Spain is unable to maintain a constant trajectory of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, according to estimates presented by CC OO on Wednesday, total emissions increased by 4.46% to 339.2 million tons of CO2 equivalent. We must go back until 2002 to find such an abrupt increase, which is mainly due to the use of coal and gas to generate electricity. Spain runs the risk of becoming a liability for the rest of the European Union if it does not take action.
One of the victims of this unstable legislature can be (again) the climate change law, which Mariano Rajoy promised in 2015, when the Paris Agreement was closed, and that has not yet been approved or has begun to be processed in Congress. of the Deputies. And that norm, as recognized by the Government itself, is needed for Spain to enter a stable path of reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases, unlike what happens now. Without additional measures, such as those that this future law should contemplate, emissions in the coming decades will not be reduced or even increased.
Spain reached its historical peak of emissions in 2007, with 443.5 million tons of CO2 equivalent (the unit of measure used for greenhouse gases). The economic crisis caused them to plummet from 2008. But that fall stopped in 2013. Since then, emissions from Spain have entered a phase of sawtooth in which the increase or decrease of greenhouse gases in each exercise has been subject to weather.
And last year the climate was negative, since the deep drought in which Spain was – with reservoirs in reservoirs at such low levels never seen this century – caused very little electricity to be generated through hydroelectric power plants. And the hole was covered with coal and gas, the main sources of CO2 in the electricity sector in Spain. Coal to generate electricity grew 21% in 2017 compared to 2016 and gas 31.8%, as noted in the report presented on Wednesday by CC OO. Meanwhile, this increase was not offset by a decrease in the use of fuels. On the contrary: “oil consumption grew 0.5%,” the study says.
“We must take measures so that Spain is not a burden on the EU,” Begoña María Tomé, head of the Climate Change and Energy Department of the Labor, Environment and Health Trade Union Institute, ISTAS-CC OO, warned on Wednesday. The report recalls that the fall of hydroelectric generation in 2017 could not be covered “with other renewables” because the Government of Mariano Rajoy “drastically” stopped the installation of new clean energy power when it arrived at La Moncloa in 2011.
“Spain continues to be one of the industrialized countries where emissions have increased the most,” the report recalls. Between 1990 and 2015, for example, greenhouse gas emissions in Spain grew by 16.6%. In the same period, emissions across the European Union fell by 23.7%; those of France decreased by 16.4%; those of Germany were reduced by 27.9%; those of the United Kingdom plummeted 36.6%; those from Italy fell by 16.7% … “We have not decoupled our economy from emissions,” summed up Tomé.
CC OO: “CARBON HAS VERY LITTLE FUTURE”
“Coal has very little future,” Mariano Sanz, responsible for the area of Environment and Mobility at CC OO, acknowledged on Wednesday. Confederal Secretary of Workers’ Commissions on Environment and Mobility. “Coal does not have space in the mix in the medium term,” he added regarding the future presence of this fossil fuel to generate electricity. The continuity of thermal power plants that burn coal is in question in Europe. Many of the Member States have put on the table closing schedules, something that the Spanish Energy Minister, Álvaro Nadal, has refused to do. Sanz recalled yesterday that 92% of the coal that is burned now is imported. In addition, the vast majority of national mines will have to close this year under the current plan for the closure of mining.
Vía | El País.