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Evolution of Greenhouse Gases in Spain 1990 - 2000

Evolution of Greenhouse Gases in Spain 1990 - 2000

By José Santamarta and Joaquín Nieto

Emissions in units of CO2 equivalent, considering the six greenhouse gases, have increased by 28.97% in Spain between 1990 (base year) and 2000.

The figure is worrying not only because of the alarming increase in emissions, but also because it highlights the urgent need to act so that Spain fulfills its international commitment to increase emissions by only 15% in 2010.

The Kyoto Protocol requires limiting the joint emissions of six gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, perfluorocarbon compounds (PFC), hydrofluorocarbon compounds (HFC) and sulfur hexafluoride) with respect to those of 1990 during the period 2008-2012, in proportions different depending on the country: reduction of 8% for the whole of the European Union, within which Spain can increase them by a maximum of 15%.

The ratification process of the Protocol is already underway, but Spain's emissions figures are so high that in order to fulfill the commitment required by the Protocol, it is necessary and urgent to take severe measures to reduce emissions. If not, we could find that emissions in Spain could be, in 2010, 60% higher than in the base year.

Therefore, CC.OO. proposes a series of measures to reverse this trend and fight against climate change at the institutional, economic, environmental and social levels.

TOTAL EMISSIONS IN CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) EQUIVALENT

Tables 7 and 8 show the evolution of greenhouse gas emissions in Spain between 1990 and 2000. The data leave little room for doubt, and are the worst indicator of the environmental situation in Spain.

Table 1Total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearGross emissionsNet emissions
Base year308.536,6279.284,4
1990305.832,1276.579,9
2000397.932,8368.680,6

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. The base year is made up of the 1990 emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O, and the 1995 emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride). See complete table in annex.


Table 2Total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain. Index with respect to the base year.
YearIndex
100,0
199099,1
2000128,9

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. The base year is made up of the 1990 emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O, and the 1995 emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride. See complete table in annex

TOTAL CO2 EQUIVALENT EMISSIONS BY SECTORS

By sectors, the total emissions in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain between 1990 and 1999-2000 have been the following:

ENERGY SECTOR:

It is the main responsible for all emissions, since in 2000 it represented 71% of the total, with 282 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, which represents an increase of 30.5% compared to the 216 million tons emitted in 1990.

INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES OTHER THAN COMBUSTION:

Such as the production of cement, the chemical and metallurgical industries, which accounted for 8.6% of total emissions in 2000, with an increase of 33% compared to the base year of 1990.

SOLVENTS AND OTHER PRODUCTS:

Although they only represent 0.5% of the total, they have increased by 26% compared to the base year, when 1,553,950 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent were emitted.

AGRICULTURE AND LIVESTOCK:

They represent 15% of the total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, with an increase of 7% compared to the base year.

WASTE:

They represent 4.9% of the total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, with an increase of 65% compared to the base year, in which 11,576,560 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent were emitted. Methane emissions are the most important among waste.

EVOLUTION OF GAS BY GAS EMISSIONS

CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Spain between 1990 and 2000, without including sinks, have increased by 29.96%, from 226 million tons in 1990 (base year) to 293.8 million tons in 2000 .

In 2000, they accounted for 73.8% of gross greenhouse gas emissions in Spain, not including sinks.

During 2000, the sectors that emitted the most CO2 were:

Energy sector: responsible for 91.8% of total emissions.

Transportation: Within the energy sector, transportation stands out, which emitted 29.9% of total CO2 emissions.

Cement production: in 2000 caused 6.4% of total emissions.

Waste incineration, chemical and metallurgical industry: The remaining 1.8%.

Table 3Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Spain (thousands of tons)
YearEmissions (without sinks)Emissions? Sinks
1990226.057,2196.804,9
2000293.791,1264.538,9

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. See complete table in Annex.

METHANE (CH4)

In 1990, the base year, a total of 1,654,250 tons of methane were emitted in Spain, while in 1999 it reached 2,145,140 tons, with an increase of 29.7%, a very considerable figure.

Methane accounted for 11.8% of the gross emissions of the six greenhouse gases in 2000, in carbon dioxide equivalent excluding sinks.

During 1999, the main sources of methane emissions were:

Enteric fermentation: caused 29.7% (638,020 tons).

Manure management: 17.9% (384,340 tons).

Landfills: 33.9% (727,230 tons).

Coal mining: 4% (86,770 tons).

