycled and returned to the ground and oceans.
Emission levels of carbon dioxide (CO2)
In the European Union of 28, including Iceland, total CO2 emissions in 2015 to 3,640.61 million tonnes Mt CO2 -eq. CO2 emissions for the same year (2015) account for 81.8% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union.
In 2015, two-thirds of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industrial processes are due to China (with a 29% share of the world total). This is followed by the United States (14%), the European Union (EU-28), India (7%), the Russian Federation (5%) and Japan (3.5%). For the first time, China effectively cut its emissions by 0.7% lower than in 2014. Emissions in the Russian Federation, the US, and Japan also dropped by 3.4%, 2.6%, and 2.2% respectively. The increase in CO2 emissions in India continued, at a rate of 5.1% in 2015.
In the European Union, CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industrial processes showed a slight increase of 1.3% after four years of significant reductions (13.4% overall in 2011-2014). This is explained by the 4.6% increase in gas consumption, mainly for the warmer winter of 2015 compared to 2014. Another reason is the increase in diesel consumption in transport by 4%. At the same time, CO2 emissions related to electricity generation decreased by 0.6%, while electricity generation increased by 1.3%.
This is due to the much larger share of renewable electricity, mainly hydro, wind and solar energy, in total electricity production in 2015. (29%, up by 4.4% compared to 2014) and a decrease of 1.8 % consumption.
The main areas of human activity involved in its production are:
The Power Sector
Το 2015 η καύση ορυκτών καυσίμων για την παραγωγή ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας ήταν η μεγαλύτερη πηγή εκπομπών CO2 στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Οι εκπομπές CO2 έχουν μειωθεί σημαντικά από το 1990. Ειδικότερα, η ειδική εκπομπή gCO2 /kWh στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση (emission intensity), έχει μεωθεί σημαντικά από 431 gCO2/kWh το 1990 σε 275,9 gCO2/kWh το 2014 – ποσοστό μείωσης ~ 36%.
Αντίστοιχα στην Ελλάδα η παρουσιαζόμενη συνολικά μείωση της ειδικής εκπομπής gCO2/kWh ανήλθε συνολικά στο ποσοστό 30,84% μεταβαλλόμενη από 1200 σε 829,9 gCO2/kWh την αντίστοιχη περίοδο.
Η παραγωγή ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας έχει γίνει πιο αποδοτική στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση των 28 τα τελευταία χρόνια. Η μέση απόδοση αυξήθηκε από 36% το 1990 σε 44% το 2014.
Η αποδοτικότητα εξαρτάται κυρίως από το μείγμα των χρησιμοποιούμενων καυσίμων (ορυκτών, πυρηνικών ή ανανεώσιμων πηγών ενέργειας) καθώς και το μίγμα συμπαραγωγής ισχύος και θερμότητας:
οι υψηλές αποδόσεις σχετίζονται με την υδροηλεκτρική και την αιολική ενέργεια (απόδοση 100%, δεδομένου ότι η ηλεκτρική ενέργεια είναι η πρώτη μετρήσιμη πρωτογενής ισοδύναμη ενέργεια για τις εν λόγω τεχνολογίες ανανεώσιμων πηγών ενέργειας).
οι χαμηλές αποδόσεις (<30%) συσχετίζονται κυρίως με τις παλαιές μονάδες ηλεκτροπαραγωγής που χρησιμοποιούν ορυκτά καύσιμα, με πυρηνικούς σταθμούς ηλεκτροπαραγωγής (συνήθως 33%, με θερμότητα την πρώτη μετρήσιμη πρωτογενή ισοδύναμη ενέργεια), την άμεση καύση βιομάζας (20-25%) ή γεωθερμική ενέργεια.
μεταξύ 1990 και 2014, το μερίδιο της ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας στην παραγωγή των συμβατικών θερμοηλεκτρικών σταθμών και της τηλεθέρμανσης (ηλεκτρισμός και θερμότητα) αυξήθηκε ελαφρά σε συνδυασμό με την αύξηση της αποτελεσματικότητας.
