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Carbon Trading Flops: EU CO2 Emissions Rising Again In 2017


Carbon emissions from power plants and factories covered by the EU Emissions Trading System rose 0.5% to 1,757.3 million mt in 2017, according to a poll of six market analysts by S&P Global Platts.

It was the first time since 2011 that emissions were estimated to have risen, after industrial production slumped in the wake of the financial crisis of 2009-10.

The increase was attributed to gains in industrial output across the 28-nation bloc, while greenhouse gas emissions from power plants were expected to drop, despite extended outages at French nuclear units and poor hydro generation in southern Europe.

The European Commission will publish preliminary data on verified emissions for 2017 on April 3, which will be used to establish compliance levels for more than 12,000 installations participating in the bloc’s cap-and-trade system.

“We forecast a 15 million mt (0.5%) increase for 2017, hence emissions will be 1,762 million mt,” said Espen Andreassen of Wattsight, an energy market consultancy.

“We expect the power and heat sector’s emissions to have decreased by approximately 3 million mt year on year, even as power consumption in eastern Europe grew strongly. This was, however, offset by a strong increase in wind power, and a marginal increase in photovoltaic power.”

Wattsight forecast industrial emissions rose in two of the three largest sectors: steel by 7 million mt and cement by 6 million mt, with petroleum refining experiencing a decrease of 1 million mt.

“For all other sectors, we expect a 7 million mt increase,” Andreassen said.

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