Greece – the biggest drop in coal emissions, Hungary at the bottom, News
According to the rules of the European Union’s (EU ETS) carbon trading system, Greece has measured a total decline of 56.3% in 2020 in all relevant sectors compared to 2005, making Greece the third best player in the union. Balkan Green Energy News.
Also, the country is not far from the first two places: Denmark fell by 58.3%, and Estonia by 56.4%. However, the Greek environmental think tank Green Tank estimated that in fact Greece records the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions among the countries that are coal producers in the European Union.
One of the drivers for reducing emissions in Greece is coal-fired power plants. Decline and limitation of electricity production from lignite, only in the period 2018-2020. As a result, about 14 million tons less carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere – a drop from 43 million tons a year in 2005 to 10 million last year.
Among coal-producing countries in the European Union (including brown coal and lignite), Greece achieved the largest reduction in CO2 emissions of 78.9%, while large coal miners such as Germany (with 49.4% achieved), Bulgaria (43.3%) ), The Czech Republic (35%) and Poland (26.5%) lag significantly behind.
On the other hand, Belgium, Sweden and Austria have already stopped burning coal for energy purposes in recent years.
In the European Union, carbon emissions from coal fell by 51.8% between 2005 and 2020. However, most of that can be “calculated” only in the last seven years, when coal-fired power plants already had to pay for their emissions. Thanks to the carbon tax, their emissions fell by 49.5% between 2013 and 2020.
This was also the case in Greece – the country made up for the slow decline in lignite production and combustion by installing additional natural gas capacity. This seemed like a good solution for almost a decade, but Greece is currently one of the largest emitters of pollutants from fossil gases, so it is time for the country to reduce the use of natural gas and speed up the transition to renewable energy.
Balkan Green Energy News writes that it is worth starting all this in energy-intensive sectors. That is, in the sectors of electricity and heat production. Here, too, Nikos Mantzaris, a senior analyst at Green Tank, states that the new EU regulations that are now being adopted (Fit for 55 package) require bolder reforms in Greece to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. True, not calculated on the basis of data from 2005, but on the basis of 1990.
Hungary: At the end of the line
It is good that the real fight for the adoption of the Fit for 55 package in the EU has just begun, and it is already known that the realignment of shows in Hungary will affect more than 170 companies. Seven of them – Matra and Dunaujvaros power plants, Danube Ironworks, Szazhalombatta oil refinery, Mol Petrochemicals, Gonyu power plant and Peti Nytrogen – contribute half of the total emissions, while 100 companies are at the other end of the line. A total of 5%.
From this point of view, it is difficult to understand the statement of the Secretary of State for Circular Economy, Energy and Climate Policy Attila Steiner at the informal meeting of EU environment ministers held in Slovenia for MTI. According to him, “the proposal in the Commission’s package is to extend the costs of CO2 emissions to the housing and transport sector, which” imposes an additional burden on European families, and thus on Hungarian families”.
Steiner did not talk about the fact that reducing emissions in the housing and transport sector actually means investing in energy efficiency or promoting electronic mechanization (replacing diesel and then gasoline vehicles). Nor did he add that Hungary made some bad moves in this area, because it practically postponed the third period of the EU ETS, which, as explained above, was renewed in Greece, because since 2005, Hungary has been slowly reducing its emissions.
Even if calculated on the basis of data from 1990, it is about 32%, however, in the Hungarian climate plan presented in Brussels, it is stated that the reduction will exceed 40% by 2030. It also cannot be called a radical or significant commitment, the crucial part of which can end with the closure of the Matra 2025-2026 power plant years. On the other hand, the 55% target requires much more.
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