Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU have continued their fall in 2018, the latest year for which comprehensive data is available, according to a new report from Europe’s environment watchdog.
Emissions, such as Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide fell by 2.1% compared with 2017, to a level 23% lower than in 1990. It is believed that the drop is a result of less people using coal and burning fewer greenhouse emission and this due to the revolution of renewable energy in homes, business and many people’s lifestyles.
The renewable heat incentive is a government scheme which pays homeowners and business for heating their property with renewable energy instead of traditional methods, such as oil, gas and LPG which all give off warming gases. The scheme however runs out on the 31st March 2021, therefore many homeowners and business are putting plans in place to transition from burning fossil fuels to using renewable energy before the scheme ends next year.
The continuing fall, revealed in a report by the European Environment Agency, came as the result of EU-wide and country-specific policies, with energy generation showing the biggest decline in emissions as coal was phased out further and renewable power increased.
After a continuous rise since 2014, carbon dioxide emissions from transport flattened off in 2018, giving hope that this major source of emissions may be brought under control. With the revolution of electric vehicles booming more popular and more people using public transport, it can be seen that the figures for carbon dioxide from transport may start to reduce in the coming years.
Although, emissions needs to be reduced much more efficiently and significantly quicker to meet the demands set out by the EU from obligations under the Paris agreement, campaigners said.
The economic turmoil and disruption caused by the coronavirus is likely to result in a short-term drop in emissions, as levels of air pollutants and warming gases over some major cities and large regions are showed significant drops as coronavirus was peaking over Europe last month, causing massive implications for workers and commuters, but the longer-term impact is still unknown.
Last week, the UN decided to postpone vital climate crisis talk in Scotland by a year, from this November to November 2021. Green groups have urged governments to link the recovery from the coronavirus with the need to reduce carbon, ahead of the Cop26 talks, and said that this year’s delay must not be allowed to slow down action on the climate crisis.
From next year, owners of wood burners, stoves and open fires will no longer be able to buy coal or wet wood to burn in them. The ban is set to phase out the sales of the two most polluting fuels, with the aim of helping England cut air pollution, the Government says.
The government have also, put plans in place to phase out the UK’s last coal-fired plants by 2025 to reduce even more carbon emissions. After Britain had its longest period without using electricity from burning coal last year, a feat not achieved since the 1880’s.
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