EU Commission unveils ‘European Green Deal’ - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15058354
As the EU's carbon tax shows its first effects in Europe, a number of EU economies register a marked reduction in CO2 emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions drop in Spain as power plants ditch coal

Spain has taken just one year to reach a goal that was expected to require a decade. The government had predicted that by 2030 coal would no longer be used in power plants to generate electricity, yet this objective was all but achieved last year. The country has dramatically reduced its reliance on coal-fired power, and as a direct result, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation fell 33.3% in 2019, according to figures that Red Eléctrica de España (REE), the national power grid operator, advanced to EL PAÍS.

For decades, coal-powered thermal plants have been one of the main sources of electricity. But in 2019 Spain turned its back on this fossil fuel, which when burned releases carbon dioxide – a primary greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

Coal mining in Spain came to an end on January 1, 2019, when Spain stopped providing state aid to its flailing coal mines in observance of European Union regulations and due to the poor profitability of national coal deposits. But it was expected that Spanish thermal plans that use imported coal – those which are located along the coast and have coal shipped in – would continue operating for some years to come. Indeed, the owners of these mines had invested millions of euros in adapting to the new EU standards on polluting emissions that came into effect this year.

But coal-fired electricity dropped dramatically in 2019 to its lowest point since REE began keeping records in 1990. Last year coal-powered thermal plants contributed less than 5% of all electricity generated in Spain – 85.6% less than in 2002, when coal power was at its peak. What’s more, there were five days (December 14, 21, 22, 24 and 25) when Spain did not need any coal-powered electricity at all.

There are many reasons why it is no longer financially profitable for electricity companies to maintain thermal plants. According to the expert group Carbon Tracker, the owners of these Spanish plants were expected to lose €992 million by the end of 2019. One of the main reasons is the EU emissions trading system, the world’s first major carbon market. After nearly 15 years, the EU agreed to set a price for releasing carbon dioxide that was high enough to discourage the use of this fossil fuel. During 2019, the price of a ton of CO2 was €25, meaning that in many European countries coal-fired electricity is not as profitable as other options like natural gas or renewable energy.

The EU emissions trading scheme has turned out to be a useful instrument in the fight against climate change in Europe. The problem is that there is still no agreement on a global system, which became apparent at the United Nations climate summit held in Madrid in December.

The drop in the cost of natural gas and the introduction of renewable energy have also contributed to the fall in coal-powered electricity. Green energy installations jumped by 10% in 2019. According to REE, 36.8% of the country’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, and 58.6% was free of carbon dioxide emissions (from both renewable and nuclear power).

Thanks to these factors, the Spanish power sector ended 2019 having released just over 43 million tons of carbon dioxide – 33.3% less than the 64.5 million tons released into the atmosphere in 2018.

The power sector accounts for 17% of the Spanish economy’s carbon dioxide emissions. The fall in coal-powered plants is expected to be reflected in a global fall in carbon dioxide emissions for 2019. But last year’s figures on the transportation sector (namely cars and trucks), which contributed 27% of greenhouse gases in 2018, and industry, which contributed 19%, have yet to be released. In recent years, the drop in power plant emissions has been compensated by the rise in transportation emissions.


Rising carbon prices led to drop in German emissions in 2019

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions fell sharply last year, putting the country’s 2020 climate goal within reach again.

A report released Tuesday by the think tank Agora Energiewende found that emissions fell by 6.5% in 2019 compared to the previous year — equivalent to 50 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Analysts said the decline was driven by the rising price for carbon dioxide on Europe’s emissions trading system, which pushed utility companies to burn less coal.

Energy from renewable sources also hit a new high in 2019, meeting 42.6% of gross energy consumption in Germany compared with 38.2% the previous year.

