In 2019, a dry hydrological year, with a drop in hydraulic production of almost 25% and stable economic growth, Spain still managed to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere.
Specifically, they were reduced by 6.2% compared to 2018, according to the report for the Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHG) of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) published this week. This is equivalent to 313.5 million tons, as stated in the preliminary data that Spain sends annually to the European Commission.
This decrease has come from different areas. The most notable is that of electricity generation, for which a reduction of 28.7% in emissions is estimated, mainly due to the drop of -64.9% in electricity production by coal and the increase in wind, photovoltaic and solar thermal energy (by +9.4%, +19% and +16.8%, respectively). This is a significant reduction considering that electricity generation in Spain accounts for 13.5% of total carbon dioxide emissions.
Emissions from industry have also decreased (accounting for 20.6% of total emissions). Specifically, they were reduced by -2.9%, including both those from fuel consumption (-1.3%) and those from the industrial processes themselves (-6.5%). Within the industrial area, the sectors that have reduced their emissions the most are those of non-metallic minerals (with a reduction in the cement sector of -7.1%) and metallurgy (between 15 and 20%). Likewise, emissions from refinery combustion (3.5% of total emissions) fell by 3.6%.
The residential, commercial and institutional sector (which accounts for 9% of emissions) experienced a drop of -3%, thanks to lower consumption of diesel C in a very hot year.
Meanwhile, emissions from agricultural, forestry and fishing machinery (3.7% of total national emissions) fell by -1.3%, while the agriculture and livestock sector (12.5% of total emissions) showed a 1.4% decline.
In contrast, the transport sector (which accounts for almost a third of national emissions, the most polluting sector) has experienced a slight increase: +0.7% more than in 2018, mainly due to road transport (which alone accounts for 26.8% of total greenhouse gas emissions in our country), generated by the increase in petrol consumption. Domestic air transport, which only accounts for 1% of the total, has increased its emissions by +7.4% compared to the previous year.
CO2 emissions generated by the waste sector also increased by +0.7%, due to economic growth in 2019 and an increase in the Spanish population, which for the first time has exceeded 47 million inhabitants.
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