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Evolution of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Spain (1990 - 2001) -

Evolution of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Spain (1990 - 2001) -

October 2002

Greenhouse gas emissions in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain have increased by 35.12% between 1990 and 2001. Primary energy consumption increased 2% in 2001. Emissions of the six gases and for all uses , increased by 1.41% in 2001, compared to 2000.

Spain breaches its international commitments

The Spanish government (as shown by the increase in emissions) does not have any serious plan to fulfill the commitments acquired with the signing and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and the distribution of emissions from the European Union, commitments that establish a ceiling of 15% of increase between 1990 and 2010.

Emissions in units of CO2 equivalent, considering the six greenhouse gases, have increased by 35.12% in Spain between 1990 (base year) and 2001, a figure that is more than double the 15% to which the government has committed of Spain in the European Union, an increase that was widely criticized at the time as excessive.
Spain is, along with Australia, the industrialized country where emissions have increased the most. Spanish issues have grown even more than double those of the United States, which have grown by 15.7% in the same period.

The policy of the Spanish government is characterized by total hypocrisy: it ratifies the Kyoto protocol, and then does nothing to prevent emissions from increasing. Perhaps the calculation of the Popular Party government is that the responsibilities will be asked of whoever governs between 2008 and 2012, so it is not worth making an effort now, much less touching the business interests behind the emissions agreement.
How does the Spanish government expect to fulfill the commitments acquired with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, ratified this year in the Congress of Deputies? What will you do to cut current emissions by more than half? With the current scenario, the government would seriously breach the main protocol to protect the environment and the climate, since for the period 2008-2012 emissions in Spain could be 70% higher than those of the base year, which would imply significant penalties economic by the European Union, which would pay all citizens of our country.

The consumption of primary energy in Spain has gone from 90.6 Mtoe (million tons of oil equivalent) in 1990 to 127.8 Mtoe in 2001, a 41% increase. GDP growth in the same period has been 33.55%. In 2002, energy dependence reached 77%, despite the fact that nuclear energy is included in national production for highly debatable methodological reasons (13% of primary energy consumption in 2000). The degree of energy dependence was 66% in 1990.
The increase in emissions in 2001 was not very large in relation to energy consumption thanks to the fact that it was a good hydraulic year (hydroelectric production was 39% higher than in 2000), and consequently the coal plants operated fewer hours (Coal consumption fell by 10% compared to the previous year), but in 2002, given the low rainfall, emissions may return to grow at the rate of previous years.

The Government's energy policy plans to increase emissions by 64%

The document of the Ministry of Economy entitled Planning of electricity and gas transport networks 2002-2011 estimates that primary energy consumption will be 168 Mtoe in 2010, with an annual growth of 2.99% for the period 2000-2010 . Coal consumption would decrease from 21.6 Mtoe in 2000 (17.3% of primary energy consumption) to 11.4 Mtoe in 2010 (6.8%), oil consumption would go from 64.7 Mtoe in 2000 (51.7%) to 81.8 Mtoe in 2010 (48.6%), natural gas from 15.2 Mtoe (13%) to 37.8 Mtoe (22.5%), nuclear energy would remain in absolute terms (from 16.2 Mtoe to 16.6 Mtoe) and would decrease in relative terms (from 13% in 2000 to 9.9% in 2010), renewable energies should reach the 12% forecast in 2010, something quite doubtful with current development, since only wind power is going at a good pace (in theory it would go from 7 Mtoe in 2000 to 20.2 Mtoe in 2010), and the rest corresponds to the balance of electricity.

If the government's forecasts are met, energy-based carbon dioxide emissions will increase by 64% between 1990 and 2010, in the most favorable scenario, which makes it mathematically impossible for the government to comply with the Kyoto Protocol. The same projection foresees that final consumption will go from 90.3 Mtoe in 2000 to 127 Mtoe in 2010, with an annual growth of 3.48%, higher than the expected GDP (2.8% annual increase in 2000 to 2005 and 3.1% from 2005 to 2010). The government's Plan goes against all the commitments made with the European Union and with the Congress of Deputies itself, which ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, which limits the increase in greenhouse gases to 15% for the period from 1990 to 2008-2012. How can you present a Plan with a CO2 increase of 64%?

