Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by10 percent in the Basque Country in 2009December 30th 2010Greenhouse gas emissions in the Basque Country decreased by 10% in 2009 withrespect to 2008. In absolute terms, 22.6 million tonnes of CO2 were produced in 2009compared with 25.2 million in 2008.The “2009 Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Autonomous Region of theBasque Country”, released today by the Department for the Environment, TerritorialPlanning, Agriculture and Fishing, shows that despite the current economic situation,CO2 emissions have decreased at a greater rate than Gross Domestic Product (10%compared to 4%, respectively), continuing a trend that commenced in 2002 whereby theproduction of goods and services does not necessarily entail an increase in greenhousegases. In other words, each unit of production within goods and services emits less CO2.With regards to the objectives set by the Basque Government within the Basque Planfor the Fight against Climate Change 2008-2012, emissions rose by 6% with respect tothe base year (1990). Emissions were, therefore, lower than the maximum established asan objective in the climate change plan, where the goal was a rise of no more than 14%.The energy sector is responsible for 40% of emissions in the Basque Country, taking inboth emissions from installations in the Autonomous Region of the Basque Country anda proportion of emissions from other installations in the electrical system.Hide full articleEnergy sector emissions for 2009 were lower than in 2008 due to an improvement in theproduction of electricity and a reduction in the demand for electricity as a result of adecrease in consumption, especially in industry and transport.With respect to 1990, emissions in the energy sector increased by 15%. Two factors canexplain this: emissions associated with the production of electricity fell steadily and theconsumption of electricity rose steadily between 1990 and 2007. That is, technology forenergy production has been improving since 1990, leading to a decrease in emissions.However, per capita consumption has increased at a greater rate.The transport sector is responsible for 23% of emissions in the Basque Country. Roadtransport accounts for approximately 98% of emissions in this sector. Passengervehicles generate approximately 60% whilst freight transport nearly 40%. For thesecond consecutive year, emissions have decreased with respect to the previous year.With respect to 1990, both emissions from freight transport and passenger vehicles havedoubled, resulting in an increase in emissions from the use of cars and the movement offreight in light-vehicles.
Furthermore, technological advances have led to the development of more fuel-efficientvehicles that produce increasingly fewer emissions. Despite this, road transport has beenincreasing every year, especially private vehicle use.The industrial sector produces 22% of emissions in the Autonomous Region of theBasque Country; however, if we consider emissions associated with the energyconsumed by the sector (indirect emissions), this percentage rises to 37%.With respect to 1990, direct emissions decreased by 35%, evidence of thetransformation and technological change the sector has experienced. The highest levelof emissions is attributable to the iron, cement, pulp and paper sub-sectors.The residential and services sector is responsible for 6% of greenhouse emissions in theAutonomous Region of the Basque Country. If we also take into account emissionsassociated with the energy it consumes (indirect emissions), this percentage rises to16%. The residential sector has witnessed a 38% increase in direct emissions since1990, whilst the services sector has witnessed an 83% increase.The agricultural sector increased emissions by 0.17% with respect to 2008, dueprincipally to an increase in fuel consumption. Emissions in this sector account for 4%of total emissions for the Autonomous Region of the Basque Country, equivalent to 0.8Mt of CO2, which has meant a 29% decrease with respect to 1990.Environmental Profile for the Basque Country for 2009Pilar Unzalu’s Department for the Environment has released the “Environmental Profilefor the Basque Country for 2009”, a diagnostic report which serves to monitor the IIEnvironmental Framework Program for the Autonomous Region of the BasqueCountry, which serves two purposes: to assess progress in meeting environmentalcommitments and to offer citizens information on the evolution of the environment in2009.The environmental indicators in the document show that the Autonomous Region of theBasque Country’s environment is recovering, especially with respect to water and airquality, the prevention and recovery of contaminated land, the promotion of theconsumption and production of sustainable energy, waste reduction, balanced land use,greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation to climate change, all of which sawimprovements in 2009.Environmental aspects that show a negative trend include current models of mobilityand the consumption of natural resources, yet the maintenance of biodiversity remainsstable.III Environmental Framework Program for the Basque CountryPilar Unzalu’s Department is currently drafting the III Environmental FrameworkProgram (EFP) for the Basque Country, which will define the environmental prioritiesfor the Basque Country for the following four years within the framework of the
Strategy for Sustainable Development, EcoEuskadi 2020, launched by the BasqueGovernment.In line with the approach adopted by the European Union, the third EFP will featuresimplified indicators and only five strategic objectives, which are: • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change in the Basque Country. • Halt the loss of biological diversity and recover ecosystems. • Prevent waste production and promote waste recovery. • Achieve a clean and healthy environment. • Restrict man-made landscapes and promote the reuse of land.The Basque Government will continue to work towards achieving the goals outlined inthe third EFP through institutions, universities, businesses and environmentalorganisations. Furthermore, platforms for participation and information regarding thisProgram have been created online (www.irekia.net and www.ingurumena.net).Further information can be obtained by visitinghttp://www.ingurumena.ejgv.euskadi.net/r49-579/es/ or by contacting the Press Chief ofthe Basque Country’s Department for the Environment, Territorial Planning,Agriculture and Fishing. Jon Uranga (Tel.: 945 01 96 34. Email firstname.lastname@example.org)