Road transport sector
The road transport sector accounts for about one-fifth of total CO2 emissions in the European Union. These emissions are still 20.5% higher than 1990 levels. The transport sector is the only sector in the European Union where greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. In 2015, the transport sector accounted for 25.8% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions.
Emissions in the transport sector, including aviation, but excluding international navigation in 2015, were about 23%higher than 1990 levels. These emissions increased by almost 2% compared to 2014. International aviation experienced the largest percentage increase in greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse gas emissions by + 105% compared to 1990, followed by international shipping (+ 22%) and road transport (+ 19%).
The Industry Sector
Many industrial processes emit CO2 due to combustion of fossil fuels. At the same time, several industrial processes produce CO2 through chemical reactions that do not include combustion. This category includes, for example, the production of mineral products such as cement, the production of metallic materials such as iron and steel and the production of chemicals.
Eurostat estimates that in 2016 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels fell by 0.4% in the EU compared to the previous year. CO2 emissions contribute significantly to global warming and account for about 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. They are affected by factors such as climate conditions, economic growth, population size, transport, and industrial activities. Various EU initiatives on energy efficiency aim to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
It should be noted that many industrial processes use electricity to cause indirect increases in emissions from electricity generation.
In GREECE, CO2 emissions of CO2 accounted for 78.32% of total GHG emissions in the country in 2015, excluding LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use, Change, and Forestry) emissions. CO2 emissions fell by 10.09% compared to 1990 levels.
Methane - CH4
Το μεθάνιο (CH4) εκπέμπεται κατά την διεξαγωγή δραστηριοτήτων εξόρυξης και καύσης ορυκτών καυσίμων, την κτηνοτροφία και τις ρυζοκαλλιέργειες. Τα βοοειδή καταναλώνουν φυτά, τα οποία ζυμώνονται στο πεπτικό τους σύστημα και εκπέμπουν μεθάνιο μέσω της εκπνοής και των περιττωμάτων τους. Οι ορυζώνες παράγουν μεθάνιο με την αποσύνθεση των οργανικών υλών του εδάφους χωρίς αρκετό οξυγόνο. Μεθάνιο παράγεται επίσης στους χώρους υγειονομικής ταφής στερεών αποβλήτων.
Οι φυσικές διεργασίες στο έδαφος και οι χημικές αντιδράσεις στην ατμόσφαιρα βοηθούν στην αφαίρεση του CH4 από την ατμόσφαιρα.
Κατά το πρόσφατο παρελθόν, η επιστημονική έρευνα που ασχολείται με την κλιματική αλλαγή εστίασε κυρίως στις εκπομπές διοξειδίου του άνθρακα (CO2). Ωστόσο οι εκπομπές αυτές αντιπροσωπεύουν μία μόνο πτυχή των ανθρώπινων δραστηριοτήτων που επιδρούν στις κλιματολογικές συνθήκες. Το μεθάνιο στην ατμόσφαιρα δεσμεύει θερμότητα 28 έως και 34 φορές πιο αποτελεσματικά από το CO2 σε περίοδο χρονικής κλίμακας 100 ετών. Ωστόσο, η διάρκεια ζωής του στην ατμόσφαιρα είναι μικρότερη και είναι περίπου 12 έτη. Το γεγονός αυτό συνεπάγεται ότι οι τρέχουσες συγκεντρώσεις του μεθανίου στην ατμόσφαιρα θα επηρεάζουν το κλίμα για περισσότερο από μία δεκαετία.
Επιπτώσεις του Μεθανίου στο περιβάλλον
Η πέμπτη έκθεση αξιολόγησης (AR5) της Διακυβερνητικής Επιτροπής για την Κλιματική Αλλαγή (IPCC) εκτιμά ότι το μεθάνιο είναι ο δεύτερος μεγαλύτερος συντελεστής στο σύνολο των ανθρωπογενών ακτινοβολιών και ισοδυναμεί με το 58% της ραδιενεργού επίδρασης του CO2.
