Greenhouse gas emissions covered by the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS) were down 2% last year, according to official figures.
The EU-ETS covers more than 12,000 power plants and manufacturing facilities in 27 member states, Norway, Liechtenstein and, controversially, all airlines flying in or out of European airports.
The total amount of verified emissions last year were 1.889 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e), more than 2% below the 2010 level.
Compliance with the scheme is also high, says the EU, despite the high profile objections of Chinese and US airlines to participating in the scheme.
According to an official statement, less than 1% of installations participating in the scheme did not surrender their allowances to cover their emissions by the deadline.
The EU also maintains that almost all commercial airlines with “significant operations” to or from European airports reported their emissions.
But the statement does admit “significant under-reporting” by airlines based in China and India – although it says this concerns less than 1% of emission reports making up less than 3% of the total.
Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard described the figures as a “good result”, commenting:
“ETS Emissions decreased by more than 2% in 2011 despite an expanding economy recovery.”
However, she admitted that there is a growing glut of unused allowances, which is driving down the carbon price and making the incentives for going greener less attractive.
“This is why the Commission, as announced last month, is now reviewing the time profile of phase 3 auctions with a view to reducing the number of allowances for auction,” she explains.
For further information:
Business leaders call on EU to redouble green growth efforts (3-May)
EU must take action to reduce its environmental footprint (23-Apr)
EU must take action on energy efficiency, say campaigners (3-Apr)
European Parliament votes to prop up Emissions Trading System (29-Feb)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5108/