EU carbon market emissions fell 8.7% in 2019: EU Commission

LONDON (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas emissions regulated under Europe’s carbon market fell by 8.7% last year, with a large fall from the power industry helping to offset a small increase from aviation, the European Commission said on Monday.

Around 45% of the European Union’s output of greenhouse gases is regulated by the Emissions Trading System (ETS), the bloc’s flagship policy to tackle global warming by charging for the right to emit carbon dioxide (CO2).

An increase in renewable power generation such as wind and solar led to a 15% fall in power industry emissions covered by the scheme, the Commission said, while industrial emissions were down 2% compared with 2018.

Aviation industry emissions covered by the scheme rose by 1%.

Total verified greenhouse gas emissions from stationary installations, such as power plants and factories, were 1.527 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2019.

Emissions from the aviation industry were 68.14 million tonnes CO2e, the Commission said.

The figures were in line with analyst expectations published last month, based on raw data.

Globally greenhouse gas emissions are expected to fall further in 2020 as measures designed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus have led to the closure of business and factories and reduced power demand.

The International Energy Agency said last week global energy demand could slump by 6% leading to an 8% drop in carbon dioxide emissions.

Reporting By Susanna Twidale. Editing by Jane Merriman