Από τις απαρχές της βιομηχανικής επανάστασης, οι ατμοσφαιρικές συγκεντρώσεις μεθανίου έχουν διπλασιαστεί. Σήμερα εκτιμάται ότι περίπου το 40% των εκπομπών μεθανίου προέρχεται από φυσικές πηγές , ενώ το υπόλοιπο 60% από ανθρωπογενείς δραστηριότητες. Είναι το δεύτερο σημαντικότερο αέριο που ευθύνεται για την ενίσχυση του φαινομένου του θερμοκηπίου είναι το μεθάνιο (CH4). Στις βιομηχανικές χώρες, το μεθάνιο αποτελεί συνήθως το 15% των εκπομπών αερίων του θερμοκηπίου. Κατά τον 20ο αιώνα η αύξηση εκπομπών του μεθανίου προσεγγίζει το 100%.
Ορια & Επίπεδα εκπομπών
Σύμφωνα με το Ευρωπαϊκό Γραφείο Περιβάλλοντος, οι συνολικές εκπομπές μεθανίου (CH4) έχουν μειωθεί κατά 37% συγκριτικά με τα επίπεδα του 1990. Το 2015 οι εκπομπές μεθανίου από την ανθρώπινη δραστηριότητα αντιπροσωπεύουν το 11 % των συνολικών εκπομπών αερίων του θερμοκηπίου στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Σε παγκόσμιο επίπεδο περισσότερο από 60% των συνολικών εκπομπών μεθανίου προέρχεται από την ανθρώπινη δραστηριότητα.
Η μείωση των εκπομπών μεθανίου κατά τα τελευταία 25 χρόνια οφείλεται κυρίως στην μείωση των εξορυκτικών δραστηριοτήτων. Η μείωση των εκπομπών από την διαχείριση απόθεσης των αποβλήτων συνέβαλλε επίσης σε σημαντικό βαθμό. Υπήρξε επίσης μια πολύ σημαντική μείωση των εκπομπών CH4 από τα αγροτικά ζώα, λόγω της μείωσης του αριθμού τους αλλά και των αλλαγών στη γεωργική διαχείριση των οργανικών προϊόντων.
Οι βασικοί τομείς της ανθρώπινης δραστηριότητας που συμμετέχουν στις εκπομπές μεθανίου είναι:
Ο Ενεργειακός & Βιομηχανικός τομέας
Natural gas and petroleum products are the largest sources of methane emissions in the European Union. Methane is the main component of natural gas. It is emitted into the atmosphere during the stages of production, processing, transport, storage and distribution of natural gas. As gas is often next to oil, the production, refining, transport and storage of crude oil are also a source of CH4 emissions.
The agricultural sector
The agricultural sector is the largest anthropogenic methane emission activity. Domestic animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, and goats produce large amounts of CH4 as part of their normal digestive process. CH4 is also produced during the management and storage stages of livestock manure in lagoons or reservoirs. Because people feed these animals to produce food and other products, emissions are thought to be derived from human activity.
The two largest emission sources are intestinal fermentation and anaerobic waste. Together they account for 53% of total methane (CH4) emissions in the European Union.
Αστικά απορρίματα & Απόβλητα
Methane is produced in landfills due to the decomposition of waste as well as wastewater treatment. At solid waste disposal sites, degradable organic carbon in waste is decomposed by bacteria under anaerobic conditions into methane (CH4) and other chemical compounds, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2). Estimated annual global methane emissions from landfill sites range from 20 to 40 million tonnes. They come mainly from industrialized countries.
CH4 methane emissions accounted for 10.68% of total greenhouse gas emissions in 2015, down by 6.31% from 1990 levels.
