Greenhouse gas emissions from EU industry and power companies significantly down in 2019

Emissions of greenhouse gases from all operators covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) fell by 8.7% in 2019, compared to 2018 levels. Under the EU ETS, all operators were required to report their verified emissions for 2019 by 31 March 2020 and to surrender enough allowances to cover these emissions by 30 April 2020. All data – covering a period before the covid-19 crisis – is now publicly available on the European Union Transaction Log website. The switch from coal and lignite to renewable energies and gas is responsible for a 15% reduction in power sector emissions, while industry emissions fell by 2%. The aviation sector generated an increase in emissions of 1% in 2019, compared to the previous year. Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said: “The EU ETS is an important tool for capping emissions and stimulating further reductions, by putting a price on carbon. I commend the efforts made to meet the compliance deadline despite the difficult circumstances, and I am encouraged by the emissions cuts delivered last year. As we look to further revise the EU ETS in the coming years, it can become an even more powerful tool to meet our European Green Deal objectives and our commitments under the Paris Agreement, while modernising our economy and the energy that drives it.” The ETS is a cornerstone of the EU’s policy to combat climate change, covering industries which generate around 45% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. It limits emissions from more than 11,000 power stations, industrial plants and airlines. More information on the ETS data for 2019 is available here.