Energy policies delivering EU CO2 reduction

Renewables and energy efficiency have been at least as important as recession in cutting EU carbon emissions since 2005, say experts.

Energy and climate policies in the EU from 2005 to 2011 accounted for more than half the one billion tonnes CO2 equivalent emission reductions, according to new research.

The econometrics research study by consultants CDC Climat differs from most earlier analyses. It tries to separate the effects of the recession and climate policies on emissions from power generation and industrial output.

It finds 1.2 gigatonnes CO2e in emissions were avoided over the period relative to business as usual. Of these, it estimates that 30% came from sharp falls in industrial output during 2009 while twice as much (60%) were due to growth in renewable generation and better energy intensity over the period.

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