Nitrogen monoxide - N2O
Nitrogen Oxide – N2O sources
It occurs in nature through many sources linked to the nitrogen cycle, such as the natural circulation of nitrogen between the atmosphere, plants, animals, and microorganisms living in the soil and water. Nitrogen takes a variety of chemical forms throughout the nitrogen cycle, including N2O.
Natural N2O emissions come mainly from bacteria that break down nitrogen into soils and oceans. Nitric oxide is removed from the atmosphere when absorbed by certain types of bacteria or destroyed by ultraviolet radiation or by chemical reactions.
However, human activities such as agriculture, fossil fuel burning, wastewater management and industrial processes increase the amount of N2O in the atmosphere. Nitric oxide molecules remain in the atmosphere for an average of 114 years before they are removed from a sink or destroyed by chemical reactions.
In the context of human activity,nitric oxide (N2O) is produced during agricultural and industrial processes. It is also produced during combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste.
Like CO2 and CH4, nitrogen monoxide is a greenhouse gas whose molecules absorb heat that is trying to escape into space. N2O is 310 times more efficient than CO2 in heat absorption.
Since the beginnings of the industrial revolution, concentrations of nitrogen monoxide in the atmosphere have increased by about 16% and contributed by 4 to 6% to the greenhouse effect.
Nowadays, more nitrogen is now being synthesized and applied in the form of fertilizers in agriculture rather than bound to all terrestrial ecosystems, while nitrogen oxide emissions from fossil fuel and biomass burning are greater than inputs from natural sources.
By 2015, nitrogen oxide (N2O) emissions account for ~ 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union and around 40% globally.
N2O emissions have been significantly reduced due to the reduction techniques applied by industry and the production of adipic acid (used in fertilizer production). There have also been significant reductions in N2O emissions from agricultural soils and nitric acid production.
The main sectors of origin of N2O due to human activity are:
The agricultural sector
Nitrogen monoxide (N2O) is emitted when people add nitrogen to the soil through the use of synthetic fertilizers. Farming is the largest source of N2O emissions in the European Union.
Nitrogen monoxide (N2O) is also emitted when fuel is burned. The amount of N2O emitted from fuels depends on the fuel type and combustion technology, the combustion conditions as well as the maintenance and the operating practices followed.
Nitrogen monoxide (N2O) is produced as a by-product in the production of nitric acid, which is used for the production of synthetic fertilizers and for the production of chemical raw materials used for the production of fibers such as nylon and other synthetic products. N2O nitrogen oxides emissions represented 4.71% of total greenhouse gas emissions in 2015, down by 39.29% since 1990
Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (F - gases)
What are Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (F – gases)
Emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases represent today ~ 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions. It is the only group of gases with a clear upward trend. At the same time, they are gases with very high global warming potential (GWP). This potential is up to 23,000 times larger than carbon dioxide. The main reason for this upward trend is the fact that from the 1990s are widely used – mainly in developed countries – in the fields of refrigeration and air conditioning, to replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The latter are gases that have been gradually abolished by the Montreal Protocol as substances responsible for the destruction of the ozone layer.
They include three main groups:
It belongs to the category of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F – gases). It is the most common and largest group of fluorinated gases. They are used as refrigerants in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment, foaming agents, as solvents as well as in fire extinguishers and aerosols.
HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) can be found in equipment and products used in our everyday life. Indicatively, refrigerators, air conditioners, foams, and aerosol sprays are mentioned. They were used as an alternative to ozone-depleting substances, mainly hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
On 15/10/2016 it was agreed by the Council of the EU Member States. the modification of the Montreal Protocol, which will ensure climate protection from HFCs (known as the Kigali amendment).
The aim of the amendment to this protocol is to achieve an overall reduction in the consumption and production of HFCs whose release into the atmosphere contributes to climate change and have a significant impact on global warming. Implementation of this amendment is expected to prevent temperature increases of up to 0.5 ° C by the end of the century, thus contributing positively to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The EU Member States, like other developed countries, are invited to start the first reductions in 2019, but already the fluorinated greenhouse gas regulation adopted in 2014 has already allowed the EU to already start phasing out HFCs in 2015. this regulation should be revised to comply with the Kigali amendment after 2030. The amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2019 after ratification by at least 20 States or regional economic integration organizations that are party to the first okollou Montreal.