The Kyoto Protocol will be ratified

For the Kyoto Protocol to enter into force it has to be ratified by a sufficient number of countries, which together are responsible for 55% of the emissions of industrialized countries. The United States represents 36.4% of emissions in 1990 from Annex I countries, which could give it the right of veto; but only in the case of having other countries that complement the remaining 18.6%. What it has not achieved, as only Australia seems willing not to ratify the Protocol. Thus, despite George W. Bush, the Protocol will be ratified, as it has already been ratified by the European Union (24.0% of emissions in 1990 from Annex I countries) and Japan (8.5%), and several countries such as Russia (17.4%) and Canada (3.3%) have committed to doing so. This together with the countries joining the EU, which add up to 6.9%, makes a total of 60.1% of the emissions of the Annex 1 countries, which far exceeds the 55% required for ratification and entry into force of the Protocol.

Evolution of Emissions for each of the six Gases.

The evolution of greenhouse gas emissions is the best indicator of a government's commitment to the environment. The data presented here leaves no room for doubt.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Spain

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Spain between 1990 and 2001, without including sinks, have increased by 35.38%, from 227 million tons in 1990 (base year) to 307.6 million tons in 2001 (See Table 1). In 2001 they accounted for 78.87% of gross greenhouse gas emissions in Spain, not including sinks. In 2001, the energy sector was responsible for 93% of total emissions, and within this, transport emitted 28% of total CO2 emissions. Cement production in 2001 accounted for 5.8% of total emissions. The remaining 1.2% corresponds to waste incineration, the chemical and metallurgical industry.

Table 1
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Spain (thousands of tons)

YearEmissions (without sinks)Emissions — sinks
1990227.233,25197.980,79
1991234.518,24205.265,78
1992243.023,00213.770,54
1993229.942,30200.689,85
1994242.657,42213.404,96
1995254.410,97225.158,51
1996242.214,61212.962,15
1997261.369,23232.116,77
1998270.129,81240.877,35
1999295.232,89265.980,43
2000306.631,85277.379,39
2001307.620,37278.367,91

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Methane (CH4) emissions in Spain

In 1990, the base year, a total of 29,647,720 tons of methane were emitted in Spain in units of CO2 equivalent, while in 2001 39,731,209 tons in units of CO2 equivalent were reached, with an increase of 33.63%, a figure very considerable and showing that the administration has done nothing to reduce emissions.

Methane accounted for 10.2% of the gross emissions of the six greenhouse gases in 2001, in carbon dioxide equivalent excluding sinks.
In 2001, enteric fermentation accounted for 36.7%, manure management for 20.44%, landfills for 26.3%, coal mining for 3.1%, oil and natural gas for 1.5 %, and wastewater 5.8%. Rice crops only emitted 0.8%, a figure similar to waste incinerators. Methane emissions could easily be reduced significantly with inexpensive measures.

Table 2
Methane (CH4) emissions in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)

YearEmissions
199029.647,72
199130.037,73
199230.860,03
199331.281,45
199432.080,19
199532.821,80
199634.760,42
199735.443,12
199836.551,92
199937.305,71
200038.363,49
200139.731,21

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in Spain

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in Spain in 1990, the base year, amounted to 26,259,790 tons in units of CO2 equivalent, and represented 8.12% of greenhouse gas emissions in Spain in 2001, not including sinks.

In 2001, the highest emissions were due to fertilizers applied to agricultural soils (61%). The energy sector emitted in 2001 20.50%, the chemical industry 7.56%, manure management 4.76% and wastewater 3.54%.

Table 3
Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)

YearEmissions
199026.259,79
199125.986,74
199225.281,96
199323.294,56
199425.615,63
199525.372,43
199627.729,65
199726.941,56
199827.715,25
199928.988,46
200030.497,08
200131.920,13

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Emissions of hydrofluorocarbon compounds (HFC) in Spain

HFCs have replaced ozone-depleting CFCs and are used primarily in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, fire extinguishers, and aerosols. HFCs do not damage the ozone layer, but they are powerful greenhouse gases.
In 1995, the base year for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol, 4,645,440 tons of CO2 equivalent were emitted, while in 2001 10,139,271 tons of CO2 equivalent were reached. As in the past CFCs were eliminated, today it is urgent to eliminate HFCs, easily substitutable products. In 2001 they represented 2.6% of the total gross emissions of greenhouse gases in Spain (not including sinks).

