European Union GHG Emissions Rose By 0.5% In 2015, Transportation Sector Major Driver In Rise

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Total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the European Union rose by 0.5% in 2015, mostly on the back of a growing transport sector, according to new data from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Yet another reason to get to our coming EV-focused Cleantech Revolution Tour conference in Berlin (Germany) and Wroclaw (Poland).

The rise in European Union greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 was apparently the first time that emissions there rose (officially) since 2010. As noted above, this was largely the result of increased road transport — both freight and passenger traffic.

This rise in transport sector emissions in the European Union occurred despite rising fuel economy standards in the vehicles sold there. So, from the perspective of greenhouse gas emissions reductions efforts, the wide rollout of fully electric vehicles there is probably a necessity to dent transport sector emissions much — to my eyes anyways.

To provide more specifics, according to the EEA, road transport emissions rose 1.6% in 2015 in the European Union — marking the second year in a row that this has happened. Since, altogether, road transport emissions in the European Union represent around 20% of total emissions, this rise is significant.

Also noteworthy is that aviation emissions there apparently rose by 3.3% in 2015. The aviation sector only represents around 4% of all European Union emissions, though.

Here are further findings relating to 2015, directly from the EEA:

* The reduction in total EU greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990 was 23.7% if emissions from international aviation are excluded.

* Greenhouse gas emissions under the EU emissions trading system (ETS) decreased by 0.7%, excluding aviation, whereas emissions from the non-trading sectors increased by 1.4%.

* Spain, Italy and the Netherlands accounted for the largest increases in greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.

* The United Kingdom showed the largest decrease of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.

* Total energy consumption and energy-related emissions increased, due to increased use of natural gas and crude oil. However, the reduced use of solid fuels, for the third consecutive year, and the sustained increase in renewables — particularly biomass, wind and solar — offset otherwise higher emissions. Electricity production from hydro and nuclear declined.

* In spite of the increase in emissions, the carbon intensity of the EU energy system declined due to higher shares of renewables and gas relative to coal in the overall fuel mix.

* EU greenhouse gas emissions from refrigeration and air conditioning decreased, ending an almost exponential increase of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions since 1990.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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