Finally, emissions of f-gases (from production and consumption), which accounted for 6.17% of total greenhouse gas emissions in GREECE in 2015, increased by 42.70% since 1995 (which is the reference year for these gases)
Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are used in a wide range of products, including plastic food containers, non-stick cookware, carpets, and furniture. By 2015, the PFC will be phased out.
Sulfur hexafluoride - SF6
Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is a gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-flammable. Gas is a creature of human technology and is not created by itself in nature. It is non-toxic and inert. The gas has a high molecular weight (Specific gravity: 1.329 g / cm3 at 25 ° C) and is approximately five times heavier than air. For this reason, it can also be stored in open containers as a liquid. Sulfur hexafluoride is a product of modern technology. It has the capability of instantaneous “extinguishing” electric arcs in the same way that water and carbon dioxide are used to extinguish fires.
It is mainly used as a dielectric on high voltage switches. It is also found in voltage and power substation substations, high-voltage cables as an insulator and in the Van der Graaf ultra-high voltage generators. The use of sulfur hexafluoride also occurs in the metallurgy of magnesium and aluminum as well as in the semiconductor industry. Nearly 80% of SF6 production is used for various electrical applications. It's zero bipolar torque makes it an excellent dielectric material in high-voltage switches and conductors. Its use in high-voltage switches (from a few kV up to several hundred kV) prevents electric arc formation. SF6 under pressure replaces as insulating material oily materials, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which have proved to be particularly aggravating and dangerous to the environment. The suitability of SF6 for this purpose was discovered in 1937 and its industrial production for this purpose began in 1948.
Despite the aforementioned advantages of gas, SF6 has a very significant disadvantage. It is the most active of all anthropogenic gases in terms of the ability to deteriorate the greenhouse effect.
Until now, its concentration levels in the atmosphere are low.
Long-Term Greenhouse Gas Evolution
The situation in the European Union
In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions in the EU of 28 dropped by 22% compared to 1990 levels. This represents an absolute reduction of 1265 Mt CO2-equivalent by maintaining within the prescribed EU objectives.
These targets include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 and by 40% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. Amongst the Member States, Germany recorded the highest emission levels in 2015 (926 , 5 Mt CO2 – equivalent), representing 21% of the total emissions of the European Union. Here are the United Kingdom and France.
On the other hand, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia (-58%, -56% and -55% respectively) showed the largest decrease compared to 1990 levels. Similarly, Cyprus (+ 44%), Spain (+ 19%) and Portugal + 18% respectively showed the largest increase in emissions compared to 1990.
The first estimates for 2016 show that EU emissions reductions observed since 2005 continue, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years. Total EU emissions in 2016 are estimated at 4 423 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2eq). This figure includes indirect CO2 emissions and emissions from international aviation, but excludes net emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) and emissions from international shipping.
This represents a reduction in emissions of 28.7 Mt CO2eq (-0.7%) between 2015 and 2016 and a decrease of 22.6% between 1990 and 2016. Excluding emissions from international aviation, emissions in 2016 will rise to 4 279 Mt CO2eq, which also represents a decrease of 0.7% below 2015, but a decrease of 24.2% since 1990.
The 0.7% reduction in emissions is inconsistent with GDP growth of 1.9% over the same period. This has resulted in a reduction in the EU's GDP emissions in 2016 and has contributed to the further decoupling of greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth.
After a reduction period between 2010 and 2014, primary energy consumption (including all fuels directly burned or transformed to produce electricity and heat) increased for the second year of operation in 2016 (0.9%). This is mainly due to the increased use of natural gas and liquid fuels. The contribution of both fossil fuels and renewable fuels to the energy mix increased in 2016, although the contribution of nuclear power declined slightly.