Table 4
Emissions of hydrofluorocarbon compounds (HFC) in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)

YearEmissions
19902.403,18
19912.179,01
19922.762,60
19932.258,39
19943.458,21
19954.645,44
19965.334,16
19976.507,40
19986.642,63
19998.513,06
20009.877,70
200110.139,27

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Emissions of perfluorocarbon compounds (PFC) in Spain

Almost all the emissions of perfluorocarbon compounds are due to the production of aluminum. In 1995, the base year for the commitments acquired in the Kyoto Protocol, 108 tons of CF4 and 9.5 tons of C2F6 were produced in Spain (790,370 tons of CO2 equivalent). Emissions since then have decreased, being equivalent to 392,609 tons of CO2 equivalent in 2001.
In 2001, they represented 0.1% of total gross greenhouse gas emissions in Spain (not including sinks).

Table 5
Emissions of perfluorocarbon compounds (PFC) in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)

YearEmissions
1990828,41
1991787,15
1992781,84
1993793,76
1994785,14
1995790,37
1996758,93
1997784,32
1998749,62
1999695,53
2000408,74
2001392,61

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions

Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is used in electrical equipment. In 1995, the base year for the Kyoto Protocol, 93,580 tons of CO2 equivalent were emitted, and in 2001 emissions increased to 235,127 tons of CO2 equivalent.
In 2001 they represented 0.06% of the total gross emissions of greenhouse gases in Spain (not including sinks).

Table 6
Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)

YearEmissions
199055,75
199161,30
199263,80
199367,50
199475,70
199593,58
1996101,34
1997121,87
1998140,57
1999184,42
2000208,56
2001235,19

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain

Tables 7 and 8 show the evolution of greenhouse gas emissions in Spain between 1990 and 2001. The data leave little room for doubt, and are undoubtedly the worst indicator of the environmental situation in Spain.

Table 7
Total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)

YearGross emissionsNet emissions
Base year288.670,16259.417,70
1990286.428,11257.175,65
1991293.570,16264.317,70
1992302.773,23273.520,77
1993287.637,96258.385,50
1994304.672,28275.419,82
1995318.134,58288.882,13
1996310.899,11281.646,65
1997331.167,51301.915,05
1998341.929,80312.677,34
1999370.920,07341.667,61
2000385.987,43356.734,97
2001390.038,78360.786,32

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. The base year is made up of the 1990 emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O, and the 1995 emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride).

Table 8
Total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain. Index with respect to the base year.

YearIndex
Base year100,00
199099,22
1991101,70
1992104,89
199399,64
1994105,54
1995110,21
1996107,70
1997114,72
1998118,45
1999128,49
2000133,71
2001135,12

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. The base year is made up of the 1990 emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O, and the 1995 emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride).

Evolution of emissions by sector

By sectors, the total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain between 1990 and 2001 have been the following:

Energy sector. It is the main responsible for all emissions, since in 2001 it represented 76% of the total, with an increase of 37.3% compared to 1990.

Industrial processes other than combustion, such as cement production, the chemical and metallurgical industries, represented 8.5% in 2001, with an increase of 32.5% compared to the base year of 1990.

Solvents and other products, although they only represent 0.45% of the total, have increased by 29% compared to the base year, in which 1,342,890 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent were emitted.

Agriculture and livestock represent 11% of total carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions, with an increase of 17% compared to the base year.

Waste represents 3.8% of the total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, with an increase of 58% compared to the base year, when 9,401,370 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent were emitted. Methane emissions are the most important.

Proposals

In this scenario, the Government must immediately adopt the following measures:

· Shock Plan for 2003: adoption of a series of urgent measures on energy saving, development of renewable energies, actions on transport, ...

· Preparation of a Strategy and Plan of Action on Climate. Presentation of a calendar before the end of the year.

· Review of the document "Planning of electricity and gas transmission networks 2002-2011" to accommodate it to Spain's compliance with international commitments related to the Kyoto Protocol. -EcoPortal.net


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