Oil and natural gas: 6% (129,700 tons).

Wastewater: 2.6% (55,140 tons).

Rice crops: only emitted 13,450 tons.

Waste incinerators: 13,710 tons.

Methane emissions could easily be reduced significantly with inexpensive measures.

Table 4Methane (CH4) emissions in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
199034.739,3
200047.088,5

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

NITROUS OXIDE (N2O)

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in Spain in 1990, the base year, amounted to 133,019 tons. In 1999 they amounted to 142,000 tonnes, slightly higher.

In 2000, they represented 11.6% of greenhouse gas emissions in Spain, not including sinks.

During 1999 the largest emissions were due to:

Manure management: emitted 36.7% (52,080 tons)

Fertilizers applied to agricultural soils: 42% of emissions (59,590 tons).

Energy sector: emitted in 1999 a total of 19,520 tons, which accounted for 13.8% of emissions.

Chemical industry: emitted 5.3% (7,570 tons)

Table 5

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in Spain

(thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)

YearEmissions
199041.235,9
200046.013,5

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. See complete table in annex

HYDROFLUOROCARBON COMPOUNDS (HFC)

HFCs have replaced ozone-depleting CFCs, and are used primarily in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, fire extinguishers, and aerosols. HFCs do not damage the ozone layer, but they are powerful greenhouse gases.

In 1995, the base year for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol, 481.6 tons (5,595,480 tons of CO2 equivalent) were emitted, while in 2000 it reached 10,057,100 tons of CO2 equivalent.

In 2000 they represented 2.5% of the total gross greenhouse gas emissions in Spain (not including sinks).

As in the past CFCs were eliminated, today it is urgent to eliminate HFCs, easily substitutable products.

Table 6Emissions of hydrofluorocarbon compounds (HFCs) (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
19902.893,6
19955.595,5
200010.057,1

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. See complete table in annex

PERFLUOROCARBON COMPOUNDS (PFC)

In 1995, the base year for the commitments acquired in the Kyoto Protocol, 108 tons of CF4 and 9.5 tons of C2F6 were produced in Spain (790,370 tons of CO2 equivalent). Emissions since then remain stagnant at figures slightly above 100 tons, equivalent to 736,900 tons of CO2 in 2000.

In 2000, they represented 0.25% of total gross greenhouse gas emissions in Spain (not including sinks).

Almost all the emissions of perfluorocarbon compounds are due to the production of aluminum.

Table 7Emissions of perfluorocarbon compounds (PFC) in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
1990828,4
1995790,4
2000736,9

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

SULFUR HEXAFLUORIDE (SF6)

In 1995, the base year for the Kyoto Protocol, 6,045 kilograms (118,420 tonnes of CO2 equivalent) were emitted, and in 2000 emissions increased to 245,700 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

In 2000, they represented 0.06% of total gross greenhouse gas emissions in Spain (not including sinks).

Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is used in electrical equipment.

Table 8Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
199077,8
2000245,7

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. See the complete table in the annex.

MEASURES AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

INSTITUTIONAL

Ratification, within the framework of the European Union, of the Kyoto Protocol before the Rio + 10 summit.

Approval and implementation, during 2002, of a Spanish Strategy to fight against Climate Change.

Approval and implementation, following the Strategy, of an Action Plan on climate change.

Convocation of the National Climate Council, within a month, to discuss the draft of the aforementioned Strategy.

Strengthen the role of the IDAE and the creation of similar bodies in autonomous areas.

ECONOMIC

Withdrawal of the veto on the Proposal for a European Directive on taxation of energy products.

Guarantee the maintenance of premiums for all renewable energies and increase them for biomass and photovoltaic solar.

Provide financially with 300 mill. Euros annually to promote energy saving and efficiency.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL

Action Plan, sufficiently endowed, to promote energy saving and efficiency in all sectors.

Specific plan for the development of liquid biofuels (with a goal of 4,000 million liters by 2010, well above the 500 planned)

Action Plans for the pacification of urban traffic in metropolitan areas and the reduction of automobile penetration in cities.

Measures and initiatives of all public administrations and companies in all Industrial, Energy, Transport, Services and Agriculture sectors Relating to:

The saving and efficiency of energy and resources.

The installation and use of renewable energy.

The reduction of mobility needs in the transport of goods and people.

Limit car use and encourage public and non-motorized means of transportation.

Compliance with the current speed limits set forth in the road safety law and reduction of said maximum limits to 100 km / h.