Changes in greenhouse gas emissions by activity area
By field of activity, the greatest absolute reduction in emissions in the EU in the energy sector.
Emissions from energy supply and use accounted for around 78% of total EU emissions in 2016.
These emissions decreased by 23.9 Mt CO2eq (-0.7%) in 2016 compared to 2015, despite a slight increase in energy consumption in the EU in 2016. The significant reduction in emissions from the energy industries (53.9 Mt CO2eq), including emissions from power stations and refineries, was partly offset by increases in emissions from final energy users, particularly in the transport sector (18.6 Mt CO2eq) in the domestic and commercial sectors (19.0 Mt CO2eq).
Emissions from the EU industrial sectors (excluding energy) decreased in 2016 compared to 2015. Emissions related to energy consumption by industry decreased by 6.3 Mt CO2eq (-1.3%), while industrial processes declined by 0.8%. The latter reflects a reduction in emissions from the metal industry by 3.0% and 2.7% from the chemical industry. At the same time, emissions from the mineral industry increased by 0.5% and emissions from the use of fluorinated gases as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances also increased by 0.5% in the EU.
Changes in greenhouse gas emissions in the Member States
Member States were divided into two equal groups. In half of these, greenhouse gas emissions declined in 2016 compared to 2015. For the rest, they increased.
The largest absolute reduction in emissions was observed in the United Kingdom (-30.1 Mt CO2eq compared to 2015). This decrease is mainly due to the fact that the consumption of solid fossil fuels has been halved. This decrease was partially offset by increased oil and gas consumption. In particular, there was a shift from the use of coal to natural gas in the electricity sector. Significant absolute reductions were also observed in Spain (-11.8 Mt CO2eq) and in Romania (-3.9 Mt CO2eq).
The largest relative decrease in emissions compared to the previous year was recorded in Malta (-13.5%). Followed by the United Kingdom (-6.0%) and Bulgaria (-5.0%).
The largest absolute increase in emissions was observed in France (+6.0 Mt CO2eq). It reflects the greatest energy consumption of all sectors in the country. Gas consumption increased by 9%. At the same time, the consumption of liquid and solid fuels declined by 2%. A significant increase in emissions was also observed in Poland (+5.1 Mt CO2eq) and Germany (+3.6 Mt CO2eq).
The largest relative increases in emissions were recorded in Estonia (+ 6.9%), Finland (+ 5.8%) and Cyprus (+ 4.9%).
Table 1 - Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the European Union (EU-28) for the period 1990-2015.
Excluding emissions from international shipping and net CO 2 emissions from land use, land use change and LULUCF forestry activities are excluded. Includes indirect CO2 emissions.
Συνολικές Εκπομπές Αερίων του Θερμοκηπίου στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση (EU-28) για την περίοδο 1990 - 2015
Συνολικές Εκπομπές Αερίων του Θερμοκηπίου
ΔΙΟΞΕΙΔΙΟ ΤΟΥ ΑΝΘΡΑΚΑ
ΥΠΟΞΕΙΔΙΟ ΤΟΥ ΑΖΩΤΟΥ
HFC & PFC
Προέλευση Δεδομένων: Ευρωπαϊκό Γραφείο Περιβάλλοντος - European Environment Agency (εκπομπές σε εκατομμύρια ισοδύναμους τόνους CO2 -equivalent. Περιλαμβάνονται οι έμμεσες εκπομπές CO2, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της διεθνούς αεροπλοΐας) Δεν περιλαμβάνονται οι εκπομπές από την διεθνή ναυτιλία και οι καθαρές εκπομπές CO2 από την χρήση γης, αλλαγής χρήσης γης και δασικές δραστηριότητες LULUCF
Table 2 - Total Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the European Union (EU-28) and Iceland for the period 1990-2015.
Includes indirect CO2 emissions. LULUCF emissions and absorptions are not included