EU ETS emissions rise for first time in 7 years
New data released today shows lignite emissions rose above hard coal for the first time
Today, the European Commission published the preliminary 2017 emissions under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Sandbag has analysed the data, and here we explain the key stories in 6 graphs.
EU ETS emissions
EU ETS emissions have risen for first time in 7 years
Dave Jones Global Programme Lead, EmberToday’s data shows a worrying rise in EU ETS emissions. The build-rate of wind and solar is not sufficient to rapidly decarbonise the power sector, especially as electricity demand increases and nuclear plants close. Still in 2017, 38% of EU ETS emissions were from coal power plants, and for the first time over half of these are from lignite, which has now overtaken hard coal emissions. The recent rise in the EU ETS price means most lignite plants are now likely unable to cover their high fixed costs, but due to other considerations they are slow to close, and due to their low variable costs they keep emitting even though they are uneconomic. So there is the potential to reduce emissions quickly, but this depends on a plan to deal with the increasing problem of lignite.