Implementation of Environmental Management Systems and performance of energy audits.

Manage the organic matter of waste (urban, forestry, livestock ...) in a way that avoids methane emissions.

ANNEXED

Table 1Total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearGross emissionsNet emissions
Base year308.536,6279.284,4
1990305.832,1276.579,9
1991312.503,3283.251,1
1992321.814,7292.562,5
1993306.553,8277.301,6
1994324.159,0294.906,8
1995336.738,9307.486,7
1996332.080,4302.828,2
1997349.040,2319.787,9
1998358.368,8329.116,6
1999380.192,5350.940,3
2000397.932,8368.680,6

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Table 2Total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in Spain. Index with respect to the base year.
YearIndex
Base year100,0
199099,1
1991101,3
1992104,3
199399,4
1994105,1
1995109,1
1996107,6
1997113,1
1998116,2
1999123,3
2000128,9

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration. The base year is made up of the 1990 emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O, and the 1995 emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride)

Table 3Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Spain (thousands of tons)
YearEmissions (without sinks)Emissions? Sinks
1990226.057,2196.804,9
1991233.257,2204.005,2
1992242.275,4213.023,2
1993229.514,8200.262,6
1994242.279,4213.027,2
1995252.957,6223.705,4
1996240.847,7211.595,4
1997257.712,5228.460,3
1998268.478,7239.226,4
1999281.059,1251.806,9
2000293.791,1264.538,9

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Table 4Methane (CH4) emissions in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
199034.739,3
199135.291,4
199236.181,3
199336.728,6
199437.715,7
199538.704,3
199640.700,3
199742.580,3
199840.643,4
199945.047,8
200047.088,5

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Table 5Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
199041.235,9
199140.509,3
199239.620,9
199337.168,6
199439.395,4
199538.572,8
199643.234,8
199740.889,6
199841.307,1
199944.019,4
200046.013,5

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Table 6Emissions of hydrofluorocarbon compounds (HFC) in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
19902.893,6
19912.574,5
19922.869,3
19932.258,4
19943.885,3
19955.595,5
19966.411,7
19976.922,8
19987.014,9
19999.146,1
200010.057,1

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Table 7Emissions of perfluorocarbon compounds (PFC) in Spain (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
1990828,4
1991787,1
1992781,9
1993793,8
1994785,2
1995790,4
1996758,9
1997784,3
1998749,6
1999695,5
2000736,9

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Table 8Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions (thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent)
YearEmissions
199077,8
199183,6
199285,9
199389,6
199498,1
1995118,4
1996127,0
1997150,7
1998175,1
1999224,5
2000245,7

Source: MIMAM and own elaboration.

Table 9INVENTORY OF GREENHOUSE GASES IN SPAIN IN 1990, ACCORDING TO THE IPPC / OECD METHOD
GASChemical formulaYears of residence in the atmosphereQuantity emitted in 1990 in tonsGlobal warming potential in thousands of tons of CO2 equivalent
Carbon dioxideCO250-200226.057.180226.057
MethaneCH414,5(+/-2,5)1.654.25034.739
Nitrous oxideN2O120133.01941.236
Others (HFC, PFCs and SF6)6.504
Total greenhouse gases308.537

Source: DGCEA, IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and own elaboration.

COMPARISON OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF PRODUCING ELECTRICITY
Table 10Emissions of pollutants in electricity production: entire fuel cycle (tons per GWh)
Power sourceCO2NO2SO2Solid particles in suspensionCOHydrocarbonsNuclear wasteTotal
Coal1.058,22,9862,9711,6260,2670,1021.066,1
Natural gas Combined cycle824,00,2510,3361,176TRTR825,8
Nuclear8,60,0340,0290,0030,0180,0013,64112,3
Photovoltaic5,90,0080,0230,0170,0030,0025,9
Biomass00,6140,1540,51211,3610,76813,4
Geothermal56,8TRTRTRTRTR56,8
Wind7,4TRTRTRTRTR7,4
Solar thermal3,6TRTRTRTRTR3,6
Hydraulics6,6TRTRTRTRTR6,6

Source: US Department of Energy, Council for Renewable Energy Education and own calculations. TR: traces. Biomass emissions presuppose the annual regeneration of the amount consumed, which rarely happens. Hydraulics and biomass have serious consequences for biodiversity, and radioactive waste poses serious safety problems for more than 200,000 years. Other impacts are open pit mining in the case of coal, oil spills, and the safety of nuclear power plants.


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