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02 Apr 2020, 13:22
Julian Wettengel

German emissions covered by European trading drop 14 percent in 2019

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s 1,850 stationary facilities covered under the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) emitted about 363 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalents (CO₂eq) in 2019, a drop of 14 percent over 2018, acording to preliminary data of the country’s official Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt). “The noticeable drop in emissions reflects the successful reform of the EU ETS, which has led to significantly higher CO2 prices,” writes DEHSt. At 24.65 euros, the average allowance price in the ETS was almost 50 percent higher than in 2018, which meant that operating gas-fired power stations was often more economical than coal plants, says the authority. The energy industry contributed most to the drop. Due to a considerable reduction of coal consumption, emissions fell by 18 percent to 244 million tonnes CO₂eq, accelerating the already strong decline from the previous year. Emissions in energy-intensive industry decreased four percent (to 119 million tonnes CO₂eq), as did aviation emissions (to 9 million tonnes CO₂eq).

Overall, EU ETS emissions fell 8.7 percent in 2019 (excluding aviation) to 1.5 billion tonnes of CO₂eq, according to preliminary like-for-like European Commission data examined by carbon analysts at Refinitiv. Germany was responsible for about 41 percent of that decrease. "That is huge," lead analyst Yan Qin told Clean Energy Wire.

ETS facilities were responsible for about 45 percent of Germany’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. The German environment agency’s (UBAdata on the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions from March had already shown a comparatively large share of the energy industry in the 2019 decrease. The 2019 drop brings Germany closer to reaching its original emissions reduction target for 2020 – 40 percent over 1990 levels – which the current government coalition had replaced with less ambitious budget under the new climate action law. Emissions were 35.7 percent lower compared to 1990 levels.

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