CO2 emissions in the European Union
The Climate Action Tracker report
A report recently released by think tank Climate Action Tracker delves into recent CO2 emissions in the European Union and impressively demonstrates how and in which areas CO2 emissions can be significantly reduced, along with what effects this would have on compliance with the Paris Agreement.
The report particularly addresses three sectors: power generation, (residential) buildings and passenger traffic, which the study claims contribute around 60 percent of energy-related emissions. Significantly accelerating climate protection action in these areas alone would already accomplish a great deal. Success, however, would rely on achieving the set objective of supplying these three sectors exclusively with CO2-free energy by 2050, Climate Action Tracker reveals.
Denmark is first when it comes to renewable energies in the EU
Examining individual EU countries in relation to the EU as a whole affords interesting revelations. Denmark, for example, had Europe’s highest growth rate for renewable energy from 2009 to 2015. Applying the Danish growth rate to the EU as a whole would put the share of renewable energy at 49 to 59 percent by 2030 and 76 to 95 percent by 2050.
Of course, comparing industrial structure and renewable energy potential across European countries is not so cut and dry. Objectives can also vary widely at times. The industrial country of Germany has set itself the steep target of 65 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Phasing out coal represents a major step towards decarbonizing electricity generation. By mid-2018, ten of the EU’s 28 member states, accounting for 26 percent of the EU’s coal capacity, had set phase-out targets for 2030. According to the study, phasing out coal also presents significant opportunity to the job market. Achieving the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C scenario, for instance, would create an average of 350,000 more direct jobs from 2020 to 2030 in the electricity sector alone, especially for wind and solar. Attractive prospects. And affirmation that our wide-ranging projects will position us centrally in the development and expansion of these areas.
The second critical area is the building sector, where the renovation rate is targeted to rise from 1 percent currently to an ideal of around 5 percent, accompanied by a fall in CO2 emissions per square meter of 75 to 100 percent. Alongside the electrification of room heating and cooling and other replacements of fossil fuels by renewable energies, this would lead to a nearly complete decarbonization of the sector. It would depend on complex energy and urban solutions, intelligent networks and, critically, the willingness to overcome obstacles. Examples like reducing heat loss and harnessing residual heat show us that the concepts and solutions already exist.
The future begins in Hyllie
- Climate-friendly district in Malmö
- 100% renewable or recycled energy
- 70+% local renewable electricity supply
Interesting side effects are likely as well. Improving efficiency and replacing fossil fuels in the heating sector would not only boost quality of life – but the reduction in gas imports would also shrink the EU’s energy dependence, a situation gilded by significantly improving air quality.
The report’s third key point is CO2-free mobility, which must go hand in hand with an increase in public transport at a level currently exemplified by the Czech Republic and Austria. Decarbonization in the transport sector would also significantly reduce dependence on energy imports and make a significant contribution to reducing air and noise pollution.
Success factor: e-mobility
- The affordable all-in-one package E.ON Drive All-in-one – everything private individuals need to switch to e-mobility
- For even more flexibility: E.ON Drive Easy – for those who mainly charge at home and only occasionally at public charging points
- Investing in the future also pays off for companies and municipalities
In short, the report impressively demonstrates where CO2 emissions can be reduced while indicating how positive side effects can be achieved. The technologies and solutions that we at E.ON already offer today can play a major role in reducing CO2 emissions in all three sectors.