Re­ces­sion drives down CO2 gases

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Green­house gas emis­sions have dropped sig­nif­i­cantly over the past three years but this is due to the reper­cus­sions of a deep­en­ing eco­nomic cri­sis rather than the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an eco­nomic pol­icy de­signed to tackle cli­mate change, Kathimerini has learned.

On Mon­day, the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency is­sued a warn­ing that global car­bon diox­ide emis­sions had reached record lev­els. Greece, how­ever, ap­pears to be one of the few de­vel­oped coun­tries where emis­sions are down. There are no sta­tis­tics avail­able for last year but data for the years be­fore show a drop. The re­duc­tion ap­pears to have be­gun in 2008, when the re­ces­sion first took hold in Greece. Emis­sions dropped from 128.5 mil­lion tons in 2008 to 122.5 mil­lion tons in 2009. Of these emis­sions, some 100 mil­lion tons are at­trib­uted to en­ergy pro­duc­tion. Emis­sions from the agri­cul­ture sec­tor are re­port­edly at their low­est level in 20 years, in­di­cat­ing a slump in farm­ing ac­tiv­ity. Mean­while there has also been a re­duc­tion in green­house gases emit­ted from waste man­age­ment – from 5.2 mil­lion tons in 1998 to 3.7 mil­lion tons in 2009.

Al­though there are no sta­tis­tics avail­able yet for 2010, it ap­pears likely that the drop in emis­sions will con­tinue, ex­perts say. One of the rea- sons is that the eco­nomic re­ces­sion will deepen; an­other is that the Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion has re­port­edly taken ad­van­tage of higher lev­els of rain­fall in re­cent years to pro­duce more en­ergy from its hy­dro­elec­tric plants, re­duc­ing its use of the low-grade coal lig­nite, which is more pol­lut­ing.

In com­ments to Kathimerini, Green­peace spokesman Dim­itris Ibrahim said the de­vel­op­ment was less than en­cour­ag­ing. “The big prob­lem is that the drop in emis­sions is not the re­sult of some plan, some pol­icy for the re­mod­el­ing of the Greek econ­omy which aims to tackle cli­mate change,” he said.

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