Decline in CO2 intensity in the EU in 2019.
In 2019, the CO2 intensity fell by 2.9%, i.e. nearly twice its 2000-2018 average (-1.5%/year), thanks to steady improvements in energy intensity (around 1.5-2%/year) and in the “carbon factor” (CO2 emissions of energy consumption), especially for power generation (lower coal consumption). The CO2 intensity posted significant decreases in OECD countries (-5.5% in the EU and South Korea, -4.6% in the USA, -4.1% in Japan), well above their historical trends. In the EU, the CO2 intensity particularly decreased in large countries such as Poland (-10%), Germany (-7%) and Spain (-8%) due to decreasing CO2 emissions and slower economic growth.
The CO2 intensity also improved in Asia (-3.4%), especially in China (-3.1%, even if it remains 52% above the global average) and India (-5.1%, due to a strong economic growth coupled with declining emissions). In other large economies, the improvement was much slower (-0.6% in Australia, where CO2 emissions slightly increased, -1% in Mexico). Conversely, the CO2 intensity continued to increase in Russia, South Africa and Iran, following the rising trend in their emissions.
According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, global CO2 emissions from energy combustion increased by 0.9% to 38 GtCO2 in 2019, driven by China (+3.4%, accounting for 30% of global emissions) and India (+1.6%, 7% of global emissions). Meanwhile, Japan (3% of global emissions) reduced its energy-related CO2 emissions by 2.1%, the United States (13% of total emissions) by 2.6% and Russia (5% of total emissions) by 0.8%.
According to the European Commission, primary energy consumption declined by 0.7% in 2018 (-0.1% only for final energy consumption), which is insufficient to meet the 2020 targets. The highest annual reductions in primary energy consumption were posted in Belgium, Austria and Greece, whereas the largest increases were observed in Estonia, Latvia and Luxembourg. Between 2005 and 2018, primary energy consumption decreased in all Member States except Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia and Poland. Primary energy intensity fell in all Member States between 2005 and 2018; however, it grew in Denmark, Estonia and Luxemburg in recent years (between 2015 and 2018).
According to the Swiss government, final energy consumption in Switzerland slightly increased in 2019 (+0.3%) due to cooler temperatures, economic growth (+0.9%), demographic growth (+0.7%) and increasing fleet of motor vehicles (+0.8%). This rising trend was offset by continued energy efficiency and substitution effects.
According to preliminary figures from Citepa, France’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined by 0.9% in 2019, from 445 MtCO2eq in 2018 to 441 MtCO2eq in 2019. This is due to a decline in GHG emissions from the residential and tertiary sector (-2.7%, i.e. -2.2 MtCO2eq, with a 2.3% drop for households and a 3.2% decline for services), in the energy sector (-0.7%, including -1.5% for power generation), and in waste processing (-2.2%). In 2019, CO2 emissions dipped by 1%, from 331.5 Mt to 328.2 Mt (-3.3 Mt), while methane emissions contracted by 0.7% (-0.4 MtCO2eq).