Germany had been predicted to miss its 2020 target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared with 1990-levels, to just over 750 million tons of carbon dioxide. But the latest figures show Germany’s emissions reached 811 million tons in 2019, meaning a similar decline over the coming year could put Germany back on track to meet its short-term target.
#15058487
Decoupling GHG emissions from GDP growth will be an important task for the future, in other words, the ability of economies to achieve economic growth while, at the same time, reducing GHG emissions.

This chart compares GDP growth with GHG emissions for European countries. Eastern European countries are doing relatively well because they experienced high growth while substituting polluting Soviet-style industries.

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#15059382
The European Union intends to invest 1 trillion euros for the transition to a green economy. The money will go into low-carbon projects and the restructuring of regions that depend on coal mining, etc.

The money is in addition to what EU members decide to spend on the national level. Germany has already decided a plan to spend 40 billions for assisting mining regions to phase out coal.

EU to unveil trillion-euro ‘Green Deal’ financial plan

The European Commission will propose on Tuesday (14 January) how the EU can pay for shifting the region’s economy to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 while protecting coal-dependent regions from taking the brunt of changes aimed at fighting climate change.

The EU executive is to unveil details of its Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, aimed at mobilising investment of 1 trillion euros over 10 years, using public and private money to help finance its flagship project – the European Green Deal.

The “Green Deal” is an ambitious rethinking of Europe’s economy, transport and energy sectors aimed at turning the EU into a global leader on the clean technologies that will shape the coming decades.
[...]
Green campaigners, for their part, have welcomed that the proposed €7.5 billion fund will be available only for projects that are low-carbon and climate-resilient, including re-skilling programmes for miners, jobs in new economic sectors and energy-efficient housing.

In order to access EU money, countries will need to propose territorial just transition plans, in line with the bloc’s climate goals, that will be vetted by the European Commission.


Increased awareness of the danger of climate change has also motivated travelers in Germany and Scandinavian countries to switch from airplanes to trains.

More Germans are swapping planes for trains because of climate worries

While the cynics are still running their obscene defamation campaigns against school children, the Greta effect shows it first results.

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The national German railway company plans to spend 95 billion euros for modernizing and expanding its railway network to make train travel more attractive. The government also decided to increase taxes on domestic flights.

Germany Goes Greener With $95 Billion Push for Train Over Plane

The 10-year plan is not only to upgrade rails, bridges and carriages but also build out capacity and electrify more routes so as to lure passengers from cars and planes. The federal government will finance 62 billion euros and state-owned Deutsche Bahn AG is to come up with 24 billion euros.

“It’ll be the decade of the rail,” Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer said at a ceremony in Berlin.
#15059384
It is better you call it "Communist manifesto of European Union". You steal people's money under name of taxation and spending it without their approval.

You were asking why British are running away from Europe. If you are still asking why, then this is your answer. British capitalists are smart enough to know when to escape from authoritarian Europe.
#15061381
Scotland, whose southern city of Glasgow was named last September as the host for the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), has a goal to source the equivalent of 100% of its electricity demand from renewable energy sources by the end of this year.

Scotland to reach 100% renewables in time to host 2020 climate summit

Most of Scotland's energy now comes from wind turbines. Installation of a new type of floating off-shore wind turbine will substantially increase the potential for renewable energy. While fixed off-shore wind turbines can be installed at a seabed depth of up to 30 meters, floating off-shore wind turbines can be installed at seabed depths of up to 1 km, where winds are stronger and more constant.

The potential for wind energy generation is 5 to 10 times of the total global energy need. More than two thirds of the World's wind energy is now generated in Europe. The two designs for floating off-shore wind turbines in Scotland and Portugal were partially funded by the EU. Moreover, by paying high energy prices, Europeans are pioneering renewable energy which will reduce cost and enable poor countries to transition to renewable energy without having to shoulder the initial development costs.

Hywind floating off-shore wind farm in Scotland

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Construction of floating off-shore wind farm in Portugal

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Just in case you still have any doubts about wind energy, just refer to Donald Trump "who knows windmills very much and who has studied them better than anybody"



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